Dave Brockie AKA GWAR's Oderus - Backstage at the Brisbane Soundwave

"Fuck it! Bring the sun! I’ll beat the sun. I’ll stab the fucking sun right in the fucking heart and kill it! I’ll bring it down to the fucking plains of Australia – we’ll put it on that big rock you guys have – and we’ll all fuck it!”

As the Australian media attempts to invoke outrage over GWAR's beheading of Tony Abbott (haven't heard much about the debreasting of The Queen yet) Metal As Fuck brings you a Dave Brockie/Oderus exclusive; backstage at the Brisbane Soundwave show. The first thing that Dave asks is “Is this an Oderus interview or a Dave interview?” I have no idea so we play it by ear – apparently if my questions centre around fighting monsters and living in outer space then it’s an Oderus interview – so I start by asking about GWAR’s Sidewave shows with Satyricon, Amon Amarth & The Black Dahlia Murder.

Dave is both ecstatic and enthusiastic. “Oh! I’m stoked about those shows! When we found out we were playing with those guys and we were like ‘Oh my god!’ – we would die to have that bill on tour in the US – and we’re headlining?! Fuck yes! We’re so stoked about that. But then we’re so stoked about the whole thing; it’s a joy to be here.” It’s true, the man is brimming with excitement and joy. I like him already.
GWAR were last out in Australia four years ago on the No Sleep Till Festival, what happened after that? Again, Dave is brimming with enthusiasm. “It was such a good time, we left all of our shit here; we put it all in boxes and put it in storage because we were like ‘We’ll be back in a year’ – well, a year went by. Two years went by. Three years went by and we were starting to wonder ‘Goddamn it! Are we ever going back to Australia?’ but then we got this thing going on so we come here, pick up our costumes – they’ve been in boxes for four years but I went over and checked them out – you know what? It’s a testament to how great the artists [who make the costumes] are; this shit is all still great! Tonight’s the first show, there might be some bugaboos but GWAR is down in fucking Australia and we love it!”

I ask about performing in the heat in costume but apparently it’s no problem: “It will only be hard if we’re in direct sunlight – that can really fucking suck!” What are you guys; fucking Gremlins? “I can pretty much withstand anything but direct sunlight while you’re hitting those vocal cues and fighting giant rubber monsters. You have to dig fuckin’ deep! And you know what? I’ll do it! And I’ll fucking crush!” He then slips in an Oderus-esque rant adding “You know what? Fuck it! Bring the sun! I’ll beat the sun. I’ll stab the fucking sun right in the fucking heart and kill it! I’ll bring it down to the fucking plains of Australia – we’ll put it on that big rock you guys have – and we’ll all fuck it!”

And after Australia, GWAR will be off to Japan for the first time? “Yeah! And the only reason that can happen is because we left our shit in Australia!” Apparently prohibitive freight costs had previously held GWAR back from Japan but as Dave explains “But because the shit was here, it was a lot cheaper to get our junk over to Japan so thank you Australia! Because of you guys, GWAR gets to go to Japan – but let me tell you, those Japanese people are freaking the fuck out! They’re really scared!” He adopts a very dodgy Japanese accent: “They’re like ‘What are you going to do to us? We hear you spew stuff and you have your big dick hanging out – that is not good’ – the press release that I did as Oderus was talking about Fukushima; I was like ‘The only reason GWAR is finally coming to Japan is because Fukushima is like a fucking giant neon crayon leaping into the atmosphere! We’re gonna hit you harder than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined! We’re gonna rape you worse than you did to Nanking!’ and they were like ‘You cannot say these things!’ – they edited the fuck out of it! Then they sent me back the edited version and it was in Japanese! I can’t read this shit! And let me say one more thing about the Japanese language: how many little strokes do you need in every single fucking letter?! I think it’s going to be very controversial and very fucked up, and I’m really looking forward to getting arrested. I think it would be the best thing ever to see Oderus getting hauled into the back of a fucking police wagon!” The thought amuses him a lot.

Being a realist, he’s not particularly disappointed that GWAR didn’t score the half-time gig at the Super Bowl. “I knew it would never happen. Everybody in the entire world could have signed that petition and it still never would have happened.” He mentions that that Jeff (the bloke who organised the petition) died during the process: “It was really weird! It was just a big cultural middle finger and that’s what GWAR has always been but I was really sad that the dude who put it all together dropped dead – maybe the NFL killed him? I don’t know. Is this our new conspiracy theory?”

We get on to the subject of Oderus appearing on The Insane Clown Posse Theatre and Dave stands up for ICP: “A lot of people give the Clowns shit but I don’t because they’re very similar to GWAR in a lot of ways; musically they’re absolutely nothing like us but they’re totally ‘do it yourself’ – they came up with their shtick and they’ve got insane fans all over the world that are completely hated by everybody. In that sense they’re very much like GWAR, and I’m not afraid to say it: I love ‘em! I love the Clowns and I think they’re great.” And what did your guest appearance involve? “I went there, we watched some videos and I made a bunch of offensive comments and then I was out of there! They were honestly a little freaked out by me, especially Shaggy, ‘cos my ass was hanging out - I was really surprised that he was so freaked out because my ass was hanging out of my fucking pants. I was like ‘Come on, dude! It’s a butt. They’re buttocks and you’ve seen ‘em! You’ve got ‘em – your girlfriend nuzzles them so get over it!’ – even a lot of GWAR fans were like ‘Why are you on that show?!’ Fucking shit! If you give me a chance to be on national TV, I don’t care if you’re some fucking religious right wing fascist fuck, I’ll be on your show! Just because it’s a chance to get GWAR in peoples’ faces.”

Dave’s a positive kind of fellow who embraces life in his latex clawed hands – he still has trouble getting his head around the longevity of GWAR: “We’ve already made it so much further than I ever thought GWAR could go; I reached the half century mark in my life – I’m a motherfucking 50 year old! And I feel better, stronger and more focussed than I’ve ever felt in my life so I just look forward to every minute of it.” He raves about the Soundwave line-up, admitting “I’m even a Green Day fan. I don’t give fuck if GWAR fans are like ‘Oh my god! I can’t believe he said that’ – Dookie is a great fucking album! And Billy Joel is…” before cracking up and correcting himself. “It’s funny when I first heard we were on this tour, they said ‘Yeah! Billy Joel’s gonna be on this tour’ – I was like ‘Billy Joel?’ – for the first week, I thought we were on tour with Billy Joel! It’s gonna be an amazing experience and we’re very lucky to be here. The Australian people are amazing and I’m sucking up every second like a piece of toast with butter!” Naturally, this leads into a discussion about Vegemite.”I love a Vegemite sandwich – I’m gonna bring a gallon of it back to America ‘cos you can’t find that shit anywhere.” Dave then confesses “I have a strange connection to Australia; back in the day before GWAR was able to pay my bills, I worked for a painting company that was run by this Australian guy, and he’d tell me all these stories about dingoes and koalas and we had all these songs we’d sing: Koala bear assholes are tasty and sweet, koala bear assholes, koala bear meat – and we just loved singing about koala bear assholes! I don’t know why but I’ve always loved Australia and I’ve always loved koala bear assholes!”

Dave’s such a nice bloke I don’t even point out the whole ‘not bear’ thing.

Finally, how long does it take to get ready? “Dude, I can do it in five minutes if I need to – I just throw that shit on! But when I’m in the zone, reviewing the set-list – because it’s all very choreographed and I have to be right on point, I like to take a half hour to realise what I’m doing and also drink as much as possible. I’ve been leading this band into battle for 29 years and I know what’s best for Oderus, and when I’ve got a little buzz, that’s when I give my best performance. I’m not three sheets to the wind but I took it from Frank Sinatra; somebody asked Frank Sinatra ‘What’s your vocal warm up?’ and they ask me the same thing. Here’s my vocal warm up and it’s the same as Frank Sinatra’s; three shots of Jack Daniels right before you go on stage. It loosens everything up, gets you hot in the face, and you’re ready to fuck with anybody!”

It been a real pleasure talking to you, Dave.

Dave/Oderus; a lovely bloke/space monster.