by Robert Winship
Much like the Simpsons or Elvis, the intergalactic space punks known as GWAR have been something of a misunderstood menace to previous generations. Though the band certainly sought out the fringe of rock and roll’s costumed freaks scene with elaborate stage shows and filthy convictions. These days, they still have a bite, but in the wake of many a shitty impersonator, GWAR may still have work to do. After nearly 30 years (and countless gallons of blood and slime) Lord Oderus Urungus and crew are still up to the task. Visiting the 9:30 Club this Thursday night, on the eve of humanity’s destruction, we thought it wise to consult the mutant entity that has proclaimed our end so entertainingly.
BYT: Given the many years GWAR has foretold humanity’s rightful destruction, the band is currently on the Fate or Chaos Tour. Does the mighty GWAR offer a choice between fate or chaos? Or is chaos our fate?
Oderus Urungus: We don’t know, we just strung those two words together because they sounded vaguely ominous. Plus neither one of them is very long—saves on the ink, which helps the environment. Ha ha! Fooled you not once but twice. First off, gotcha on you thinking there was a deeper meaning to our tour title. Then you actually thought I cared about the environment. I don’t!
BYT: You’d be hard pressed to find a band that has given such an an exhaustive vision of destruction to its fans. What keeps GWAR from retiring back from whence it came?
OU:I think a healthy fear that anything else that we tried to do wouldn’t be half as much fun.
BYT: GWAR has announced progress on a new record, Mad at the Sun, and you’ve mentioned that it will be a return to some older elements of the band. Can you elaborate on that?
OU: I say that every time, and each year it is equally meaningless. When you have thirteen albums you don’t go around re-inventing the wheel. Nevertheless each GWAR album has it’s own particular flavor. What that flavor is doesn’t usually make itself clear until after we are done. We are far too busy making the album to care what it sounds like!
BYT: You have recently released a limited edition Christmas 7” of Stripper Christmas Summer Weekend through your website. What prompted the vinyl release?
OU: We actually released it a couple of years ago, and we just re-released it. We did that primarily because we still had stacks of them sitting around. That’s an outtake from the “Lust in Space” sessions; it’s got a kind of southern rock sound that didn’t fit with what we were after on the record, but it goes great on a single.
BYT: GWAR is no stranger to Christmas songs, with your documented caroling exploits. What about Christmas puts GWAR in the mood for such goodwill?
OU: I don’t know if it’s goodwill so much as a rather pathetic attempt to get some cheap publicity. Christmas carols, trick-or-treating, or even appearing on FOX News, there apparently is no limit to depth we will sink to in order to prostitute ourselves in the name of GWAR.
BYT: In 2009, you were blessed/cursed to share the stage with the ICP for the annual Gathering of the Juggalos. How was that experience?
OU: Playing in a circus tent was nothing new, but playing to an audience of clowns, well, that wasn’t anything new either as we have played together many times. But watching Coolio ducking a continuous rain of pitchers full of piss, now that was something else!
BYT: How do Juggalos compare to GWAR fans?
OU: I wouldn’t dream of comparing them, I would however have them fight to the death in gladiatorial games. And I am sure that the GWAR fans would be victorious!
BYT: It’s that time of year when people are in the ranking spirit so I’ve got a few best-of the year questions for you. First of all, we had many a crazed dictator/political leader appear in the headlines this year. Who would your rank among…well…the most rank?
OU: Gotta be the cannibal warlords of Liberia! General Butt-Naked! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRuSS0iiFyo
BYT: Does Lord Oderus favor any band for having created ‘album of the year’?
OU: No! To do so would be to give you a tiny bit of credit for something that you did…and that I simply cannot do!
BYT: Are there any significant intergalactic events we should be ranking? I can’t afford a spaceship in this economy.
OU: We are pretty cut-off from the rest of the universe and once we found out that they don’t have crack we got even more so. And I know what you mean about space-ships! They are complete money-pits. We lost the Flurbulator on the Skumship and have been waiting on a part for three months! And even if you can find one second-hand, good luck finding a mechanic that can handle a five-lock YG-ometer. Once you throw in the labor, is it any wonder that spaceships are the playthings of the rich?
BYT: Which Grammy-nomination snub most disgusted you: Justin Bieber, One Direction, Grizzly Bear, or Phillip Phillips?
OU: Definitely the Beib, I mean the guy is a living god, right? As far as the other ones, well I can honestly say I have never even heard of any of these people.
BYT: GWAR has been nominated for a Grammy in 1993 and 1996. Do you have advice for Grammy virgins (that is virgins of the Grammy’s, not virgins at the Grammys)?
OU: Why must you continually remind me of my failings?
BYT: Your DC show is precariously booked for the night before the end of the world. Are you fit to usher mankind into the next dimension?
OU: Can you think of anyone better qualified? General Butt Naked won’t work, he turned into a priest. Don’t worry, I have it from informed sources that this end of the world is about as real as the last several supposed “end of the world’s” we have had to endure.
BYT: What will GWAR do when earth is destroyed?
OU: Get some rest, I hope! There has been precious little of that for the last several centuries. I would appreciate it if we could get this whole thing over with!
BYT: DC is glad to welcome GWAR back to the stage, but still hungover from all the mindless pandering of the election. What do you offer as a remedy to these trying times?
OU: The GWAR show is the perfect balm for you jaded D.C. politicos. Come on down and see the President get his head get fucking chopped off!