A few months ago, a music contact of mine sent me an email about doing an interview with Dave Brockie aka Gwar’s Oderus Urungus. I jumped at the chance to give him a phone call and chat with a punk/metal/hardcore legend. The interview, sadly, never got posted here or on Rock on Philly, as the service I used to record the phone call lost my recording.
The call was great, though. Dave initially tried to do the interview fully in character, voice and all, but kept making himself laugh and eventually slipped out of the Oderus voice completely. We discussed the newest Gwar album, Empire Records, Philadelphia, and even Jesus.
He raved about the guitar work of their new guitarist Pustulus Maximus (Brent Purgason), calling him one of the best metal guitarists alive. He explained that Pustulus’s style influenced the songwriting for the latest album, Battle Maximus, a great deal. He also described how on tour they would be battling their greatest foe yet, Mr. Perfect, and forcing him to “eat his own ass nightly”. Interesting, I never got to listen to the new album until yesterday, when Brockie died. I put the album in and began rocking along so hard that that missed my exit on the expressway.
He explained to me that working on Empire Records was a blast, but that the infamous line, “Mark, why don’t you join the band?” was actually dubbed over and not his voice. The original line was deemed too crude and Dave insisted that he’d never say it like that.
The topic of greatest foes that Gwar has battled came back up when I asked him what he thought of Jesus. Interestingly, Brockie told me that Jesus was a powerful alien God and would never be fully defeated, only thwarted for short periods of time by Gwar’s best efforts. Despite being a very jovial conversation, Dave hinted at a reverence for Jesus, even if that reverence didn’t truly fit what Oderus or Gwar was all about.
I didn’t know Dave Brockie, but he seemed to be an awesome guy. He was crude, vile, and hilarious… and through all the filthy things he said and did, he never hurt a single soul. His friends have all said for years how he is the funniest, most clever, and nicest guy they know.
So, I leave you all with this video of Gwar performing Kansas and ask that you honor Dave Brockie’s memory today by having a nice laugh.