Interview with GWAR – New album The Blood Of Gods out Oct 20th
Toronto, Ontario – Heavy metal band GWAR will be bringing their theatrics to Toronto on October 22nd with a show at the Opera House. Two days earlier, on October 20th, the band will be releasing their new album titled “The Blood of Gods”.
“We had to make a new record. “The Blood of Gods” refers to Oderus Urungus. The power of the words, there is power in the blood of God. It’s a record that recounts this kind of loss that the band has experienced, but it’s also a record about moving forward and change. The record chronicles GWAR’s struggles with humanity, and to keep up with the human race which are proving to be one of the most destructive forces in the entire universe. GWAR underestimated just how badly humans want to destroy this planet. In some sense that is what drives the narrative on this record. That’s the inspiration,” Blöthar said.
GWAR’s new single is titled “F-ck This Place”. According to Blöthar the inspiration for the song speaks for itself.
“It speaks for itself. In the song you find GWAR, they’re here, but Oderus is gone. What can they do? That’s literally what GWAR thinks to themselves, “F-ck this Place”. I think GWAR’s fans can relate to it because nobody is exactly where they want to be. “F-ck this Place” is definitely one of the songs that drives forward this narrative that GWAR finds itself on a planet surrounded by forces that they struggle against and they are ready to go. They’ve had enough, and they are fed up,” Blöthar stated.
The character of Blöthar awakened shortly after the death of singer Oderus Urungus according to GWAR mythos. The entire album “The Blood of Gods” pays tribute to Oderus Urungus, especially the song “Phantom Limb”.
“The whole album pays tribute to Oderus, but in particular I think the song “Phantom Limb”, the second last song on the album, the one right before the AC/DC cover, that song is definitely a tribute to Oderus Urungus. It’s about the feeling, how it doesn’t feel like he’s even gone sometimes (like a phantom limb). The band keeps moving forward, but we miss him terribly,” Blöthar disclosed.
Oderus Urungus was given a Viking funeral on a funeral pyre boat and it was set on fire.
“The reason Oderus was given a Viking funeral is because it seemed fitting for a character of his stature. That’s why Blöthar is a Viking type character. In the earliest days of GWAR, that’s what we were. We were barbarians out in the world searching for meaning. When Oderus passed we put his body on a funeral pyre boat and floated him out to the middle of this lake, lit him on fire, and there was this massive 20 foot column of flame that burned with black smoke, and choking everyone around who was watching it. Of course, as typical with GWAR, and with Oderus, they had forgotten to drop an anchor on the boat, so the wind was just blowing it towards the massive crowd watching. Everyone had to sort of retreat because the boat got to close to shore. People said they felt his presence that day and I think I felt that too. It was a tense moment,” Blöthar recollected.
For those interested in the GWAR mythos, there is a new comic book out that re-tells the story.
“GWAR’s banished to earth by the Master – the Master of all reality. GWAR are Scumdog warriors in a military group called the Scumdogs of the Universe. GWAR was unsuited to be in the military. None of us were right for that. We f-cked up one too many times and were banished to this planet, and we continue to f-ck up. That’s sort of where the narrative of the comic book picks up, and it carries forward the story of Mr. Perfect at least that’s where it starts off,” Blöthar reminisces.
Not the wrestler Mr. Perfect, right?
“No, not the wrestler Mr. Perfect. It’s a character in the GWAR pentium. Mr. Perfect is a twisted genius who tries to genetically engineer a perfect race of human beings – a hideous underworld of humans that are all genetic mutants. The cast offs of his experiments. He’s constantly trying to create the perfect being,” Blöthar added.
The story of Blóthar will also be addressed in the comics.
“Blóthar’s story is going to be in one of the future comic books for sure. The narrative is related to Blóthar’s journey. Blóthar was banned along with the rest of the Scumdogs to earth. They have been entombed in an icy tomb in Antarctica. Of course as global warming is taking place and different members of the band are thawing out. Luckily when Oderus went to another world Blóthar was thawed out and became the leader of GWAR. Blóthar’s story is different. He’s related to the symbols of Viking mythology and much like Beowulf. In the first story, Beowulf fights the monster, and then he comes back and fights the monster’s mother. That second time he’s an old man. Why don’t you come back and help us out one more time they ask? That’s the inspiration for Blóthar. He’s a warrior who returns, and he’s a Beserker. He represents this sort of communication with the gods. What the Beserker’s would do was take psychotropic drugs and then strip naked and kill everyone with an ax. They were also priest in a sense, and that’s what Blóthar is, a Viking warrior who keeps the band in touch with their higher purpose,” Blöthar explains.
In addition to comics GWAR also has a signature beer and a BBQ sauce. Are these powerful elixirs and potions to control mere mortals?
“You might think it’s a magic position to control humanity, but no, it’s just GWAR’s cynical ploy to make more money as a marketing juggernaut. We make hot sauce, a BBQ sauce that is delicious. We got to eat! There is no end to the consumerism, we’ll put our name on anything. Maybe a line of hash oil or weed oil will come out. We have comic books, we’re going to have action figures, video games, all that stuff makes sense for GWAR,” Blöthar replied.
Why do Humans like GWAR? As Intergalactic Overlords why do you shower the humans in blood?
“Those are two questions, but they are related, so it’s interesting you’d ask them together. Why do humans like GWAR? And why do we shower them in blood? I think humans like GWAR because GWAR showers them in blood. I think GWAR is a very old formula. The formula of sex and death – those two things together, that is what we put on stage. There is a history of people breaching that wall between audience and performer. Iggy Pop did it when he climbed into the crowd at the Cincinnati music festival and eliminating that distance between the audience and performer. That’s what GWAR does. We spray 100,000 gallons of liquid, not just blood, all kinds of stuff on the audience. In doing so we make them a part of the show. Doing so we physically touch the people who are there. That’s what it is about. I think that’s why people respond to the band, and that’s why they like it. There is nothing that has that extra dimension that they see. They are use to standing in a crowd and looking at a band playing up there and maybe they fantasize themselves as the band, or maybe identify with and enjoy watching the band perform. GWAR gives you something extra. We give you humour, terror, good music, and something interesting to watch,” Blöthar reflected.
In addition to the spraying of blood, during concerts the world maggot sometimes peeps out of the earth’s crust to eat a human sacrifice. Would the world maggot eat Donald Trump or are there some things too vile for the maggot to digest?
“The world maggot, the great serpent like being that exists under the crust of the earth. I think he would eat Donald Trump. He would find Trump a tasty morsel. Trump has a lot of meat on his bones. Really Donald Trump is just a man. He is full of all the follies of a man. He is a very chaotic leader. In that sense, he fits in with most human leaders. The world maggot would absolutely eat Trump,” Blöthar responded.
Finally, what would you like to say to your fans in advance of your Canadian tour dates?
“Buy tickets, and buy the record. You’re going to have the time of your life, then your life is going to end. It’s a neat way to wrap up your existence on this planet. Come to see GWAR. Sacrifice yourselves to the world maggot, buy a bunch of merchandise and die before you get to enjoy it. GWAR is going to help you along to reach the end. Let us do you and the universe a favour by killing you and snuffing out your existence,” Blöthar concluded.
Thank you for the words of inspiration. Pre-order the new GWAR album now.
by Jason Setnyk
Jason Setnyk is a high school teacher, journalist, published and award winning author and photographer.