Gwar blazes in to Stroudsburg

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First Posted: 9/29/2014

The reports of Oderus Urungus’ death are greatly exaggerated. He’s not dead. He’s just doing drugs.

At least, that’s what Gwar guitarist Balsac the Jaws of Death says of the shock-rock band’s vocalist. A group of violent, hedonistic extraterrestrial “scumdogs” who make their home among the penguins in Antarctica, Gwar emerges regularly to rock human cerebellums with punk-influenced thrash metal and an over-the-top stage show rife with sex, murder and slime-spewing alien genitalia.

Though Dave Brockie, Urungus’ human counterpart, did die earlier this year, the bear trap-faced Balsac (who may or may not actually be musician Mike Derks) took time out from his busy schedule of blood, guts and animal husbandry to call The Weekender with the scoop on Gwar’s new tour, which will bring the band to Stroudsburg’s Sherman Theater on Friday.

W: Hey, thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

Balsac: I’m very confused by all these numbers I just pressed. I don’t even know what I’m speaking into. Where are you? What am I talking at? I hear you as if you live in this tiny box I hold in my hand.

W: Where are you calling from?

Balsac: I’m very comfortable here in Antarctica, reclining in my human-flesh Barcalounger.

W: Nice. So I know Gwar is getting ready for its 30-year anniversary of playing music here on planet Earth, does this tour factor into that? Are there any things that Gwar has planned going forth with that occasion in mind?

Balsac: Next year is the anniversary of our awakening from our Antarctic tomb by (Gwar’s “manager”) Sleazy P. Martini, so this isn’t the 30th anniversary tour. This tour has been kind of usurped by the events that have happened to us in the last few months.

W: Could you tell me about that?

Balsac: We were playing a show, when all of a sudden Oderus vanished from the stage. We don’t know where he went, so we’re touring North America. We figure he must be hiding there somewhere. That was his favorite place; they always had the best drugs. We’re going to search all the different towns he used to hang out at. There are rumors that he’s dead, but that makes no sense to us. We’re scumdogs. We’re immortal. It’s impossible for us to believe that. Of course, it’s impossible for us to believe a lot of things because we’re pretty dimwitted.

W: In Oderus’ absence, two new scumdogs are handling vocal duties, Blothar and Vulvatron. How did they enter the picture?

Balsac: A weird contraption showed up on stage during our last show, spewing smoke. Oderus got sucked into it and out popped Blothar and Vulvatron. They claimed to be from different times. Blothar actually used to travel around with us in outer space on our golden battle barge. But Vulvatron, she’s strange and she’s technologically advanced and she’s female, so obviously we distrust her.

W: So you guys have a history with Blothar?

Balsac: Yeah, he’s an old drinking buddy. He was banished to Earth with us, but I haven’t actually seen him since prehistoric times. He vanished one day when the rest of us were out having sex with apes and eating brontosaurus steaks. Now he’s claiming that he was sucked here to this time.

W: If you don’t trust Vulvatron, why are you keeping her around?

Balsac: She claims to know the secret to what happened to Oderus. She says there might still be a way to save him, but I can never understand anything she’s saying because I’ve been drinking so heavily for the past three months.

W: What do you say to those fans who feel that without Oderus leading the band, Gwar should just call it quits?

Baslac: There’s nothing I would love more than to leave the planet Earth and to never have to see another human being again. But we can’t. We’re trapped here. So what else can we do but continue to make horrible sounds with our instruments? If someone has a better option for me I’d love to hear it, except I refuse to speak to humans or read anything, so there’s no way for you to tell me anyway.