'Scumdogs of the universe'

Loud thundering music blares into the ears of a blood-soaked audience watching a 7-foot tall monster chop the head off the nation's president. Blood spews out of the neck of the headless George W. Bush as the lead singer bends over for a sip. And, while all of this is going on, the song "Baby Raper" is screaming from the guitars of another member of the band, this one having a metal bear trap for a head. Sounds disgusting and vulgar, but it's just a normal concert for God What an Awful Racket (GWAR).\nThis is what hundreds of fans saw at last week's GWAR concert in Indianapolis. Just hearing about the band -- comprised of make-believe characters from different planets posing as a band just to cause more destruction to society -- one might think that they are the biggest corrupters of youth culture compared to other musicians. This is what GWAR the band is shown as, and as lead singer Oderus Urungus says, "When people say they're scared of GWAR, and that we are corrupters, they're right. We should be locked up, tattooed, cattle-prodded, put to death by the state, ruined and destroyed because we are the deadliest enemies."\nWhen talking to the man behind the Oderus mask, Dave Brockie, one can tell he is being sarcastic with his comment and has pretty low opinions of the politicians, parents and even fans that take their music seriously.\n"They're idiots and need to be clubbed like baby seals because if you can't see the complete satire and irony in what GWAR does, then you're just a fucking moron," he says. He continues to talk about GWAR being a comedy show and that people, especially kids, have to be smart enough to tell themselves how to take it. \nThe band's most recent tour, "The Blood Drive Tour," features a segment where the "slaves," basically just prop guys dressed in leather masks get in a fight with Mike Tyson, one where GWAR turns Osama bin Laden into a pinata and another one where they battle a 15-foot long dinosaur named Gor-Gor. A whopping 200 gallons of fake blood, really just water and food coloring, is shot out into the crowd just to turn the show up one more notch. GWAR's sound engineer, Jeremy Smith, says the crew has managed to take on this task with 60-gallon tanks and a lot of compression pumps. He also says the show-ending battle with Gor-Gor is done with one man in a 300-pound rubber puppet suit.\nThe band has drawn attention from people that think it is offensive, but the musicians have had cameos in films such as "Empire Records," "SFW" and "Universal Soldier 2." They also have made appearances on "Jerry Springer," "The Daily Show" and "Joan Rivers." Brockie admits he has never seen "Empire Records," a film that many people know them from, but the band isn't bothered by fans only knowing members because of their appearances. As Brad Roberts, aka drummer Jizmak Da Gusha, says, "Anything that gets the band attention is good."\nOne show GWAR was featured on, but Brockie states he doesn't know why, was the hair-metal episode of VH1's "Where are they now?" where GWAR shared the spotlight with bands such as Twisted Sister. Brockie made sure to mention that he didn't understand why GWAR was with platinum-selling artists already on the "State Fair Circuit" because as he says, "Where were we ever?"\nThe band does consider itself to be stuck at a constant level of mediocrity. Brockie says, "We like to call it the never-ending plateau where we quest onward and onward like Frodo and Sam heading to Mt. Doom." Brockie then pauses and adds, "But it's better than working." \nWith 13 albums, including side projects such as the Dave Brockie Experience and X-Cops, the band is always trying to overcome the odds by stepping up its level of music on each album. But Brockie admits that no matter what GWAR does musically, the band's show will always overshadow everything else. "No other band out there is doing what we are, and maybe that's why we have never been as successful as Alice Cooper of KISS because we are always overtly pandering to the lowest common denominator," he says. \nBrockie has publically made fun of bands such as Marilyn Manson at his shows, but admits, "Anytime Oderus criticizes Manson or Slipknot, it's just because we're jealous because they sold more records than us. And besides, they take themselves so seriously, and I think we are way funnier than they are."\nHe goes back to talking about how the show is just for comedy and that most people shouldn't take them seriously, but some should.\n"I don't know why people would be afraid or intimidated by GWAR, unless what they are doing is really naughty and GWAR is calling them out on it, and I think we do that a lot," Brockie says.\nNo matter what GWAR says or does, it will always be condemned for onstage behavior and its music and lyrics. Even though the band is trying to do the opposite by showing a sarcastic view of the world, GWAR will always be known as "scumdogs of the universe."\n"The best way for us to conquer society's evil black clouds is to drag them onstage and quite literally destroy them," Brockie says.

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.


Which IU tradition are you?

We're all Hoosiers, but that doesn't mean we're all the same kind of Hoosier. Every student has their own experiences and plans for what they will

Comments powered by Disqus