Where do old interviews go to die? Since 1988 they’ve gone into the MTV News vault, but we’ve been exhuming them to bring you these classic natterings. Here’s the latest in the series, which runs every Tuesday.
Quick, who’s the world’s greatest thrash-metal band?
Well, okay. But who’s the world’s greatest thrash-metal band with onstage gut-flinging, audience-hosing blood fountains, butt-baring man-thongs, alien space armor and a front-creature called Oderus Urungus? That’s right: Gwar.
An art project, obviously, Gwar came together (or congealed, or whatever) in and around Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, Virginia, in the mid-’80s. In 1988 the group released its first album, Hell-O, which contained such deliriously unhinged tracks as “World Ô Filth,” “Slütmañ City” and the fearlessly stupid “Gwar Theme” (“We’ve got guitars!/ We’ll eat your car!”).
The guys were promoting Hell-O when we spoke to them — or among them, actually — backstage after a concert in the summer of 1989. I forget where it was, having lost my bearings after being pounded into submission by their loud, fast and ferociously scatological show. I do recall one of the guitarists informing me that his name was actually Dewey, not Flattus Maximus; everything else is a blur, though.
The Gwar lineup shifted a lot over the next two decades (not that anybody could tell, what with all the makeup and prosthetics), but the albums kept on coming with invincible regularity: Scumdogs of the Universe, This Toilet Earth, Carnival of Chaos. And they’re still at it: the group’s most recent masterpiece, Beyond Hell, was released in 2006, and next month Oderus Urungus himself will be hosting the annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards at the O2 Arena in London. Life goes on, and so — on a parallel track — does Gwar.
What else is there to say about this truly one-of-a-kind band? Not much, really. It’s all about the visuals.
Enjoy digging through The Loder Files? You’ll find more here, and there’s much more to come from the vaults — check back every Tuesday!