I Had a Beer with GWAR and Survived

GWAR performs at Riot Fest Chicago

Riot Fest is one of my favorite weekends of the year for many reasons – the hardcore fans, the festive fashion statements, and the annual appearance by the intergalactic warriors known as GWAR. Each year they unleash a concoction of gruesome metal all over their adoring fans.

At this year’s festival, I grabbed a beer with GWAR’s Berserker Blothar (Mike Bishop) and BälSäc (Mike Derks). Rather, I drank a beer while they described their less than appetizing drink of choice. We chatted about GWAR’s collaboration beer, what humans taste like, and what aliens request on their rider. I managed to make it out in one piece.

You can read the full interview on October. Check out a few of my favorite moments below.
GWAR performs at Riot Fest

You wouldn’t know it from looking at me, but I’m a big fan of brunch. I’m a brunch guy.

What do you drink on your home planet?

Blothar: On my home planet, mostly the urine of infants. Infant urine is kinda hard to get. You have to have a real dedication to that perversion, like Gary Glitter style.

So, you don’t like to drink any Earth beer. What do you drink here?

Blothar: Well, on Earth I mostly drink human blood, to be honest with you. We’re constantly draining humanity for its precious life force.

Whose idea was it to create a GWAR beer?

Blothar: I haven’t drank it, because I don’t drink alcohol, but from what I hear it’s delicious. We actually have a GWARbar in Richmond, Virginia. It’s a fun place to go and it’s got a really crazy menu. I love the joint. I go there and eat brunch all the time. You wouldn’t know it from looking at me, but I’m a big fan of brunch. I’m a brunch guy.

What do you like to brunch on?
Blothar: Oh you know, usually chicken and waffles. Or they have a wonderful vegan menu there which, believe it or not, appeals to me because I eat so much meat during the business year.

How would you know if you were eating human. You would have no idea, would you?

I’ve heard GWAR beer is actually pretty delightful. There is a lack of human body fluids, which I found surprising. Did the FDA interfere with your recipe?

Blothar: No, no we don’t pay any attention to them. We knew we needed to make a beer that other people would drink besides us, so we decided to keep out any of that sort of viscera. It’s there, it’s just strained out so you can’t really taste it. I mean how would you know if you were eating human. You would have no idea, would you?

I guess I wouldn’t.
Blothar: It would just taste like possum. Humans taste like possum, I mean, which is something that most people eat all the time. At least, I do.
GWAR fans in Chicago
GWAR fans soaked in who knows what at Riot Fest
You named your beer as a tribute to Oderus. What was it like recording the last album without him?

Blothar: Well, we had to do a record that was different than what we had done before but that still sounded like GWAR. It was difficult in some ways. It was an emotional process. The guy was a hell of a lyricist and a funny, funny entertainer and performer. We miss him a great deal. There’s no question about that. But we decided to do what this group of musicians could do, and that’s what we did. I’m very pleased with it.

We made a GWAR record that sounds like a GWAR record. You listen to it and I think fans and other people can hear that this is the same band that put out thirteen or fourteen other records. But it’s not just GWAR without Oderus, you know. It’s still GWAR, and it doesn’t just do the same things that we did before and tell the same types of stories. We tried to do something different. This is a record that’s maybe less metal than some of the previous efforts. It’s got more of a rock and roll sound, and the punk influence that’s always been in GWAR comes out a little more on this record. There’s still a healthy dose of heavy metal.

One last question: What do you guys request on your rider?
Blothar: I’ll be honest with you, usually what I get on the rider is a lot of fresh fruit. I have type eight diabetes so I’m trying to cut down on a lot of things. I have a lot of Diet Coca-Cola.
BälSäc: The club has to be within four blocks of a preschool and a sperm bank.
Blothar: That’s right. Delicious, delicious babies. That’s what’s on our rider.
Jessica Mlinaric has a beer with GWAR
Enjoying a beer with Berserker Blothar, I’m mostly certain it contained no human viscera [Bradley Koch]