Richmond, Virginia USA-based GWAR is a collective of five guys who wear
masks and armour and play violent Thrash-Metal really fast; the band's
moniker is an acronym for “God What an Awful Racket!”.
The first incarnation of the band was rounded out by fellow Commonwealth University students, vocalist David Brockie who began as Oderus Urungus, guitarist Steve Douglas who adopted the pseudonym of Balsac The Jaws Of Death and bass player Michael Bishop best known as Beefcake The Mighty.
In 1988 they recorded for Metal Blade Records their first album, " Hell-O", in just one week-end with guitarist Dewey Rowell, who assumed the character name Flattus Maximus and drummer Nippleus Erectus, real name Rob Mosby.
Two years later appeared the band's sophomore album, "Scumdogs Of The Universe", this release featured the debut of new drummer Jizmak The Gusher, born Brad Roberts, who joined after the departure of Mosby.
"America Must Be Destroyed", released in September 1991, retained
the same formula of their previous two albums: brutally aggressive guitars,
abrasive vocals, perverted lyrics; the disc vaulted GWAR, for the first
time, into the The Billboard 200 and peaked at #6 on the Top Heatseekers
chart. But problems for the Richmond collective began to arise, when the
band was banned from playing in North Carolina for a year, fined for “disseminating
obscenity”. Rowell left to be replaced by Peter Lee who assumed the
role of Flattus Maximus and in 1993 police in Athens, Georgia shut down
a concert, resulting in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Athens settled out of court and GWAR, in typical good-natured form, donated
the winnings to charity.
That fall Bishop left the fold and was soon replaced by bassist Casey Orr.
1994 saw the release of "This Toilet Earth", this album wasn't as successful as its predecessor even though it contained the song "Saddam A Go-Go" that was made famous by the popular animated series "Beavis And Butthead".
The bizarre outfit returned a year later with their fifth full-length album, "Ragnarök" and they quickly hit the road to promote it.
In March 1997 GWAR released "Carnival Of Chaos" which reached #24 on The Billboard Top Heatseekers list but Pete Lee decided to quit.
Tim Harris joined temporarily as Flattus and in April 1999 the band put out its seventh album, "We Kill Everything", again reaching the top 30 of the Billboard's Heatseekers chart.
After guitarist Zack Blair was pulled in assuming the role of Flattus
Maximus, the mighty GWAR began writing new material and finally resurfaced
during the end of 2001 with their eighth LP, the sonic sex-and-splatter-fest
"The Violence Has Arrived" which peaked at #33 on the U.S. Top
Independent Albums chart.
Blair was subsequently replaced by Cory Smoot and aslo around this time Orr was replaced by new bass player Todd Evans.
Three years later the group emerged with their DRT Entertainment debut, "War Party".
In mid-2006 GWAR covered Alice Cooper's "School's Out"; the track was the first single from the band's tenth full-length studio release, "Beyond Hell", which peaked at #17 on the Top Independent Albums chart.
The veteran Metal band's next outing, "Lust In Space", was recorded with bassist Casey Orr and released in August 2009 by Metal Blade. The disc debuted at #96 on The Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, their best chart performance to that point.
"Bloody Pit Of Horror" followed in the fall of 2010, but spent only one week on the U.S. Independent Albums list.
On November 3, 2011, tragedy struck the band when guitarist Cory Smoot, known by the stage name Flattus Maximus, was found dead by his bandmates as they crossed the Canadian border while on tour. Smoot, only 34 years old, died of a heart attack caused by a pre-existing coronary heart disease.