Interview With Oderus From Gwar
Band Photo: Gwar (?)
When Gwar was in Vancouver for a show on November 24, my friend Jen and I interviewed their singer Oderus (real name: Dave Brockie). It was really a ton of fun doing the interview with him and he just kept us laughing non-stop, even more so when he mocked Eddie Vedder.
Oderus: You want a beer? Coke? Urine? Testicles? Placenta?
Jen: I want a beer now.
Oderus: Beer? Sure you don’t want to go for the testicles?
Jen: Maybe later. After the beer, then we’ll talk.
Oderus: All right… [Gwar’s tour manager, Eddie, walks in.] ‘Scuse me, my tour manager is rudely interrupting this interview. I don’t beli…what kind of…professionalism, what? I mean, come on! My interview is cancelled. You just ruined it for everyone, thank you! All right, back to this interview. Quick, quick, quick, quick! Oh, the beer! You want a beer. You sure you don’t want some placenta? The testicles are out. You have to go for it then or you don’t get another chance with that. But with the testicles… Oh I broke that. [Breaks beer bottle when opening it.] I fucked up. I broke the beer. My strength…my gargantuous strength is so mighty. Here, I’ll do this one with my mind. [Opens another beer.] Yeah, here we go. All right, let’s get on with it.
darkstar: Ok, how’s the tour going?
Oderus: Oh swell, just great. Every night, a fucking 12-foot tall cyborg comes out and knocks the brain out of my head. Fucking stomps on it! Yeah, I have to lay in my coffin all night and try to grow a new one in. You know, I’m also addicted to crack. So it’s all great! I gotta get a beer.
darkstar: If you could tour with anyone, who would you tour with?
Oderus: Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam. Just ‘cause, you know, Eddie should really have the living shit kicked out of him every night. People would really love that. They would love it.
Jen: I’d show up.
Oderus: Oh, you wouldn’t come if it was just Gwar? That’s right, Eddie Vedder and Gwar! “Oh my god, they’re killing him! Don’t kill Eddie! He has to mumble some more lyrics.” [Mumbles.] What the fuck’s he talking about? [Mumbles.] I can see it. Here’s Eddie Vedder going into the studio: “Hey, Eddie, there’s the studio. Doors open.” “Ok.” He wanders in there, you know, mumbling. They’re like, “Turn the mic on.” He doesn’t even know it’s on. Heh heh. Mumbling. Next thing you know, it’s like # 1. What the fuck? Ok, that was 10 years ago. I’m dated.
darkstar: What does “Gwar” mean?
Oderus: “What does Gwar mean?”
darkstar: Yeah, because I’ve heard it stood for “God What an Awful Racket.”
Oderus: Just to let you know, it’s not an acronym for, you know, “Gay Weird Anal Reprobates,” all right? It’s not that. Even though we are, ok? We’re not denying that. We’re supporting it. We’re advocating it.
darkstar: So what does it mean?
Oderus: Whoa whoa whoa! Wait a minute. You know what? A lot of people ask me this question: “What does “Gwar” mean?” I don’t know. I don’t know what the name of my own band means.
Jen: Did you make it up?
Oderus: No. No! I’m just…I am that. That’s what I am. I’m Gwar. Whatever I am is what Gwar is. So I guess that’s the struggle all people have – the quest for self identity. That’s what Gwar is, why we’re alive. Yeah, this weed in Vancouver is really good. “I’m Eddie Vedder.” [Mumbles, then sings incoherently.] Die! Just fucking die! Die! [Sings.] “Don’t call me daughter.” What the fuck does that mean? All right, next question. Sorry, I mean, I could go with this for a while, my Eddie Vedder impersonations. “Hey Eddie, Kurt Cobain just blew his head off!” [Mumbles.]
darkstar: Is it true you guys started off as a marketing strategy experiment?
Oderus: Yeah, that’s true. That one, yeah, that’s true. We were business students. Daddy paid for everything. It was a joke, really. Haha! Who’s laughing now? No one laughs louder than those who laugh lastly…longest…liquid-like…losing...limerick...lovingly-ladled…
Jen: You’re really good with your alliteration.
Oderus: Oh whatever. I’m erudite as fuck! [Mumbles.] And like what? And Eddie Vedder could just go in there and mumble, you know? “Hey Eddie, what does that billboard say?” [Mumbles.] He doesn’t look like a zombie. Have you ever seen an Eddie Vedder interview?
Oderus: That’s why, that’s why. “Hey Eddie, tell me about the beginning of the band.” [Mumbles.] That’s why. All right, enough of the silliness.
darkstar: How’d you come up with the idea to dress up like aliens?
Oderus: Mommy. Mommy molested me. With her mouth. Made me dress up like her. Mommy looks like that. [Points to costumes on floor.] Mommy’s horrible. Yeah, if we ever wanted to bring out the monster, it’d be my mother. Oderus’ mother. Oh Jesus, oh god no! That would be cool. Can I fight my mother next year? [Someone answers: "Uh huh."] Excellent. Can I win this time? ["Nuh uh."] Mommy always wins, especially when mommy splits open 5-foot wide and spits out babies. That’ll be the new Gwar show – mommy and babies. It’ll be like "Aliens," the one with Winona Ryder. Poking out of the stomach. That was a good one. You’re a beautiful butterfly. Sorry, let’s get on with this.
darkstar: Do you ever get hot wearing those?
Oderus: Oh no. It’s cold, really. When we get off stage, we’re immediately wrapped in down parkas. I’m like “I’m cold, I’m cold!” Everyone else is like “It’s hot” and I’m like “I’m cold.” “It’s hot, we’re all hot. We’re hot, it’s hot in here. We’re sweating.” I’m like, “I’m cold.” Give me down parkas, toques – pink toques. [FYI: he was wearing a pink Gwar toque.] Just pour, you know, dip me in a giant 55 gallon drum of bison fat. Liquefied bison fat is what I need. Actually, it’d be hot.
Jen: Where’s the fat, man?
Oderus: Oh, the fat, it’s back there. It’s in the fat room. You’re going to be immersed in there in a little while. You’re gonna join the bison fat. If it’s cool, could we liquefy you?
Oderus: After the show. Liquefy!
darkstar: And that’s why we leave right after the show.
Oderus: Oh, come on, it’s fun! The pain is gone, then you’re dead and we’re happy. We try to get all the fans. We try to liquefy them and we get them to be naked into a little piece of butter.
darkstar: Ok, I work at a movie theatre. Do you think we can get some of that butter?
Oderus: You should go to homeless people to ejaculate in the cups for you in lieu of. "Ooh look, a person’s sperm!" "Oh for free!" You should charge. Maybe you should really do that, honey. You should go down there.
Jen: Sperm popcorn.
Oderus: All right, next question.
darkstar: Have you ever worn your costumes out on the streets?
Oderus: Oh no, we’d be killed immediately. It’ll be like Grand Theft Auto 3, with like 6 stars. Immediately, the national guards come out.
Jen: Have you ever gotten a rash from your costumes?
Oderus: Oh hell yeah. Look at this one. [Points to crotch.] Yeeuugh! Pretend it’s gross. No, I mean, I guess the worst was on the last tour where I heard one of the guys in the band, who will remain nameless, had a pimple inside his dick slit. Yeah, a staph infection inside his penis canal. Dick slits…really painful. You asked. Look at this shit. It’s like bathing in poo everyday.
darkstar: What did you dress up as for Halloween when you were 12?
Oderus: A human being. [Tour manager walks in again.] Are you interrupting my interview again? You’re the tour manager right? Obviously, you didn’t learn from your predecessors.
darkstar: Do you ever get tired of being called a gimmick band or a joke?
Oderus: [Walks out of the room.]
darkstar: I didn’t piss him off, did I?
Jen: We haven’t even talked about Phil Collins yet.
Oderus: [Comes back in.] Are those chicks gone yet? Oh hey! I think anyone who says that is, you know, very perceptive ‘cause it’s always been a big gimmick. Basically, a big trick. For instance, when we record an album, we don’t actually put music on it. We just say “Hey, here’s an album,” say bye, then go home. No music. The show, if you pay to see a Gwar show, you come, no one’s here. Gotcha.
darkstar: You also play in other bands, right?
Oderus: Yeah, that’s me. Yeah, I do.
darkstar: You have your Dave Brockie Experience.
Oderus: The Dave Brockie Experience, yes. But it’s not really that. It was DBX: Dave – me, Brad – drummer, X is Derks. “X” because he’s dirty. And yeah, we did this ridiculous punk rock band for a couple years. I don’t know if you can call it that. It was fun, comedy music. And we needed to do this because Gwar was getting too silly. And we wanted Gwar to be metal again because we got sick of people saying that Gwar was just a big joke and stuff like that. So we did put out a few albums that were pretty jokified, I mean, sure. But we also know how to play wicked metal. And I’m sure fans knew that and that never stopped. And because we made DBX and was kinda silly and funny, Gwar turned out evil again, even though I wasn’t acting evil earlier. I will act evil later though. It will be so evil. So fucking evil.
Jen: How so? Will I be scared?
Oderus: I don’t know. You’re still here. You’ve been with me for half an hour. You’re still in here. I mean, we showed you our raging penal dick slits. And you didn’t run and you didn’t die. So yeah.
darkstar: Where do you get your inspiration for your songs?
Oderus: [Cell phone rings.] I’ll show you. This phone that’s ringing? [Fiddles with phone.] There!
Jen: A phone call?
Oderus: Yeah. Text messages, as you saw right there. No, I don’t know. I don’t know how we write our songs. Ok, the DBX records, for those songs I’ll be walking down the streets and all of a sudden, I’d think of something retarded and it’ll become a jingle in my head. So those songs hang around forever and I will write those songs down and try to remember how to sing the jingle. When it’s time to go into the studio and I’ll try to teach the band. Go blah blah blah and play it on bass. But with Gwar, it’s totally different. I sit down and let those guys write all the music ‘cause they write better metal riffs than I do. So I let them write all the music. I sit down and think about and talk to all the artists and we kinda get together and talk about what direction the album’s going, what kind of stage show we want to do as well, with what the whole theme of the year is. And I kinda absorb the feeling of the group as much as you can. And then, at the last second, start writing lyrics down, you know. I just dump them out. I wrote all the lyrics to this record in like a week. I was working constantly on it. It was just like, it was a totally weird way to make music. Every band is totally different. I guess that whole story just illustrates how different it is for other people. I mean, some people write music by writing it on sheets of paper and they know how to do that, you know? They know how to write music. It just blows my fucking mind. [Sings.] “Fishfuck, baby. Doot doot doot doot." Writing it down.
Jen: That should be a new song right there.
Oderus: Well no, “Fishfuck” is an old song actually. It was one of those silly Gwar songs. Yeah, it’s true, a lot of our records, after "America Must Be Destroyed," we were in like comedy punk rock. There’d be a metal song, there’d be a punk rock song, there’d be a parody of a country Western song. Blah blah blah. I think it threw a lot of our fans off the track ‘cause they were like “Huh?” I think we thought we were the Beatles for a while. We thought we could write whatever we want and everyone would love it. And I’m not sad that we wrote those songs. Somehow we made a lot of really obscure music and still got the band going. But it’s good we got Gwar back on the nasty as fuck metal approach. Oderus has never felt so evil.
darkstar: What are your thoughts on Hilary Duff?
Oderus: She’s hot. I guess. She’s completely annoying, totally vacuous and vapid. A bird’s nest would probably be a better conversation for you. I don’t know. Hilary Duff is just like every other little star girl that comes out. Her family probably knew an industry insider who knew somebody who’s got a cute kid. She was trained to be a star child. If you really think that people actually become big in Hollywood by winning star search or getting found at the diner, that’s bull shit. People who make it in Hollywood, most of the people who make in Hollywood, 98% of the people, are people who know other people. And that’s what’s great about rock ‘n’ roll, you can actually get out of that. You can get out of there and you can just destroy people and get your fan base so strong that people just can’t deny it. And that’s what we had to do. And it pisses me off when I see these little Hilary Duffs coming out of nowhere and just mouthing off. Avril Lavigne is the worst!
Jen: Her concert’s tonight! Why aren’t you there?
Oderus: Because her music is like fucking…horrible. HORRIBLE! This girl is honoured as some song-writing genius. I’m sorry, but this shit is awful. It’s like teenager bubble gum crap. She’s not gonna step up and make any real music ever. Any fucking woman who does ends up hating the music industry so much, thinking that it’s so corrupt, that she gets out of music, like Fiona Apple or Kate Bush or fucking Tori Amos or PJ Harvey. They’re all industry outsiders even though they’ve sold millions of records. Now those are the people I respect a lot. I don’t fucking respect this fucking recycled punk rock, Hollywood glam shit. And I would rather see Avril Lavigne attacked by a pig, then fuck her. Actually, both at once would be good.
Jen: For the record, that’s why he’s not at the Avril Lavigne show.
darkstar: Neither are we.
Oderus: I’ll tell you a funny story about Avril Lavigne. We were playing at House of Blues and we were doing sound check. And Avril Lavigne was doing a signing in the building – the little mini concert and meet-and-greet. I was up on the mic and I was doing that song that she does. [Sings.] “He was a skater boy, I said see you later boy.” See what I mean? [Mumbles.] It was like, you and Eddie Vedder should [inaudible] or something. So I was like, [sings] “He was a skater. He was a punk. He was a Backstreet Boy. He masturbated later, boy, because he wasn’t deep enough, boy.” Something like that. And a second later, Avril Lavigne and her entire security entourage appears on upper level of the House of Blues and walks through, then goes down the back stairs. And I was like “I wonder if she heard that.” She must have. [Sings.] “He was a skater boy, I’ll masturbate later boy. Her throat was too shallow.” It was awful. I felt good. I actually felt bad for Avril.
Jen: You gotta note that he’s dancing. Whoo! He’s dancing. Keep dancing.
Oderus: You have interviewed me long and hard. And I, quite frankly, am interviewed all out. Now let’s wrap this damn shit up so I can go do sound check, the rock star that I am. Man, I thought you’d get these girls to be liquefied. I don’t know if they’re gonna go for it or not.
darkstar: Do you have any last words to your fans?
Oderus: I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Tonight’s performance is an apology for my entire existence. Thanks for putting up with that.
Jen: No, thank you for the dancing and the beer.
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