The frontman for gore-loving heavy metal band Gwar has died. Police have confirmed earlier reports that Dave Brockie, known to fans as Oderus Urungus, was found dead at his Richmond, Va. home on Sunday evening. The singer was 50.
A Richmond police spokesperson told CBS 6 and the Richmond Times-Dispatch that a report of a deceased individual was made at approximately 6:53 p.m. ET. “When officers arrived, they found David M. Brockie, 50, deceased inside the home,” the statement reads. Foul play is not suspected at this time and officials are waiting for the Medical Examiner’s office to determine cause of death.
Jack Flanagan, the band’s manager, issued an official statement Monday morning confirming Brockie’s death. A fellow member of Gwar found the singer’s body and next of kin has been notified, Flanagan said. “My main focus right now is to look after my band mates and his family,” he said. “More information regarding his death shall be released as the details are confirmed.”
Brockie formed Gwar in 1984 and was the last original member of the horror-inspired group. Band-members adopt outlandish, other-worldly characters like Beefcake the Mighty and Balsac the Jaws of Death, and their live concerts have become notorious for carrying out satirical scenes of blood-and-gore, often involving political or pop culture figures. The self-proclaimed “Scumdogs of the Universe” have released twelve studio albums, and were nominated twice at the Grammy Awards.
Though never huge commercially, the band did chart three albums on the Billboard 200: “America Must Be Destroyed” (No. 177, 1992), “Lust In Space” (No. 96, 2009), and “Battle Maximus” (No. 109, 2013), which also became their first top 10 on the Hard Rock Albums chart. Gwar has sold 820,000 albums in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
According to Gwar lore, Oderus was billions of years old and hailed from the planet Scumdogia. His mangled, devilish face was topped with horns and he carried a huge broadsword. Brockie’s Twitter account (@TheRealOderus) was filled with the kind of in-character, debauched musings you’d expect, but he also could surprise. “The idea of Slayer protesting Westboro church dudes funeral makes about as much sense as the opposite. Hate begets hate, morons,” he said on March 22.
The death was first reported by Style Weekly, a Richmond arts newspaper, which spoke with former Gwar bassist Mike Bishop.
“Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I’ve known,” he said. “He was brash sometimes, always crass, irreverent, he was hilarious in every way. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art.”
The news follows the November 2011 loss of Gwar guitarst Cory Smoot, or Flattus Maximus, who died of a heart attack while the band was on tour in North Dakota. At the time, Brockie was unclear of whether the band would carry on. “At this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother, one of the most talented guitar players in metal today,” he said.