You go see GWAR, people die
. It's as natural as rain on Sunday morning.
"It is I, ODERUS URUNGUS, lead singer of the sickest band in metal history, Earth's only openly extra-terrestrial rock band, and the destined destroyers of not only the human race but also reality itself. GWAR! Hulking, heaving, dribbling WAR-GODS who like nothing better than putting hordes of our sniveling fans to the sword while playing the marauding mutant metal that we are famous for! Star's of stage and screen, carvers of stem and spleen! GWAR LIVES!"
, GWAR Mythos
What happens when you take the theatrical stage performances of Alice Cooper
, the costumes and makeup of KISS
, Audience Participation
of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
, and throw it in a meat grinder
? You get the self-proclaimed overlords
of all existence known as GWAR.
Originally hailing from Antarctica
, then somewhere past Hell's Eighth Lock
, yet somehow having a mailing address in Richmond, Virginia all the while, GWAR is a shock rock
/Heavy Metal band whose on-stage antics spray their audiences with blood, drugs, toxic waste, and other fluids
In 2011, Cory Smoot (Flattus Maximus) was found to have died while on the band's tour bus]]. Original reports were that he had died from "a coronary artery thrombosis brought about by his pre-existing coronary artery disease", although a later report showed that "investigators found on Smoot a $5 bill with a white powder residue, a prescription bottle holding eight Oxycodone-Acetaminophen pills, a lighter and two empty syringes".
On March 23, 2014, Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus) was found deceased at his home
at the age of 50, with the cause of death revealed as a heroin overdose
- Hell-O! (1988)
- Scumdogs of the Universe (1990)
- America Must Be Destroyed (1992)
- This Toilet Earth (1994)
- RagNaRok (1995)
- Carnival of Chaos (1997)
- We Kill Everything (1999)
- Violence Has Arrived (2001)
- War Party (2004)
- Beyond Hell (2006)
- Lust in Space (2009)
- Bloody Pit of Horror (2010)
- Battle Maximus (2013)
Other notable releases:
- You're All Worthless and Weak (2000)
- Germany Must Be Destroyed (2000) note
- Live from Mt. Fuji (2005)
- The Road Behind (EP) (1992)
- You Have the Right to Remain Silent... (1995): Sole album from the side-project X Cops.
- Junkie (1996): Non-album single from X-Cops, released on Man's Ruin Records. Features "Beat You Down" and "Junkie".
- Slaves Going Single (compilation) (2000): Contains songs from the Slave Pit Singles.
- Let There Be GWAR (compilation) (2004): Contains demos originally recorded in 1986, pre Hell-O!.
This band provides examples of
- Action Girl: Slymenstra Hymen. During her tenure with the band she dished out as much punishment as any of the men.
- Post-Oderus era GWAR has Vulvatron. Originally, Slymenstra was slated to rejoin the band, however for whatever reason known only to GWAR, they decided to hire on another female vocalist (whom more cynical GWAR fans dubbed "a cheap Slymenstra rip-off"). Most fans, however, are perfectly fine with her and Blothar being the new voices of GWAR.
- Alien Invasion: Many tours have at some point featured aliens. Especially the Ragnarok tour.
- An reversal of the trope takes place in most tours where one of the aliens is anally Impaled with Extreme Prejudice. Sleazy P. Martini refers to this as "Anal Probing, GWAR style."
- The fact that the band themselves are portrayed as space barbarians seeking to destroy the planet counts towards this as well.
- Ancient Astronauts: The band are portrayed as space alien warriors who have been trapped on Earth for millions of years.
- Animated Adaptation: Parodied in Skulhedface.
- Anything That Moves: Oderus was far from picky.
- Anti-Love Song: "I hate love songs and I hate lovers / I hate everything that I can't have so I hate you".
- Badass Normal: Sleazy P. Martini.
- Biker Babe: One of Oderus' former girlfriends. You can guess how the relationship ended.
- Black Comedy; The live version of "Have You Seen Me" off the Road Behind single epitomizes this:
Oderus: This kid is eighteen years old! Besides, I happen to know the law here in Cananananada, and I happen to know that it's not rape if it's dead! *baby crying sound effect*
- Blasphemous Boast:
"I call out your God till before me he stands
But don't send me Jesus
He's only a man."
- Later in the video he beats Jesus in basketball.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Averted. If there's any moral system that exists where GWAR comes from, it's pretty clear that they're violating it.
"Little did we know, we were undermining our entire value system!"
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Oderus was fond of this trope; GWAR was too, to a lesser extent. One of the earliest examples ("Americanized" from Hell-O!) has this little bit:
"I'm Americanized — death to all who wear paisley!
I'm Americanized — plucking babies, heads like daisies
I'm Americanized — your world is filled with hate and filth
I'm Americanized — I'll rape your dog with a plow!"
- Butt Monkey: Jizmak DaGusha in The Animated Tales of Gwar. He gets hit by a bottle that was supposed to hit Oderus, has his eye impaled by Beefcake's shoulder spike, pickaxed by Balsac and Beefcake, who throws him to the summit of Antarctica's mountain, breaking an undead dinosaur free; holds on to the tail of said dinosaur... and stares at the doctors flashlight with a clearly dazed look.
- Cool Sword: Oderus' trademark broadsword, lovingly named Unt Lick.
- The Cover Changes The Meaning: X-Cops' cover of Deep Purple's "Highway Star" changed the lyrics to fit the Killer Cop motif. To wit:
X-Sheriff "Tubb" Tucker:note Nobody's gonna take my gun, I'm gonna keep it till the end, yeah
Nobody's gonna touch my gun, or I'll shoot you in the face!
Yeah it's a killing machine, it's got everything
Yeah, got that magnum power, license to kill everything!
- Just about every cover GWAR has done falls into this category. "School's Out" replaced a couple of lines and essentially made the dissatisfaction with the school from the original song even more apparent; "Carry On Wayward Son" became an ode to an "unemployed son" who needs to "get [his] ass off the couch and get a goddamn job"; and "People Who Died" became a tribute to several musicians and friends of GWAR who died. The only covers that were (usually) played remotely straight were the ones performed on tour — including "Golden Shower" by the Mentors and the Billy Ocean/Who mashup from the Fall 2013 tour.
- Creation Myth: GWAR created the human race by having sex with apes. The Master was not happy about this, so He froze GWAR in antarctic ice.
- "Approximately 40 billion years ago, the Master of all Reality took a shit, and thus the universe was born. But that was not enough. He had to wipe. And what better way to wipe than with war? So he created the Scumdogs of the Universe."
- Crowd Song: "Sick Of You" and "Saddam a-Go-Go". Also, when it's done live, the audience shouts out the answers to the questions in "Slaughterama".
- Deadly Game: Slaughterama. Because when your life is shit, you haven't got much to lose.
- Department of Redundancy Department; From "Saddam a-Go-Go":
"AND HE DIED AND HE DIED AND HE DIED AND HE DIED AND HE DIED AND HE DIED AND HE DIED!"
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu??: The entire premise of "Beyond Hell". GWAR is sent to Hell, and to escape they must defeat Jewcifer.
- Before "Beyond Hell" was released, GWAR wrote Anti-Anti-Christ:
"I choose to be a blasphemer
To bring your kind to heel
Bring forth the beast and cleave him with my steel."
- Before that, from their "Scumdogs of the Universe" album, was the song "The Horror of Yig," about an elder from Cthulhu lore. They dismembered the creature on stage for a few tours.
- Dirty Cop: X-Cops embodies this trope. That is, when they're not being...
- Killer Cop: Often goes hand-in-hand with the above.
- Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal:
"My quest for sex consumes all my life
Being a God I do what I like."
- Evil Versus Evil: On their quest to destroy all existence, GWAR often faces off against and destroys other evil entities.
- Fictional Political Party: Their album War Party centers around a political party (named "The War Party") that supports policies dedicated especially to the eradication of the human race through global war and hatred. The party's symbol is said to be the "Krosstika," a combination of the Christian cross and the Nazi swastika, representing "two great hates that hate great together." According to GWAR lore, the political party has since disbanded.
- Gag Boobs: Vulvatron's breasts, which are the size of small melons and lactate blood into the audience.
- Gag Penis: Oderus's Cuttlefish of Cthulhu. Some tours modified the Cuttlefish in appearance (adding jagged teeth and googly eyes, sores, etc.) and in some instances, to spray the audience with fluids.
- Godzilla Threshold: During the Beyond Hell tours, GWAR has been beaten down and sodomized by Jewcifer. There seems to be no hope, except for when Gor-Gor comes and eats Satan. Gor-Gor then tries to eat GWAR, but is killed by Oderus.
- Heavy Meta: Metal Metal Land.
- High-Pressure Blood: A staple of their live shows. Lampshaded by Sleazy P. Martini in "Slaughterama".
"Wow, look at all the PSI in his main aorta artery."
- Humans Are Morons; "The Salaminizer" has this:
"Back on the road, it's no lie, stupid fucking humans pay money to die."
- I Am the Band: Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus, as he was the only remaining founding member as of 2014, and the idea of the band was his in the first place. More "dedicated" fans of GWAR will tell you that several characters in the band have had multiple people play them, and in fact, several have changed their names, personalities, and even the instrument they played (Oderus himself was originally a guitarist and a bassist before becoming a vocalist). Between the arrival of Pustulus Maximus (the guitarist who took over for Flattus Maximus after Cory Smoot died) and Dave's own death and succession by Blothar, Brockie mentioned in an interview that he was fine with the idea of having new people portraying old/new characters in GWAR, as it meant that the band could theoretically last for decades.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes:
- Insignificant Little Blue Planet: The Master banished GWAR to the worst place in the universe he could find: Earth.
- As Oderus called it in many instances, "This stinking mudball planet", among others.
- Initialism Title: Averted. Despite the bands mention of the below in fan club newsletters and interviews, some fans still vehemently proclaim the band name is an acronym.
- Intentionally Awkward Title: A main staple of the band from their songs, to their albums, to their videos, to their tours, to their et al...
- Kayfabe Music: Perhaps the definitive example.
- Kick the Dog: Almost literally. Oderus throws a dog into a whirling death machine. And then has sex with it.
- Kill All Humans: A common theme. Explicitly stated as a goal in "Krosstika".
- Killed Off for Real: After Cory Smoot died on tour, the band decided to retire his character. Officially, Flattus has returned to his home planet and is never to return.
- After the death of Dave Brockie, Oderus was given a Viking funeral pyre just before GWAR-B-Q 2014.
- Moral Guardians: Parodied in "The Morality Squad".
- Moral Event Horizon: Happens ALL the time with them (sometimes even their enemies).
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Averted. GWAR trash talks and re-kills the deceased (Laci Peterson, Michael Jackson and El Duce, to name a few) on stage.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Most times Gor-Gor, their pet Tyrannosaurus rex, is resurrected as a cyborg-zombie dinosaur. Who was force-fed crack as a baby. Who might be Oderus' bastard son.
- Officially Shortened Title: When in its infancy as a mere joke opening for Death Piggy, the original name was "GWAAARRRGGHHLLLGH." It was later shortened after they noticed people would come to see the joke band and leave before the headlining Death Piggy played.
- Omnicidal Maniac: "I want to murder everything in the entire world, every man and woman and every boy and girl."
- Also from the self-titled song on "We Kill Everything" — "We will kill everything, including ourselves."
- Parts Unknown
- Pedophile Priest: Father Bohab. Phallus in Wonderland has him caught waving his "lucky charms" at an alter boy. He was then sodomized with a large cross, a fate met in later tours.
- Puny Humans: Oderus constantly referred to Earthlings as "human filth."
- Refuge in Audacity: Many of their songs and most of their live show.
- Rock Opera: Pretty much every one of GWAR's albums, along with accompanying movies/videos and even comic miniseries.
- Running Gag: Among GWAR fans: "So... How do you hide money from a hippie?" "PUT IT UNDER THE SOAP!"
- Screwed by the Network: According to them, they never got paid properly for their likeness and songs being used in the Beavis And Butthead video game.
- Shout-Out: "The Salaminizer". Sung to the rhythm of "Gangsta Gangsta" by rap group NWA. Dave Brockie enjoyed NWA's work and decided to put his own spin on it.
- Following the same concept, "Think You Outta Know This" is basically "Give It Away" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers with a Badass Boast (or rather, a series of them) by Sleazy P. Martini.
- Urungus's penis is named after Cthulhu. The band also fought Yig regularly early on.
- Squick: From showering their audience in (fake) human/alien blood, semen, and various other fluids to songs like "Fuckin' An Animal", GWAR runs the gamut of stomach-churning.
- A nice example from "Bloody Mary", the lovely phrase: "Her womb explodes in a meat maggot mesh".
- Step Up to the Microphone: On several of their albums, Beefcake will sing lead vocals on one song instead of Oderus, such as in "Cool Place to Park" from Scumdogs of the Universe. "Release the Flies" from Lust in Space was sung by Flattus Maximus. They also have several songs where Techno Destructo, Sleazy P. Martini, Sexecutioner or Slymenstra Hymen will sing lead.
- Vulvatron's role in GWAR appears to be a permanent version of this.
- Stock Sound Effects: Used in their live shows.
- The Show Must Go On: During Tour De Scum GWAR had protesters on stage who blocked the show from happening. After asking if they are in show business (No? Well, then get the fuck off the stage!) Sleazy P. Martini declares the show must go on.
- A serious version of this trope occurred when Cory Smoot (AKA Flattus Maximus) died while on GWAR's Fall 2011 US tour. Shortly after his death, Dave Brockie announced that the tour would resume as planned and that the character would be retired permanently in honor of Cory.
- Take That: They bring effigies of celebrities, politicians, and other noteworthy people on stage for ritualistic public execution. A short list of victims includes Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, Snooki, El Duce from the Mentors, Jon Benet Ramsey, and every President of the United States (and during election years, those running for President) since Reagan.
- Oddly enough, Oderus considered being killed by GWAR to be flattering - and judging by the amount of people who flock to the merch booth asking to be sacrificed to the World Maggot or the meatgrindernote , so do the fans.
- Take That Me: When not taking pot shots at Earthlings, celebrities, American culture, etc, they take shots at themselves for being less-that-stellar musicians (at least in the early days), making fun of their cheesy props, etc. Not to mention they portray their characters as rather dim and bufoonish.
- Meta, Dave Brockie maintained a blog on his website called "Stupid Shit That I've Done." It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Even by GWAR standards, it's some impressive stupidity (usually involving drinking way too much). Highlights include trying to smoke a piece of hash and finding out it was a chunk of food and accidentally running over his own iPhone.
- Those Wacky Nazis: They come up pretty often.
- One of the victims in Slaughterama is a Nazi skinhead.
- Wharghoul is about an American zombie troop who joined the SS.
- Sonderkommando's title is taken from death camp units.
- KZ Necromancer mentions Mengele and a plot to save Hitler's semen.
- Poor Ole' Tom was killed by Nazi skinheads.
- Hitler's vomiting face and a Nazi soldier were in the flesh column.
- Beyond Hell (and the tours following it) featured a half Hitler half Jesus. Jesus was a dick, but Hitler was (in Orderus' own words) pretty cool.
- Ties into the song "Krosstika" from the War Party album, which states that "The swastika and the bloody old cross" are "Two great hates that hate great together"
- Dave Brockie had pissed on Hitler's Real Life grave.
- The Rival / Unknown Rival: In their fall 2013 tour with Whitechapel, Oderus brought up that Rob Zombie got GWAR thrown off the 2013 Mayhem Festival line up. This resulted in Oderus taking shots at Rob Zombie throughout the concert and yelling "FUCK ROB ZOMBIE!" Whether this is true or the band trying to stir up some drama is unknown though.
- Thrash Metal: The bulk of their sound.
- TimeAbyss: The main characters are supposed to be millions of years old.
- Tyrannosaurus rex: the aforementioned Gor Gor.
- Villain Protagonist
- Villain Song: "The Insidious Soliloquy of Dr. Prof. Skullheadface", "Morality Squad", "Surf of Syn", "Private Pain of Techno Destructo" and "Techno's Song" are all sung by GWAR's enemies.
- World of Ham