Since its inception 27 years ago, metal group Gwar has been a barrier-pushing cartoon of a band battling dinosaurs, enslaving fans, and spurting blood (and other fake bodily fluids) from decapitated politicians and celebrities while dressed as a crew of heavily-armored alien warriors crash-landed on Earth.
From appearances on The Jerry Springer Show in the 90s to Foxs Red Eye more recently, the group never breaks character. In fact, during a nearly hourlong interview, Dave Brockie posing as singer/leader Oderus Urungus even evaded questions about the car trouble that delayed our chat 45 minutes.
Car? I dont drive a car. Its a chariot drawn by a team of winged pigs, he corrected in his deep, gruff stage voice, which will be on display Monday at Amos Southend in Charlotte. Those pigs were giving me a hard time. Pigs are willful creatures, especially when theyre eight times the size of the human variety and have wings and are on fire.
Despite its commitment to maintaining the schtick, schlock, and mythology that once got Brockie arrested and the group banned from Charlotte, Gwar was met with a sobering dose of human tragedy when its guitarist of 11 years, Cory Smoot (aka Flattus Maximus), was found dead in the bands tour bus last November, weeks after opening the bands tour at Amos Southend.
If there was ever a test whether this band deserved as much for the music as for our show, Flattus was the guy who led us out of our very silly music phase which I still love the hell out of and led us into the realm where we could play alongside the top metal bands in the business, Urungus says of Smoot, who died from coronary artery thrombosis.
The character of Flattus Maximus was retired, and Gwar continued as a four-piece until recently revealing Smoots replacement: a cousin (of sorts) named Pustulus Maximus.
Every one of the Gwar members comes from a much larger group of beings called the Scumdogs of the Universe, Urungus explained of the guitar players origins, while referencing the title of the bands 1990 album. Often these creatures have clans and factions, and one of them was the Maximus clan. They are basically the hereditary enemy of dinosaurs. Thats why the clan can instantly be identified by two large dinosaur skulls as his shoulder pads.
Urgunus predicts Pustulus will be a much more vocal member than his predecessor (Hes stone-cold deaf. Hes always yelling at us).
Gwar has begun work on its follow-up to Lust in Space and Bloody Pit of Horror, the two albums that bookended its 25th anniversary tour. The addition of Pustulus marks a new era for what Urungus describes as an adult comedy metal band. The album wont be out until at least late spring, he adds.
The worst thing we could do was to put out a rushed record, he says. Boy, I miss Flattus, but This will be not only every bit as good as what we did with Flattus, but indeed better. The unfortunate and all too soon departure of Flattus will not signal a beginning of degradation of Gwars metallic arsenal or our metallic attack.