Oderus Urungus is the lead singer for America's favorite band of monstrous outerspace beasts, GWAR. Some people claim that he's actually a human being named Dave Brockie, but that's a load of HORSESHIT. As the band prepares to release its ninth album, Mr. Urungus was kind enough to lend me a few minutes of his time to discuss the past, present and future of the band. Having never interviewed a monster before, I relied to some degree on questions put forth by my friends CB Smith and Matt The Lawyer (specifically the string of questions that begins with "Do you ever miss Antarctica?" and ends "Has the band ever argued over creative differences?"). My questions are in bold; his answers are in plain text, even though he screamed most of them (hence the capital letters).
Could I speak to Oderus please?
NO! Er.. hold on a sec. I'm raping this woman.
URURURULRELLL! AHHHHHH! Oh, she's dead.
Oh, it's not rape if she's dead.
Can't live with 'em!
(to somebody else: Call me later, after you talk to whats-his-name. Alright, cool! Cool.) Sorry dude, what's your name?
This is Mark Prindle.
Hold on a second. (to somebody else: Yeah, get in that damn car and get outta this bullshit neighborhood. Call me!) Ah fuck it. Trying to break up with your girlfriend is the hardest thing. Tore off her head and everything.
You finally have a new album coming out?
FUCK YEAH! It is absolutely the most devastating, important heavy metal record in rock and roll history.
What's the name of it?
Slaves To Eternal War.
Is it complete?
It is in the process of being sequenced and then mastered this weekend at Howie Weinberg's studio in New York with producer Glen Robinson.
Oooh! How would you say it differs from your other records?
Well, GWAR is a band that has embraced many changes in styles to savor the different flavors of human music, but we've finally settled again on the original formula that we knew was best for us - the formula of heavy metal, which is the heaviest, most powerful form of music on the face of your Earth. The last record that we did, Violence Has Arrived, some three years ago, set the tone for the old yet new direction that GWAR was going musically. On this record, we vowed to ourselves in oaths of blood that it would be heavier, harder and more powerful in all ways than Violence Has Arrived. We continue the new tradition of GWAR as the ultimate heavy metal rock and roll experience of this our any other generation!
Did you get tired of the diverse thing? I kinda got a kick out of -
YES, WE GOT SICK OF IT! SICK OF MAKING COMEDY PUNK ROCK SONGS ON FUCKING ANIMALS! WE FUCKING GOT SICK OF THAT SHIT AND WE STARTED MAKING METAL AGAIN! AND THE FANS WENT FUCKING APESHIT! THEY WENT CRAZY! THE BLOOD DRIVE TOUR FOR VIOLENCE HAS ARRIVED THREE YEARS AGO WAS THE BEST THING GWAR HAD DONE. "IMMORTAL CORRUPTOR" WAS THE BEST VIDEO WE'D DONE IN YEARS; THAT ALBUM WAS THE BEST THING WE'D DONE IN YEARS, AND EVERYBODY KNOWS IT! NOW THIS ALBUM IS FUCKING TEN TIMES HEAVIER THAN THAT RECORD! THE LEAD TRACK, "BRING BACK THE BOMB" IS FUCKING THE HEAVIEST FUCKING METAL SONG THAT HAS COME OUT ALL FUCKING YEAR, AND IS PROBABLY THE HEAVIEST SONG WE'VE EVER PERFORMED! It's gonna be the video. The album drops October 26th, and to give you an example of what the new success has been doing for GWAR, our comedy punk rock styley diversions into Jazzercise music experiment which failed miserably also cost us worldwide distribution deals because people quite frankly got sick of listening to our bullshit! But ever since Violence Has Arrived and the recording of this new album, GWAR is being released worldwide on October 26th for the first time in like fucking seven years.
Finally! Yay! So are there any new stage things you've got planned?
THAT DEPENDS ON WHO TRIES TO FUCK WITH US! THEY WILL COME AGAINST US AND THEY WILL BE DESTROYED! WE ARE TAKING THIS ALBUM, SLAVES TO ETERNAL WAR, AS BLOOD PROCLAMATION! WE EMBRACE YOUR WAR AGAINST TERROR! WE THINK IT'S THE STUPIDEST THING EVER! THIS IS A WAR THAT CAN LAST FOR ALL TIME! THE WAR AGAINST TERROR - SUBLIME! WE ARE FORMING THE WAR PARTY! WE ARE ASKING ALL WARRIORS TO JOIN! AND WE WILL GIVE THEM ALL FREE CRACK AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS! WE WILL END THIS WORLD AND THIS WAR IN A NUCLEAR FIREBOMB OF INCONCEIVABLE HATRED! AND THE SCOURGE PESTILENCE OF THE HUMAN RACE WILL FINALLY BE DESTROYED AND ERASED FROM THIS WORLD!
Then who will buy your records?
NO ONE! WE DON'T WANT TO SELL RECORDS! WE WANT TO KILL HUMANS! WE DON'T GIVE A FUCK IF WE SELL ONE RECORD! WE JUST WANT TO MAKE OUR UNHOLY NOISE, DRAW THE HUMANS IN WITHIN KILLING RANGE AND THEN LET THE SLAUGHTER BEGIN!
Do you ever miss Antarctica?
I'M THERE RIGHT NOW! I'M GAZING UPON A BLAZING CESSPOOL AS THE SLAVES FROLIC WITH THE GIANT MUTATED PENGUINS ON THE LAWN! Or the ice or the glacier or whatever that is.
Does your enormous man-tool ever get in the way while you're eating or playing golf?
HOW COULD IT GET IN THE WAY? THE BIGGER, THE BETTER! I ACTUALLY DRIVE WITH THAT THING, AS FAR AS GOLF! And we do play Ice Golf down here quite a bit.
The whole world is waiting with extreme anticipation - when is Slymenstra Hymen going to find the right man?
I don't know what's up with her anymore. She's got some kind of girly freakshow experience happening, and I understand it's doing quite well for her. Ever since the Violence Has Arrived tour, this has been the Boys' Club version of GWAR. We're not indulging our feminine sensibilities here; we're pumping the testosterone! AND CHOLESTEROL TOO! AND WE'RE FUCKING SITTING ON THE COUCH FOR HOURS! Uhh, I mean "working hard." AND WE'RE ATTACHING ELECTRODES TO OUR BALLS IN ORDER TO PSYCH US UP FOR THE KILLING FRENZY THAT MUST BEGIN! THERE'S NO PUSSIES IN THIS BAND ANYMORE!
But don't you miss that womanly touch?
NO! I DON'T! I HATE IT! I HATE WOMEN!
In terms of your stage show, how much blood is "too much"?
NEVER ENOUGH! I WON'T BE SATISFIED UNTIL WE'RE PLAYING IN THE ENORMODOME AND THE HUMANS HAVE GOTTEN TO THE POINT THAT THE DOME IS FILLED WITH BLOOD AND THEY MUST FIGHT EACH OTHER IN SLAM BOATS! With their oars. They'll fight with oars.
Oh. Will we ever get another glimpse of the sensitive inner life of Oderus, like we did with "Fish Fuck"?
NO! I AM TAKING MY PENIS AND LOCKING IT INTO A SPECIAL BONDAGE HARNESS! I FEEL THAT MY PENIS HAS GOTTEN IN THE WAY OF KILLING! THAT'S THE ONLY TIME I'M ANNOYED BY IT! IT DISTRACTS ME WHEN I'M TRYING TO RUN MY SWORD THROUGH SOMEONE'S HEAD, AND INSTEAD I GO OFF AND JUST START MASTURBATING! SO THIS YEAR I'M DRIVING RAILROAD TIES THROUGH IT AND TRYING TO CALM THE BEAST DOWN! OF COURSE AT THE END OF THE SHOW, I WILL REMOVE THE PENETRATION ARTICLE AND SPEW MY FILTHY MAGGOT-ENCRUSTED ICKER EVERYWHERE! And also I want everyone to know - those who are familiar with the Snakefish and the problems they've been having in the various ponds on the East Coast, that Snakefish are actual single cells of Oderus's sperm.
Yes, I created them for you.
It was my pleasure!
Techno Destructo wanted me to ask you this: Why does your music suck so fucking much?
BECAUSE HE'S AN ASSHOLE FUCKING TRAITOR TO THE MASTER AND HIMSELF! HE LISTENS TO DAVID BOWIE ALBUMS!
Yeah. He wanted us to play a fucking David Bowie cover for him. We were like, "That's a stupid idea. Fuck off." Ever since then, he's been pouting.
What planet do you think has the best looking chicks on it?
Oh, Earth definitely. I mean, we created the human race, so we created something that we wanted to fuck! So we mated with various animals that we found sort of attractive and basically used our flesh sculpting techniques to create a race of rapable women.
Yes! So you have us to thank for Pamela Anderson and Bjork. Well, I don't know if you want to THANK us for Bjork.
Yes, oh yes! All of those sluts! I've fucked them all.
Who do you think would win - and maybe this has already happened, but - who would win in a fight between Beefcake The Mighty and Jizmak Da Gusha?
I don't know and I've often wondered. I'm thinking maybe in this next video, instead of getting GWAR to fight nuclear-powered mutants or zombies, of actually getting them to fight each other. That would truly be an apocalyptic - hold on one second.
Fuckin' God. Yes, even Oderus has call waiting.
Who was it?
One of my drug dealers.
Oh, okay. Over the course of your career, how close have you come to your stated goal of sexually enslaving the human race?
Oh, I'd say they're enslaved, definitely, whether they know it or not. Whether they accept the fact that they are all sexual slaves to GWAR's every perverse whim or even if they know who GWAR is or not, it doesn't matter. It's happened, it's happening, it happens, and I'm doing it right now. Even you! Even every time you touch yourself!
Yes. My hands take over, basically.
Hey, has the band ever argued over creative differences?
Constantly! We love to argue.
I'm the winner. I have outlasted all the Technos and Slymenstras and other supporting bit players because I am the meanest, baddest motherfucker on this planet or any other. And I will take all comers and beat them all to shit with my 6" broadsword. And you can eat the brain right out of my head. It doesn't matter; it'll grow right back! Anyone who fucks with me is going down! And they know it! All I can do is snipe from a long distance now, but they'd better not face me because they could never assuage my wrath.
Speaking of people who've fucked with you, there was a guy about a year or two ago named Dave Brockie who was putting out records claiming he was in the band. I've never heard of this guy being in your band!
I've captured his soul and brought him back to Antarctica, and he's chained up in the dungeon right now. He will never die. His life will be transformed into an undeath of eternal torment. He will be on the nipple wheel for eons.
What is a nipple wheel?
It's too horrible to conceive. If I tried to explain it to you, your nipples would elongate like Mexican pencil erasers.
UUGHHHGHASKWE! Okay, I have all of your CDs right here in front of me because I am a longtime fan. I've been a fan since the second album came out; I hadn't heard of the band until the second album came out. I was wondering if we could just quickly go through each one so you could give us a clue what was going on in the band at the time or what your memories are or who you were killing at the time -
Is this gonna take much longer?
Oh, no. We could stop now actually!
Ha! I was just fucking with you. ANYONE WHO'S BEEN A FAN FOR SO LONG DESERVES NOTHING LESS THAN MY FULL ATTENTION FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER THREE SECONDS.
Okay, now Hell-o! You mixed Hell-o! with Kramer; it's a very strange sound.
Oh, well that was recorded over the phone.
Oh, okay. Then Scumdogs Of The Universe - suddenly you were a huge heavy metal sensation!
Yes, I think that many songs on there are some of the most powerful we ever wrote, but I was never superhappy with the production on that album. There was a lot of other drama involved, but that was the breakthrough album for GWAR though. For many of our fans, it's still their favorite.
What do you not like about the production?
It's a little tinny I think sometimes. The guitar is not quite as metallized as I'd like to have. But it's good! It's a damn good record. Sounds damn good. I mean, it's an old record! It came out in '91 and that new metal sound hadn't defined itself yet. People were still wallowing in the vestiges of punk rock. We wrote those songs in the late '80s, when everyone was fucking listening to Nirvana. There wasn't really a metal scene that we were looking up to. Slayer and Metallica were starting to get big. Well, they WERE big, but we weren't playing music like they were. We were playing more of a punk-metal, like a thrash-metal. So that's what Scumdogs is all about.
Okay. And then I remember the first time I saw you guys live, I remember how shocked I was by "Have You Seen Me?" with the big milk cartons. And then that came out on America Must Be Destroyed.
Yes! America Must Be Destroyed I think, with the exception of our new album, was probably our best sounding record. It's got very, very excellent metal anthems on it, but it also has some of the classic GWAR comedy tracks as well, like "Have You Seen Me?" and "The Morality Squad." I really, really like that album a lot. It's very diverse, yet not too scattered.
Is that why you brought Glen Robinson back?
Well, I always felt that our experience with Glen in the studio with America Must Be Destroyed was the best experience I've ever had with a producer. He challenged GWAR in a way that we'd never allowed ourselves to be challenged. Many bands when they start out, they're know-it-alls and they want to produce themselves. We weren't like that. We wanted to work with producers. And Glen - we loved and respected his work with Voivod very much, and he was the first - I mean, Goudie on Scumdogs was great, but Glen really pushed us and helped us with arrangements and just worked us very hard on that record. As far as the amount of work I put into that record and what I learned about making music, that was the best experience for that. The only thing I didn't like about that record was the packaging. We had this guy do all the art for us, and for some reason we hated it at the last second.
Yeah, I think we had Hunter put it together at the very last minute and it was just kinda -
What, with that big poster inside?
Yeah, it was okay. I did a lot of old GWAR art as well. I did the Hell-o! cover and shit, and people are like, "That shit's just spaghetti." But it's got the classical old school GWAR style. We've never really been known for our great covers until the Violence Has Arrived album.
I like all the artwork! Well, I guess some of 'em -
Well, you're a fan!
Some of 'em you have to kind of open up to see -
Yeah, you're a fan and you love every aspect of GWAR probably, but as far as like mass appeal, the slickest imagery we've ever used was on the last record. That's because we actually went outside of our Slave-Pit talent pool and got someone - a professional illustrator by the name of Adrian Smith to come in and hook us up, and he did an amazing job.
Ummm.... What was I just gonna say there? I forgot what the question was. Oh, so what exactly happened with that - is it "BDF" you got in trouble for?
On This Toilet Earth? Yeah, Toilet Earth was the first album where we started getting really out there. There's metal, there's punk, from then on the records started getting really long. This Toilet Earth for me is the beginning of the down time for Gwar, because that album is really scattered, it's the last one where our original Beefcake was on there, we were going through different musicians and shit, we had a lot of drama outside the band that was retarded. Uhh... I'm speaking more like Dave Brockie now than Oderus, which is fine because he let me off the nipple wheel for a moment. But we did have all those problems with "BDF"; it was a very courageous album for us in that Warner Bros. came to us and said, "If you want, we'll distribute the record worldwide and we'll do a huge boost for you guys, but we want the song 'BDF' off the record." We told them no, we lost the whole deal, they put out the record anyway and the stores actually sent back the records with "BDF" on them. So we had to take the song off the record and then totally censor all the cover art. There are so many different versions of Toilet Earth. Another thing that was fucked up about it is that we had to take certain songs off for Canada. So there was like Censored, Uncensored, Canadian Version - we had eight different fucking versions of that fucking record.
People have always - well not "always" - It just seems like people have always said, "Oh you know, GWAR - see 'em live," but it's like they don't even notice the music. I really like the music!
Well, the music's very important. Imagine how stupid GWAR would be if it was just a bunch of fucking pre-recorded crap and us standing up there in a bunch of costumes. Anybody maggot-brained enough to think that GWAR could have survived this long without solid music is a fucking idiot. I don't care what kind of elite musical snob they are; they're a fucking idiot. I mean personal choice is one thing; if you don't like our music, that's no big deal. But don't sit there and tell me we don't know how to play, we don't know how to record records because we do. We don't know how to write songs? Fuck you! I'll put my band up against any band on the fucking face of the planet, and I include bands like Slayer and fucking Lamb of God and anybody - ANYBODY - else. I've got just as tight and/or tighter, and more than that, they're GWAR. You know? The most eternal - a concept that gets better with age. All these other bands are getting all old and wrinkly, stupid and fat and self-indulgent and retarded, and we're having to suffer through movies about their bickering backstage or whatever. And with GWAR, the older we get, the better we look! Fatter and sicker with big warts and pimples everywhere. More machines, more enemies to slay, and now the world is engulfed in this idiotic war against a FEELING. A FEAR. It's just a beautiful time for GWAR to be alive, and we will continue to grow in malice and power and glory; we will never relent our unwaverable assault against all that offends our eyes and ears. And believe me, one of the most offensive things to my ears are the sounds of my supposed peers and the music they're making when they open their mouths and when they turn on their guitars.
Ehh. Just music in general. How many bands are there where you're like, "Eh, it sounds okay." (to somebody else: Uhh, afraid I don't. I'm sorry.) It's just like, you know, the music might even sound good for a couple of minutes, and then you get into the concept and the ideas or the lyrics, and what the band is presenting is so shallow and vapid and stupid and idiotic, it's just... I'm just so not into it. And more and more, I turn to my own band to amuse me. That's what it's all about: self-expression and just making it into as big and prolonged a statement as possible, and trying to just make good fucking heavy fucking metal music. I must say we owe a lot - we went on tour with Lamb of God; they're good buddies of ours from here in Richmond and we went on tour with them like four years ago, right before we were gonna go in the studio and do Violence Has Arrived. And they really helped us rediscover our love of metal, and it just feels very comfortable and very powerful to be back in that scene. It's kind of really exciting as well, because we're reconquering the world. We're forcing people who wrote off GWAR to have to deal with it again. This time, they can't deny that Violence Has Arrived is an amazing album by any metal standards, and they won't be able to deny that Slaves To Eternal War is an even more powerful follow-up. So if they try to deny it, they'll look like bigger idiots than ever, and that makes me laugh.
So is it hard for you to listen to those mid-period records that you -
Sort of, yeah. There's individual tracks that stand out, but in general I don't think the albums basically from Toilet Earth all the way up to We Kill Everything - I just don't think they really.... There's not a really cohesive effort amongst the pile. It's just a bunch of rubble. And there are gems that kinda shine out every now and again, but I feel that GWAR is - you know, I don't regret making those records like that at all. It was part of our musical journey. It was part of our discovery of our own talent and ability. I don't begrudge one step; even a misstep is a step. So fuck it, you know? Whatever happened, we kept it together and we ended up getting back to our fucking metal roots where I think we're at our strongest. We've toned down the silly a bit and we've turned up the scary, and it's had a big effect on our fans. You can tell by the way they were mutilating each other in the slam pit.
Is it the same lineup from Vio - you've had that same lineup for a while, haven't you?
We've had the same lineup as far as Balsac and Jizmak since Scumdogs, but we've gone through a few different people on bass and lead guitar since then. But I believe the current line-up we have now is the most talented, most dedicated, most powerful lineup we've ever had.
Who do you have on bass and lead guitar now?
Well, their names must remain secret, but if that wasn't true, it would be Todd Evans as Beefcake The Mighty and Corey Smoot as Flattus Maximus. Corey's a homeboy here in Richmond, a good buddy of ours. He almost had the job four years ago, but we went with Zach Blair instead which was cool, but Zach ended up going his own way and we got Corey, which was my original choice, and he absolutely kicked ass on this record. And - (to somebody else: Hey, can you grab one of those for me? I wanna borrow them! Can you grab one of those bottles for me? Is that cool? Yeah, I know. I've got fire and ice! I'm okay. If I have the wrong one, I'll come back in a second.) Yeah, we gotta wrap this up. I gotta buy some propane; I'm having a barbecue.
Alright. Well, it was good talking to you!
It was good talking to you too, man! Really good. We're super-stoked. We're coming back with the heaviest record everywhere, and the human race has nothing but woe to look forward to.
Excellent. Thank you so much.
Alright, bro. Keep it real.
For more about the author please visit www.MarkPrindle.com.