Gwar interview (Oderus Urungus)

"Υou humans are just hairless apes. I want to fuck a whale and create a new feature that is worthy of populating this planet"

18/11/2013 @ 12:39
Frank Zappa was wondering if humor belongs in music. Well, it certainly does and Oderus Urungus, the alien leader of Gwar is here to prove it. The old sticker on the cover of the albums that warned about explicit content could easily be used for this interview as Odernus talks about his plans to erase the human race, the first time he met the apes, the band’s new album “Battle Maximus” and how they got over the loss of their guitarist. Sometimes, the question is not if humor belongs in music, but if someone can see behind the humor. Sit back, read and enjoy...

GwarHello Oderus, it’s Theodore from the How are you?
I’m fine! I think it’s very interesting that your name, 'The-o-do-ros' is very like my name 'O-de-rus'.

Ha, ha, I didn’t  think about that! (laughs). Maybe I’ll use it sometime as a nickname!
Yeah, is this like some completely crazy Gwar band from Greece or what? Good to talk to you, talk to Greece. It’s been a while, we’ve never been over there, we’d like to get there one day.

Gwar - Battle MaximusWe’ll be waiting for you! Well, you have a new album out called “Battle Maximus”. First of all, what does the title mean?
The “Battle Maximus” is a war that was waged by the Maximus family to find a suitable replacement to fill the void that was left when our guitar player, Flattus Maximus was called back to the stars a couple of years ago. All the Maximuses gathered together here on earth and they battled each other for the privilege and the honor of playing guitar for Gwar and basically the sound of the battle became the title track of the album and from there became the title of the album and it’s a great freaking song as well. And from it all, when the battle was over Pustulus Maximus was the one who had triumphed in this mighty struggle. He is our new guitar player and he’s kicking fucking ass.

I hope he is the best fit for Gwar. Are you happy with the result on the album?
Yes I am. You know it was a difficult thing to do. Flattus was a big part of our songwriting process and a dear friend and a great scumdog. We worked together for a long time and to lose someone like that is very difficult to carry on, but we sized our ways and opportunities to prove once again to the human race how magnificent and awesome we are. By triumphing over the most adverse, the greatest odds wasn’t an easy thing to carry on after that, but we decided to throw ourselves into it with all the energy we had and Pustulus is an amazing guitar player. The very first song that he wrote for us, “Madness At The Core of Time”, we knew that we made the right choice and we knew that the new Gwar album was going to kick ass and we really wanted to make one that would make Flattus happy. Hopefully we’ve done that, the fans have reacted really well and people all over the world are calling and freaking out about it so hopefully we did our job.

GwarI’m glad. Are you satisfied with Metal Blade Records, your record company?
Oh yeah, we love Metal Blade, we’ve been back and forth with them, I mean we’re very happy now that Metal Blade is representing Gwar worldwide. They’ve always been a great ally to us, Brian Slagel is a great figure in metal and supported it (editor: the album) all over the world. With Metal Blade we’ve always had a home amongst the humans and as long there is a Metal Blade there will be a Gwar and hopefully vice versa. I really honestly can’t say enough wonderful things about Metal Blade, it really kind of giving us a place to hang our hat, or our helmet if you will, through all these years of struggle.

Let’s go to the name of the band. I think a lot of people don’t know what does the name Gwar means.
'Gwar' is short for 'Gwaaarrrgghhlllgh' and basically it’s the first sound that came out of our mouths when we were unfrozen from our deep Antarctic slumber. For a while the name of the band was actually 'Gwaaarrrgghhlllgh', but we decide that it was way too long to fit on a t-shirt. So we shortened it to 'Gwar'. It basically is a word that has no meaning, it’s a sound. We want people to find their own meaning for the word 'Gwar', but I also can tell you that if you’re ever having trouble tacking a shit, if you scream the word 'Gwar', it will help you.

GwarI’ll remember that! And what has been the purpose of the band from the very beginning?
To erase the mistake that we made, which is creating the human race by fucking apes. Basically, dedicated to your destruction, but at the same time we absolutely looooove playing fucking heavy metal. So, at the same time that we are trying to destroy you, we are also trying to entertain you. It’s a weird kind of mixture. But it has lead to almost thirty years of heavy metal and craziest show in the business.

But the strange thing is that after thirty years people support you and you cannot destroy the human race. Is there an explanation for that?
Yes, because when we had sex with the apes to create the human race we didn’t know that you would be so god damned ugly and now that we see we want to wipe you out so we can fuck another type of animal and make another type of creature. I want to fuck a blue whale, a big whale. It’s got a big pussy, big enough for my big cock. I think maybe the “Gwar” semen and the whale pussy will create a new feature that is worthy of populating this planet. Because you humans, you know, you are just hairless apes. Even though I like some of the movies you make, some of the metal bands are pretty good too.

GwarWell you talked about metal bands. Could you name a couple of them?
I love Behemoth, I love Slayer, I love Motörhead, we’ll always love Metallica, I don’t care how many albums it’s been since “Master Of Puppets”. I basically like anything that’s loud and fast and hard and heavy. There are lots of great band out there, I love Lamb Of God, Municipal Waste... I couldn’t even list all of them.

Yeah, there are plenty of them. You are planning to do a covers album next year for your 30th anniversary...
Well, yeah... I was kind of mouthing about it on twitter. It’s not a confirmed thing, but it easily could happen. We got a quite good reputation of playing some pretty kick-ass covers, so yeah, it might happen.

Apart from the loss of Flattus Maximus, you have had a lot of member changes over the years. Is there any dictator running the band?
Well, you know, it’s just lots of people fallen in battle over the years, it is not an easy band to be in. I mean all this touring and all this coke snorting and all this fucking pussy, it will take a toll on you. But when someone pussies out, we just throw the costume on someone else basically.

GwarSo it’s not exactly a change of a member, but a change of the person...
Yeah, the characters remain the same. We try to keep people around as long as we can. Actually, I still got two of the original guys and a lot of the original artists all the way back to “The Scumdogs Οf Τhe Universe”. But, it’s not an easy band to be in. You’ve got to be in really good physical shape, you’ve got to have your shit together mentally. It’s not a band for a bunch of fuck-ups. We really take it to a different level, the level of commitment. What we ask our artists and our musicians to go is way beyond that of a regular band. I’ve been very happy with the dedication of the people over the years, but sometimes people just come and go.

But you will always be calling the shots!
Oh yes, always will be calling the shots. I will remain Oderus for as long as I possibly fucking can!

Let’s talk about the costumes that you wear on stage. First of all, where do you find them?
We make them all ourselves. We don’t go to the Rubber Monster Store and buy them. I have a very talented group of artists who built these all. We sit around and do drawings and argue at each other about the way they should look and they bust the shit out.

GwarOk, I see. I think you know there is a petition going on for Gwar playing on the Super Bowl in 2015, so maybe you will perform after Black Eyed Peas, Madonna, Beyonce and Bruno Mars. What do you think about that?
Well, you know, Gwar doesn’t care so much about the Super Bowl. Gwar is all about inflicting pain and suffering on the human race and to me nothing could be more painful than having to suffer through a Bruno Mars show. But I’m more interested in actually playing the game than playing the half time show. I think Gwar can probably take on the entire NFL, destroy them all and actually win the Super Bowl. We don’t wanna play at the half time show, we wanna actually win.

Did you have any proposal through the years to play in a team?
No, we had not. We’ve just done our thing, been running around the world slaughtering on an epic scale. The members of Gwar are way too fucked up and chaotic to play any kind of organized sport. The most amount of order they get into their lives is war.

Do you watch the modern music industry? What’s your opinion about nowadays music?
Well, it has changed so much since we started. Back then in the day you had rotary dial phones and fax machines and fanzines and that’s the way we spread the word. Now we have internet and everyone have a studio in their basement. It’s a lot easier to pretend that you are a band and a lot harder to be a good one. We’ve seen it both ways. When Gwar started out, they were still making records exclusively on vinyl. Then we went to CDs, then the internet started to fucking happen, I mean it’s gone to so many different changes, but through it all, somehow heavy metal has endured. People still love to hear the sound of blistering fucking guitars. So as much as the technology will change, the heart of metal will stay the same, and if it does, then there will always be a place for Gwar.

Oderus Urungus (Gwar)Yeah, I agree. A big change in the music industry had been the induction of video clips in the 80s. Throughout the years you have released probably more DVDs or VHSs than studio albums. Why is that?
Well, lots of them are bootlegs and people like take Gwar stuff and just kind of throw it together. Also, we always do at least one video of every single. We’ve been around 28 years, we got thirteen albums out, so that’s one album every two years. But videos, people just point cameras at you when you’re playing and fucking there is a video. We didn’t put them all out either, they are not even all official, so we don’t even have complete control over what we do, people put videos out all the fucking time. But if we could, we would make the ultimate Gwar movie, if we had the money and the budget. But as it is, so far we haven’t been able to do that, because we blow all of our money on drugs.

Do all these drugs have an effect on your music?
Oh, yeah, it helps definitely! I mean we couldn’t do this if we weren’t on drugs.

What do you think is the best album that Gwar have made throughout all these years?
It remains to be seen how “Battle Maximus” does, but my personal favorite will always be “America Must Be Destroyed”. It really pissed a lot of people off when it came out, especially the title and I will stick with it to this day because I believe it.

Oderus Urungus (Gwar)Speaking about the title how’s the situation there in America? Is Barack Obama better or worse in that direction?
It’s basically the same. A lot of people thought that Barack Obama was going to lead some kind of new American Revolution and we were going to go back to the wonderful days of Bill Clinton. But, instead Barack is turned out to be a real dud, he can’t seem to get anything done, except kill people. And he’s very good to doing that with his drones, he’ll go down in history as being the drone president and I really don’t think that’s something to be proud of.  

You mentioned before Bill Clinton. What do you think that has been his greatest achievement?
Getting away with having that chick suck his dick in the Oval Office. In fact it was even implicated that he fucked her with a cigar. I mean that’s a president I can get behind.

That was pioneering!
Pioneering, definitely!

You live in Antarctica, right? Are you in Antarctica right now?
No, I’m visiting the slaves up here in Richmond, Virginia right now.

Well, well, I see. How’s the going in Antarctica? Are you aware of the melting ice caps?
Yes. Things are getting very melty up here. It’s like living in a slushy or something. Every year the ice contracts a little bit, so any of these people that are telling you, that global warming isn’t a reality, they’re full of shit.

GwarSo will you be safe at home for sure?
We’re safe here for now. There’s lot of ice here, definitely. But we can live on the surface of the sun, just as easy as we can live in Antarctica. We just like Antarctica, because there’s not a lot of people down here, we don’t get bothered so much.

Is there any chance to get back home, at the planet from where you came from?
Well, we did go back to outer space a couple of years ago, but it really sucked because there’s no crack in outer space. It turns out that Earth is the only planet that has crack-cocaine and quite frankly I love that shit. So we decided to come back here, you know… There’s too many super-powered assholes in outer space. We decided to come back to earth where we can reign as the Gods that we are.

As we are closing to the end, I’d like to ask you a couple of things more. If you had the ability, which five things throughout the history of rock ‘n’ roll would you erase?
Poison, Motley Crue, Britney Fox, The Nelsons and in fact, hair metal in general. I hate that shit, don’t think it’s cool, never liked it, never will.

And outside the history of rock ‘n’ roll?
Fucking apes to create the human race, we fucked that up, Christ in the Bible, the “Milagro Beanfield Wars”, the Marianna’s Trench (that’s in the Pacific Ocean I think), Gandhi, I would get rid of Gandhi and finally all religions, popes, prophecies and prophets, they can all go to bloody hell.

GwarLast question. Until you destroy the world, as you want at least, in the upcoming years, how do you see the future of heavy metal?
It will continue on, it will get harder and harder for acts to be original because, you know, haw many ways to make a metal song? Well, there’s infinite ways to do it, but it just gets more and more difficult as the years go by. So, the humans will have to get more and more creative as they go, if they want to keep making awesome new music. So let’s hope that they do, and Gwar will be here to show them the way.

Is there any chance Gwar to visit Greece? I don’t know if you have been here in the past, incognito or something to participate in any riots, but you have never played live here.
No, we’ve never have, we never made it as far as Greece, it’s a real shame considering the cradle of civilization that you are. But one of these days maybe Gwar will make it there and when we do, god damn it, we’re gonna have a hell of a party.

Well, we’ll be waiting for you. Thank you very much Oderus, it been a pleasure to talk to you.
Thank you The-Oderus! (laughs). Great talking to you man, thank you for the support. Hope we will make it to Greece one day.

Theodore Xouridas