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Biography

GWAR burst onto the Metal scene flaunting some of the most outrageous stage costumes ever graced by a Rock band. Offering a heady brew of Sci-Fi and a fixation with porn GWAR succeeded in shocking the establishment from the outset and the high quality theatrics soon drew in legions of supporters. The band claimed a lineage millions of years in antiquity as a group of rebel space pirates titled 'Scumdogs Of The Universe'. Supposedly banished to planet earth GWAR claimed responsibility for the extinction of the dinosaurs, the emergence of mankind and the destruction of Atlantis. For these heinous deeds they were imprisoned in Antarctica until their escape in time for debut album 'Hell-O' in 1988.

The outlandish costumes hid the alter ego personas of a revolving cast of performers, for major parts of their career mainly involving vocalist Dave Brockie ('Oderus Urungus'), guitarist Mike Derks ('Balsac, The Jaws Of Death'), guitarist Zack Blair ('Flattus Maximus') and bassist Casey Orr ('Beefcake The Mighty'). By this juncture GWAR, having been forged during the early eighties, had undergone a series of line-up combinations, including the 1988 inclusion of erstwhile WHITE CROSS personnel guitarist Dewey Rowell and drummer Rob Mosby, the latter replacing Pete Luchter. . Originally 'Balzac, The Jaws of Death' had been performed by Chris Bopst, being superseded by Steve Douglas in time for the debut album.

Needless to say their origins lay not in Antarctica but Richmond, Virginia. Pre GWAR, Brockie had been a member of the Hardcore trio DEATH PIGGY which had released three single throughout the 80's 'Love War', 'Death Rules The Fairway' and 'R45'. In 1985 Brockie and DEATH PIGGY drummer Sean Sumner teamed up with director Hunter Jackson who was planning a movie entitled 'Scumdogs Of The Universe'. The costumes for this intended movie would provide the catalyst for the first GWAR incarnation. This formative version of the band also featured guitarist John Cobbett, later to make his mark with THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG, WHIPKRAFT, HIPPIE BITCH, AMBER ASYLUM and HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE. For a while both Brockie and Sumner divided their duties between DEATH PIGGY and GWAR but Sumner's lifestyle would finally catch up with him. The drummer was imprisoned for attempted murder.

GWAR's debut came in 1988 with the Mark Kramer produced 'Hell-O' album for Shimmy Disc Records. At this juncture the recording band involved vocalist Dave Brockie ('Oderus Urungus'), lead guitarist Dewey Rowell ('Flattus Maximus'), rhythm guitarist Steve Douglas ('Balsac, The Jaws of Death'), bass player Michael Bishop ('Beefcake the Mighty') and drummer Rob Mosby ('Nippleus Erectus'). Additional vocals were supplied by Hunter Jackson ('Techno-Destructo'). 'Hell-O's utterly bizarre concept hung on basic Punk-Metal and a mind boggling patchwork of scatlology, political satire, eating automobiles and even twisted affection for deceased pets in 'I'm In Love (With A Dead Dog)'. Things would only get more surreal with each album.

Metal Blade Records picked the band up for their second dose, 1990's 'Scumdogs Of The Universe', triggering a business relationship that would deliver a whole decade's worth of Metal. Produced by in the main by Ron Goudie, the record benefited hugely from its position as GWAR's opening gambit for much of the world, the previous effort having enjoyed very little exposure beyond the underground. MINISTRY fans soon learned that 'Hypo Luxa' and 'Hermes Pan', credited with production of the track 'Horror Of Yog', were in fact Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker.

'Scumdogs Of The Universe' witnessed a significant change in the band structure. Only Brockie, Rowell and Bishop remained, with a fresh cast comprising Michael Derks as 'Balsac, The Jaws of Death', Brad Roberts on drums ('Jizmak Da Gusha') with studio vocals donated by Danielle Stampe ('Slymenstra Hymen'), Chuck Varga ('Sexecutioner') and Don Drakulich ('Sleazy P. Martini').

The 1991 'America Must Be Destroyed' would see the inclusion on a session basis of EEK A MOUSE and KEPONE man Tim Harris and ROSEBUD Brian Fechino on guitars. The catalyst for its anti-authority stance had been a conviction Brockie had received in North Carolina for public display of his prosthetic penis. Touring that year had the band taking out the CROSSTOPS, EMBRYO KILLERS and RICH KIDS ON LSD credited Barry Ward as live guitarist. During 1993 GWAR introduced the RIGOR MORTIS credited Peter Lee on guitar and the following year drafted Casey Orr on bass. Orr's prior experience included terms with Texan Thrash Metal band WARLOCK and RIGOR MORTIS. Orr had also acted as temporary fill in for a number of MINISTRY 'Lollapalooza' festivals in 1992. That same year Orr featured the 'Leave It To Blohole' album from Punk project BLOHOLE.

In 1995 the full membership of GWAR released an album 'You Have The Right To Remain Silent' under yet further assumed names billing themselves as the X-COPS. This side combo credited themselves as Sheriff 'Tub' Tucker ("vocals + shotgun"), Sgt. Al Depantsia ("guitar + Colt .22"), Lt. Louis Scrapinetti ("guitar + Beretta 9mm") , Patrolman Cobb Knobbler ("bass + .357 magnum") , Cadet Billy Club ("drums + Uzi 9mm") with guests Mountain Bike Officer Biff Buff ("vocals + police issue .45"), Sgt. Zypygski ("vocals + taser"), Dectective Philip McRevis ("samples + snub nose .38"). Touring to promote the album without revealing their identities as the GWAR characters proved a struggle. Tragically, the year after original GWAR drummer Sean Sumner would take his own life. Another former GWAR drummer Jim Thompson founded BIO RITMO for a Spanish language Metal album. GWAR, backed by X-COPS, toured Europe throughout March and April 1996.

GWAR returned in March 1997 touting their sixth offering, the experimental 'Carnival Of Chaos'. Peter Lee as Flattus Maximus, suffering from the after effects of a gunshot wound, bowed out with this album. The blatantly offensive, expletive ridden 'We Kill Everything' arrived in April 1999. BalSac the Jaw of Death featured as lead vocalist for the first time on the track 'Escape From The Mooselodge', actually a remake of an earlier cut entitled 'The Needle'. The band also re-assembled 1989's 'Cardinal Syn Theme' and re-branded it 'A Short History of the End of the World'. Notably, 'We Kill Everything' marked the final recording appearance of Michael Bishop, temporarily acting as 'Beefcake the Mighty', Danielle Stamp, Hunter Jackson and keyboard player Dave Musel. In another change, Tim Harris played the character of 'Flattus Maximus'.

The GWAR 2000 album 'Slaves Going Single' was only issued to the bands fan 'Total Slavery' club members. Only 1000 copies were pressed of this collection of outtakes. Another exclusive fan club only release, the live 'You're All Worthless And Weak', had been recorded at Washington D.C.'s 9:30 Club on Halloween 1999. For their 2000 American dates GWAR redrafted 'The Sexecutioner' and 'Sleazy P. Martini'. The dates were supported by AMEN and LAMB OF GOD.

In 2001 Dave Brockie emerged with his DBX (THE DAVE BROCKIE EXPERIENCE) project album 'Diarrhea Of A Madman'. Also featured in DBX were GWAR men guitarist Mike Derks and drummer Dave Roberts ('Jizmak Da Jusha'). Having first revealed the identity of the band to the media in order to avoid the previous calamity with their X-COPS venture DBX would tour America. Also on the billing for these shows was RAWG, actually the full compliment of GWAR sans costumes.

GWAR, promoting a fresh album 'Violence Has Arrived' which sported cover artwork from famed Warhammer artist Adrian Smith, announced another bout of North American touring, billed as 'Blood Drive 2002' and commencing 16th January 2002, in alliance with GOD FORBID and SOILENT GREEN. However, these dates would be without the recently departed Sylmentsra Hymen. The tour was further hit when members of SOILENT GREEN suffered an auto accident. GOATWHORE took the newly vacant position.

Oderus Ungerus would claim production credits on the 2002 'In The Face Of The Enemy' from Nashville extreme Metal band DISARRAY. Both Ungerus and Balsac would guest on the album. The band would undergo a major line-up shuffle in September with Casey Orr as 'Beefcake the Mighty' and Zack Blair 'Flattus Maximus' both stepping down to concentrate on another act THE BURDEN BROTHERS. GWAR duly inducted a new 'Beefcake' in Todd 'T' Evans of LAZY AMERICAN WORKERS and Cory Smoot for the role of 'Flattus'. October headline dates in the USA saw CATTLE DECAPIATION and BLOODLET lending support.

2002 saw the re-emergence of two former GWAR members, Zach Blair and drummer Brad Roberts in the Dallas, Texas Pop Rock outfit ARMSTRONG. A fan club only release emerged in April, the live 'You're All Worthless And Weak' having been recorded at Washington D.C.'s 9:30 Club on Halloween 2000. Casey Orr joined a reformed SPEEDEALER in early 2003. Dave Brockie aided with characteristic guest vocals on the track 'The Dissection' for Metal band BALLISTIC's debut album.

GWAR set out on the 'War Party' tour across the USA once more in April of 2004, making an exclusive album of early demo material recorded during 1986 - '87, 'Let Their Be GWAR', available at these shows. The band switched labels from longstanding partner Metal Blade to DRT Entertainment, an independent label founded by senior music industry executives Derek Shulman, Ron Urban and Ted Green. GWAR, working once again with producer Glen Robinson, would cut the 'War Party' follow up to 2001's 'Violence Has Arrived', set for October 2004 issue, at Wreckroom Studios in Richmond, Virginia. A national headlining tour, dubbed 'Mock The Vote' commencing on 26th October in Norfolk, Virginia, would be supported by DYING FETUS and ALL THAT REMAINS.

GWAR opened 2005 with US dates commencing late January, seeing ALL THAT REMAINS and ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY as support. That May, DRT Entertainment issued a new live album 'Live From Mt. Fuji'. Flattus Maximus took time out of his GWAR schedule to act as producer for MUNICIPAL WASTE's 'Hazardous Mutation' album.

The Summer of 2005 found the group participating in the US 'Sounds of the Underground' touring extravaganza, a collaboration between independent labels Ferret Music, Prosthetic Records, Trustkill Records and Metal Blade Records. The mammoth billing for these shows saw the band sharing stages with CLUTCH, OPETH, POISON THE WELL, FROM AUTUMN TO ASHES, CHIMAIRA, NORMA JEAN, EVERY TIME I DIE, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, THROWDOWN, HIGH ON FIRE, DEVILDRIVER, ALL THAT REMAINS, A LIFE ONCE LOST and UNEARTH. Regional additions included MADBALL and TERROR, splitting the East and West portions of the tour respectively, THE RED CHORD on the East Coast, FEAR BEFORE THE MARCH OF FLAMES in the Midwest and Southeast and HIMSA for Western gigs. The band put in headline US dates commencing 7th October in Sayreville, New Jersey, also packaged with DEVILDRIVER, A DOZEN FURIES and MENSREA. Oderus Urungus guested on STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's 2006 album 'The New Black', featuring on the track 'Far Beyond Metal'.

An updated rendition of ALICE COOPER's 'School's Out' was made available to listen online via the band's official website in June, a preview of the Devin Townsend produced 'Beyond Hell' album. This same month came with the release of a 20 year retrospective DVD entitled 'Blood Bath and Beyond'. Hosted courtesy of Oderus Urungus and Sleazy P. Martini, the DVD incorporated rare and unreleased material alongside short films, lost demo cuts and scarce bootleg footage accumulated over the years.

The group subsequently engaged in another gigantic roving festival billing with the 'Sounds Of The Underground' tour throughout the summer of 2006, commencing in Cleveland, Ohio on July 8th, partnered with IN FLAMES, TRIVIUM, CANNIBAL CORPSE, AS I LAY DYING, TERROR, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, BEHEMOTH, THE CHARIOT and THROUGH THE EYES OF THE DEAD.

October 2006's album offering 'Beyond Hell' closed out with a cover version of ALICE COOPER's 'School's Out'.

Casey Orr replaced Todd Evans on bass for a mammoth run of European dates, visiting the UK, Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland and Germany, throughout April and May 2007.

The band played the SAXON, UFO, MOTÖRHEAD and HEAVEN AND HELL headlined August 2009 'Wacken Open Air' festival in Germany. That same month Metal Blade issued the 'Lust In Space' album in the USA. German imprint AFM REcords handled the European license.

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