The Heavy Metal Band Showering Fans With Blood and Semen

There has never been, nor will there ever be, anyone like GWAR, metal suits from Richmond, Virginia, who dress up as space barbarians, perform all manner of obscene acts on stage and spew out their audience fake blood, semen, and other substances. other slimy body fluids. Over the past four decades, GWAR has created an entirely unique niche in the music industry, serving as a connecting point for those who love thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, stories, and more. paintings, superheroes, Dungeons & Dragons, punk and headbanging. They are the mutant expression of every oddity in modern American popular culture and their legacy of anti-gonzo satire, erotic performance art fireworks, bloody violence and mania absurdism is lovingly glorified by This is GWARa non-fiction introduction to a band that longtime member Danielle Stampe (aka Slymenstra Hymen) calls “a joke without lines.”

As presented by director Scott Barber’s (The Orange Years: The Story of Nickelodeon) a hilarious documentary about love (July 21 on Shudder, after a limited theatrical release starting July 16), GWAR is a byproduct of the meeting of two stylish minds. own way — and, for a time, kindness —. In 1980s Richmond, Hunter Jackson was an aspiring and original artist at Virginia Commonwealth University and his efforts to create a cinematic epic at The Dairy — a former dairy factory turned into a de facto home for art collectives, including that of the Slave Pit Hunter — leading to an encounter with David Brockie, the lead singer of the rising punk band Death Piggy. By this time, Brockie was already a local celebrity thanks to his stage presence, such as providing audiences with pinatas filled with treasures, candy, and cat poop, which he immediately delivered. Hunter and especially the bizarre movie costumes that he and his Slave Pit comrades have created. One night, Brockie asked to borrow those wakes to make her own opening band, called “Gwarggh,” and a perverse phenomenon was born.

This is GWAR There are comments from admirers (Thomas Lennon, Ethan Embry, Alex Winter) and just about everyone who’s been on GWAR — and that’s a lot of people, as the band has witnessed. many roster changes throughout its long history. The only notable omission is Brockie herself, since her co-founder and lead singer died of a drug overdose in 2014. Still, the photos are plentiful, home movies, clips. Performances and other archives showcased the leader’s direct personality, which soon became appealing for him to embrace GWAR as a full-time gig. Despite an early breakout gig at VCU’s Shafer Court, many members abruptly quit – including Hunter, who chose to take a job in Detroit instead of pursuing any metal dreams . However, Brockie continued to participate, aided by devoted countrymen like Chuck Varga and Don Drakulich, who developed an entire roster of characters for each musician to portray, as well as the mythology. Covers the band as alien barbarians in hell.

At this point, one should mention that the GWAR in terms of obscene, disgusting, and quirky when they arrive, is titled by Brockie as the alter ego Oderus Urungus, a loud-mouthed goliath with a cuttlefish. giant spewing from his crotch (a goofy creature designed to obey domestic porn laws). They are definitely not for everyone, and after emphasizing the role of musicians with the 1990s Scumdogs of the Universe LP (on Metal Blade Records), and with an enhanced live show full of rubber monsters, beheadings, and messy head-to-head fights, they’ve attracted a loyal following. When Mike Judge do for them Beavis and Butthead’s Favorite Band in the duo’s MTV animated series, GWAR became the center of attention, well-received for their gruesome madness and the self-perceived humor it conveyed.

An admirer (and one-time collaborator) “Strange Al” Yankovic say in This is GWAR, “If you’re going to give a gig, you’re going to give a gig,” and that ethos — coupled with the DIY spirit — made the band a huge hit. Attending a GWAR show and being immersed in the geysers of who-knows-what is a rite of passage for many leaders, and has helped create an avid fan base of sufferers. outcasts, who are drawn to the wild and exotic corners of the entertainment landscape. It also turns GWAR into its own kind of fringe community: a carnival of similarly-minded artists, who are bonded by their shared love of deranged dementia. Although the participants have changed — due to various mishaps and conflicts — Barber’s film paints GWAR as a family, or at least a brotherhood guided by a shared vision of bringing together GWAR. absurd chaos and madness for a town near you.

Attending a GWAR show and being immersed in the geysers of who-knows-what is a rite of passage for many leaders, and has helped create an avid fan base of sufferers. outcasts, who are drawn to the wild and exotic corners of the entertainment landscape.

GWAR’s 1993 Grammy Award Nomination for Their Film Phallus in Wonderland was probably the most unlikely nod in the history of that awards show, and of course the result of the band attending the ceremony in barbaric attire, much to the dismay of the organizers. Such anecdotes abound in This is GWAR, nothing is more confusing than the story of guitarist Pete Lee (aka the second Flattus Maximus) being shot in a roadside encounter and nearly dying with his mate Mike Derks (aka Balsac the Jaws). of Death) on the side. The fact that, after this near-death experience, Lee continues to play with the band while boasting a colon-cutting bag is fitting for the band’s brash, reckless, boundary-pushing nature, persisted despite serious internal clashes between the notable Brockie. and Hunter is not safe, as is more than an untimely death. GWAR is more than just compositing its parts, and by incorporating many different voices into its mix — be it guitarists, bassists, vocalists, or countless craftspeople like Matt Maguire and Bob Gorman, who created the costumes, sets, and props for the performers — it was able to survive a clique of ups and downs that should have taken down smaller units.

Even after Brockie saw off Viking’s funeral, GWAR continued to go its own way, mocking itself and its various sociopolitical targets, be it law enforcement, strict American politicians or raped priests. However, more than simply a tribute to peerless-careable madness, This is GWAR is a portrait of creative misfits who have come together to express themselves through grotesque, childish art and surprising outsider exposure. They were, and still are, larger-than-life cartoons born of amnesiac imaginations, and Barber’s film illuminates their absurdity in all its ghastly glory.

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