Q&A: GWAR's Oderus Urungus on Tila Tequila's Froggy Looks and Marquis de Sade's Influence
Pop stars and rock bands come and go, but GWAR claims to have lasted for more than 40 billion years, subsisting on crack alone. After originating from some Nordic-inspired, dildo-wearing freak show in a galaxy far away, the band made Antarctica's icy wasteland its headquarters to inflict pain and suffering on the world, bringing us the likes of Hitler, plagues, and various other agonies.
In actuality, though, GWAR's raunch-metal began in 1985 at Virginia Commonwealth University. But it seems to have lasted the equivalent of 40 billion years by music industry standards, as they've done it all with costumes, wild antics, and tongue-in-cheek frat-boy humor that was never really intended for frat boys. GWAR's latest tour, in support of its latest album, Bloody Pit of Horror, is also its longest and will celebrate 25 years of guts and glory and celebrities' insides. The music itself consists of violence-themed, heavy thrash metal. But who goes to GWAR for the music? This is seeing Lady Gaga disemboweled, Hilary Clinton and John McCain decapitated, and Justin Bieber's annoying haircut go the way of the scalp.
County Grind reached Dave Brockie's alter ego, Oderus Urungus, by phone recently. We figure he wasn't at his Antarctic compound, because, well, he got reception. We chatted about Florida weather, Tila Tequila, the Marquis de Sade, and the upcoming show, which is tonight at Revolution. Tickets cost $27. Read what Oderus had to say below.
New Times: GWAR's arrival marks the changing of the seasons here in South Florida every year, since, well, we don't have any. How does GWAR enjoy the hell-like quality of our climate?
Oderus Urungus: Well, we love it. We've played gigs on the surface on the sun before, so the heat doesn't really bother us. And we love the giant insects and the bindles of cocaine that wash up and the submarines they use to bring it in there and the hot metal chicks and that kinky bitch from the Genitorturers. Oh, and alligators are cool. Florida rules. Florida's one of our favorite places to play, probably because of all those things I just said.
Do you work on your tan while you're here?
[laughs] Yes, indeed, I'll be working on my tan. But I'm trying to tan the surface of my tongue.
You've been a frequent guest on Fox News' Red Eye? Do you think they appreciate you despite your alien status, or do you feel like an oppressed minority there?
I'm not sure what the fucking deal is. Why out of all the TV stations out there, why it would be Fox News that finally has the balls to put GWAR on major television like we deserve. We've been trying to get on Conan and all these other shows forever. But it was Fox News that did it. But hey, it was Fox News that gave us The Simpsons, so maybe they're not all bad. It's just amazing I've hung in there as long as I have. We're getting ready to shoot Oderus' 13th appearance here on [September 30]. I even have my own graphic. I'm, like, a correspondent. It's very odd. The guy who runs the show is completely awesome. I don't think everyone on there is archly conservative; it's just cool to be conservative now. I think it's all about ratings.
What Fox demographic do they think you appeal to?
I think it's the old ladies who hang out by the watercooler all day, even though they are completely terrified of the cuttlefish. Every time I show up at the studio, they throw a tarp over the bottom part of my body. They're like, "Oh, hi Oderus." And then they give me this parachute-sized piece of heavy black canvas to cover up all the naughty bits.
But they show you from the waist up anyway.
I know, but they're still terrified, like it's Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show.
You toured with ICP a while back?
We played about three weeks with them about ten years ago. And then we just played their Gathering of the Juggalos a couple of years ago.
You heard about Tila Tequila versus the Juggalos fight?
I heard she got, like, pelted with batteries and almost raped or something.
Which side is GWAR on, Team Tila or Team Juggalos?
Well, I think Tila Tequila is a complete twit. If she's stupid enough to go into an environment like that and expect anything but abuse at the hands of those people, she needs a new publicity agent or something. I mean, GWAR would never put ourselves in a situation like that.
Or maybe you would never have Tila Tequila open for you?
We'd love to have Tila Tequila open for us. But when we played at the Gathering, we played in a tent that had a little bit of security and control. It wasn't just a wide open space where you could chuck batteries at us from 50 yards away. Tequila pretty much laid herself at the mercy of the crowd. And that is absolutely the last crowd you want to do that with. I'm not advocating her being raped by a bunch of clowns, but you have to consider she probably got paid like 50 grand for the appearance.
She's pretty atrocious.
She's horrible! I mean, look at her. Her head is deformed. She looks kind of like a frog. She's got a gigantic Britney Spears forehead. For the braincase being that huge, there's almost no discernable brain activity whatsoever. Did she ever find true love on that stupid show of hers?
I hope not. I don't know if I want her having any chance to reproduce.
[Sigh] Poor Tequila... I heard she got pretty abused. When we were [at the Gathering of the Juggalos], Coolio was playing, and he wasn't getting any respect. He was getting full pitchers thrown on him, dirt, handfuls of shit.
Didn't he become a preacher or something?
Yeah, probably right after that show.
How do you feel about potentially sharing responsibility for Lady Gaga, considering all her costuming and various manifestations?
I feel great about it. She's another spawn inspired by GWAR. Certainly an interesting performer. Not your average rock 'n' roll personality. All kinds of weird shit. I honestly can't tell you I hate her guts. But I do have a sneak peek that Lady Gaga and Oderus are going to be doing a song together on tour. We'll be appearing with her in Florida very soon. I think we're going to rip her entrails out.
Will she be wearing the meat dress?
The meat dress is good. Though I'd be more interested if it was a shit dress. Like eat the meat dress and then shit her clothing on to her. In fact, we're negotiating with her right now. If she won't do it, then we'll get Tila Tequila to do it. Apparently she'll do anything for money. Lady Gaga would never sell out like that.
Your latest album, Bloody Pit of Horror, is also the name of an Italian gothic horror film.
It is?! I didn't know that, and I'm sticking to my story.
[laughs] Well, the film is also based on the work of the Marquis de Sade. Does GWAR consider Sade a major influence philosophically?
Oh yea, Justine and all his other fine literary works. It's, like, when GWAR was imprisoned in our Antarctic fortress for all those thousands of years, we weren't able to physically get out and be with you guys and party. But we were able to control a lot of your thoughts and breeding patterns through our brain-power emissions. The Marquis de Sade was kind of a pet project of ours. Actually the Sexecutioner had a lot to do with his development. Just like Vlad the Impaler or Countess Bathory or even Hitler. GWAR takes credit for a lot of humanity's most fucked people.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.