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Interview with GWAR lead singer Oderus Urungus (aka Dave Brockie)

The two-time Grammy nominated band GWAR are back once again with a new disc, Lust In Space, and a brand new tour. After 25 years in the business, the band is going stronger than ever. They are touring across North America playing with Lamb of God as well as headlining shows of their own. On top of touring the country and releasing records vocalist…



The two-time Grammy nominated band GWAR are back once again with a new disc, Lust In Space, and a brand new tour. After 25 years in the business, the band is going stronger than ever. They are touring across North America playing with Lamb of God as well as headlining shows of their own. On top of touring the country and releasing records vocalist Oderus Urungus has secured a recurrent spot on the Fox News program ‘Red Eye’. I was fortunate enough to speak with the enigmatic frontman Dave Brockie, (aka Oderus Urungus), by phone during the bands tour stop in New Brunswick, Canada.

How is the tour going so far?
Oderus: Well you know it is going great. Nobody has been killed and it has just been insane. There are really two different tours, the one we share with Lamb Of God and the one we headline ourselves. There are thousands of people at the shows, it is putting American Metal to shame.

What can fans expect from your new CD Lust In Space?
Oderus: They can expect a blast of GWAR madness from the sickest band in Rock and Roll history. This is our 25th anniversary celebration which is going to go on for two fucking years and will celebrate the latest chapter in GWAR’s existence when we finally escape earth and return to outer space with this great lust; therefore the ‘Lust In Space’. I am not really sure if it is a sexual lust or a lust to lust itself. It is heavy, it is hard and it is GWAR. It has kind of a thrash metal thing that we got going on with maybe a nod to some of the earlier funkier stuff but in a metal manner. We are stoked to be getting out there.

You just mentioned this was your 25th anniversary. Did you ever imagine you would be releasing CDs after all of this time?
Oderus: God no! Fuck no! We did not even know we were going to last a year or two at the beginning. In the beginning, this was just a complete fucking joke and then it was one record that we never thought that we were going to do. After that it became another one and then it was a contract and then it was ten years, then fifteen years, twenty years and a Grammy Nomination all kinds of craziness. We finally got back on Metal Blade and it was twenty-five years and we realized we had done something pretty fucking incredible.

Speaking of Metal Blade, your new CD, Lust In Space comes to us by way of Metal Blade after an eight-year absence. How did that come about and has the label been accommodating to the bands needs?
Oderus: Oh certainly. They have been the greatest. I thought I was signing a shoe endorsement when I signed the deal that took us away from Metal Blade. We ended up on DRT Records and the first record was great but then they signed that band Lit for like three million dollars and they were broke within a week. Their big floor of an office building in Manhattan moved to like a closet in the president’s house. So we went back to Metal Blade because literally we had no choice. But it is a good thing because we really love Metal Blade. I am glad, they are an awesome label and I never wanted to leave them to begin with. It was vindicating to go back to them. We have been doing great with them ever since. Lust In Space came out with a big bang and we are on the fucking Billboard 100 for the first time ever, which is pretty crazy. They are a very established label, they have had the same people working with them for years now and they are very Gwaresque in their survival ability. We feel right at home here and we hope that this is the beginning of a long and continued relationship with Metal Blade.

Lust In Space is significantly heavier and more aggressive than anything that I think GWAR has probably done in its existence. What brought on this newly envenomed attitude?
Oderus: Well honestly I think every GWAR album is just as aggressive as the last one. We try to always make them as aggressive as possible. I think as we churn out more and more of them in a row we just get better and better at it and we are just hoping that it can continue. We have such a crazy backdrop with Gwar to write songs from that I think it is easier to give the band longevity when you have these characters that you can keep presenting in different situations. If we were just a band with four dumb guys in it, there would only be so much we could do with that. The GWAR characters are so much larger than life that we just get to repackage them over and over again and every time that we do it, it seems to get a little bit heavier. Some times it goes in darker directions and I am always in favor of the darker GWAR and I think we will be going into a more heavier and dark realm.

Your stage shows are elaborate experiences. Have you ever personally had any injuries or mishaps?
Oderus: No, the only time I ever hurt myself was reaching for a bag in the luggage bay. It never really had anything to do with a GWAR show although it was on a GWAR tour. We get injuries all the time you know, you just have to deal with them, it is a physical event. I look at it from the point of view as if I was playing a football game. I just throw on the pads and go out there and play the game and when it is all over with I just hit the showers and when I get to the bus there is a pizza waiting.

Are you playing a good mix of new and old on tour?
Oderus: We will be playing a few songs from the new album and then lots of other stuff. It is always great when you have a twelve record fucking collection of material to choose from. Everybody wants to hear their favorites and we try to pay attention to what the fans want to hear. We are doing everything important; from “Scumdogs” on we are touching on all the classic hits.

Along those same lines are you incorporating your past stage shows or is it an all-new show for the 25th anniversary?
Oderus: We have some characters from the past but we have gotten into a whole new realm of storytelling. With the addition of full screen video projection behind the band we are keeping the animation and the video going constantly through the whole show. In addition, GWAR is finally escaping earth and there are all these different worlds available that we can fuck around with. We have barley even scratched the surface of the crazy world that we are living in. There is this incredibly intricate tapestry that is woven into everyone’s ideas and it is getting to rival the Greek Mythos at this point. I mean Marvel has got nothing on us. We tried to list them all, every single different, weird character that we ever made up. We got like three pages of them and we were like holy shit. We are trying to get it all together in a gigantic coffee table book to catalog every inch of the band’s history.

I know you said the Canadian shows have been putting the United States to shame. Do you see the economy as being a factor in this and how does this economy affect you guys?
Oderus: Ticket sales are down definitely in the United States. As usual though Canada is just crazy for live music; heavy music especially. It is a whole fucking different world here in Canada and it is just fucking blowing me away. Whatever the reason the Canadians do not seem to be hurting too bad.

What have been the best countries to play so far?
Oderus: Well definitely first and foremost, The United States; that is our home and we have our favorite shows there. Generally, Canada might be better as far as turnouts but nothing beats Detroit, our bastion of Gwarness. So Detroit, USA and just for the hell of it Amsterdam because you can buy weed there.

On that note, I am pretty much done with my questions. Do you have any closing words?
Oderus: Just Hail GWAR! Come on out and support GWAR on our 25th anniversary, come see us at a show and go buy Lust In Space. Hang in there for more GWAR because we are just going to keep bludgeoning onward until we have fucking conquered this entire fucking world.