GWAR is preparing a special Record Store Day release, a compilation of the original Death Piggy EPs on are combined here with unreleased and compilation tracks on 180g metallic gold vinyl with experimental etchings, remastered from the original tapes and with liner notes written by the band’s guitarist Russ Bahorsky. Death Piggy was the hardcore punk band that Dave Brockie founded in 1982 that lasted until 1984 before disbanding due to the death of drummer Sean Sumner. Death Piggy was the predecessor to GWAR. Brockie passed away at age 50 in 2014, but GWAR continues today. Continue reading
This weekend (August 30th) GWAR will unveil a public memorial monument to the late Dave Brockie, a.k.a. Oderus Urungus, in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, on what have been his 56th birthday. Hollywood Cemetery (412 S Cherry St, Richmond, VA). All are invited to the unveiling, and to a free party the next day, August 31st, at the GWARbar (217 W Clay St, Richmond, VA). As a tribute to Dave, we are running our never before released full audio interview between Dave and Ghost Cult’s Omar Cordy. An excerpt of this long chat ran in issue #15 of Ghost Cult Magazine in 2014, when he passed away. As one of the last interviews he ever did, Dave conducted the interview as Dave (not Oderous, which is rare) and talked about his entire career, coming up in the old-school DC Punk scene, the music industry, valuing art over business, the late Cory Smoot, and his prophetic plans for GWAR to continue on without him in the event of his death. Rest in Power Dave! Hail Oderous! Continue reading
GWAR will unveil a monument to the band’s co-founder and longtime leader Dave Brockie, which will be set in Richmond, Virginia’s famed Hollywood Cemetery (412 S Cherry St, Richmond, VA). All are invited to the unveiling, and to a free party the next day, August 31st, at the GWARbar (217 W Clay St, Richmond, VA). Brockie would have turned 56 on August 30th. The band has released a statement. Continue reading
Ghost Cult is taking some time out to honor the life and work of Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus of GWAR, who passed away on March 23rd, 2014. Brockie was 50 years old and had been the ring leader of GWAR and really the leader of the Richmond, VA art and music community for over 30 years. Below are some quotes and remembrances we have of Dave. Continue reading
Slipknot brought back heavy music into their brand of a festival called Knotfest once again to Southern California as they packed two days (plus a VIP only Friday evening event for campers) full of headbanging and mayhem at San Manuel Amphitheatre in Devore, CA.
The VIP pre-party show consisted of brief sets by Khaotika, Motorbreath, Rings of Saturn and The Faceless, while Sepultura became the main focus of that evening, performing many longtime favorites from their 30th anniversary tour, such as ‘Refuse/Resist’, ‘Arise’ and ‘Propaganda,’ while working on a few of the newer songs such as ‘Choke.’
Saturday’s main stage led the charge with the return of Pepper Keenan with Corrosion of Conformity, working in favorites such as ‘Clean My Wounds’ and ‘Albatross’; then Trivium and Mastodon both brought out powerful sets of powerful guitar driven hard rock leading into Korn’s semi-setlist of their début self titled album (ie they played only half of the album but they still brought their usual powerful live show) while working in other favorites like ‘Freak on a Leash’ and ‘Falling Away From Me.’
Headliners Judas Priest came out strong with a cross-section of newer songs such as ‘Dragonaut’ and ‘Valhalla’ while working in longtime favorites such as ‘Breaking The Law’ and ‘Hell Bent For Leather,’ as well as ‘Turbo Lover’. Following a strong showing on their previous tour, they did not disappoint and showed that after all of these years they can still deliver classic metal the right way.
Unlike the 2014 edition, Slipknot only played one day instead of both days, and they brought back the mini roller coasters and the Slipknot museum for attendees to enjoy. Another addition to this year’s edition was the Extreme Stage with such bands as Kataklysm, Abysmal Dawn, Belphagor and Inquisition living up to their musical brand and the headbangers representing as well.
The only band who did not quite fit the stage was Chilean-Canadian alternative-metallers The ReAktion, where their synth-driven riff metal was something fans grew accustomed to but was greatly out of place on that stage. The early set time worked in their favor on Sunday, with fans enjoying sightings of Slipknot DJ Sid Wilson around their set. Despite that, their eclectic sound was refreshing and somewhat interesting to see how they evolve from here.
Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor made a brief appearance with fellow Iowans Green Death during their brief set later on Sunday. Fans got acquainted quickly with the band despite their lack of recognition prior to the show.
Stages 2 and 3 were placed on the revolving stage where bands could get going much easier. Saturday’s set began with Battlecross, Red Fang and Goatwhore getting early set calls, but the packed crowd showed up to rock out with each band. Even the well publicized Josh Barnett joined in the pit action early on.
Veteran metallic hardcore outfit Earth Crisis brought back memories of their appearance of Ozzfest 1996 at this venue. Other highlights included At The Gates’ aggression driven set, while Body Count plowed through their set of classics (despite minor technical difficulties with Ice T killing time with his attempt at telling jokes on stage). GWAR capped out the stage with their usual antics and over the top stage show, moving forward post Oderus Urungus (a.k.a. Dave Brockie).
Sunday’s main stage opened with Ghostface Killa and Mobb Deep’s brief old school hip hop set that attracted curious onlookers, while Clutch came in with their usual power riff rock set that their stripped down stage show appeared a bit bare for such a large sized stage.
Bring Me The Horizon’s updated stage show and sound definitely caught the attention of the crowd with their LED powered backdrops with the letters to SPIRIT aligning with each word of their opening song ‘Happy Song.’ Frontman Oli Sykes had the crowd moving along with his commands, and kept the show entertaining. Plus their newer synth oriented melodic rock sound on songs like ‘Throne,’ and ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ made their live show much more anthemic driven tunes for the crowd to sing along to. Even with the older heavier songs like ‘Chelsea Smile,’ Bring Me The Horizon showed that they have a full arsenal within their bag of tricks and is no surprise why they have the attention of the hard music world.
When Slipknot took the stage, they unveiled their new stage setup that resembled the carnival from hell, and they took charge from the opening minute. Opening with ‘Sarcastrophe’ and leading into ‘The Heretic Anthem’, Slipknot was on a mission to show why they are one of the biggest hard acts on the planet and can command their own festival. They even worked in ‘Me Inside’ (which they have never played live before apparently) and ‘Eeyore,’ giving the crowd more to get manic over.
The second and third stages on Sunday featured hard rockers Devour the Day and Kyng giving the crowd energetic melodic rock to nibble on, while semi-hometown favorites Snot got the crowd rocking with selections from their Get Some album while paying tribute to their late singer Lynn Strait.
Helmet, All That Remains and Beartooth all plowed through power sets of rock and metal that got the crowds working up a sweat, while led into the massive stampede of fans eagerly awaiting Cannibal Corpse and Suicidal Tendencies to perform. Cannibal Corpse simply owned Knotfest’s second stage and possibly had the largest crowd of headbangers and mosh pit participants of any act, which bled into Suicidal’s already veteran LA punk rock fan base. Overall, the insanity that came with those acts simply made the observing that much more enjoyable.
Overall, Knotfest 2015 brought together a strong collection of acts within the heavy music world once again and gave fans something to be excited about. After two consecutive years, hopefully Knotfest will continue to be an annual event (or something close to it).
PHOTO SET DAY 1:
PHOTO SET DAY 2:
GWAR’s Dr. Michael “Blothar” Bishop gave an independently organized TED Talk in Richmond, VA last week. Bishop, who teaches at University of Virginia, is best known in GWAR as the original Beefcake The Mighty, but has had other musical projects such as Kepone and Misery Brothers. The main topic of the talk was “How Was GWAR Was Representative Of The Culture of Richmond, Virginia”. You can see the video at this link or below:
GWAR is prepping their annual GWAR B-Q in Richmond this coming weekend. You can still get tickets for the event at this link: http://gwarbq.com/buy-tickets
The remaining members of GWAR have issued a statement in regards to the lawsuit filed by William Brockie, father of the late GWAR co-creator Dave Brockie against the remaining members of the band and co-owners of the Slave Pit.
We have not yet seen the actual lawsuit papers, and thus cannot comment on the substance of the lawsuit brought against GWAR by Dave Brockie’s father, William Brockie, but we can say that the claims in the Style Weekly article are false. We did not steal Dave Brockie’s ashes, or anything else that belonged to him. In fact, all of the items mentioned in the article, including Dave’s ashes have been available to his attorneys for weeks. At all times, and under very trying circumstances, we have acted in good faith to honor the wishes of our dear friend. Dave left no will or instructions for final arrangements, and so we have done the best we could to honor what we believe Dave Brockie would have wanted.
The accusation concerning Dave’s ashes is particularly troubling for us. Following Dave’s passing, the first thing we did was notify his father, who signed over Dave’s body so we could have him cremated. We were told by Dave’s father that he did not want to be involved in making Dave’s final arrangements. For this reason, Slave Pit assumed that responsibility, paying for his cremation, arranging two memorial services (one public and one private), and purchasing a plot for Dave in Richmond’s famed Hollywood Cemetery. Dave’s father did not attend either of the services held for his son in Richmond.
Over 30 years of working and living with Dave, several of us had heard him say that he wished for his ashes to be kept at Slave Pit, so he could “keep an eye on GWAR” while we worked. In the weeks following his death, we developed a plan for a memorial fund that would raise money to honor Dave’s memory with a statue in Hollywood Cemetery and work to continue his passionate support of the arts. We felt strongly that a portion of his remains should live at the site of his proposed monument in Hollywood Cemetery. When William Brockie later approached us, we released a portion of the ashes at his request, so he could spread them in the location where Dave’s brother and mother’s ashes were dispersed.
Concerning the other allegations in the article, there was certainly no effort on the part of anyone in GWAR, including drummer Brad Roberts, to steal or hide Dave’s belongings and personal effects either from his home or office. Dave, like the rest of GWAR, was paid upfront for his final leg of touring with GWAR. The claim that we failed to pay his share of royalties from Slave Pit Inc. is false, and we have the records to prove that. We have been in correspondence with William Brockie and his lawyers for months. They have access to the band’s financial records, and Dave’s payments and share of royalties are clearly recorded. Likewise, William Brockie’s attorneys have an itemized list of the small collection of Dave’s art and belongings at Slave Pit. There was never an attempt on the part of Slave Pit to withhold these items from William Brockie. When his attorneys finally identified the particular things they wanted, we made arrangements to return them immediately. Dave’s remains, as well as his belongings, including the instruments and the gold record mentioned in the article were given to our lawyers, who in turn notified the Brockie estate that they could retrieve them weeks ago.
The Dave Brockie Fund did indeed raise money toward our initial goal of building a monument to Dave in Hollywood Cemetery. Unfortunately, its mission has been put on hold because William Brockie’s attorneys claim that the Brockie estate should have control of the Dave Brockie Fund and the money contained therein. If we are ultimately unable to use the funds for the purpose for which they are raised, the funds will be returned to all contributing donors.
Finally, our manager, Jack Flanagan has been unjustly accused of signing a bogus release. At the request of our attorneys, he signed some paperwork to make his position clear on what he thought Dave would have wanted, which is something that the law of Virginia specifically asks for, given Jack’s relationship with the band and with Dave. There is nothing bogus about this.
Dave Brockie was our friend, peer, co-worker, and our family. We want to preserve the legacy of one of the greatest singers in rock and roll history. There is no “conspiracy,” no bad faith, no theft, no graft, and no ill will. We trust our fans will see through this, and we will be able to get back to work on the one thing we all know Dave Brockie loved; GWAR.
It’s Friday, you’re out of work, and everyone’s either at the bar or out on a date. What’s a girl to do? Make her way down to Cambridge, MA to catch a show at the Middle East Upstairs with her friends, obviously.
Homegrown trio Rozamov took the stage first. I was familiar with them in name, but not in sound. I’m sure fans of doom would have enjoyed them but things require a little more energy and variety to keep my short attention span engaged. It wasn’t until the final song in their set that I started to get into things. I don’t remember what it was called but I believed the band mentioned that it was going to be featured on an upcoming split so keep an eye out for that.Gozu, Photo by Meg Loyal Photography
Also hailing from Boston, MA were my favorite surprise of the evening; Gozu. Again, I was familiar with their name but not their music. I can’t say enough great things about this band and I’m actually listening to their album Locust Season (Small Stone Records) as I write this. It’s some dirty, stoner rock that makes you want to knock back a few beers and maybe one of your friends. In my case, the evening involved a lot of shaking my friends due to my excitement and an inability to shut up about their bassist. So, business as usual, really.
Exalt brought their brand of metalcore to the stage next. I have never been much of a metalcore fan and as such, there were bits and pieces of songs that I enjoyed but nothing that I could really get into overall. It may prove to be a different story for fans of the genre. They were interesting to watch if anything and I can appreciate the hard work put into their performance even if it wasn’t really my thing.
Headlining this little shindig in the tiny show space were the one and only Cancer Bats. I had seen them three times before, as they have a habit of playing with bands I love, but this was my first time having the chance to see the boys headline their own tour in the US. Anyone who has had the chance to see the Bats live before knows that they always bring a lot of energy to their performances. Vocalist Liam Cormier is like a fire cracker in tight pants bouncing around the stage and it’s impossible to avoid getting swept along with him. The set list for the evening primarily revolved around songs in support of their latest release, Searching for Zero (Metal Blade Records). They play some of my favorites off of the album including ‘True Zero’, ‘Arsenic in the Year of the Snake’, ‘Beezlebub’, and ‘Buds’. I would have liked to have heard ‘Cursed with a Conscience’ as well, maybe next time. The set also included fan favorites such as ‘Bricks and Mortar’, ‘Hail Destroyer’, and everyone’s favorite Beastie Boys cover; ‘Sabotage’. I ran into a few bohabs during the course of the evening and even more made themselves known once the band’s tribute to Dave Brockie a.k.a. Oderus Urungus of GWAR, ‘All Hail’, began.
All in all, it was a great show. My main complaint was that Cancer Bats’ set seemed unusually short for a headlining band. I would have liked to have gotten at least another half hour out of them. The sound for the show in general was quieter than I would have expected as well but that may have been because there was another show going on downstairs at the same time. Apart from that, I’d say it was a job well done and now I get to go back to complaining about them needing to tour again until the next one!
WORDS BY ALEIDA LA LLAVE
GWAR’s 30th year of conquest will be celebrated on the weekend of August 14th through 16, 2015 at the sixth annual GWAR B Q at Hadad’s Lake (7900 Osborne Turnpike Richmond, VA 23231). Watch a trailer below.
In related news, March 23, 2015 marked the one year anniversary of the passing of GWAR founder Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus). We celebrate him on this day as we celebrate and worship him every day. Hail Oderus!
One of my favorite acts to come out of Canada, Cancer Bats, return with their fifth studio album Searching for Zero (Metal Blade Records) hitting shelves this week. I’ve been looking forward to hearing new material and I’m pretty pleased with the result.
‘Satellites’ starts things off at moderate clip and is a decent enough song on its own but it’s missing that extra oomph that I’m used to. It isn’t until ‘True Zero’ kicks in that the Cancer Bats vibe really starts to kick in. I’m not surprised that this is a single, it’s just so catchy and makes you want to sing right along with Liam Cormier.
If I have to choose a favorite track, it’d be ‘Beelzebub’ if simply for how it stands out from the other songs around it and hits you in the gut from the very beginning. It takes things down a few notches and feels longer than it actually is. Those stoner-y riffs are like candy to me.
I can’t just go without saying something with regards to ‘All Hail’. Regular readers of my ramblings, if you exist, should be very familiar with the giant soft spot in my heart for GWAR and former front man Dave Brockie. Maybe I’m a sap but I think it’s touching to see members of the community band together and show their support. The first time I ever saw Cancer Bats, they were opening for GWAR. I had no idea who they were but I fell in love in that night. I ran into Liam while he was working the merch booth at GWAR-B-QUE 2014. It was late in the afternoon and he was exhausted but he also seemed at peace. I don’t know when this tribute to our favorite monster was first penned, but I would like to believe that he would be content at seeing a common chant put to music.
This album is full of energy and it’s contagious. I was sick as a dog while writing this and I still the urge to just tear apart the living room. I don’t know what it is about these guys but they always get to me and put a smile on my face. Pick up the album and make sure to catch them on their current US tour through the end of March. I’ll see you at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA on the 27th.
ALEIDA LA LLAVE