Friday, 30 October 2015 13:30

The Unstoppable Evolution of GWAR

Written by  Josh Spanninga
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Life isn’t always easy for interplanetary warriors trying to bide their time on Earth. Just ask Pustulus Maximus, lead guitarist for GWAR, the legendary shock-rock band. 

“I started out my tenure on this planet very disheveled. I just wanted to drink bottles of Jim Beam and lay in some gutters.” Pustulus explained. “Now I’m very disheveled.” 

And who could blame him? The past few years have been difficult for GWAR, with the deaths of both Flattus Maximus in 2011 and frontman Oderus Urungus just last year. While the band, which formed in 1984, has always had a rotating lineup, the two devastating losses caused many fans to question the future of GWAR. Still, the band trudged on with an overhauled lineup and continues to bring its grotesque, theatrical metal to the masses. 

“Nothing in GWAR is going to stay permanent. It’s going to be an ever-evolving machine,” Pustulus said. “Shit happens, you know? Who knows, I could drink myself into an early grave — well, at least I’m trying.”


wsg Born of Osiris and Battlecross

The Orbit Room, Grand Rapids
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 6 p.m.
$25, $20 advance

What’s not changing anytime soon is the irreverent, noisy carnage that constitutes a GWAR concert. With plenty of outlandish costumes, loud music, bathroom humor and a generous dose of forged bodily fluids, GWAR shows are not for the faint of heart. 

The band has even made a habit of mutilating and disemboweling effigies of celebrities and politicians like Hilary Clinton, Paris Hilton and Pope Francis. While there is no current shortage of celebrities to choose from, Pustulus is still weighing up the options of who will be their latest victim.

“I really want to kill Trump, but I’m waiting because the shit that comes out of his mouth is hilarious,” Pustulus said. 

Those courageous enough to make it out to their Nov. 4 show at the Orbit Room will not only witness this bloody spectacle, but will also see opening bands Born of Osiris and Battlecross. 

“It’s kind of cool that we can tour with anybody at this point,” Pustulus said of his tour mates. “GWAR is such an obnoxious, loud, noisy band that it doesn’t even matter what genre we pick for an opener. It could be death metal, black metal, punk rock, rock and roll, screamo or whatever.”

Of course, in the current concert climate, it’s difficult for a lot of bands to eke out a living from shows and records alone. That’s why Pustulus and his inhuman cohorts have branched out into some rather unlikely markets. Whether through their GWAR-B-Q sauce, craft beers, or their very own bar and grill, these industrious scumdogs have a knack for finding innovative ways to market new merchandise. 

“We’re always looking for something,” Pustulus said. “We’re going to try to be like KISS, only not as shitty.”

So what’s next for this band of mutated misfits? Grammy awards? Reality TV? Presidential nominations? Actually, that last one has piqued Pustulus’s interest and a career in politics may not be far off as he has already devised a plan to win a seat in the White House.

“If you vote for Pustulus I will kill everybody,” Pustulus said. “I will kill anyone on Earth who makes over $200,000 per year and we can spread that money amongst ourselves and buy crack cocaine.” 

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