Extraterrestrial rockers out for blood at Middletown’s Land of Illusion

Photo: GWAR is gearing up to perform at Land of Illusion

By Gary Spencer

The entertainment business has historically had its controversial problem children. Lenny Bruce pioneered free speech in comedy in the ’50s. The Doors were arrested on the stage for profanity in the ’60s. Ozzy liked to bite off bat heads in the ’70s (but that didn’t happen until long after Alice Cooper made mouth slaughter on stage fashionable). Madonna made it rolling around on a mattress on stage singing about lost virginity in the ’80s.  Marilyn Manson’s extreme androgyny gave homage to Bowie in the ’90s. Rob Zombie ignored the subtleties of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” by making cinematic torture porn fashionable in the new millennium. In the end, all of the above, including Rob Zombie, to some extent or another, used subtlety along with their version of envelope pushing against the PC sensibilities of the day. However, GWAR left their subtlety filters at home since day one. GWAR clearly survives because our constitution protects their right to offend. It’s all they know and, to some extent, it’s all they care to know (or spew).

According to legend, a small group of violent, hate-fueled beasts known as the Scumdogs of the Universe once terrorized a galaxy far away millions of years ago. But the Scumdogs eventually became so ruthless and defiant they necessitated a punishment so harsh that they were frozen and were banished to the most vile, stinking mudball planet in the solar system—Earth.

Time passed and, as global warming began to take effect, these alien monsters thawed from the ice and began to walk the planet with one simple goal in mind: the eradication of the human race. These creatures devised a plan to meet this lofty goal: the hypnotization of humans with the inviting sounds of heavy metal music so that the band might kill them. Armed with musical instruments, the aliens formed the band known as GWAR and began leaving a path of torture and blood everywhere they went.

“We are the greatest rock and roll band on the planet,” says GWAR guitarist Pustulus. “We chose heavy metal because as far back as the ’70s, people loved heavy metal because it was loud, offensive, and pissed people off.”

It’s hard to believe that GWAR has been spewing their heavy metal smut for over 30 years, but the world’s first extraterrestrial rock band is still alive and kicking. But GWAR suffered a huge setback a few years ago when founding member Oderus Urungus left This Mortal Coil and the Scumdogs found themselves without a vocalist. But luckily for the world’s sickest band, a former member gave birth to Blothar, who has since stepped up to fill the enormous shoes Oderus left behind.

“Beefcake (The Mighty) has some weird symbiosis thing and split apart—that’s how Blothar was created,” Pustulus explains. “He’s like Beefcake from a past life. With GWAR, having talent is pretty low on the list, but Blothar isn’t too bad.”

With a new semi-talented vocalist in tow, GWAR recently recorded a new album, The Blood of Gods, set for release on Metal Blade Records in October. This new disc was inspired by a major event that you didn’t hear about on the six o’clock news.

“During the writing process, humanity had decided to revolt against GWAR—humans of every ethnicity banded together and picketed our home of Antarctica, so we had to fight back,” Pustulus explains. “You never heard about it because the fake news decided not to report it.”

As with most of GWAR’s back catalog, The Blood of Gods is a sleazy affair with punchy tunes perfect for the mosh pit and the tasteless, offensive humor that they’ve become infamous for.

“You humans are offended by statues, offended by words and pieces of cloth with images on them. These are pretty pussy ass things to be offended about. I’m offended by bad haircuts and people who wear shoes with no socks, but you don’t see us posting on social media about it, right?”

Likewise, GWAR continues to trek the planet playing its filthy metal music at rituals that regularly include committing public acts of sexual perversion, feeding slaves to the maggot monster, and of course, the murder of celebrities and world leaders.

“Sometimes we just want to have a raw show and they just show up,” Pustulus says. “We did Warped Tour and Donald Trump showed up every f—ing day—I don’t know why. We laid waste to him every time, and somehow he kept coming back. My guess is he has a way better health plan than what he’s pitching to the rest of the human race.”

This coming weekend, GWAR will lay waste to Middletown’s haunted house theme park Land of Illusion. For anyone thinking of attending, Pustulus lays out in no uncertain terms what you should expect and what you should do in preparation for going to the concert.

“Before you leave, call your parents and tell them you love them, and if you have kids you tell them goodbye forever because you’re not coming back,” he says. “You can expect to get sprayed with blood and bodily fluids, and you can expect that anyone who walks on stage is gonna get their head cut off and get their intestines ripped out.”

And unless intergalactic technology gets up to snuff so that the group can finally leave this toilet Earth, GWAR has no plans to stop rockin’, rollin’, and killin’ anytime soon.

“As soon as they get this space travel shit worked out, I’m out in heartbeat,” Pustulus says. “I abuse drugs and alcohol every day, but GWAR will persevere—GWAR’s gonna last 1,000 years.”

GWAR will perform this coming Saturday, Sept. 16 at Land of Illusion, 8762 Thomas Road in Middletown. Concert is free with admission to the park. Music begins at 8 p.m. For more information, please call 513.423.9960 or visit LandOfIllusion.com.

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Gary Spencer
Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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