The guys in GWAR put most method actors to shame. During our very twisted and funny conversation with the grotesquely masked metal band backstage at Chicago’s Riot Fest on Friday (Sept. 14), it was nearly impossible to get the members to break character as the conversation veered from such family-friendly topics as fellatio (specifically from large women), crack cocaine, child-molesting football coaches and the carnage to come when they hit the road on their upcoming Eternal Tour.
GWAR’s Riot Fest appearance marked the infamous shock-rock group’s second show since the passing of longtime frontman Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus), who died from a heroin overdose in March. Brockie’s death is obviously still at the forefront of the band members’ minds. When GWAR takes the Rebel Stage in front of a rabid crowd Friday afternoon, the band delivers a compelling tribute to its fallen leader. “In honor of the fallen scumdog, join us now as we sing his praise” they say from the stage, later leading the crowd in a chant of “Hail Oderus.”
Backstage, however, serious questions concerning the group’s first tour sans Brockie aren’t exactly well received.
“I can tell that this is not going to be something that we want to talk about. Next question,” drummer Brad Roberts (Jizmak Da Gusha) says.
Still, the band members say they will stay true to the premise of the upcoming tour, which is a search for Oderus. “We’re still looking for him,” Roberts quips. “I think he’s holed up somewhere with a prostitute.”
“We’re gonna scour the goddamn Earth for him because he owes me money,” Roberts later adds.
“I’m sure we’re gonna find him,” Mike Derks (Balsac the Jaws of Death) jokes. “We might go as far as Cleveland.” Why Cleveland, you ask? “There’s a huge crack problem there. Besides the Browns suck, so why wouldn’t he be there?”
Behind all the jokes, there is some obvious resentment and pain still lingering among the band members. When former bassist Mike Bishop (Blothar) is asked about his newly anointed role as the group’s lead throat, his first response is a surprisingly human one: “Well, it hurts.”
But Bishop — who made his onstage debut as frontman during August’s GWAR B-Q, where Brockie’s body was set ablaze during a Viking funeral — catches himself and quickly resumes character. “I’m anxious for the opportunity to collect blow jobs from fat women, so in a way I’m full of anticipation. I feel fortunate to have been called upon. One minute I was asleep… The next thing I know I’ve stepped through an inter-dimensional portal on to the stage with GWAR. I have absolutely no idea where I am, what I’m talking about or who you are. Especially not who you are.”
Some anger also seeps through from guitarist Brent Purgason (Pustulus Maximus), who took over for late guitarist Cory Smoot (Flattus Maximus), who died from blood clot brought on by coronary artery disease in 2011. “I don’t feel very good about this s**t,” Purgason says. “I was only supposed to be here for like 15 minutes, do a couple of diddly widdlies on a f**king rock record. Now I’m stuck. S**t got fucked up. Urungus’ fault. F**k.”
But fans need not worry about the future of GWAR, in general. The band members leave no doubt that they will soldier on. “GWAR is immortal,” Roberts says. “We’ll make music and art and whatever you people on Earth call it, forever.”
— Chip Tamplin (@chizrocker88) September 13, 2014
GWAR also confirms that there will be new music down the road — though the band doesn’t prefer to use the term “songs.” “We refer to it as money,” Roberts says.
So when will they make new money? “We’re making it right now just talking to you. This is money-making business,” Derks says.
As for the 45-date Eternal tour, which kicks off in Norfolk, VA on Oct. 15, Roberts says that fans can expect one thing: “Carnage.”
“Killing everybody that gets in our way,” Derks adds.
What cities can expect the most carnage? “Chicago, obviously,” Derks quips. “Chicago has a huge crime problem and no one is gonna miss anyone that we kill here.
“Probably Detroit, Poughkeepsie, Sandusky, Ohio. He was such a great man, they named a city after him,” Derks continues, joking referring to defamed football coach and convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.
“We’re going back to State College,” adds Purgason. “We’re gonna resurrect Joe Paterno’s dead corpse and rape it.”
“I’d like to f**k up Hollywood because everybody there has got to tell you about their f**king plan” Purgason says. “Yeah, I’m crawling over my dying mother to f**k my sister for a nickel plan. Gonna be a big star.”
But despite their commitment to sticking to the shtick, Bishop again reveals a slight moment of sincerity when he discusses his excitement leading the GWAR family. “It’s a dream come true for me to finally play the songs that I wrote years ago from my slumber as I dreamed of GWAR,” he says.
“That’s one thing about him, he’s always trying to take credit for some s**t in the past that he didn’t do,” Roberts adds. “And here we are. Now we gotta play them.”