GWAR, The Scumdogs of the universe blast back with their latest album The Blood Of Gods. The record is the first since former frontman Oderus Urungus sadly passed away and features the vocals of the bands new singer Blothar. We had a chat with Blothar to hear all about the album, the current US president, their insane live show and experience of being on the Warped Tour, horror movies and of course, Scumdogs both past and present.
Your new album The Blood Of Gods is out soon and is the first to feature you as the vocalist of the band following the sad passing of Oderus Urungus. What was the vibe like when you were creating the album?
We recorded it with Ronan Christopher Murphy, who’s a hippy looking guy that recorded a bunch of King Crimson albums oddly enough, he looks like Jesus Christ!, so we felt right at home, we’ve been pals with Jesus in the past! It was very interesting, it was a challenge to create material without Oderus Urungus and to get that material on tape. I think, ironically, that this might be a more GWAR sounding album than the last couple of records the band has put out. Really what we tried to do, was to do something different than what the band had been doing over those last few records and we really had to do that, we couldn’t really use the same sense if humour, the same types of jokes, even the same vocal approaches that the band had been using. We needed to create something different and something unique and I think that we did that.
How did you prepare yourself for recording the vocals for the album?
Weirdly enough, I have recorded, I’m one of the only beings on earth that has written lyrics and recorded songs as a singer for GWAR. I didn’t use the same approaches that I had used before. What it tried to do was to let the music breathe and to sing in spots where it called for it and that’s a new approach, its very different than what Oderus did. As far as preparing, the lyric writing was probably the most challenging part of it. In this new age of GWAR, it’s gone back to being an ensemble cast. The other members of the band helped contribute to the lyrics a great deal, in particular Balsac The Jaws Of Death who turns out to be a great writer, he helped with the lyrics a lot. Other people in the band contributed lyrics as well so when I stood at the microphone, I had what I thought were solid lyrics that represented the rock band GWAR and that made it a lot easier. As far as preparing, my approach was everyone saying, you have great shoes to fill and I always say Oderus didn’t wear any shoes and I don’t have any feet hahaha! The truth of the matter is, they are shoes that you can fill. It’s not a matter of stepping in and doing something that someone has done before and and trying to do it as good, the only solution is to do something different than what was there before.
The albums opening track is called War On GWAR. Who would you like GWAR to declare war on?
Well, the album reflects the war against GWAR that has been staged by humanity. That’s the narrative arc that runs through the album, that GWAR has been surpassed in a sense by their creation, of human beings. The human beings have demonstrated a kind of internal self hatred and violence. An inhumanity toward one another that shocks and startles even GWAR! In this late stage of maternity, it’s become difficult for GWAR to compete with. The war in GWAR is really the adversity that the band has faced, and the band has faced a tremendous amount of adversity, much more than other rock bands that exists and that makes sense because we’re the only rock band made up of tormented space aliens from another dimension! That is the war on GWAR, the war staged on GWAR by humanity and GWARs struggle to keep up with its bastard creation.
There is also a song on the album called El Presidenete. What are your opinions on the current American president?
Well, our current president is, of course, a clown! In that, he may be the best person for the job that ever existed! People keep asking us about how we feel about the president, that song represents what would happen if GWAR were to suddenly become presidents of the United States as a group. What would happen if we were to seize that office. There’s some humour in it of course, the first thing we would have to do is great a healthcare bill passed though congress because I doubt that we could do that very easily! Donald Trump is a chaotic figure, he seems to be a simpleton, he has a mind like a child. His ignorance is only matched by his arrogance so in that sense he seems perfect to lead this, the greatest of all nations. A nation whose veery existence is a symptom and a sign to the world of what not to be. In that sense, we love him, he’s perfect for us. For GWAR that is, not America. Lately, we’ve been thing that maybe this guy Kim Jong Un could do a better job and really what we’d like to do is get tied of Donald Trump and name all America, West Korea, and appoint Kim Jong Un the international leader of the world!
The song Viking Death Machine has to be my favourite on the album. Do you feel that Scumdogs are similar to Vikings in their lifestyle?
Absolutely. I mean, Viking Death Machine is as close as you’ll get to an origin song about The Berzerker Blothar. Blothar heavily influenced Viking culture and Viking culture was always an influence in GWAR. The idea of the hilarious narratives of Viking mythology were very much what we were thinking when we created this band in the first place so bringing that subject matter back in to play is in a sense, taking the band back to an earlier state. Even before the recording of Hell–O, the first album, this is what GWAR was like when GWAR was in its infancy, before Oderus was even the lead singer of the band, GWAR was an assembly of Viking like warriors, holding musical instruments they would just bang on and make noise so we’re trying to bring that back hahaha!
The song Fuck This Place is pretty self explanatory. Do you still hate the earth as much as you always have?
Oh yeah, of course yes! We’re really fucking sick the routine here and the earth itself is sick of humanity and then trying to rid itself of that disease any way it can and we want to help the Planet Earth. GWAR is elemental, GWAR is on the side of nature ironically enough and what we want to do is return the earth to a natural state which is a state without mankind where someone else gets a chance to rule. Put cows in the drivers seat for a change or something like that, giraffes! Put them in charge, certainly they’ll do a better job than these hairless apes!
You’ve covered AC/DCs If You Want Blood (You Got It) on Blood Of The Gods and you’ve covered a variety of different songs over the years. Which song would you love to give the GWAR treatment to next?
Oh wow, we’ve thought about that quite a lot and the one that springs to mind is God Of Thunder by Kiss. That’s a possibility. Another GWAR cover song that we discussed doing was MacArthur Park, the worst song ever written! You know, someone left the cake out in the rain, that’s another possibility we’ve been discussing.
Is the albums title a tribute to Oderus Urungus?
Absolutely, yes, that’s exactly what it is. It’s a tribute to the life of Oderus Urungus and also to Flattus Maximus. It turns out that being in a rock band is every bit as dangerous as being an intergalactic warrior in an eternal battle across space. It’s a deadly job and that’s exactly what the album is, a reference to the bloody business of rock n roll and the loss of a Oderus Urungus.
Have you got a favourite song from the new album yet?
Well my favourite song is your favourite song is your favourite song. I love Viking Death Machine. It’s a fun song to play. I get to play bass guitar on it which is fun and it’s a fun song to do live. It’s awesome to have a B3 organ with GWAR onstage but other than that I enjoy the song Phantom Limb a lot. It’s a fun song to play and we haven’t got to do that one live yet for fans but I think they’re going to like it when we do.
Will you be playing much new material when you hit the road?
Oh absolutely. When we tour in October, the entire record will be in that set.
Have you got any other plans to tour the rest of earth soon? Hopefully you’ll make it over to the UK
We are seriously trying in 2018 to make it over to the UK. We want badly to go back to there. I don’t know why! It’s the weather that’s what calls us there, the wonderful weather and the fantastic food! The extremely large breasted men that rule the island, we look forward to it. Nothing like a busty dude!
How was your recent experience if bring in the Warped Tour? It’s a bit different to shows that GWAR would usually play.
Yeah, that was great. We did play for fans who had never heard of the band. We exposed ourselves to new fans, often much younger audiences who had never had a chance to experience GWAR and they lost their shit and it was fun, it was really fun too to watch them bathe in the blood and to see their faces change as GWAR took to the stage and they didn’t realize what they were in for. The only thing I can compare it to is the first GWAR tour where we cut a swathe across the United States back in 1988. It was similar, their were similar reactions. When GWAR plays live and people haven’t seen the band and don’t know what to expect. It was almost like someone had checked a box that said anything is permissible, do whatever the hell you want and the crowds would lose their minds and that’s pretty much what happened on the Warped Tour. It was a great success for us and we loved every minute of it. It was hot and miserable and it felt like we shouldn’t be around so many underage children, as if just being there was a crime but we kept our heads down and got through it!
What have you got planned for your latest live show?
This live show is going to be the most theatrical performance that the band has done yet. We’re going to go out there and try and get through our set and I’m sure that Sleazy P Martini, the manager of GWAR has some surprises. We’re gonna play rock songs and we’ll be attacked by beasts, that’s what always happens at a GWAR show and we’ll just try and get through the set and survive. I’m sure we’re going to have to fight to constantly do it, you know. I think we’re sponsored by a fast food company this time, Dickie Duncan, they make an appearance on the album and you can expect Dickie Duncan to show up. You can expect GWAR to do battle with Sawborg Destructo who was an arch enemy of the band. All kind of things are set to happen during the show. It’s definitely going to be one of the biggest and dramatic performances the band has done in the history of its existence
Who have GWAR enjoyed touring with the most and who would you like to tour with in the future?
Well, back in the old days GWAR toured a little bit with the Butthole Surfers and that was fantastic, that was a band with who we had a kinship with and to be honest, I’d love to do it again, I think it’s be great. I’d love to get GWAR onstage in front of fans of another band but every band is terrified of us, nobody wants us to go out there and hose down their audience with a hundred gallons of blood and semenal fluid and then take the stage after we play so usually it’s bands who open for us. We’re going out with Ghoul which is an American band, we love those guys so I think that’ll be fun and we’ve enjoyed traveling with them before.
Who is your favourite Scumdog of all time?
My favourite Scumdog of all time is probably the horrible first drummer of GWAR, Nippleus Erectus. He was just a terrible, terrible being, a Scumdog and he was a terrible one of those. Just a crapoy drummer with a lousy attitude and I loved him very much. Like Oderus, he went to his great reward and now he’s making biscuits at a fast food restaurant somewhere, I don’t know. Maybe also Beefcake The Mighty, I have a soft spot in my heart for Beefcake The Mighty, a very soft spot, it’s a wet spot in fact! Currently I’d say it’s Beefcake.
If you could make anyone an honorary Scumdog, who would you choose?
I think I would pick Phyllis Diller, the late great Phyllis Diller. What a hilarious comedienne she was, just an awful looking, weird, unfunny American obscure figure. It always felt to me that Phyllis Diller was already a Scumdog. I know Oderus, before he died, he would always name as an honorary Scumdog, the great singer Boxcar Willie. There’s quite a few secret Scumdog that have been out there over the years.
Will there ever be another GWAR movie? I’d love to see a horror film starring GWAR!
Well, it’s funny you should mention that. Yes, we’re trying to get a horror film starring GWAR! We’ve done some films in the past and I don’t know about horror but they were horrible! It’d be great to shoot a film with GWAR as the main characters in a horror film. We’re working on that deal, nothing is solidified yet but we’re working on it.
Are the band horror film fans and if so what are your favourite ones?
Oh absolutely, we love horror movies. Some recent ones that I’ve liked are A Serbian Film and It Follows. Of course classics like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and even the Rob Zombie films we’ve enjoyed.