For 25 years, GWAR has been the one band that has been in the minds and hearts of metal fans the world over. The lyrics to their songs are something that not many bands would be able to get away with and their live shows are something out of a science fiction / slasher film. It’s because of this that people still love GWAR and will go out to their shows every time they come through the town they live in. No matter how you hear or see GWAR, you get your money’s worth.
Recently they released their 11th studio album Lust in Space that debuted on the Billboard Music Chart at number 96 (their highest debut in their career) and a larger than life tour that followed. GWAR proves that no matter how long you’re in the industry, if you play by your own terms you will eventually piss enough people off to get noticed. I had a chance to spend a little time with GWAR’s bassist Beefcake the Mighty in what I have to say was one of the most interesting interviews I’ve done to date.
This is Freak Bassman for RaginpitMagazine.com.
Beefcake: Raginpit Magazine, yes.
Yes, hanging out with the one, the only, Beefcake the Mighty.
Beefcake: Yes, there were two of me, but I ate my brother.
Awesome, so you guys are just starting... No, you’re half way through the tour right?
Beefcake: We’re almost done with the tour. It’s a three month extravaganza across North America proper and we have two weeks left. Hey, Balsac! (At this point, Balsac, Jaws of Death and Oderus Urungus enter the room)
Beefcake: Balsac, pipe down over there Balsac, you’re too loud - the biggest mouth in the band.
So how’s the tour been going so far?
Beefcake: Round and round…
Beefcake: Like a ball of excellently horrible; depends on which side of the barricade you’re on. (Laughs) No, it’s been going stellar.
Balsac: Dog paddlingly.
Dog paddlingly, I’ve never heard that before.
Beefcake: Butterfly strokingly, which is my dancer name, little known fact that I was a stripper, I was Butterfly Strokingly. That’s an exclusive for you!
Sweet, I’m sure the fans will be glad to hear that one.
Balsac: Look it up on the net, horrible pictures that no one should ever see.
Beefcake: Imagine me with my feet behind my head, nude, shitting and drinking my woes away… what? Where am I?
You’re in Seattle.
Beefcake: Seattle, alright.
So how physically demanding is it to play live in a band like GWAR with the costumes and that stuff?
Beefcake: What costumes?
You know like the helmets and shit.
Beefcake: It’s fucking battle armor man, I mean, think of the fucking knights, the medieval nights and their cumbersome war gear and then add 3000 lbs to that and there you go. Yes, it’s a crazy, pain in the ass, but it’s wonderful and we love it.
Right on, so what are some of your favorite songs to play live?
Beefcake: GWAR songs.
One would hope, yeah.
Beefcake: Um, they’re all…
Balsac: There are a lot of songs, but you need to specify.
Beefcake: Well yes, I need to specify. My favorite songs to play live would be GWAR songs. Actually, of course, “The Price of Peace” is my personal favorite on this tour because it’s the one that I really let my hair down and sing and “Womb with a View” is a fun one for me to play. We have a great set; we play a lot of good shit.
Right on, has there ever been an instance where a GWAR fan did or said something that freaked you out?
Beefcake: We have the occasional guy that spits on me one too many times and I jump down and beat the shit out of him physically in the audience, things like that. Or they get close enough on stage that I can catch him and hit him and smash him, or… What was the question?
Was there anything they’ve ever done to freak you out? Did or said?
Beefcake: No, they try daily and they think they’re saying things that are shocking and you can’t shock us. We’ve done it all, we’ve said it all, we’ve made it all up. We created the lies that have become public fodder of humor and shockingnessness, so you can’t really say shit.
Balsac: Did you say ‘shit’?
Beefcake: Oh I’m sorry, did I shock you? I shocked Balsac with the word ‘shit.’
Beefcake: No, it’s funny, they try, but no.
Alright, which album that you were a part of are you most proud of the work on?
Beefcake: The new one. This new record was a fucking extremely, kick ass time. We all worked very well together and everybody brought their “A” game to the table. Everybody had a big hand in pretty much each of the songs. Some people would come with almost completed songs or, in Flattus’s case with “Release the Flies,” he came with the entire finished song and we said it was good enough that we don’t need to touch it, but we all worked very well together on this one. It was a communal piece of work that came out great.
And that new album is Lust in Space available everywhere.
Beefcake: That new album is indeed Lust in Space and it is available at all your fine retail outlets.
So if you don’t have it, get it.
Beefcake: Or come to the show and buy it.
Beefcake: Or buy it, then come to the show and buy another one.
That’s an idea too.
It’s always nice to have extra money.
Beefcake: A brilliant idea, as are all of my ideas.
So being a part of the music industry for as long as you have, are there any bands out there that you wish were still around and subsequently are there any bands you which would just fucking die and go away?
Beefcake: I’m not ever sure about the ones that are still around, I wish they would just go away, and 73% of the bands that are no longer around, should be back.
Anyone in specific?
Beefcake: You know if you brought them back they’d be a bunch of old fucking farts and they’d be like, you know, I don’t know what they’d say, but they would come out and just be a husk of their former selves. So I think it’s better to leave the past in the past and enjoy the offerings they gave and not speculate on the what ifs, damn it all.
That’s a good answer.
Beefcake: I know because I said it.
If you could set up the perfect show, who would be on the bill? Other than GWAR of course.
Beefcake: Chloe Deschanel would be the backstage fluffer for me and me alone. The Bee Gees, KC & The Sunshine Band, the Sex Pistols, Venom, Motorhead, ummm... What’s that other band? Ummm... Neal Hamburger, ummm... I don’t know I could go on and on like this forever and never make any sense what so ever. Get out! Get Out! (At this point Balsac & Oderus leave the room.)
Beefcake: They did.
They’re supposed too. You’re the bass player.
Beefcake: But they were already getting out, I helped.
So GWAR's been featured in movies, television shows, and even video games.
I know, is there anything left for GWAR to conquer?
Beefcake: Yes, maybe one day somebody will pay us for these things we do. We didn’t get paid for any of that shit.
Beefcake: That’s the truth. Fuck no. Y’all want to do this? Yeah, sure. We can’t pay you anything. Well that sucks. We’ll just get somebody else to do it then. Oh alright.
Beefcake: Oh okay.
I think one of my favorite things that GWAR has been in was the Beavis and Butthead video game. I mean, GWAR is the whole point of the game.
Beefcake: We got paid .0000003 cents per unit, which equates to .03 cents.
Nice. If there was one thing you would want the world to learn from GWAR, what would it be?
Beefcake: Shut up!
Beefcake: That’s it. One thing for the world to learn from GWAR would be… Look what we did.
Does it kind of surprise you that GWAR has been around this long?
Beefcake: You know, not really. I mean, yeah because it’s a long fucking time for anybody to put up with each other and does something completely do it yourself, no major label money involved what so ever, ever. I mean most bands they have it way better than we do financially and shit, they still break up because they’re a bunch of fucking faggots and this band just - we know that what we’re doing is bigger than any of us individually and we’re part of something that historically will be seen as significant. So we’re all proud of it and good, bad and ugly. We stick with it for the most part and the fact that it’s lasted 25 years is a testament to the creative uniqueness of what GWAR is and the fact that, I mean shit, if we couldn’t play our instruments, we’d end up like Lordi’s going to be in two years. I mean, you know we can play and our fucking fans love our shit, they love the show and there you go. We kick ass.
People would be listening to you if you didn’t kick ass.
Beefcake: Yeah, we’re GWAR man; we’re the only GWAR out there. There’s Lordis and Slipknots, and KISS’s and Alice Coopers and shit. It’s all kick ass, but there’s nobody else that does what GWAR does. Of course GWAR has taken elements from other things and other people have taken elements from GWAR, but we out GWAR everybody, so as long as there’s a GWAR, children can sleep easy at night knowing that eventually they will DIE by the hands of GWAR.
So there are some questions from some of the fans of the website, so…
Beefcake: How uninteresting.
What’s the hardest song for you to play?
Beefcake: None of them really, I’m an expert bass master, what could possibly be hard for me to play? No, Tempest Fugit by Yes would be the most difficult. No. I don’t know. It’s impossible to answer that question because I can play anything, anytime ever written, perfectly.
Perfectly first time through?
Are there any other genres of music you’d like to collaborate with?
Beefcake: Any and every. Yeah, I like all kinds of shit, but you know, really if you go back and randomly listen to all the GWAR records, we cover the bases. We’ve played chicken pickin’ country shit, big metal operatic crap, punk rock, hard rock and orchestrated tidbits and all kinds of shit. That’s one of the greatest things about being in GWAR is over the years we’ve gotten away with just doing whatever the fuck we felt like doing, regardless of what anyone else with ears would want to hear and gotten away with and the fans loved it and we can do no wrong. No, but it’s great, we’ve been able to play all kinds of styles and whacky shit that no other band could get away with doing and that’s definitely a privilege I think.
Does GWAR plan on continuing the kick ass line of weird merchandise, like the GWAR role playing game or the GWAR comics?
Beefcake: Fuck yeah, brotha gotta get paid. Of course, not only is it our main revenue stream, but it’s also a lot of fun to come up with different kooky shit and see if people will buy it. This year we have the old school kick ass tour program book and we thought it was the best thing we could ever possibly think of and nobody’s fucking buying it.
Well that’ll have to change.
Beefcake: But then we didn’t think, of course people will buy it and then get soaked in the pit. So next year we’re going to make them like waffle house menus, so it’ll just…
Have them all laminated.
Beefcake: Water off a duck’s back, as it were.
Are there any plans for the Sexicutioner’s return?
Beefcake: Well, we would love for him to return, but he has actually gotten his shit together and is “Living the Life of Riley” and I don’t think he wants to come back any time soon, but he does miss us and we love him so. We actually saw him the other day in Albuquerque and he’s doing great. He misses it and we misses him, but who knows. Maybe in a film. I don’t think he’s going to come out and tour because he’s got incredibly cool things going on in his life. Same thing with Slymenstra. She’s got her own thing going on and very successful, so they’re still part of the family and we see them from time to time and you know possibly in the future maybe in some sort of film production, I would hope so. So the answer is I don’t know, maybe.
That’s a great answer. So I’m actually just about out of questions.
Beefcake: Good god! The time has flown.
Yes it has flown, so do you have any final thoughts, any last things you want to say to anybody who would take the time to actually want to listen to what you want to say?
Beefcake: Well let me say this to the both of you. Yes, goddamnit, it’s a pleasure to be on the radar screen and kicking ass all these years and having people still coming out to have their asses kicked. It’s a pleasure, a pleasure you people to pleasure you. I don’t know that’s all I got.
Beefcake: Keep on rocking dude! Fucking HORNS! HELLS!
See that’s how you end an interview. Well thank you so much for your time.
Beefcake: Well Salutations!
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