I rang up Oderus Urungus of GWAR totally unconcerned and unaware of the toll charges to Antarctica but wondering whether Oderus or his human counterpart Dave Brockie was going to pick up. “I think it’s pretty fucking obvious who the hell it is you’re talking to” Oderus bellowed, before calmly adding,”If you have any behind the scenes questions or simply don’t wish to be abused by me it might benefit you to talk to Dave”. Ok. I’ve talked to Oderus many moons ago and still remember the chat and did, in fact, have some some behind the scenes questions for his Mr. Brockie. Dave and Oderus have both been very active in gearing up for the always busy fall after having just thrown their annual GWAR-B-Q in Virginia. It’s friggin Halloween, which means GWAR is of course on the road but aside from that, Dave has a new T.V. show on Fear Net called Holliston and a brand new GWAR guitarist to break in since the tragic passing of longtime six-stringer Corey Smoot. Dave is surprisingly easier to talk to and much more laid back than Oderus and he probably smells considerably better. Read on…
Legendary Rock Interviews: Hi Dave. Happy Halloween first off, this is like prime season for GWAR but I wanted to start by asking you about this new T.V. show you have called Holliston. How did you get involved with that?
Dave: It was pretty amazing to be involved in. Adam Green is the director and creator of the series, along with Joe Lynch. I was a fan of “Hatchet” and knew of him through his body of work but also through Kelli Malella at Metal Blade Records. Adam, I feel so bad for him, he was so pathetic as a child. He used to set up all of his action figures like they were a fake audience and he would play air guitar for them and he’d always play the GWAR song, “The Road Behind”. Now, I would do the same thing as a kid but I would have been cranking “Double Live Gonzo” by Ted Nugent or fuckin Motorhead or something but Adam was doing this and playing along to GWAR’s gayest song. I can’t believe it.
LRI: He was smart enough to cast you as his imaginary friend on the show though.
Dave: Yeah and at least it was a GWAR song. I gotta give him credit for that. It was a ballad, but it’s a great song and he had a pathetic crush on a girl at the time. I met him through Kelli at our label and he came to see us when we’d play L.A. and he kept coming to see us and we kept having dinner before the shows and we ended up talking about this show he had. I was like “Oh, cool, Oderus in the closet, giving advice, he’s like the fucking Great Gazoo of the Flintstones, that’s fuckin great.”and I kind of filed it away. I hear ideas like that all the time but the difference was this was coming from Kelli as well and she knows her shit and is someone I respect and trust a lot. He came back later with a guy named Peter Block who was the president of Fear net and that was when I could really tell that something was definitely happening. They were like “Dave, get ready” and I was like “Okay”. A few months after that I got my first draft of the script.
LRI: GWAR has done so much visually and film/video wise over the years dating all the way back to the “Live in Antarctica” VHS. Did any of those things prepare you for working on a show like “Holliston”?
Dave: Yeah, sure. The closest thing we had ever done to a sitcom was “Skullhead Face” which was all shot in 35mm panavision cameras or whatever that shit’s called. That shit was pretty serious and you need a director of photography and all the right lights and it takes fucking FOREVER to set everything up. That was the closest I had come to this experience most of the other stuff was either videos or live stuff or stuff for TV where we just come in and get interviewed in character and we’re out. It doesn’t usually take that long. I guess there was some of that take after take stuff on “Phallus in Wonderland” as well and we also worked on “Mystery Date” and some other lame-ass movie I can’t remember. Those things were fuckin years ago though.
LRI: It looks like a good show with good actors and production values. Was it pretty much a scenario of get into costume as Oderus and hurry up and wait?
Dave: Yeah, yeah, it was a lot of getting all set up in costume and then waiting for my scenes but I swear to god they treated me like some sort of king. As soon as my shot was over, this beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed, perfectly proportioned California girl Kat came running over to towel me down and there would be someone to make sure my chair was just right and then another dude would just bring me whatever I needed to drink. It was seriously amazing and fucking awesome but even with all of that, the marathons of wearing the Oderus suit for hours and hours began to wear on me. By the end of the second day I was really frayed. They would have me hold certain positions for what felt like an eternity and a lot of times they would have to put the lights on me and I’d have to sit there for a really, really long time. On most productions where there is someone playing a monster they will have one person put on the costume to get the lights all right and then the real monster guy comes in does his bit and they get the shot. This wasn’t like that. I stood there under the lights for a long time and it was a helluva marathon, those two days. Those days were the longest time I’ve ever spent in my life wearing the Oderus costume. They came close to breaking me on the first day and on the second day I almost broke and had to say, “Look, I need five minutes” and I got up, went into another room and took the head off, chugged some more water and came back and we knocked it out. It was a super cool experience though and I’ve been preparing my whole life for that fuckin shit but all that preparation still wasn’t enough.
LRI: You also do a yearly GWAR-B-Q event at a water park in Virginia, which is a brilliant stroke of Gene Simmons-ish marketing genius that even Gene didn’t consider. How did this year’s event go?
Dave: This year’s event went off without a fuckin hitch. It was great, I almost can’t believe how well it went and I have a lot of respect for my guys who helped make it all happen. It went off so well and I couldn’t believe it because I was in the middle of doing this TV project and writing a new GWAR album and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do much beyond showing up. I did and also did the meet and greet, I stayed at the meet and greet long enough to make sure every single person got to spend some “quality time” with Oderus which was a lonnng time, I stayed far longer than the other band members who had split (laughs). I did the show itself of course, but past that it was all my crew and my guys and they did a fuckin phenomenal job this year. When I got there and saw what a great job they did I was just blown away. The only thing I didn’t know is that when you order a beer cup that’s 12 ounces, that’s only 12 ounces to the rim so when you get em, they look like little miniature fuckin cups. That was super annoying and the only thing I will say we will definitely do different for GWAR-B-Q 2013 is order bigger goddamn beer cups.
LRI: The fact that it takes place around a water park is just amazing on its own. Was there blood or ejaculate in the water or did you guys keep it pretty clean?
Dave: Well, it’s a pretty big place and there’s a lot of chlorine so it didn’t really seem like we destroyed the place that bad. There were some fires to put out and some dead bodies but that’s just rock and roll. (laughs). What really helps us out is that the site has its own staff of people to take care of all of the maintenance from the get-go. When you add our staff and the Hadad’s staff together everything is cool. Sexecutioner showed up, every year we hope to have a different GWAR character that shows up, some crazy monster from GWAR’s past. We played the “Sexecutioner” song and did “Slaughterama” with Sleazy P. Martini which is something we should be able to do every year because Don is still in Richmond and while he doesn’t wanna tour, he’d love to come out once a year and do Sleazy for the GWAR B-Q. I will say that if we keep moving into more and more internet television which is the way I’ve been trying to steer GWAR for a while now, fans might get used to hearing and seeing a lot more from characters like Sleazy P. Martini.
LRI: It’s been a while since the last album “Bloody Pit of Horror” and you mentioned a new GWAR album, your first since Cory Smoot died. What’s the latest on that?
Dave: We’ve gotten going on that. We’ve got like 13 new songs written already and lyrics for around half of them and pretty much the whole concept of the album as well. We knew that it was gonna take a while but we’ve finally concluded our search for a new guitar player. It took a long time to find a guitar player who could fill the shoes of Flattus Maximus (Cory Smoot). It was just a tremendous task for us to do. As for the album, I think it’s a heavy album, a metal album. I think it goes back to all different elements of the band. Is it a complete return to songs like “Fish Fuck” or “Fucking an Animal”? No. Does it have some of that same sense of humor? Yes… Does it rip as a metal record? Yes….most definitely. Is it afraid to be silly? No. Does it tell a story? Yes. Do I think GWAR fans are gonna love it? Yeah, because I think it’s the best album we’ve ever written. That’s what we set out to do and that’s the only thing you can do after going through a tragedy like losing a guitar player, a friend, a guy who was that important to your music. It’s do or die time with this band and that will be what happens with the next GWAR album. GWAR will always live forever but will GWAR always put out metal albums? A lot of that will be decided when we see how people react to our new record.
LRI: You have a new run of dates with Devil Driver, Cancer Bats and Legacy of Disorder opening up the shows. Is any of the new material going to make the show?
Dave: We are going to be playing one song from the next album with our new guitar player, Pustulus Maximus called “Madness at the Core of Time” which is a song Pustulus wrote himself and has some amazing guitar playing in it. We purposely chose songs for this album that feature a lot of lead guitar spots to show people that musically the band isn’t taking any steps backward. We are striving boldly into the future. Pustulus is a cousin of Flattus and even though they never really got along that well they can both play the FUCK out of a guitar. The new show will be fun.
For more on GWAR and their tour visit www.gwar.net
For more on the late Cory Smoot and to donate to the Smoot Family Fund visit