Killed By Gwar: A Conversation with Oderus Urungus
I was in high school when I was first introduced to GWAR as a concept band or otherwise. At that time they were described as part rock show, part puppet show and the rest of the show was just plain gooey. It wasn’t until a few years later that a classmate of mine in college was telling me about this band named GWAR that was playing at a club in Los Angeles. Begging me to go to the show, I politely declined. I wasn’t into GWAR at the time so I passed. The following Monday when my friend returned to school, he was missing a patch of his hair on the side of his head. When I asked him what had happened he told me about being in the pit and how his hair was literally yanked out of his head in the middle of moshing. I made a remark about how sorry I was that it happened and he replied, “Are you kidding me? It was awesome!” Awesome? Yup. Awesome. What I didn’t get then and what I get now is that GWAR isn’t a band that you go to passively see play. No. GWAR is a band you go to experience. GWAR is a band that exists to overwhelm your senses, cover you in goo and, if you’re lucky, they’re there to kill you too. After all, they are a full contact heavy metal band from outer space. And how can you approach seeing anything from outer space without fully expecting the band’s leader, Oderus Urungus, to rape your dog while calling you his love monkey? You can’t. And while the band has been ravaging planet earth for over twenty five years, the band’s lead singer has never been afraid to give an opinion. Circle Six caught up to GWAR’s Oderus Urungus while the band was taking a brief break before heading back out on the road for the second leg of their two year celebration of the band’s twenty-fifth anniversary tour. Is that a mouthful? Just wait. Oderus isn't done with us yet. Oderus Urungus: Hey, what's up? C6M: Hi, how are you? How have you been? Oderus Urungus: I'm fine, how are you today? C6M: Good, good, I've been looking forward to this for a while. Oderus Urungus: A while? Most people hate talking to me. C6M: Well, I don't know. I think part of it is the appeal of getting to actually speak with Oderus and his… Oderus Urungus: Right. It's not everyday that you get to talk to a mortal being from another planet. I mean a lot of people out there are from outer space, they just don't admit it. C6M: Right, well, the appeal is that you can always give us an honest and otherworldly perspective on planet earth. Oderus Urungus: Oh, of course, yeah, I mean you're going to get nothing but 100% verbatim honesty from Oderus Urungus. That is for fucking sure. C6M: Awesome! Well, let's start by talking about the 25 years of Gwar and the time that you guys have been ravaging planet earth. Are you surprised that the world continues to allow you guys to basically kind of kill and destroy for as long as you have? Oderus Urungus: Well, I mean if they could get their shit together and like get all the armed forces of the entire world to ally with each other and quit fighting each other for one moment, and then all at once using the combined nuclear, biological and germ warfare arsenals, it would still not even scratch the paint on my bat-shaped helicopter. So, it's not a question of us being surprised that we haven't been defeated yet. It's more of a question of us being kind of disgusted with ourselves that we have not really found a better thing to do with ourselves in all 25 years that we've been resurfaced on this planet than basically hang around, play heavy metal and smoke crack cocaine. We are undead gods from outer space, you'd think that we would have loftier ambitions in life than to fuck a bunch of gorillas, create the human race and be almost re-addicted to crack, and that seems to be the lot that life has given me. But then I don't have to have a day job - so that's a plus. C6M: Well, since it's been a quarter of a century, since Sleazy P. Martini has freed you guys from your Antarctic prison, and obviously you're still addicted to crack, or have you guys moved onto harder drugs? Oderus Urungus: Oh yeah, but crack is the best. I mean I've tried everything from shit deodorant to heroin...but you just can't beat crack cocaine. A lot of people are going to be -- they're like, "Oderus, what's the fucking deal with crack?" I'm like "It's great!" But honestly, last year I had it really rubbed in my face what a fucking drug addict I really was when I actually canceled a gig in outer space, so I could come back to earth and smoke crack. And this year, I'm just ignoring it altogether, fuck it, I'm not on crack anymore. We're not going to talk about that anymore. C6M: Awesome. Oderus Urungus: Even though I brought it up. C6M: Well, there's going to always be a list of celebrities as long as your phallus that seemed to get themselves addicted to some drug. If Gwar were to start a rehab program, what would that program be and how would it be implemented? Oderus Urungus: Well, one of the things that humans do that actually is kind of interesting and fairly endearing to Gwar is the way that you grow pubic hair. I would have to say I really don't care about rehabbing humans, but I am into growing pubic hair at giant factories and then having it painfully waxed off of you. You might ask me why I'm doing this, it's because I don't believe that humans should be allowed to kill animals for their fur Humans have this weird desire to wear clothing. So, what I would do is take all you fucking drug addicts and make you shave your pubes or excuse me, have them painfully waxed clear off your genitals, and then I would set up these big knitting circles, sowing circles where people make garments for celebrities out of their own pubic hair. What do you think of that idea? C6M: I actually think that that's probably one of the better ideas that I've heard. It's certainly… Oderus Urungus: You do? So -- you're backing it? C6M: What's that? Oderus Urungus: Are you backing it? C6M: I'm totally backing it, 100%. Oderus Urungus: Okay. As soon as I get one of those -- as soon as I get it set up, I'm going to expect to see you there. C6M: Awesome - I'll be first in line for the waxing. Oderus Urungus: Yeah, the pubic waxing in order to save animals from being killed for their fur. I think I should talk to PETA and see if I could get them to back it. C6M: Absolutely. Oderus Urungus: Yeah, I know. I don't know why they won't let me be president...maybe one day. C6M: Well, let's talk about the new album that's coming up in November. Oderus Urungus: Yeah, it's fucking great, first of all. C6M: So, what can fans expect from the new music, and do you have an initial favorite song yet? Oderus Urungus: Well, I'm kind of partial to every single syllable of it. It's hard for me -- when a record is so great that I love every single second of it, it's hard for me to like it, the whole thing or any one part. All I can say is it fucking rules. But there is one song particularly -- it's actually four songs in one. We start the album with the epic, epic song. This is the first time we've ever done it. It's like one of those 70s prog-rock bands or whatever. We do have a super song, four parts, for the title track, "Bloody Pit of Horror." The four parts of the song have different titles and it tells the story of Gwar finally slaughtering the human race, and then resurrecting you guys as zombies through the power of our Bloody Pit of Horror. Then using the Scumdog warship that we got on the last record, we are going to take our war to outer space, because Cardinal Syn has had his ass kicked, The Master was driven back into the void, even Techno Destructo has been off the radar for many years. It's time for us to fucking take over everything. I mean the universe is totally wide open. Anyway, the song "Bloody Pit of Horror" kind of tells that story, but as far as having like some big theme or anything to the record, we kind of steered clear of that this time. It's more just random anthems of hatred and violence, and it fucking sounds great. It's the way Gwar should sound. We made a conscious decision to stop playing silly music about five years ago. With Violence has Arrived, we kind of re-embraced our metal roots. People were like, "Why did it take you so long to figure that out?" I'm like, "How dare you doubt me for a second?" but before I get to that point, I would have to say that we had to play every type of music. When we kind of came out of Antarctica, we were still de-thawing and naturally we gravitated to punk rock and heavy metal first, but as we kind of learned more about the human race, our bastard children, we kind of felt the niche of -- surrounded with all kinds of different music. And it wasn't really until Violence Has Arrived, that that musical odyssey had gone full circle, and we kind of were reborn at that point as a fucking metal band, because punk rock music, as exciting and cool and vibrant as it was, it gradually got totally perverted and turned into something disgusting by a bunch of poser fucks. As much as I hated poofy hair bands, I still fucking love metal and I always will, and there's always good new metal coming out. It's just like when you look at Gwar, you're kind of like, "You know what, a metal band." You wouldn't even have to hear one fucking note that we played to know that this band played fucking heavy metal, and that's what Bloody Pit of Horror is. It's a fucking heavy metal record. I'll tell you what, we put out our last record a year ago. Most of these fucking metal bands will take two, even three years between fucking records. They're so busy sitting around and shoving coke up their fucking asses, and trying to shit all the money they're making off their fucking shit labels. Well, we fucking throw the glove down -- or excuse me, the gauntlet down once again, and we're just -- we're so good looking, we're so sexy, it kind of distracts people from the music, but this time we're like trying to get people to look past my sweet ass and just fucking view the fact that not only does Gwar have the greatest show in rock and roll history, our fucking music kicks fucking ass, and that's what this record is going to do to everybody. C6M: Well, that sounds awesome actually. Oderus Urungus: Yeah, that was a pretty good cheer. I should be a fucking cheerleader. C6M: You should. Oderus Urungus: I've always been great -- always been really good at talking about myself in a very complementary manner. C6M: Well, we're definitely looking forward to it, and we're really glad that you guys are still out there and pumping out the good music. Oderus Urungus: Well, you know the advantage we have over human bands is that we're immortal, and we can make as many shitty albums as we want and it doesn't matter. We can just turn it on and off any time we fucking feel like it. A lot of people don't understand. While we were making some of those first records of Gwar's and the music maybe was a little more simple -- we were actually physically thawing out. I mean we've been frozen solid for several million years. I mean it took about 17 years to get the frost completely out of the fingers. Flattus will tell you, yeah, that was how long it took him to really start cranking out those wicked solos. C6M: Right, right. Oderus Urungus: Yeah. We were fucking pot pies there, we were fucking popsicles. C6M: Well, even so, you guys still managed to somehow invade our culture, and that goes into the next question. You guys have found yourself in a bunch of places, whether you were a guest on Fox News or you were in movies like Empire Records or even being a plot for a video game over the years. Are you surprised about the opportunities that Gwar has had, that sort of steal the spotlight? Oderus Urungus: Actually, I'm more surprised at how long it took for Gwar to get a lot of those opportunities, because some of the things you mentioned happened a long time ago, like Empire Records and Beavis and Butthead. I think people were kind of like out there, like "Okay, Gwar, now just please go away." After like another 20 years of us just relentlessly assaulting the world with our insane releases and tour schedule, people do realize we're not going to go away. What's worse than that, we are fucking some of the best modern day sages, if you will. I mean if you want to talk to somebody who's halfway interesting, who's got some kind of a new viewpoint on the human condition, Oderus is about the best that you're going to do. What do you want to talk to these vapid, fucking nepotistic, just completely ill mannered snot-nosed, had everything handed to them celebrities, these completely self-serving politicians, these newscasters, just everybody out there is just so maudlin and so banal, so fucking -- so horrified to take a chance on anything, they're terrified of their own shadows. Gwar just gives you an amazingly honest look on everything, because Gwar just doesn't give a fuck. We never have and we never will. I mean not that we don't give a fuck about some things, but we just want to get out there and be Gwar and hold a mirror up to this fucked up society that we created. And yeah, it surprised me that it has taken so long for humans to kind of get back to Gwar, and now suddenly here in the last like two years, and especially since I started showing up on Fox News, Gwar started to show up in all kinds of places again. I think that this is kind of the second coming of Gwar, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger. I think Gwar -- whether this happens or not, I really don't give a fuck, but I think you're going to see Gwar ascend to a whole new level here in the next few years. What's going to be beautiful about it is that all those people that just hung in there for Gwar, after they saw their best friends get axes through their head, after their girlfriend was attacked by rabid pigs in the slam pit, they still stayed our fans for all these years, somehow escaped death, and it's going to be just so gratifying for everyone when Gwar finally does fucking take over, because I tell you, there was never a band that deserved it more. C6M: Yeah, definitely. Going back to the things that -- you did have, I suppose, a very high period during the 90s. I mean you were very, very visible, including having… Oderus Urungus: Yeah, Joan Rivers, Jerry Springer, Beavis and Butthead, it was pretty big. C6M: Oh, and the next thing I wanted to ask you about, because when you were talking about the resurgence of Gwar, but you even had a line of comic books. What are your thoughts on that and bringing back Gwar as a comic book too, what are your thoughts on that and the culture of that, and whether or not you can bring that back? And if you did bring that idea back and someone were to draw that out, who would be your nemesis? Oderus Urungus: Oh shit, well, we've got enough nemesis. This new guy, this Sawborg Destructo fuck, who I guess is a cousin of Techno Destructo, he's a real asshole. He's got this big fucking saw thing that he's been chopping my scrotum off with. As far as like cartoon characters, I'd like to fucking beat the shit out of Superman or Batman, Spiderman or any of those "man." The operative word in why they suck is the word "man." I don't need to be Oderus Man, I simply am Oderus, and I would like to see Oderus beat the shit out of some of these assholes. But generally, when we want to fuck up somebody in the comic world, we just invite them on the stage with Gwar and then they get the shit kicked out of them. We'd love to see Gwar comic books, we'd love to see Gwar movies, we'd love to see a Gwar video game, and all this stuff. But the people that have the money to make these projects really happen, are nutless fucks like Rob Zombie. They just want to make money. They don't want to take a chance, they don't want to put money into anything that's not going to be a big hit at Wal-Mart, even though we see over and over again these ideas that are truly cutting edge, that really have some balls, like for instance the Grand Theft Auto franchise as example. You do art that you just think is for the -- the only reason you do this is just because you think it's cool and it needs to exist. That shit does get huge, and if someone had the nuts to fucking back Gwar in a comic book or a video game or a movie, it would be fucking huge. But no, people -- and it's especially upsetting when you see guys who have made their career basically ripping us off. They get all the notice, they get all the money, they get all the coke, and then the work is shit. The only thing that fucking Kiss or Lordi or any band that does stuff onstage, with the exception of Devo and Slipknot, which I will never have anything except total respect for -- you tell me that any of the shit that those bands do is worth a fuck. I mean all Kiss has done for the last 20 years is just cash in on their image over and over again. It's not about the music, it's not about the revolution, it isn't even about rock and roll, it's about making money, and that's nauseating to me. What's even worse is when we get these guys like Rob Zombie who made everything they have because of bands like Gwar, and because of the underground fucking metal and punk rock scene, but to see them just being so incredibly uncreative with their stupid remakes of movies that fucking were so much better the first time around, or their thinly disguised rip-offs like Texas Chainsaw Massacre was, all those fucking movies he made. It just makes me want to fucking puke. C6M: Totally. Oderus Urungus: Well, you know, that's what makes Gwar more valuable than ever, it's because we keep it real. Everybody knows that Gwar fucking keeps it real. We'll never be motivated by money. We're motivated by blood and souls, and crack cocaine, and that's what keeps us real, and then that's what finally makes us pop at that level and then it just fucking slays that dragon, it's going to be so fucking awesome. I mean I have no doubt that after we've been around a couple of hundred years, there will be Gwar theme parks. It's just taken a little while for the humans to come to that conclusion themselves. C6M: Well, do you think that Gwar can really then live on and reign for a thousand years? And if they did, do you think that the legacy of the band's influence goes beyond music? Oderus Urungus: Oh, certainly. I mean we're not so stupid as just to say, "Hey, we're a band." That's one thing that we do. Yeah, music is a huge part of what we're all about, in fact it is probably the single most essential element of what Gwar is, it's the backbone of everything we do, but hanging off that backbone, our collection of claws and whips and swords and other social parts, everything from me being on Red Eye to just I mean everything that Gwar pops up in nowadays. I mean fucking I'm getting ready to -- actually I just got a call. I actually just did get a call from PETA. Like people are slowly coming around to the fact that Gwar just works just about anywhere. We have something as unlikely as Gwar showing up on Fox News and it's fucking brilliant. I've taken one appearance on there and turned it into their official inter-planetary correspondent on Fox News C6M: Let's talk about animal rights. That was really interesting that you brought that up. You guys definitely thematically sort of poke fun at that in some ways, and have an affection towards animals. So, the question, a little bit humorous, but are you still in love with the dead dog or have you moved on? Oderus Urungus: Oh, I mean yeah, everyone knows that Oderus is a huge animal lover, whether they're dead or alive. In fact, humans don't seem to understand that animals are actually the superior form of life on this planet. I don't see any human beings flying around. I don't see any human beings that can smell a pizza from eight miles. I don't see any human beings that can swim underwater for like a hundred years and dream telepathic thoughts that astrally project across the universe and create an idyllic kingdom in another world, like blue whales do. I mean animals do shit that you guys will never even fucking ever dream up, and that's why I'm kind of backing this idea that animals get promoted and the humans all get thrown out into the streets. I think it's a complete injustice that animals are made to sleep outside having to make little nests out of sticks and pieces of garbage, and these humans have got these big fancy-shancy apartments. I just think we should have to flip everything around or at least let bears live with children. C6M: Well, I know you have a thing for babies. Are you happy to see, now that you guys have been around playing in the music scene for 25 years, that there are parents that have grown up on Gwar, that are now bringing their teenagers to shows? Is there a nobler sacrifice? Oderus Urungus: Oh, I think that's one of the most -- that's one of the -- like the deviously stirring erections I get consistently, is when I'm standing up on stage and I can see junior, and then there's a -- dad has brought junior, and then even worse, there's grandma in the wheel chair in the slam pit covered in blood. And then after the show if they've survived, yeah, you've got three generations of one family hanging around by the tour-bus or the bat-shaped helicopter, however you want to delude yourself into how Gwar gets around, sucking our dicks and just doing whatever they can to please us. And yeah, I mean it will go beyond that, and beyond that, and beyond that, and Gwar -- I mean back when a lot of kids -- when a lot of people were getting born or whatever, when rock and roll was young, it was going from generation to generation. The ideas that you would listen to the same music that your parents listened to, it was like so fucking uncool and it just was not going to happen. But now that metal has been so dominant for so many years, you've got the whole family chiming in. And of course, with Gwar it goes beyond the music as well. Just about anybody can appreciate our girth, our great -- we're sexy, what can I say? Grandma loves that. C6M: Absolutely. Let's close by talking about when you're going back on tour, the GWAR-B-QUE and the future of Gwar. Do you think that when its all said and done, will there be anything left of planet Earth and will Gwar be instrumental in its destruction, or will the human race basically annihilate ourselves? Oderus Urungus: Well yeah, you're not going to do anything without our permission, and so you will try to destroy yourselves, but the thing that always saves the human race is that more than fucking -- I mean more than eating, more than taking drugs, more than taking shits, the humans love to fuck, and as fast as we kill you, the birth-rate is actually always slightly eclipsing the amount of people that we kill every day. So, even with AIDS and various sick diseases that we introduced, the human race is going to survive. That means we're going to grow up together and continue to mutate with each other. When I'm trying to look up in the air, as I spray more of my syphilitic dick pus onto these people, kind of more of a Gwar human hybrid is going to be what's happening over the next few years, especially on this tour, the Bloody Pit of Horror, the new album, the Bloody Tour of Horror, the tour, with the bloody pit that we will put people into and then turning it into some strange kind of Gwar zombie human hybrid. If we start actually breeding with the humans again, I really don't know what could happen. There'll probably be a lot more bands around like Gwar though. C6M: So, when are you guys going back on tour, is it next month? Oderus Urungus: We leave in less than a month. We are starting our huge fucking Bloody Tour of Horror on October 2nd in Baltimore, Maryland and we'll be ravaging the world shooting out across the bus. We're going all over the U.S. and Canada, and then we're going to shoot out across the Pacific to Australia and New Zealand, you know if we don't get puffed, and after that back to the United States, and it's going to go all the way until January, and then off to Europe and then God knows what the fuck after that. It's going to be a relentless fucking tour schedule, which we shall just grab the earth like the bloody hunk of fruit that it truly is and squeeze it for everything towards and just suck that shit right out of the broken world. C6M: Awesome. We're looking forward to seeing you guys when you come to our city. Oderus Urungus: What city is that? C6M: Los Angeles. Oderus Urungus: Oh, a wonderful place, full of -- oh, and so many people that I despise live there, and you won't find them at the Gwar show. Maybe we can trick them into coming this time. If Rob Zombie can stop doing coke for like five seconds, maybe he can come down and get my fucking dick up his ass. Rob, it's an open invitation. If it were possible to actual die from laughter, Oderus nearly succeeded in killing me. Special thanks to Oderus for talking with Circle Six. We wish the band well on their quest towards world domination. After all, like Oderus said, it won't be long until there will be GWAR theme parks. And it's that thought alone that makes me think that being killed by GWAR might not necessarily be as bad as the Morality Squad might think. In any case, don't forget to check out the music on Grooveshark and if you get a chance to see the band on their Bloody Pit of Horror tour, don't forget to let them know that Paul sent ya.