Gwar is one of those heavy metal bands that have gained more popularity for their show antics than for their music. Over almost three decades, the group has come up with novel ways of performing live with grotesque stage acts such as 'enslaving' fans, combating dinosaurs and squirting 'blood' from beheaded celebrities and politicians while posing as warlords from another planet. Their performances are known for being comically dark and their lyrics have been noted for being obscene, featuring satirical interpretations of moral and political taboos. Their biggest singles include “Price of Peace”, “War's All We Know”, “The Wheel”, “Immortal Corruptor”, “Sammy”, “Bad Bad Men”, “Marry Anne”, “One That'll Not Be Named”, “Have You Seen Me”, “Zombies March”, “Love Surgery”, “Sick of You” and “The Performer”. Among their best-selling albums are Scumdogs of this Universe, This Toilet Earth, Hell-O, America Must Be Destroyed, We Kill Everything, Carnival Chaos, Violence Has Arrived, Lust in Space, Beyond Hell and War Party. Some of these albums have gone gold, platinum and multi-platinum in Germany. The band has struck the curiosity of many metal fans with their alien warriors' persona, which they never break, even in interviews. The band's extensive theatricals and awe-inspiring performances have made Gwar tickets quite a treat and not just among the metal following.
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The current lineup of Gwar comprises of lead vocalist Dave Brockie as 'Oderus Urungus', guitarist Mike Derks as 'Balsak the Jaws of Death', percussionist Brad Roberts as 'Jizmak Da Gusha', bassist Jamison Land as 'Beefcake the Mighty' and lead guitarist Brent Purgason as 'Pustulus Maximus'. The band was formed as the result of a merger between punk group Death Piggy and production company The Slave Pit. The former frequently put up tiny plays during their concerts, and used characteristic props. The group rehearsed in a Richmond Dairy room, earlier used by the hippies, where Piggy came across the co-founders of the Slave Pit. At the time, the latter were planning on making a movie, and came up with the idea of making Death Piggy use their props as well as costumes in the opening sessions of their own live performance. The main idea behind all this was to have Death Piggy open as an Antarctica-based band of barbarians called 'Gwaaarrrgghhlllhg', performing silly songs while slaughtering fake animals. As the members played these shows, they noticed that people only came to watch their opening act and left afterwards, from whereon they decided to stick to that version alone and shortened their name to Gwar.
The distinct trademark of live Gwar performances is their parodies of prominent public figures. Their targets from past shows have included Snooki, Sarah Palin, Mr. lordi, Jerry Springer, Lady Gaga, Saddam Hussein, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Arnold Schwarznegger, Jerry Springer, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Al Gore, Michael Jackson, Osama Bin Laden, Jerry Garcia, Ronald Reagan, Mike Tyson, John Kerry, Marilyn Manson, and O.J. Simpson. The metallic maestros have often also made references to historical and political personalities, mythology as well as fantasy literature. Their song "Whargoul" makes references to American pop artist Andy Warhol, the character of Minas Morgul from the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, and the immortal warrior Michael Moorcock. The band has also picked themes from the work of H.P. Lovecraft known for writing fantasy, horror and science fiction stories, such as Yig, Antarctica, Giant Penguins, and Fleshy Insanities among others.
Gwar was also famous for fire dancing in its shows until group member Danielle Stampe portraying the character of Slymenstra Hymen quit the group. They have been nominated twice for Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Metal Performance for S.F.W. in 1996 and Best Music Video Long Form for Phallus in Wonderland in 1993. By the end of a Gwar concert, audiences are often always covered in pretend bodily fluids like 'blood', so if you are looking to grab Gwar tickets only to passively attend the show, think again; these metal rockers are famous for dragging fans into the fun-swirl of their stage macabre.
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