Exclusive Interview: GWAR Chats About Newest Album and Set to Take the Aftershock Stage THIS WEEK
Intergalactic Lords and Masters, GWAR, is kicking off their upcoming Black Death Rager tour; fresh off the release of their latest album, The New Dark Ages, via their own label– Pit Records. The new album features twelve tracks of utter aural devastation and a three piece suite that could only be dreamt of by this instantly recognizable act. This album celebrates over three decades of shock rock and metal as they have shaped live performance expectations for the entire genre.
Since its formation, Gwar has released thirteen studio albums, two live albums, and numerous singles. Many know of GWAR from their distinguishable look– as aliens of our planet– they embody a memorable visual concept and performance that is equally profound, just as it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Read their full mythos here. They have become famed over the years as they have graced the stage of talk shows and stages of all sizes. Fueled largely by the controversies surrounding their concerts, GWAR experienced notoriety during the first half of the nineties, receiving regular airplay on MTV as well as frequent in-character guest appearances on daytime talk shows, satirizing the topics of censorship and media violence.
Additionally, the critically acclaimed documentary ‘This is GWAR’ – chronicling the early days of the band, along with their trials and tribulations, is available now on the horror streaming service Shudder. A physical release on DVD and Blu-Ray is scheduled for this October.
We chatted with current lead vocalist, Blöthar the Berserker, about their latest release, upcoming performance, and their documentary. Read in full below:
I love the lore behind your story as a band and the art that comes from your performances. What is a favorite moment you’ve had from being on stage?
I think the best experience I’ve had on stage was when we inspired a legit saloon brawl in San Antonio Texas at a Mexican restaurant called Tacoland. It was complete with lovely women dancing, guns, and tequila being poured down people’s throats. GWAR at Tacoland was the greatest gig in GWAR history. An audience made up of mostly migrant farm workers who didn’t know the band. Legendary.
What’s something you’ve noticed on this tour so far that has shifted in your audience compared to shows in the past couple of decades?
I’ve noticed a lot more women at the shows. Especially young women. We used to have a crowd of mostly middle-aged incels with severe acne and male-pattern baldness. Who are we to complain?
In your upcoming documentary, what is something you’re excited to share most that came from the making of it?
I think people are gaining some insight into the absolutely compelling story of this band. The most interesting part of this band, to me, was always the story behind the scenes. I don’t like that these mere mortals are claiming responsibility for the genius that is GWAR, but I do like how the film stresses that it is a collaborative effort driven by passion for art and commitment to one another. We are proud of the movie. It is only part of the story, but it is well-done. The most exciting thing to come out of it is perhaps the Shudder deal that puts us on screen in the company of awesome horror movies and shows!
What is some of the inspiration behind The New Dark Ages, and what concepts arose in the creation process that you wanted to touch on?
The record addresses the state of the world in modern times. We have seen all this before. A return to superstition and conspiracy, a crisis of truth, where all facts are called into question, or simply cease to exist. People believe absolute bananas s*** because they need some sort of explanation for the rampant inequity, loss of power, status, and tradition, and the continuous decline of civilization. We treated all conspiracy theories as truth, We wanted to show the irony of atavism brought on by the conditions of modernity. Ignorance inspired by the information age, the cost of knowledge without wisdom. The dependance of humanity on fairy tales to get through their lives. Heads in the clouds while the earth perishes around them. So themes of loss of truth, conspiracy, struggling with the morality and dangers of technology.
Stay tuned for more updates about GWAR, and stream their newest album, The New Dark Ages!