Bruno Mars better watch out.
Thanks to a fan-started petition that so far has received more than 40,000 signatures, the pop star, recently named the halftime entertainment for the 2015 Super Bowl, has some serious competition in the form of Gwar.
Gwar dresses up in some of the craziest costumes (think orc-like masks, trap-jaw helmets, 2-foot-long dildos, assless chaps), but on the other hand, they have incredible mastery of their instruments and their lyrics aren't even entirely satirical. Yet that doesn't mean they expect you to take them seriously — regardless of how disgusting, bloody and literally fleshy their stage show gets.
Lead singer Dave Brockie created the act nearly 30 years ago in Richmond, Va., but it doesn't matter where the thrash metal group hails from. When you get Brockie on the phone, he insists on being interviewed in character, as his alter ego Oderus (pronounced ODER-us) Urungus.
"I could annihilate Bruno Mars with a just a fart at 30 paces away, I'm not worried about that," Oderus says. "But we would rather play in the game. We could take on the entire NFL and the coaches, and the cheerleaders, with one hand tied behind our backs."
He says it's satisfying to know that fans would turn to Gwar to be entertained during halftime, but he still doesn't understand why, especially since his band's whole purpose is to "destroy humanity."
"We've used it as a lure; music is like a worm for us," Oderus explains. "We've kind of figured out that we enjoy playing rock 'n' roll while we're on this planet. Heavy metal helps us replicate the sound of our childhoods through our music."
Last week, the band kicked off the new tour promoting Gwar's first album in three years, Battle Maximus. In a way, there were demons to fight like the band had never faced before. On tour in 2011, their guitar player Cory Smoot, aka Flattus Maximus, was found dead on their bus.
"I'm not going to lie and say it wasn't difficult, we miss him every day," Oderus says. "But there would have been a worldwide outbreak of fury if we didn't continue."
Perhaps because of this, the band went deeper and darker for this album, recorded in their supposed home of Antarctica.
"It's f---ing heavy as hell," Oderus assures. "Our new guitar player, Pustulus Maximus, is really kicking it off. He's kind of an ornery asshole who's all over the stage with an attitude of savagery that fits in well with us."
Clearly, Mars has every reason to be worried. ♦
Gwar with Whitechapel, Iron Reagan, A Band Of Orcs • Sun, Oct. 13 at 8 pm • Knitting Factory • 919 W. Sprague • $20 • All-ages • sp.knittingfactory.com