Words: Robert Caligulus, Steve Jawcock the Stiff
Photos: Steve Jawcock the Stiff
The intergalactic metal outfit GWAR has never been shy about their gory showmanship. In the 30 years they’ve spent spewing blood and destruction from their home base of Richmond, VA, GWAR has caught the downcast eye and disapproving stare of many. Still, lead singer Oderus Urungus has appeared frequently on Fox news and the likes of Joan Rivers, Jerry Springer, and the AV Club. Truly hedonism reigns for many a closeted fanatic, but to see the band live is not an exercise in intellectualism. GWAR is nothing if not dedicated to the craft. Their 930 Club performance was highly entertaining and though confusing at times to see a skinned Jesus Christ and Hitler (kind of) do battle with Oderus, the effect was weirdly charming. We decided to mark the occasion of GWAR’s 930 Club show with a little color commentary. What is BYT if not told in pictures? What is GWAR if not painted in blood and commentary? No hard thinking, just the facts!
RW: Many things can be said concerning the intensity of a GWAR concert. That intensity manifest itself in puritanical zeal and divine revelation. I hold a special place of compassion for the blue-lit face of epic awe.
SJ: The cult of GWAR has a place for metal fans of every stripe, including this Andrew WK / Jim Caviezel hybrid and his bro-letariat colleague, who may very well be just as comfortable getting face-loads of Faygo as he was getting face-loads of fake blood.
RW: The manicured-looking hand in the right half of this photo, coupled with the violet light might betray the scenario. Is Jesus or Satan the benefactor of such praise and admiration. The gimp ass-crack in the background helps clear the confusion.
SJ: I think the gimp ass-crack ultimately created more confusion than it cleared up.
RW: The evidence of our mixed emotional state is written in my haggard expression. My hair was receding at the thought of such horror.
SJ: I was mostly focused on the white-haired gent attired in the Canadian tuxedo of all-denim behind you. Maybe he was just bringing his teenage daughters dressed in unicorn costumes to see that damn rock band the kids listen to, or maybe he’s a long-time fan back for his 17th consecutive annual blood-soaking. There’s really no way to tell.
RW: The 930 club posts pictures of this unique GWAR necessity: the plastic sheeting which lines the walls, balconies and rear of the suspended main speakers.
SJ: This is the point when I really started to get concerned about my camera equipment, namely what effects gallons of fake blood and/or cum might have on it’s functionality.
RW: She could very well be a huge Twilight fan, with a picture of kitten Kristen Stewart or a wrestling fan wielding a cracked out Bill Golberg head, but this GWAR fan claimed these DIY puppets were her friends. Though we never found out if she meant PICTURES OF her friends.
RW: Pustulus Maximus recently replaced Flattus Maximus on guitar. In the wake of Cory “Flattus Maximus” Smoot’s untimely death, the name of Flattus was retired and Cannibus Corpse member Brent Purgason was brought in to fill the role on lead guitar. It was something of a touching moment for the monster clan, commemorated in a punk cover of “Carry On My Wayward Son” from GWAR’s appearance on the AV Club’s “AV Undercover.” Also, Pustulus absolutely looks like Goldar from the Power Rangers.
SJ: I like how the flash photo on the left really brings out the craftsmanship of Pustulus’s painted-on abs. Like a TMZ photo of him getting out of a cab. He’s better off lurking in the shadows.
RW: The proverbial fat lady of the night was a state of complete euphoria, encased in a sheen of blood and jiz. In other words a GWAR concert ain’t over till your face is shining with the glisten if Oderus’ unnaturally tinted cuttlefish cock juice.
RW: My associate can attest to this more than I can, but the most vulnerable and risky position to hold is that of photographer. “Please don’t bleed on my camera sir!”
SJ: I mostly stood behind this guy, human-shield style. A move learned from the hallway scene in Oldboy.
RW: This is as good a time as any to properly introduce the members of GWAR. From left to right: Pustulus Maximus (lead guitar), Balsac the Jaws of Death (guitar), Oderus Urungus (vocals, slayings), Beefcake the Mighty (bass). Barely pictured: Jizmak Da Gusha (drums)
SJ: This is probably the closest i could get to including the drummer in the photo, obscured as he was behind turrets of stage props and hardware. I imagine that he really feels like his costume work tends to go under-appreciated.
RW: Festive and dark, gilded and oozy. What’s Christmas without the dual narrative of the optimism of the season and it’s sadder, lonelier truth. There we go intellectualizing. It’s Oderus in a Santa cap, which only briefly took my attention away from his Dirk Diggler-esque cock.
SJ: Few things took my attention away from his Dirk Diggler-esque cock.
RW: It really is magnificent. This is the kind of phallic eyesore one might rule a cruel planet with. As the night progressed, most elements faded into the larger show. The men in thongs and oversized hooves, the decapitations, the ritual slaying of Christ, each gruesome part blended into the madness, but the pig-headed cuttlefish of cthulhu (which would eventually spew its green seed generously) just mushroom-stamped itself on my brain.
SJ: I couldn’t help but speculate about the logistics of maintaining a phallus of this magnitude. Does it have its own carrying case? Is there a cock-tech? Also, were there previous versions that were less, well, prominent, and at one point Dave B said to the costume design guy, “yeah like this, except like, i don’t know, a foot or two longer”?
SJ: This is one of those shots where at first glance it could possibly be just your average metal band, complete with flying V guitar, wristbands, and maybe a few more fur pelts than usual. The horned Jaws of Death in the background bring the cruel reality that is GWAR back into clear focus.
RW: The vein in Balsac’s bull-thighs reminds me of something, but I can’t seem to get my hand around it.
SJ: Not for lack of trying.
SJ: The moment when the bouncer let Oderus rest his phallic fire-hose on his head in order to more effectively douse the crowd really warmed my heart. It was a Festivus miracle.
RW: Should read “Oderus rest his Festivus pole on his head”.
RW: Christianity has long been obsessed with the gory details and artistic works depicting the torture and death of Jesus, but GWAR (the relevant overlords they are) saw fit to reenact the scenario or some kind of related scenario. Again, Jesus was also skinned alive…it’s in the New King James.