Although their fandom often overlaps into one another, there is one thing that any horror and metal fan can universally agree upon: there is absolutely nothing quite like surviving a Gwar concert. Incorporating epic stage show elements, include giant costumes, shock humor and powerful, absurd music, Gwar has built a reputation for its unique brand of horror rock. Imitated, rallied against and banned in venues throughout their career, their live act almost transcends heavy metal into the landscape of performance art, but, in many ways, Gwar has become much bigger than a straight-faced rock ‘n’ roll band could hope to ever become.
Of course, Gwar’s success would be significantly much more unsure without the presence of Gwar vocalist, Oderus Urungus. Pushing hot buttons left and right while dishing out direct communication to his rabid fan base, a personal encounter with Urungus is a privilege that most horror and metal fans alike waits for with baited breath. And of course, very few venues and events fit as well with Gwar’s insane stage proceedings as this year’s Housecore Horror Festival, offering Gwar to play alongside prolific musicians and classic horror films alike within a Halloween atmosphere. With the kickoff date growing nearer, Oderus Urungus gave Diabolique a little information about Gwar’s involvement in this years inaugural Housecore Horor Festival…
DIABOLIQUE: Well, Oderus, what attracted you to play at the first ever Housecore Horror Festival this year?
ODERUS URUNGUS: Well, that’s pretty fucking obvious, isn’t it? It’s the fucking Housecore Horror Festival. It’s horror, and a festival, and it’s Housecore, which is my old buddy Phil’s fucking label. We’re cousins in filth for many years, I’d say, and our shared interests in all things disgusting has been well documented. It’s going to be an amazing event, and Austin’s always been one of our most fucking favorite places to play. I can’t even think of a single reason why I should mouth off about anything about this event. It’s actually one of the few things in my life that I’m looking forward to.
DIABOLIQUE: Is there any particular horror film playing at the festival that you’re looking forward to seeing, either again or for the first time?
URUNGUS: It’s pretty hard for me to keep up on that stuff, you know. There are so many horror movies and there’s so many crappy ones that I just don’t really care. Basically, my life is a living horror film, so I don’t really have to watch horror movies in order to watch horror. But I don’t know; I like the old school stuff, so I don’t really know any of the new movies. No, there’s no fucking movies I’m looking forward to watching! We’re there to play a show!
DIABOLIQUE: Considering that this is the first festival of its kind, and that Halloween is right around the corner, should fans expect anything exceptional from Gwar at their performance?
URUNGUS: Well, just the fact that it’s the most amazing, incredible, spectacular, fucked-up Gwar show that we’ve ever done, and it’s the bloodiest, messiest, most disgusting one in Gwar history. Nothing less would do for the Housecore Horror Festival, so I’m sure there will be a lot of extracurricular activities as we wander around the place trying to figure out what the fuck is going on. I’m sure there’s a lot of movies playing that I’d like to see there, I’m just not sure what any of them are. Maybe I should do some research on the motherfucking internet!
DIABOLIQUE: Gwar actually just embarked on their summer tour not too long ago in support of your newest album, Battle Maximus. Is there any specific reason you chose to jump from that tour to the Housecore Horror Festival with little downtime in between?
URUNGUS: It was serendipity how both things kind of worked out. We were on tour, we were going go to through that state right around that time, and things just sort of collided. It was fate itself that proclaimed that Oderus and Gwar will be there to inaugurate what will go down in history as one of the greatest horror festivals in all eternity. Hopefully, Gwar will play every single fucking one of them. So I don’t know if it was fate, chaos or some kind of superpowered, planet-sized amoeba-like Portuguese man-of-war; some disgusting creature from outer space that controls all of our destinites. But it fucking happened.
DIABOLIQUE: Was there anything specifically from Battle Maximus that you wanted to bring to your stage show for the Housecore Horror Festival? Did the album coincidentally fit into the theme of the festival?
URUNGUS: Uh, no, not really. We just ignored everything else and just did what we do, which is promoting the Battle Maximus album. Battle Maximus is the next chapter of the mighty Gwar, and the stage show we’re bringing to the Housecore Horror Festival is the same one that we’ve done everywhere else. It’s the most amazing fucking horror show in Rock ‘n’ Roll, and that in itself makes it perfectly appropriate for this goddamn festival.
DIABOLIQUE: Should the festival be successful and Gwar returns in the following years, would you perhaps consider debuting a Gwar film at the festival considering you’ve experimented with the long-form medium in the past?
URUNGUS: Well, I’m very surprised a Gwar film hasn’t happened already. Lots of filmmakers and lots of bands have taken lots of elements of Gwar and have made lots of fucking movies, but we’ve yet to run into one that’s got the balls, or the money, or the desire even to really do Gwar justice and really make the film that deserves to be made. Maybe one day we’ll meet that person at the Housecore Horror Festival, I don’t know! It really needs to happen, and I’ll continue to push forth this agenda until there is a goddamn Gwar movie that is a fucking correct representation of this band. I’m sick of fucking live videos. I want to see Gwar in Antarctica fighting 300 foot tall gigantic mutant fucking penguins.
DIABOLIQUE: In your opinion as the group’s frontman, what do you think it is about Gwar that makes the band such a must-get for the organizers of various festivals and mega-tours?
URUNGUS: What do YOU think? I mean, come on! Because we’re Gwar! Because we’re the premiere horror rock band in existence today. It’s the same thing that would attract them to get KISS, except KISS would charge them 8 billion fucking dollars. I guess it’s our affordability! Yeah! We’re the best and we’re affordable! That’s it!
DIABOLIQUE: Considering you don’t often get to share the same stage with Phil Anselmo, are you planning any on-stage collaborations with Phil for the event?
URUNGUS: Well, I was hoping we could grind him into a bloody pulp in our meat grinder, publicly. I think it’d be good for his career. I’m telling you: we could actually physically reconstitute his remains and, using the necrotic power of Gwar, reanimate him. He might be a little bit slower, but it’ll still be Phil.
DIABOLIQUE: The Housecore Horror Festival has a really eclectic mix of bands for its inaugural event, including your band, Gwar, as well as Down, Goblin, Whitechapel and more. Is there any specific band you’re looking forward to meeting or seeing or will Gwar be too busy doing their own thing?
URUNGUS: Look, buddy, I don’t know what the fuck is going on with this thing. I just know that Phil Anselmo is putting it on, so we’re going to be there! It’s a horror thing. Goblin is there? Great, I’ll check ‘em out. I think Steve Niles is going to be there too. Maybe he’s the guy who will write a screenplay for Gwar one of these days. I don’t know what movies are playing! I don’t know what fucking bands are playing! I don’t know shit about it because I’m going to be there and I’m going to be breaking stuff. Interview over!
DIABOLIQUE: Wait! Before you go, is there any warning you’d like to give Gwar fans who are attending the Housecore Horror Festival?
URUNGUS: Oh, no, I have no warnings for you whatsoever! It’s Gwar! Everybody knows Gwar! It’s an nice G-rated band of puppy dogs from outer space! We encourage the men to wear full formal attire, and I’m talking about tuxedos and top hats. For the women, of course, they’re encouraged to dress in Civil War-era hoop skirts. There will be shuffleboard and checkers for the children, and as for all of these rumors of us DEVOURING YOUR GENITALS, I don’t know where that’s coming from!
DIABOLIQUE: So our very last question: what does Gwar have planned beyond the Housecore Horror Festival?
URUNGUS: Well, check out our new album, man: Battle Maximus. It’s our thirteenth record, and then we’re going on tour for the rest of the year. Then we’re going on tour someplace else and then we’ll go on tour somewhere else. Oh, and the Gwar-B-Que as well! We’ll have another amazing Gwar-B-Que as well next year, and that’ll be down the road in August.
You can see Oderus Urungus and the rest of Gwar at the Housecore Horror Film Festival in Austin, Texas, from October 24th-27th at Emo’s / Antone’s / Dirty Dog, alongside bands such as Down, EyehateGod, Dead Earth Politics, Goblin and the recently-added Melvins. Film-related guests include Nekromantik’s Jorg Buttgereit, The Manson Family‘s Jim VanBebber, Cannibal Holocaust‘s Ruggero Deodato and This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse‘s Coffin Joe, and films to be showcased include Suspiria (live-scored by Goblin!), The Beyond, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Cannibal Holocaust, Friday the 13th, Evil Dead and Birth of the Living Dead. You can currently buy Gwar’s latest album from Metal Blade records, Battle Maximus, on iTunes, Amazon and any other retailer of major music. For more from Gwar, you can visit their official site, like their official Facebook or follow them on Twitter: @GWARofficial. For more from Oderus Urungus, you can visit his official personal website and follow him on Twitter: @TheRealOderus. For more on Gwar, Oderus Urungus and the Housecore Horror Festival, make sure you keep one eye on DiaboliqueMagazine.com.