GWAR's Oderus Urungus: The Rocks Off Interview, Pt. 1
Oderus Urungus, center, with GWAR
Antarctic alien lords of metal and mayhem, GWAR have once more returned to the realm of mankind for another round of rioting and ribaldry, more determined than ever to inseminate and exterminate every living being on the planet. In order to resume their never-ending onslaught, the band had to overcome a severe blow when guitarist/producer Flattus Maximus (aka Corey Smoot) passed away in 2011 after nearly a decade in the Scumdogs' service.
In tribute to their departed comrade, GWAR instituted a brutal combat tournament to crown a successor, which naturally resulted in their 13th album, Battle Maximus, released this year. Currently, the band is crisscrossing the country in a war against Mr. Perfect, a time-traveler from the future who will stop at nothing to steal the band's secret of immortality -- located deep within their warty nards. The genocidal horror spreads to Warehouse Live on October Thursday night.
To get the scoop, Rocks Off groveled before GWAR's mighty and horrific front-thing, Oderus Urungus, and begged for details on the band's past, present and future.
Rocks Off: Well, Oderus, the last couple of years have kind of been a real test for GWAR. Can you start off by talking about that a bit? Oderus Urungus: Well, you know, I guess the obvious place to start would be with the passing of Flattus back to the stars to attain whatever glorious destiny awaits him there in the world of Metal-Metal Land and leaving us to our devices here on Earth.
We were forced to decide what to do and within seconds, of course, we knew what our path was: We had to continue to dominate this planet, shepherd and destroy and slaughter the creatures we created by fucking the apes -- the human race -- and continue our campaign of destruction. And we've been at it ever since!
Of course, the first thing we had to do was find a suitable replacement for Flattus. So, we called upon the rest of the Maximus tribe, and after considerable martial combat, we arrived at the victor of Pustulus Maximus, who has planted his flag deeply in the ass of GWAR and led us blazingly into the studio, where we recorded our new album, Battle Maximus in our very own Slavepit Studios.
We are now out on tour supporting it. It's an amazing fucking record; we're sure that Flattus is very happy with it. And we're getting closer every day to playing one of our favorite places in the whole fucking world: that's right, Houston fucking Texas!
RO: Hail! What was it like making this record in a new studio without Flattus? He was a big piece of GWAR's musical puzzle. OU: Well, you know, he was always with us, in a sense, except we didn't have to smell his horrible farts! It took us a little bit longer. He was our studio guy: he designed the studio, he twiddled the knobs. We basically just made the horrible noises! So we kind of had to relearn the fucking thing ourselves. Luckily, Balsac had been paying attention all those years, and Pustulus was pretty good at it, too. Plus we had some help from some old buddies, some other members of the Maximus clan.
So as much as it was a difficult procedure, we knew that nothing less than the future of the band was at stake. Unless we delivered an album every bit as good as everything that'd come before it, people would say for the rest of their lives, 'Oh yeah, they were great and then they lost a guitar player and it was all downhill for GWAR.' Well, fuck that! We're just not going to let that happen. Once we got into the process, it really just kind of felt like making a record just like usual. So, we move forward.
RO: And as you move forward, what would like Flattus' legacy to be once the story of GWAR is written? OU: Flattus was always kind of a gentle giant, but really, he had a ferocious spirit. And I would like to think that he was the one that saved us, kind of, from a certain period of the band.
A lot of people seem to think that we hate albums like We Kill Everything and Carnival of Chaos. We don't! We were just playing around with all kinds of different music at the time. But Flattus was really the one that grabbed us by our steel lapels and forced us back on to the pathway that led to GWAR regaining their throne of metallic opulence.
So, I would give Flattus credit for that and say it was definitely the legacy he has left us.
Interview continues on the next page.
GWAR at House of Blues in November 2011
Photo by Barry Sigman
RO: Tell me a little about what you were looking for in a new guitar player. How did Pustulus best the fierce competition to joint the world-conquering entity known as GWAR? OU: Well, he basically beat the shit out of everyone else. We blew the Horn of Hate! There's different songs you can play on the horn, but we blew the one that summons all of the Maximuses to the planet. With this, we gave them a large ice plane outside of our fortress in Antarctica and they proceeded to sonically battle each other, and it was just a whirling maelstrom of plasma and flames and sonic fury.
We basically hung a microphone out the window and recorded the whole damn thing. And when it was over, there was a large booming at the front gate, and Pustulus kicked the door down and said, 'I think I got a new job!'
RO: How many Maximus clansmen do you have in reserve, and is there a Urungus clan out there somewhere? OU: Oh yes, there are other Urunguses. Filthy and disgusting creatures; some of them are even worse than myself! I don't know, there are at least ten or 15 Maximuses, but I'm not sure if they survived the Battle Maximus and limped back to space to lick their wounds. We're kind of shut off over here from outer space. We're not in the intergalactic loop!
The reason why GWAR was sent to Earth is because it's located in the most remote, backwards place in the entire fucking universe. So, they're out there somewhere, but these are mysteries we really haven't figured out the answers to yet. And I really don't lose sleep over it!
RO: What can you tell me about this Mr. Perfect, and why is he after your ball sack? OU: Well, because Mr. Perfect is from the future, and he's breeding a master race of super-powered mutants. But the only thing they do not possess is the secret of immortality, which is located in the jizzmoglobin that fills up the balls of your average GWAR member. Now, me having the biggest balls in the band, naturally he's going to be attracted to that. So every night, I've got to fight him and his super-powered asshole friends off, and keep my balls attached to my body!
You know, if he just wanted to lick 'em, wanted to rub 'em a little bit, wanted to kiss 'em or get me to teabag him, I would work with him on that. But chopping 'em off? Nah, ain't gonna happen! I need those things.
RO: I'm fascinated by his ability to time-travel. If you could travel through time to any period in history, which Texan would you most like to decapitate? OU: Oooh. (Pauses.) Roger Staubach, I think.
RO: Excellent choice. OU: (Laughs) That's not going to make people happy to read that!
RO: In Houston, I think it will make people pretty happy. OU: Oh, will it? OK, good, we'll go with Roger Staubach.
Come back for more Oderus tomorrow. GWAR exterminates Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel, Thursday night, with Whitechapel, Iron Reagan and A Band of Orcs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; all ages.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.