Depending on your worldview, metal freaks GWAR are either (A) a mighty race of ancient alien warriors bent on destruction and mayhem throughout the galaxy; (B) a satirical art project conceived 24 years ago by a bunch of Virginia college kids looking for a goofy way to score free beer; or (C) the most vile blood- and bile-spewing monsters of rock on the planet. To the uninitiated, it can all seem a little confusing. So we asked GWAR frontman Oderus Urungus (a.k.a. Dave Brockie) for a few pointers on how to truly appreciate his band.
1. The stage show is not for the faint of heart. "If your idea of fun is watching The 700 Club, if you enjoy going to church, if you're a Mormon, if you're a social conservative, then you probably aren't going to enjoy a GWAR show. But if you're somebody who enjoys naughty fun, which is probably about 98 percent of the human race, you're going to f---ing love GWAR."
2. But GWAR is totally in on the joke. "Sure, we do violent things on stage. We do sexual things on stage. But it's a parody of people's violent, sexual attitudes. When we do racist humor or sexual humor or violent humor, we're making jokes of people that are racist, sexist or violent. We're in no way advocating rape, murder or racism in any way. GWAR is all about satire, GWAR is all about sarcasm, GWAR is all about freedom, and really, GWAR is all about love."
3. The first few rows will get slimed. "It wouldn't be a GWAR show without blood and slime and all that kind of stuff. Anybody within about 30, 40 feet of the stage should be prepared to get s--- all over them. But it's completely nontoxic, biodegradeable, green. In all the years we've been doing GWAR, we've never had any problems with the spew. It's no worse than having a beer thrown in your face."
4. You are safe in GWAR's hands. "We're pros. There's a security barrier; there's a bunch of goons in that security barrier ready to control the crowd physically, if that's what it takes. But generally speaking, GWAR crowds are no more violent than any other typical mosh-pit experience. They're not out there to clobber the s--- out of people."
5. GWAR is a blue state. "The mere fact that anybody would even consider the Republicans for the presidency is just beyond me, after the incredibly f---ed-up mess they've made of not only our country, but our country's reputation overseas. I mean, George Bush is going to go down in history as the most incompetent boob that ever sat in the White House, and for the American public to even consider electing another wrinkly old white man to the Oval Office is absolutely beyond my comprehension. John McCain is a warmongering fascist pig, and if this country elects him to be their president, then it deserves whatever happens to it."
6. Remember: GWAR are fictional characters. "If you condemn GWAR for what they do and say, you run the risk of making a complete fool of yourself. You might as well get mad at Homer Simpson for being a dumbass."
7. Please do not throw dead animals at the band. Brockie's blog lists the nastiest things to be hurled onstage at a GWAR show, including dead chickens, armadillos and a cat with an eyeball hanging from its socket: "Yeah, we've attracted some weirdos. We do get the occasional dead cat thrown at us, but that just comes with the terrain."
8. Bring the kids! "Recently at a show, we had three generations of GWAR fans in one family — grandma, her kid, and her kid's kid, all there, all together, all in the front row, wearing their GWAR T-shirts, all covered in slime and blood. Going to a GWAR show has become a rite of passage, like having sex for the first time, or smoking crack. Well, not that you have to smoke crack. But going to a GWAR show is something that pretty much every teenager is going to do sooner or later."