As 43 million year-old space barbarian, Oderus Ungerus, Dave Brockie traverses the planet clad in rubber prosthetics at the pointy end of shock metal band Gwar. He talks with SHANE PINNEGAR about pointing the rocket towards our shores as part of Soundwave Festival at Claremont Showgrounds on Monday, March 3.
As Gwar vocalist, Dave Brockie, tells tales of exploding buses and “raw human fecal matter bubbling up out of the drain” in their dressing room the previous day, it seems life for these metal monsters isn’t all glamour.
“Oh hell no! Your legs can get cut out from you at any moment! You have no idea the kind of shit that we go through. Anyone that thinks it’s a wonderful, glamorous lifestyle where you flit from place to place with magic wings, to be blown by hot women propelled by lines of cocaine, is a complete idiot!
“But I love it,” he declares, “we really take pride in the hardships that we have to go through in order to bring the most outrageous show in rock’n’roll history to people all around the world.”
GWAR have proven themselves to be far more than a rubber-masked cabaret act, releasing 13 albums over 25 years and selling more than 30 million albums.
Along the way they have shocked relentlessly, but Brockie isn’t so sure what Gwar’s stage show will include on their Australian jaunt.
“We’re not quite sure what we’re bringing with us yet,” he laughs. “But it will be amazing and it will be exciting, and we will be splattering lots of people. Who’s that guy who’s running your country right now – Tony Abbott? How would that go over – if we chopped off Tony Abbott’s head?”
Brockie doesn’t use the term ‘splatter’ lightly: GWAR are renowned for spewing all sorts of fluids into the front rows of the audience. He’s happy to offer some sartorial advice to Soundwave audiences who might want to get close to the stage.
“Here in The States,” he laughs, “the fans bring a change of clothes with them because they’re so soaked after the Gwar show that they don’t wanna drive home and get the upholstery all messed up. And they’ll all wear white t-shirts, so they can get different patterns of spew on them. We have different colours of what we’re spewing, so it’s almost like some kind of Grateful Dead kind of sweaty tie-die thing going on.
“We’ve been around for 28 years now, we’ve been through the worst things imaginable, we’ve proven ourselves fearless, indefatigable, and consistent. So very slowly, Gwar is winning the hearts and minds. It is a worldwide campaign of destruction, and Gwar is immortal.”
Considering the band’s costumes are all-encompassing, what’s to stop a future that will never be without a Gwar, with future generations of musicians stepping into those roles for decades to come, making the band truly immortal?
“Exactly!” Brockie exclaims, a little scarily. “That’s exactly what’s gonna happen. Sooner or later everybody in this band will decide when their handpicked replacement will come into the character. Westside Story is playing on Broadway tonight – why can’t Gwar, the musical theatre experience, last forever?”