Remembering GWAR – R.I.P. Dave Brockie a.k.a. Oderus Urungus

GWAR combined the wreckage of a shock-rock punk with sci-fi freak films – it was damned brilliant

Dave Brockie, founder and frontman of GWAR, was found dead in his Richmond, VA home on Sunday, March 23, according to sources. He was 50.

GWAR had just recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. The group formed in Richmond in 1984, and gained infamy by combining thrash metal with an over-the-top live show that ended with gore and puerile gross-out humour. The group had recently released their 13th full-length album, Battle Maximus, in 2013.

Of course, most, if not all, fans of GWAR weren’t won over by the band’s recorded output. Live, the group combined the wreckage of a shock-rock punk with sci-fi freak films and created a spectacle so unlike anything else out there. Brockie and his cohorts spilled guts and gore all over their audiences, mutilating celebrities that ranged from George W. Bush to Paris Hilton.

It was damned brilliant, especially if you were willing to wander up front and sacrifice your clothing to whatever dyed liquids the band would hurl upon on you.

Tellingly, Brockie was one of the best musicians a journalist could hope to interview – you could never anticipate what he was going to say or what direction your conversation would go. He was loud, brash and funny, but also, oddly enough, a gentleman.

He was the antithesis of your average rock interview because he was anything but boring.

The following is a partial transcription from when I first interviewed Brockie back in 2009.

Chris: Hello is Dave there?

Oderus Urungus: Dave is not here. You are speaking to Oderus Urungus and you will not find anyone named Dave at this number. Unless, of course, you are actually looking for Dave.

C: I am looking for Oderus.

OU: Then you got him. And Dave. But he sucks.

C: Ha. This is Chris Morin from Planet S Magazine, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

OU: Saskamatoon! Awesome. I love toons.

C: Cartoons?

OU: No, tunes! Records! Saskatoon! Whatever. I love Saskatoon, I love Canada. GWAR is madly, almost fanatically supported in Canada. Not just by Saskamoes, but by moose as well. And I am looking forward to coming back to those wintry regions to blow our loads in your faces. So I now avail myself to any questions you may have, but keep in mind that I am an intergalactic war god.

Shortly after the news first came out, GWAR’s manager Jack Flanagan issued the following statement:

My main focus right now is to look after my band mates and his family. More information regarding his death shall be released as the details are confirmed.

R.I.P. Dave Brockie a.k.a. Oderus Urungus.

– Featured photo from Flickr user “crazybobbles” – Creative Commons.