—Oderus Urungus, GWAR Mythos''
What happens when you take the theatrical stage performances of Alice Cooper, the costumes and makeup of KISS, and the 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. Michael Bishop (Blothar, formerly the original Beefcake the Mighty) and Kim Dylla (Vulvatron) were announced as the new faces of GWAR later that year, but Dylla was fired sometime between the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 due to problems with excessive alcohol consumption. The Vulvatron character has not been shelved, but a replacement has yet to be announced.
On February 25th, 2019, Jamison Land (Beefcake The Mighty) announced his departure from the band on Facebook, citing family and career reasons.
Current core members (err, I mean Scumdogs)
- Michael Bishop note - Blothar the Berserker (Lead vocals) 2014 - present
- Mike Derks - Balsac the Jaws of Death (rhythm guitar) 1988 - present
- Brad Roberts - Jizmak da Gusha (drums) 1989 - present
- Casey Orr - Beefcake the Mighty (bass) 1994 - 1997, 1999 - 2002, 2008 - 2011, 2019 - present
- Brent Purgason - Pustulus Maximus (lead guitar) 2012-present
View the full list of Gwar members here.
- 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)
- The Blood of Gods (2017)
- You're All Worthless and Weak (2000)
- Germany Must Be Destroyed (2000) note
- Live from Mt. Fuji (2005)
Other notable releases:
- 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
- Abusive Precursors: They HATE mankind, their biggest mistake.
- 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.
- Fittingly enough, this was also true for Kim Dylla in real life, as she is a trained wrestler.
- The Alcoholic: Apparently why Kim Dylla (the first Vulvatron) was fired. A heated Facebook exchange with Brent Purgason (Pustulus Maximus) revealed that her excessive alcohol consumption, sloppy-drunk tendencies, and the frequency with which she went onstage completely wasted and performed poorly were what got the band to let her go, with the last straw being when she went onstage so drunk that she fractured a rib and didn't even notice. Coincidentally, the scumdogs are shown to be alcoholics as well as drug addicts.
- 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. Happened for real thanks to Funny Or Die Cartoons.
- 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".
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Many of the band's enemies attack them, not because of their murderous or sex-crazed acitivities, but for more petty reasons such as one of the band members stealing their romantic partner, drug-related things, their offensiveness, to get back at them for humiliating them in some manner, so that they can accomplish other goals, something related to their music, or a variety of other reasons.
- A Storm Is Coming: "Storm is Coming".... obviously.
- Attack Animal: Their pet Tyrannosaurus Rex, Gor Gor, was created to be this.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: The album "The Blood Of Gods" begins with an attack on GWAR by the armies of humanity.
- Attack Pattern Alpha: The aforementioned attack on GWAR in "The Blood Of Gods". Also years before, when humanity attacked GWAR, but under the Nazi Pope.
- Avenging the Villain: Mr. Perfect states onstage that he killed Oderus, and the band kills Mr. Perfect as revenge.
- Badass Normal: Sleazy P. Martini.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: "Fuckin' an Animal" is about this trope.
- Big Badass Battle Sequence: "The Song of Words" has GWAR starting one because they're bored. Better yet, it's rapped.
- 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."
- Blood Knight: The band themselves. "Battle Lust" is an ode to this trope.
- 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 daisiesI'm Americanized — your world is filled with hate and filthI'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.
- Calling Your Attacks: "WE! MUST! RISE! GWAR! MUST! DIE!" and "MAN! WILL! FALL! KILL! THEM! ALL! WHET! YOUR! KNIVES! TAKE! THEIR! LIVES!" from "War On GWAR".
- Cool Sword: Oderus' trademark broadsword, lovingly named Unt Lick.
- Cop Killer: Has happened alot throughout their years of touring. Also happens at the end of the music video for "Have You Seen Me".
- 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".
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Happens quite alot during their stage shows.
- David vs. Goliath: The band often takes on enemies larger than themselves.
- 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.
"I choose to be a blasphemer
- Before "Beyond Hell" was released, GWAR wrote Anti-Anti-Christ:
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.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Happens often onstage. Additionally, at the end of "Bloodbath And Beyond", Oderus mangles the Showbiz Awards host when Scroda Moon ends up winning the award instead of him.
- Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal:"My quest for sex consumes all my life
Being a God I do what I like."
- Dramatic Irony: Often happens to either them, their victims, or even their enemies, be it said words, actions, or even a combination of those things.
- Equal-Opportunity Offender: GWAR takes no sides when it comes to killing.
- Even Evil Has Standards: While GWAR would cross lines most people felt shouldn't be crossed (such as portraying Seung-Hui Cho "going for the record" six months after the Virginia Tech massacre or having Oderus molesting JonBenet Ramsey), Dave Brockie was against using racist language as part of GWAR's act. Additionally, while Edna P. Granbo of the Morality Squad was all for chopping off somebody's genitals to prove a point, she was STRONGLY against GWAR's antics.
- Evil vs. 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.
- The Good, the Bad, and the Evil
- Hardcore Punk: Their first album had more punk leanings.
- Hard Truth Aesop: played straight in "Parting Shot", where Oderous says "Never trust your parents, especially when they're older", but then subverts this trope with the next line: "always use a beer koozie, it keeps it that much colder".
- Heavy Meta: Metal Metal Land.
- He Was Right There All Along: GWAR's new leader, Blothar, had been watching GWAR since day one.
- 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."
- Hypocritical Humor: They often kill people accused of murder, rape, child sexual abuse, or any combination of those things, when they themselves have committed acts of murder, rape, child sexual abuse, and every combination of those things.
- 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.
- One of the more popular ones accepted is God What A Racket.
- 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...
- Invincible Hero: Averted with....
- Invincible Villain: They've beaten every opponent they've come across and survived every battle they've fought.
- 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 songs like "We Kill Everything", "Biledriver", "Krosstika", and "Storm Is Coming".
- 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.
- Large Ham: While the biggest is always the lead singer (did you read the page quote?), the get-ups make clear everyone in the band is a ham.
- Living Weapon: See Attack Animal.
- Manipulative Bastard: The leaders of Earth convince humanity to attack GWAR during the events of "The Blood Of Gods", also, the Nazi Pope convinced mankind's armies to rally against GWAR in 2006. Also GWAR themselves. As they slumbered in their Antarctica fortress, they manipulated the dreams of humanity and convinced mankind to go to war with one another.
- Moral Guardians: Parodied in "The Morality Squad".
- Moral Event Horizon: Happens ALL the time with them (sometimes even with 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.
- Reminiscing About Your Victims: "The Litany of the Slain".
- 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.
- 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.
- Self-Deprecation: When not taking pot shots at Earthlings, celebrities, American culture, etc, they take shots at themselves for being less-than-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.
- "Sesame Street" Cred: They played a few of their songs on Codename: Kids Next Door.
- Shout-Out: "The Salaminizer". Sung to the rhythm of "Gangsta Gangsta" by rap group N.W.A. Dave Brockie enjoyed NWA's work and decided to put his own spin on it.
- 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.
- I, Bonesnapper is a combination of this and A Day in the Limelight since it's one of the few times Bonesnapper gets to do anything besides be an extra (although Vulvatron will try to steal his thunder by getting her tits out)
- 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, JonBenet 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.
- 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.
- Thrash Metal: The bulk of their sound.
- Time Abyss: The main characters are supposed to be millions of years old.
- Up to Eleven: Anything they do.
- Viking Funeral: The aforementioned funeral for Oderus.
- 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.
- Also "The Salaminizer", "Crack In The Egg" and many more... About the band themselves.
- Wanderlust Song: "Lust in Space", with an emphasis on the lust part.
- War Is Glorious: They not only promote war, but also live it.
- World of Ham: As summed up by the opening paragraph up there, GWAR is basically a summation of a lot of hammy acts together.
- Would Hurt a Child