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 wouldn’t know it from looking at me, but I’m a big fan of brunch. I’m a brunch guy.
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.
Blothar: Well, on Earth I mostly drink human blood, to be honest with you. We’re constantly draining humanity for its precious life force.
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.
How would you know if you were eating human. You would have no idea, would you?
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?
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.