Nearly four decades after some pimple-faced, D&D-playing pothead that I went to high school with grabbed me by my Metallica shirt and screamed, “Dude, have you heard fucking GWAR?” we’re still talking about them. Heavy metal, as the genre was so eloquently referred to back before the post-Pantera crowd reduced the term to simply metal, hadn’t seen anything like the “Scumdogs of the Universe” (title of the band’s 1990 release on Metal Blade Records) since, well, not fucking ever. Not even when KISS was getting all gussied up in the 1970s, spitting fire, blood, and singing tunes in the Key of Sexual Innuendo, was there anything this depraved for smelly youngsters barely wading in the first circle of puberty to sink their braces into before jacking off into a dirty sock. But GWAR, fuck off! It was for the freaks, weirdos, the heads, the sarcastic bastards, those who’d beat the breaks off any jock in the locker room who dared spurt such blasphemy like “headbangers suck.” Boom, Pow, Whop, Smack, Kapow! Die, you preppy scum!
We always imagined GWAR was a wild-eyed pack of social lepers, burnouts, just like us, whose greatest ambition in life was to perhaps get a GED and a factory job if their shitty band didn’t pan out. Also like us. And they surely wouldn’t last long. There was no way that something so blatantly rotten and depraved would be allowed longevity in America. The PMRC would have them killed! So, we obviously bought in, and “Scumdogs” quickly became the soundtrack of our degeneration. We didn’t care if they were just a bunch of losers from Richmond, Virginia, or barbarians from outer space banished to live out the rest of their pathetic existence on the planet Earth for fingering someone in the wrong hole. Either way, GWAR horrified authority, and that ruled!
When my editor told me I’d be talking with the band’s new lead vocalist, The Berserker Blothar, to discuss their new album The New Dark Ages, their European and U.S. tours, and their newly released Shudder documentary “This is GWAR,” I may have nodded in agreement, but I knew damn well that I would never conduct such a lame, cliche interview with a Scumdog. That’s what Loudwire is for. No, for this old metalhead, who gladly jumped into the white van of the heavy genre at an early age from the wood-paneled Sears stereo console holding his mother’s Conway Twitty and Alabama records, this gang of arthouse misfits and beer-bellied intellectuals, who’d achieved legendary status by sodomizing punk rock with beefy guitars, cheesy lyrics, and cum-stained theatrics deserved a little taste of their own medicine. It wouldn’t be proper to spend time with Blothar asking about music (although I’m guessing he wishes I would have). Now, nearly four decades after being introduced to GWAR, they might want me dead.
HIGH TIMES: Wait, you’re not Taylor Swift. What’s going on here?
The Berserker Blothar: Yes, there’s apparently been some confusion.
HT: Yeah, a little bit. Well, I guess you’ll do.
HT: So, I was doing a little research before the interview and noticed that GWAR now has a whiskey, beer, CBD, Delta-8. I think I even saw a GWAR crack pipe being sold somewhere. What’s GWAR’s real drug of choice?
BB: We have a crack pipe? I have never seen a GWAR crack pipe.
HT: I think it was black market.
BB: That makes sense. We certainly should have GWAR bongs. GWAR’s drug of choice has always been crack cocaine on stage, right? Because we want to set a good example. But then, backstage, we’re all smoking weed.
HT: Is that just to come down from the crack or just peer pressure?
BB: It’s a long tradition and community of artists and musicians that make… you know, we have a lot of sculptors in the band. And they would sculpt something—usually a bong—and say, “Hey, look, I sculpted a bong, do you have any weed?” And then we would say, “Yes, we have some weed… or no, screw you and your bong sculpture.”
HT: Well, you liked marijuana enough to release your “Bud of the Gods” cannabis line. Honestly, I half expected it to be a high-THC breed laced with angel dust and dried spooge. Why did GWAR opt to produce a non-intoxicating formula, free of THC, blood and human jizz?
BB: Well, you know, we’re trying to make our way into the industry one step at a time. But some of the CBD products—the gummies actually—if you eat those, I know that for a fact they’ll get you high. Because I was supposed to go meet my mother-in-law for the first time. And beforehand, I was like, “Well, CBD will calm me down. Let me just take some of this.” And so I chewed a gummy and the next thing I know I’m pulling over. I can’t drive. I can’t drive anyway. But I definitely got very confused from the CBD gummies.”
HT: Yeah, I get that. I went to take a vitamin once and accidentally took an Adderall instead.
BB: Oh, you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to use your CBD as lube by accident either.
HT: No, I mean, then you need Viagra, right?
BB: Yeah! But, Bud of Gods, it’s a great product. It’ll really take the edge off. But I don’t really know that much about CBD. I know people say that there’s all kinds of things: balms you can put on; umm, petroleum jelly.
HT: You know, they make cannabis suppositories now that are, of course, designed to be jammed up your ass or in your lady’s snatch. Any chance that we’ll get to push a little GWARijuana up our asses in the near future?
BB: That’s a really good idea…a GWAR suppository. It really makes sense. I mean, we do have a GWAR sex toy that’s coming out, so, I mean, we will be going into some butts.
HT: Will it be prickly and painful?
BB: Yeah, it’s a model of the Cuttlefish of Cthulhu. So yeah, it’s got… It doesn’t look comfortable, let’s just say that.
HT: Good! Sounds like something we need.
BB: Yes, and I’m not sure what kind of marriage it would aid.
HT: Probably a Pentecostal one.
BB: Yeah, it’s more like a marriage destroyer (Laughs).
HT: Okay, so, some politicians claim that marijuana is a gateway drug, that it will eventually get people hooked and having them sucking off truckers for spare change. Has GWAR ever blown a trucker for weed money?
BB: Well, sucking off truckers for spare change sounds like a good time… on a Monday night… in Richmond, Virginia. Yeah, right off the highway 95 exit. I’m not saying, meet me there at exit 152. I’m just saying I might be there between nine and eleven tonight. I mean, you know, I think it’s not a gateway to anything more serious than missing work… a lot. But, you know, like anything else, you have to do it in moderation. And that’s why I can’t do it at all. I have a problem with moderation. I’m not a moderator. The truth of the matter is we’ve all been smoking weed since we were 14 years old, listening to Judas Priest in the attic of our parent’s garage, so you know, GWAR has a long-time connection with the weedage. Plus, you know, we used to tour with the Butthole Surfers. Talk about having good weed, boy, those guys had some good stuff. It is true that weed is different now, right? Back then, we just had a big, two-pound bag of shake.
HT: Right, that stuff that gives you a headache.
BB: Yeah, now they’ve got that wax stuff—shatter. It really is like doing crack, you know. There’s so many steps involved. Too many steps!
HT: Right! Who needs all those steps to get high. I can’t keep up.
HT: Okay, so you mentioned GWAR’s marital aid. Don’t you think that weed is the heavy metal aid?
BB: Weed, it really takes the edge off and ultimately, surprisingly, that’s what metal is doing. It’s providing a release for people from the mundanity of their everyday lives. So, we’re proud to be involved with any vice that we can be involved with. You know, people are all upset now because we make NFTs. BOO-HOO!
HT: I saw that you just released them.
BB: Yeah, we put out NFTs and everyone’s like, “Rawr! Boo, NFTS!” Who cares?
HT: No one’s ever happy.
BB: No, unless they smoke a shit ton of weed!
HT: Yeah! Which brings me to my next question. We’re going to get political. So, Richard Nixon launched the drug war and Nancy Reagan took it up a notch by demanding that kids to Say No to Drugs. If GWAR was hired to do a public service announcement about dope, what’s the message?
BB: I think ultimately, GWAR wants people to be inebriated. We’re pushers. We’re pushers from way back. The one’s that McGruff warned you about!
HT: I have to imagine that GWAR has snorted all sorts of shit over the decades. What’s the best?
BB: I mean, we’ve snorted everything from crushed up laxatives—those are good. We got so tired of spending money on drugs that what we would do is actually just smoke the money. It just saved time. I don’t think we ever snorted money, but we definitely smoked some.
HT: Well, they say there’s traces of cocaine on all U.S. currency.
BB: (Laughs) That’s interesting. No, we’ve snorted just about everything. You know, battery acid. The scrapings off the post of the battery of our cars. Crushed up red peppers. We’ll snort anything.
HT: Now that the Supreme Court says women can’t have abortions, I guess you won’t be snorting baby fetuses.
BB: No, and that sucks! You know, that’s going to dry up. We definitely enjoyed like a bag of Funyuns and some baby fetus.
HT: I hear that’s one of the best highs.
BB: Getting high off unborn baby, jeez, that’s a good feeling.
HT: Hey, we’re doing the lord’s work here.
BB: (Laughs) Look, we’ve been down that road before with drugs and we’ve snorted a lot of cocaine. One of my favorite moments was when we received an award from the ACLU, and I’d just been doing cocaine for hours on the tour bus and kissing with some girl who was neurotically reapplying lipstick. So, I just come out with lipstick smeared all over my face, cocaine dripping out of my nose and take a big, giant check for the missing children’s foundation.
HT: Beautiful. I think.
BB: Those were the good old days.
HT: Yeah, man, where are they now? Where are the good old days?
BB: I know! Where are the quaaludes, man? Quaaludes are great! You know, you can feel like Elvis all the time. That’s what he felt like right when his guts poured out into the toilet, right from his butthole.
HT: Poor bastard.
BB: Pricilla, get me some toilet paper!
HT: Speaking of toilets. Stoners get hungry. What does GWAR eat to satisfy the munchies?
BB: Well, I mean, on the tour bus you’ll find a lot of Pop-Tarts. We definitely eat those, especially the fudge. And despite the supply of babies, GWAR has always been enthusiastic baby-eaters. Just pop the head off one and drain it. Yeah, that’s mainly it. Chicks. Lot of Funyuns. I mentioned those. GWAR is really big on those.
HT: Do I see an endorsement in the future?
BB: That would be great, wouldn’t it? GWAR-branded Funyuns that absolutely taste terrible.
HT: They should come with a complimentary GWARijuana suppository.
BB: (Laughs) Yeah, that’s right. A sour and cream and onion suppository.
HT: Okay, let’s get serious. The cannabis scene is full of wanna-be hippies and Rastafarians. They all wear tie dyed shirts, stink of patchouli and preach peace and love and all that horse shit. If you established an alternative movement called GWARstafarins, what basic principles would its followers need to adhere to, to belong?
BB: First of all, I can’t believe they’re calling people who just smoke weed and look like hippies Rastafarians. Jeez, what do the real Rastafarians think? I’m sure that they’re not thrilled about that. I mean, GWARstafarians would be. First of all, they wouldn’t really have long hair because they wouldn’t have heads. They’d just be a bleeding stump. They’d be holding their head just smoking some weed, I suppose. That’s the first step. We have a fraught relationship with hippies. You know, we’ve killed the corpse of… he was already dead, but then we re-killed Jerry Garcia. Of course, there’s the famous GWAR song “How Do You Hide Money From A Hippy? Put it under the soap.” So, I think a GWARstafarian movement would definitely be a bunch of headless people carrying around their own heads that are smoking joints and they’d be praying to GWAR, offering up all their money and worldly possessions.
HT: They be a society of self-contained bongs and penniless fucks.
BB: Yeah, that’s right.
HT: President Joe Biden said he was all for marijuana reform, but he hasn’t done jack shit for the movement like he said during his campaign. If GWAR was given five minutes alone with the Commander in Queef, what would you do to change his mind… before chopping his head off, of course?
BB: I’d show him what it feels like to be touched when you don’t want to be touched. That’s for sure. You know, I think that it’s wonderful that weed has become commonplace as it has. Everybody’s smoking it all the time. People are smoking it at work. People are smoking it at church. Kids are smoking it in the classroom. Babies are smoking it. I think that’s great. I am very pleased with the progress that has been made. Because it used to be just a few pathetic old hippies who were part of NORML just walking around saying, “Look, one day weed’s going to be legal.” And we’d always go, “HA! You’re so stupid.” But look, look what happened. The government found out they could make some money off of it. This always occurred to me whenever I’d go over to Europe and talk to those sanctimonious Europeans who have negative things to say about American foreign policy and shit. It’s like, you know what? You’re high! You’re really high! And that means you’re not in the streets, so I think the government has a hold on you too. Hopefully that answers the question without answering the question. Because I don’t like answering questions.
HT: Well, sorry. But that poses another question. What tastes better, babies or babies after they smoke weed?
BB: Definitely, you want a smoked baby. A weed smoked baby. Yeah, that would be good!
HT: You’ve got to bring back the GWAR BQ and serve smoked baby. THC infused smoked baby.
BB: Yeah! You know, and I would tell Biden: Look, man, just make weed… make it all legal. Everything. Everything should be legal. Especially, abortion. Abortion should actually be mandatory. And they really need to raise the age limit to like 23. Not months, but years! How are you going to know if the kid’s a shithead before they’re eighteen.
HT: Parents need a trial basis.
HT: That’s the true late term abortion, right?
BB: That’s right. Very late term.
HT: I’m still waiting for my parents to do it to me and I’m 49.
BB: (Laughs) You never know.
HT: You’re touring Europe and the U.S. through the beginning of November. How does GWAR keep law enforcement from harassing them for weed in areas of prohibition where officials are convinced that getting high will lead to the decline of civilization?
BB: It definitely has happened. Back when GWAR traveled in a school bus, we would drive up on the New Jersey turnpike and there was this one particular toll booth that we would go through. They would have the young troopers out there just training them on GWAR. They’d pull us over and we knew the cop by name, and he would come on and invariably find weed and he’d throw it away. But we also used to get stopped a lot by cops who wanted to go through all the props and take pictures with them. It was great. It was always a good time. “You boys got some kind of traveling show? I see you got some marijuana.” We’ve had run-ins with the cops. When you’re in the tour bus though, they think you’ve got money, so they pretty much give you a pass. They want to hassle the people riding around like a bunch of hippies in a school bus. But you’d be surprised what you can get through with. I mean, you can just cruise into Canada with dead bodies on the bus and nobody cares. Speaking of Rastafarians. I have a friend who toured with Eek-A-Mouse. That’s what he said they did. Just put a bunch of weed in the equipment truck. They never even paid attention.
HT: So, there you have kids. All you have to do to smuggle weed is put it on a tour bus.
BB: That’s right, yes!
HT: Except if you’re Willie Nelson or Snoop Dogg.
BB: (Laughs) Well, yeah.