Gwar was the creation of two separate projects. David Brockie had been the lead singer for a punk band named Death Piggy that would stage silly mini-plays with outrageous costumes to attract attention to their stage show. Brockie met Hunter Jackson and Chuck Varga,
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That's the advantage when you're immortal; I look forward to millions of years of making music. It's all tears in the eyes of god.
The Creation of Something Different
Gwar was the creation of two separate projects. David Brockie had been the lead singer for a punk band named Death Piggy that would stage silly mini-plays with outrageous costumes to attract attention to their stage show. Brockie met Hunter Jackson and Chuck Varga, who were planning to make a movie called Scumdogs of the Universe. Jackson let Death Piggy borrow some of their costumes to create Gwar, so they could open for themselves.
Gwar became an entity of itself, although the roster of the band changed drastically several times before they released their debut album, Hell-O, in 1988. It was a crossover heavy metal/punk rock album. The album met with mediocre response, with its outrageous story line that ran throughout the recording. Even now, fans are divided over this first effort.
Gaining Fans and Fame
Under contract with Metal Blade Records, Gwar released their second album, Scumdogs of the Universe, in 1990. The album met with some success and helped build a name for the band in the mainstream music community. Gwar's first music video was for the single, Sick of You, found on this album. They toured extensively, drawing in crowds at venue after venue. They were banned in North Carolina, however, when Brockie wore his "Cuttlefish of Cthulhu” prosthetic penis, which led to his arrest.
The incident in North Carolina inspired their 1992 album, America Must be Destroyed, which documented the stream of events in song. The album was accompanied by the movie, Phallus in Wonderland, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. Their 1994 album, Toilet Earth, offered what would ultimately be Gwar's biggest hit, The Road Behind, which was featured in an episode of Beavis and Butthead.
Maintaining the Insanity
Gwar continued recording and touring. Their stage shows became notorious for the costumes and bizarre behavior during their performances, and their cult following grew exponentially. They released three more albums in the 1990s, each one experimenting with new and different sounds and crossing genres. The 2000's have seen four more albums so far. During this time, the band's sound was becoming more focused, and had settled on a hard, heavy rock sound.
In recent years, the concept of Gwar has become more accepted, and is seen in some aspect or another in a few newer bands. In addition to their albums, Gwar as produced 21 dvd's, some documenting concert tours, others collections of studio videos. Their website features links to videos and singles available for download. They maintain their outrageous characters in almost all public appearances. Even interviewers are subjected to the alter egos of the band members.
Did you know . . .
The name Gwar does not have any particular meaning, and it is not an acronym. According to the band, it is short for "GWAARGGGH!!!"
The band's costumes are made of foam latex, Styrofoam, and hardened rubber.
In 1991, the band scheduled an audition with Relativity Records, in search of a larger label. The record company canceled the interview based on their costumes and bizarre behavior.