For most bands, having a fan die at a concert is a tragic and traumatic event. For the intergalactic warlords in Gwar, it’s an occurrence that happens at least once a minute during most performance — and that’s still not enough.
As janitors and coroners working in San Diego and Pomona this past weekend can attest, the only way to know that Gwar really performed their shortened Warped Tour set is by checking the injuries on the hundreds of dead bodies piled up at the venues. Of course, the informal mass graves make for a logistical nightmare for many concert and festival promoters — who’ve occasionally been known to shy away from Balsac the Jaws of Death, Beefcake the Mighty, and the half-dozen other equally fearsome warriors in Gwar — but that’s not to say that Earth’s festival circuit is exactly what the murderous musicians would consider a good time either.
“It’s been terrible,” says backing vocalist and mass executioner Sawborg Destructo of his time on Warped Tour. “There are too many kids here. I can’t stand it.”
“There are a lot of kids here, unless you’re in Las Cruces….” adds bassist Beefcake the Mighty. “There are no kids there anymore, because we just left there.”
“The thing that I don’t understand is that every time we do one of these shows, there are more and more kids — except in Las Cruces — but we keep killing them!” Destructo says. “By the end of the night, there’s a pile of bodies in front of the stage, but they keep coming back. Does the human race just procreate that quick? Is that what’s going on?”
But even the most painfully youthful of tours still has its benefits for the Grammy-nominated interstellar warmongers (yes, Gwar has really been nominated for two Grammy Awards). Considering that slaughtering humans is one of the group’s favorite pastimes — alongside capitalizing on mankind’s ignorance for their own entertainment, financial, and sexual gains — Warped Tour is rife with opportunity to up their mass-murdering efficiency.
“The only thing I like about Warped Tour and getting around all these kids is that before they get proper military training, it’s a lot easier to kill them,” Destructo says. “It’s a little bit easier, but they are faster. The strategy is to kill the kids, and then the old people will be a lot easier to catch.”
“Americans are easier to catch,” Beefcake adds. “That’s why we’re here so much. The ones on those scooters? They’re real easy to catch.”
“Humans are just such inherently violent creatures, it’s not surprising they keep coming [to their certain death at a Gwar concert],” Destructo says. “It’s like when you see a car crash, you have to stop and watch it. When you see your friend’s head get lopped off at a Gwar show, it’s like ‘Oooh, I’m not quite scared enough to run away because this is so interesting!’ You’re tuning in to the ID channel every night to watch murder porn, so go see it in real life.”
After well over three decades of killing their fans both live in concert and across more than a dozen records, Gwar’s lengthy career is proof that mankind’s masochism and reproductive abilities are great enough to make up for generations of slaughtered metalheads. But while massive amounts of human fans have been willing to sacrifice their own lives in the name of graphic rock ‘n’ roll parties — even to the point of throwing entire days of worship for their masters through events like the annual Gwar-B-Q — Earth as a whole isn’t nearly as impressive to the legendary slayers in Gwar as they are to humanity.
“Earth is just this dirtball flying around in space to us,” Destructo says. “You put such importance on this ‘Earth,’ but you destroy it all the time. The hilarious joke about humanity is that you keep destroying this precious dirtball that you’re trying to take care of. What a joke! You know when you look at an anthill? That’s what we see from outer space. You guys are building these ginormous skyscrapers with Walmarts and Best Buys pouring out of them and helplessly breeding on and on and on…”
“Planet Earth is a shit divot with a bunch of retards on it,” Beefcake adds. “You guys are all worried about global warming. You should be worried about global swarming. It’s like cockroaches. You guys are disgusting.”
Just because they’re generally appalled with Earth doesn’t mean that Gwar won’t continue to do everything they can to take money from the wallets of the dead and the living. Already with a catalog featuring everything from comic books and boardgames to beers and vaping liquids, the band is getting ready to release a brand new record called The Blood of Gods on October 20. Although it’ll be their first since the death of iconic vocalist and brutalizing ringleader Oderus Urungus, humans shouldn’t expect anything less fatal than any of Gwar’s previous 13 records.
“It will melt your mind and ooze out your ears, so go buy the record first — don’t pirate it — and then let it melt your brain,” Destructo says.
“Just buy it before you come to a show, so you won’t be dead and we can get your money,” Beefcake adds. “It’s right there close to Black Friday, so you can buy it for Christmas for all of your loved ones, buy tickets to our show, and then kill them all so you don’t have to listen to them bitch at you at Thanksgiving. You’ll save money for Christmas.”
Frankly, I don’t know how I’ve survived listening to Gwar’s records and seeing them a few times over the last dozen years or so, but I suppose it has something to do with my skull density, reaction time, foot speed, or just sheer luck. I will say though, it’s much more difficult to type up an interview with third-degree burns, one arm cut off at the elbow, and my right eye still somewhere in San Diego.