For our special Halloween episode of Unfiltered, we sat down with the world’s first intergalactic Heavy Metal band GWAR! A collection of misfit space warriors and creatures from the planet Scumdogia, GWAR is actually a long-running collective of musicians and artists from Richmond, Va.
In 1984, Dave Brockie, lead singer and bassist for the punk band Death Piggy, met Hunter Jackson and Chuck Varga, two art students from Virginia Commonwealth University. The trio worked together making props and costumes for Brockie’s band to use both on stage and in a low-budget film titled Scumdogs of the Universe. The band became a local hit and started playing shows as GWAR, a thrash metal/punk band with a sense of humor that used elaborate costumes and stage theatrics to satirize censorship and media violence.
The band grew with a rotating team of artists and musicians, receiving both acclaim and criticism for their wild onstage antics. At a typical live show, members of GWAR battled both hideous monsters and walking caricatures of famous celebrities and media personalities, who are all “slaughtered” on stage, usually spewing buckets of “bile” and “blood” onto the audience. Caricatures of everyone from former President Barack Obama to current President Trump have been brought out onto the stage, since GWAR considers themselves equal opportunity offenders when it comes to their comedic violence.
GWAR has appeared on numerous talk shows through the years, including a memorable visit with the late Joan Rivers, who fell in love with the band and their outrageous behavior. GWAR has appeared in the feature films, like “Empire Records” and “SFW,” been nominated for 2 Grammys, and have released comic books, a hardcover coffee table book, and several films of their own. Currently they are on tour supporting their latest album, “The Blood of Gods.”
GWAR members Pustulus Maximus, Balzac the Jaws of Death, Beefcake the Mighty and Jizmak Da Gusha, took time out of their current tour to shed some light on today’s current events as well as their thoughts on Halloween.
When it comes to the current state of the world, GWAR thinks things are more screwed than ever. Even though GWAR has taken pride in dishing out human suffering, it seems like humanity has taken the lead, “Yeah, it’s completely annoying the humans are outdoing us,” says drummer Jizmak Da Gusha, “but I do like turning on the TV and watching you people kill each other. That’s like GWAR’s entertainment, that’s like breakfast, a little coffee and a donut, that’s what I like.”
As disappointing as the current state of humanity is to GWAR today, they all agree that their late lead singer Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie) would have loved it. “The chaos, the hatred, the strife, brother against brother, that was his kind of stuff, he really got into that.”
They even weighed in on Kanye West’s visit to the White House early this month. Balzac the Jaws of Death said “It’s good to see the president get some intelligent advisers in the White House, his recent talks with Kanye West gives me hope for the way the American government is going.” However, Balzac was not impressed with Senate hearings on Brett Kavanaugh. “They should’ve asked him what type of beer he likes. … He’s probably an IPA guy.”
With Halloween on the horizon, GWAR shared with us some of their opinions on “the stupidest holiday ever invented” according to Beefcake. “I gotta give you my candy? I don’t think so, that candy’s for me!”
Jizmak looks favorably on the holiday since it’s “the only time of the year where I can walk down the street and not get hassled. … I walk in the park that day.”
Both Pustulus and Jizmak agreed that it was pretty strange how sexy nuns and nurses seemed to be everywhere on this day, yet were nowhere to be found during the rest of the year. “You ever see a sexy nurse in the wild?”
But Beefcake wasn’t sold on the positive aspects of Halloween: “I mean who the hell would want to walk around in costumes all day? That just sounds like a pain in the ass.”
GWAR: The Blood of Gods is available from Metal Blade Records and can be currently seen on the east coast leg of their Gore Core Metal and More Tour.