The lighter side of GWAR
Oderus Urungus on rom-coms, puppies, and more
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If you know GWAR, then you’re undoubtedly familiar with the band’s taste for the over-the-top. This group plays give-yourself-whiplash thrash metal, trots around in unwieldy and disgusting-looking outfits, and dismembers celebrities and politicians regularly. (Well, it dismembers effigies of them, anyway.) If you’re fortunate enough to be close to the stage at a GWAR concert—perhaps, say, at the group’s show this Saturday, March 31, at the Fox Theater in Boulder—odds are good that you’ll leave with a ringing in your ears and your person covered with (hopefully) fake body fluids (blood, semen, etc.). But what about the lighter side of GWAR? Is there any chance that the intergalactic beasts with the mutilated faces and increasingly bizarre names enjoy the gentler things in life, like spas, puppies, Meg Ryan rom-coms, and reasonable discussions? The A.V. Club investigated this pressing issue by speaking to lead growler and public enemy Oderus Urungus. With this being a GWAR interview and all, the conversation turned really weird really quickly—but hey, we tried.
The A.V. Club: Let’s open up with a really broad question: How does GWAR chill out?
Oderus Urungus: Hmm... I don’t know [if] we chill out so much. Well, chilling out, I guess—hanging out in Antarctica. It is rather cold there. It’s negative 138, and that’s Celsius. That’s cold. That’s as cold as a brass monkey’s bum, so that’ll chill you out. But we enjoy that. When we come to the heated climates up here, that’s a different atmosphere [from] deep space, which is where we’re from. It’s very, very cold there. The hot lands get us all riled up. We don’t really chill out a lot when we’re up here. We come here, and we fuck shit up pretty much 24/7. That’s why doing interviews is a real struggle at times because, of course, the village is on fire, the National Guard is trying to attack with tanks, and I’m sitting doing this fucking interview.
AVC: You’re not really contributing anything to society right now.
OU: No. In fact I’m a burden to society, unfortunately, because of all of the taxpayers’ dollars that are spent repairing all the damage we do to your cities.
AVC: The A.V. Club’s comments section lists so-called “reasonable discussions.” What is the GWAR members’ favorite subject to reasonably discuss?
OU: My new TV show, Holliston, which is on FEARnet, which I’m starring on. Well, not starring. Well, they told me I was starring on it. I play myself on a TV show. That’s what I would talk about. My new TV show, Holliston. Do you hear me? Holliston! It’s called Holliston! That’s my new TV show! Did I mention that?
AVC: Is it Hol... Hol-what? Holliston?
OU: Holliston! It’s a suburb outside of Boston. It’s some schmutzy horror sitcom thing about two schlubs who have a late-night cable-access horror show they do, and they’re trying to fuck chicks. One of them has an imaginary friend named Oderus, who lives in his closet. That’s me. Dee Snider got conned into being in the whole operation as well. All I know is that we filmed it at the same place they shot I Love Lucy, so it’s legit. It’s legit as shit, and you can see it on cable on FEARnet, premièring April 3, so check it out. I’m in each episode a full two-and-a-half minutes at least, and I rock. Maybe even five.
AVC: You mentioned I Love Lucy. Do you have the conveyer belt in the chocolate factory in there?
OU: They haven’t given me that scene yet. I really want to have that. I was just thinking of an ass pooing, and I’m just rubbing the fecal matter all over my face and my lips and my nose.
AVC: Okay. How about self-help books? Do you ever need those to de-stress or reconsider your lives?
OU: Nah. Books are actually handy to set on fire and throw at people, and pictures are nice. I don’t read so well.
AVC: How about diet? Do you have any healthy eating regimen? Healthy eating is a good way to de-stress.
OU: I mean, if you consider brain pulp and skull matter and meat [healthy]. We pretty much eat everything that the human race has. We bite into them like apples, that’s what I like to say. [Growls and bites.] It’s always been good. It’s always been good for me. I’m an immortal, undying chaos demon. [With] my diet, I can pretty much eat what I want and not have to worry about my figure.
AVC: Eating should be a good transition to the next question. What are you more fond of personally: puppies or kittens?
OU: Ooh, I hate ’em both. Stomp ’em to death. They make me sick. Hate them so much. Hate puppies and kittens, and people who like them; hate them, too. So can I just say I hate ’em both?
AVC: Well, I have to call you out on this one, as I believe you’re being a hypocrite. You talk about loving puppies when they’re roadkill in “I Hate Love Songs.”
OU: The undead corpse of my—Aw, geez! I’m farting everywhere, and now shitting, too. If you’re talking about Pookie the Wonder Dog—my necrophilic, dead butt-sex buddy—that’s something different, but y’know, I was definitely getting a cute vibe from you.
AVC: I was actually going to talk about the “Fight Humans, Not Dogs” campaign you did for Peta2.
OU: Oh, that was trying to incite violence against humans.
AVC: But you want to kill dogs, so isn’t that violence against dogs?
OU: No, I was just trying not to kill the dog. Didn’t you watch it?
AVC: I did. Let me explain: If you like dogs when they’re roadkill, won’t you like them being in fights and mutilated through other means?
OU: Oh, no, no, no, no. I was willing to trade that all just to see human beings fight each other. First of all, dogs are actually a higher life-form than human beings, so they’re certainly a purer species. A lot of people got fucked by GWAR, and then went on to fuck dogs, and then created other creatures that have positions in broadcasting today, so it’s a long and complicated story that I would tell you if I had all day to tell it, but I don’t.
AVC: Speaking of kittens, how about LOLcats? Do you have a favorite LOLcat?
OU: LOL? I don’t even know what that is. LOLcat? Is that something the kids are doing these days?
AVC: Yeah, you take a funny picture of your cat and put a nice little caption on it.
OU: I have no feelings on it whatsoever, because I don’t know anything about it. I prefer to stick with things that I know everyone’s doing a lot, like masturbating.
AVC: Are you familiar with the concept of breading cats?
OU: No. I mean, I would do it. Do you take the fur off first?
AVC: No, you put a piece of bread on a cat’s head. You basically just force it through. It’s very bizarre. [Unfortunately, these breading directions are incorrect procedure. Please see the instructions here. —ed.]
OU: Hmm... People are bored. Very bored. I’m certainly not against breading cats at all. I’m interested and intrigued in the subject. Being a chaos demon, I can just kind of go all over the place. I can like something, I can love something. I can support the Pope, and the very next second I could be shoving a white-hot poker up his ass.
AVC: How about meditation? Are you guys advocates of meditation at all?
OU: Well, as I say, if it floats your goat, y’know? If fucking a floating goat is what you want to do, meditate about it. I don’t think anyone’s going to stop you. Meditation’s a good thing. We must look within into ourselves, for there is a much [more] interesting world in there that’s much more interesting than the now-reality of their life, which is probably just a horrid mess, unless you’re one of those fortunate humans that actually seems to enjoy what they do. Perhaps you might be one of those people, so I applaud you.
If you’d like to continue doing [what you do], I would advise you not to come see the show that we’re getting ready to play in your miserable little town, because you might get an axe to the head, and perhaps you even have family at this point. We try not to kill the journalists and understand that you guys write nice stuff about us, so this whole “kill the messenger” policy has got to end.
AVC: I’m not sure this one is going to be so nice, but I’ll try.
OU: [Someone talks in the background, and he laughs.] Fair enough.
AVC: How about romantic comedies? Does the band have a favorite romantic comedy?
OU: No, I hate ’em all. Sleepless In Seattle has got to be the worst. I mean, maybe if we got to actually see them have sex together [it’d be better]. I’ve been shopping romantic comedies for years and haven’t gotten anywhere with it. Would you like to hear my idea for a romantic comedy?
AVC: Absolutely. Spit it out.
OU: Okay, it’s simple. The title of the movie is called They’re Gonna Fuck, and it just starts with a man. He picks up a woman for a date. They go through two hours of banal and maudlin detail, and then they go back to the house, and the very last shot of the movie is his penis about to enter her vagina. Not entering it, just about to. Then it freezes, and we roll credits. What do you think?
AVC: That sounds more like pornography than it does an actual romantic comedy.
OU: It’s all things. It’s a comedy, a drama, a political thriller, obviously a spy novel, a children’s book.
AVC: Speaking of Sleepless In Seattle, Meg Ryan had her plastic surgery. Was that a mistake?
OU: It was a disaster, and everyone’s doing it now, and it’s horrible. We’ve got to stop these beautiful women from ruining themselves. We’ve made these women so insecure with our Maxim magazines and our bandying about of our testicles. I suppose I’m more to blame than many for that. Now, they’re so insecure about their appearance that not only are they rubbing animal hooves onto their eyes, they’re actually physically changing their face, much like those weird people from Africa who put plates in their lips.
AVC: All these things considered, were you a fan of You’ve Got Mail? I believe that was pre-plastic-surgery Meg Ryan.
OU: Oh yes, and she was hot.
AVC: Did you just admit to being a You’ve Got Mail fan?
OU: I have male fans?
AVC: No, You’ve Got Mail. The other one with Tom Hanks that came out in 1998.
OU: Billy Crystal? Oh no, was that—I don’t know, they’re all awful. I would just take all of those stars and take bits of their bodies and form them into some kind of great acting cheese wheel, and invite very important people to a party that featured them joined together horribly and all trying to get their lines delivered at once, [and] mad at each other because nobody gets a trailer. And we would laugh at their agony, and then we would let rats eat them. That’s what I would do with those people, but I can’t right now. I’m busy.
AVC: Is that on your bucket list?
OU: It is. Death to celebrities. I find a lot more glee in that than killing politicians for some reason. And you know what’s even more grotesque about celebrities? Every country’s got a whole different [group]. I used to think that only the celebrities in Antarctica were the ones that mattered. Then, I found out there were all these other people like Billy Crystal, Tom Hanks, and Madeleine Stowe. And look what she did to her lips in fucking We Were Soldiers. Did you know they actually had to give her less lines because her dialogue was painful for her to deliver?
AVC: That was pretty impressive. You went from Billy Crystal—a very well-known name—to Tom Hanks, and then Madeleine Stowe. That’s a relatively obscure name.
OU: Well, I think she would have been a lot bigger if she hadn’t got her lips done. She was hot, but she was a damn good actress. Her performance in 12 Monkeys is just amazing. Then, her lips in We Were Soldiers—just the fact that we had to believe she was in love with Mel Gibson. I mean, that was a stretch. And then him pretending he’s from Georgia, even harder. Australians doing Scotsmen? No problem! Australians doing... [Coughs or sneezes.] It was a decent movie, though. The battle scenes were great. Mel will always be able to do pain in his movies. He’s very good at pain.
AVC: He is. He’s also very good at racism, sexism. He’s good at those, too.
OU: I think he’s pretty much fucked himself now. I think whatever demons he had within him that he was able to somehow challenge and fight his whole life and give some of the finest work that’s ever been put on celluloid, apparently, they’ve won. And now, unfortunately, it seems like his credibility is shot. He got away with Apocalypto just because he wasn’t in it. [Laughs.] But I don’t think people are going to let him even be associated with films now and give a damn, and that’s too bad. It has everything to do with the way that he was brought up. His father is a famous racist, and he was indoctrinated from an early age. There’s really nothing you can do about it.
AVC: You mentioned politicians a few minutes ago. Are there any political figures throughout history that you would not want to dismember—people whom you wholly support?
OU: For color value, you can’t beat Idi Amin. He knows how to just dominate a party. Saddam, as far as parties, can throw a great one, or good, anyway. [Hermann] Göering, he had a sense of style unequaled—Carinhall, his hunting lodge, [was] full of antlers [of animals] that he had personally wrestled to death. Of course, he had the animals shot and then he would wrestle them because he was rather fat. Grossly fat. And also a Nazi, if you had forgotten that part.
But as far as good politicians, I think I would just let Ben Franklin take over everything, because he seemed like a good old soul to the point where I’m tempted to resurrect him and bring him back for a GWAR show, just to see if old Ben can help us out. But one thing I do not want to have happen anymore are those creepy fucking advertisements where the people’s fucking heads turn into Ben Franklin, except it’s Ben Franklin’s head, like on the money. [Sounds like he’s frothing at the mouth.] Do you know the one I’m talking about? That’s fucked up! They should stop that!
AVC: I don’t know that one, but that does sound pretty fucked up.
OU: [Suddenly calm.] Oh, it’s totally fucked up. I hate it when I make regional advertising humor jokes, and they just don’t connect. But when they do, they’re good.
AVC: Going back to methods of chilling out, how about herbal scents, perfumes, candles? Does GWAR have any interest in those, or any preferred scents?
OU: Ugh... If it was possible to somehow make something out of my calcified body reek—the mung that builds up in my codpiece—yeah, I think we could market that. We could sell the hell out of it. I think a lot of people’s love lives might be a lot more lively place to be if you could rub the “eau de” of the odor of Oderus all over your genitalia. I think if you could do that, then you would get an instant rage-on. Not a morning wood, I’m talking about piss-on—a boner so big that it comes even if you’re in the middle of taking a piss.
AVC: What’s the most subtle thing about a GWAR show?
OU: Hmm... Maybe Balsac’s feather-lined codpiece—the way it tickles him. That might be kind of tender. I was going to say the acne-studded groupies that wait backstage after the Maggot has dragged them through [his] digestive system and they wait in a semi-conscious heat for us to ravage them, still covered in maggot Jello, but then I was thinking, “No, that’s not really tender at all.” It’s horrible, so no, not that either.
AVC: Last thing: You guys are always associated with metal. “GWAR is so metal!” What’s the least metal thing about GWAR?
OU: We have a sense of humor. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We don’t all stand there and glower at the camera and wear stupid T-shirts that have bands’ names on them that you can’t even fucking read. Oh, here’s another thing we do: When we give interviews, we don’t just drone on at the mouth about nothing. I mean, we don’t care about the track list of your new fucking album, Mr. Probably Doesn’t Even Have A High School Education But Knows How To Play A Guitar. Just ’cause someone is in a band doesn’t mean they should be allowed to drone on at the fucking mouth like they’re the professor of guitar. Talk about the guitar, then. We respect that. I guess I expect my musicians to be a little bit more cerebral than the current lot. Read their fucking tweet feeds, please. All they do is talk about their catering and how cool it is that they’re doing something cool. It’s like, “Get your fucking balls around something that means something, asshole.” You have a public position, use it. The world’s a fucked-up place, and we could use a good push. If you want to talk about what you had for breakfast in fucking Jakarta, go ahead, but it’s a fucking jack-off.