Shock Value: GWAR details the difficulty of keeping up with how inhumane humanity has become - Knotfest

Shock Value: GWAR details the difficulty of keeping up with how inhumane humanity has become

Posted by Ramon Gonzales in Culture on September 19, 2022

The Scumdogs of the Universe discuss The New Dark Ages, the absurdity of gatekeeping in metal, and how after cutting heads off onstage for thousands of years, humanity seems to be doing way worse.

The Knotfest festival interview series rolls on with our host Sophie K who this time ventures into the Duoverse and to connect with the Scumdogs of the Universe in the mighty, GWAR.

Revered for their sense of humor and their stylistic embrace of sarcasm, naturally there was some jawing and quick-witted quips exchanged during the conversation, but when asked about the kind preparation that goes into the nightly production that is a Gwar show, vocalist Blothar the Berserker clarified emphatically, “Gwar is the hardest band to be in, in the universe. I can assure you that.”

In discussing the band’s new album and accompanying graphic novel, the band explain that the idea behind the New Dark Ages is about offering commentary of the current state of the world. Society is currently experiencing an era where people are suspicious of science, the lines between religion and government seem to be blurring and plague and disease are becoming prevalent. For the band, this is the second coming of the most dismal part of the middle ages all over again.

When asked about the band’s shock value and how effective, or not, it might be this far into their careers, Blothar offered a pretty poignant response. He explained that Gwar has had a tough time keeping up with how inhumane humanity has become. He joked, “We have been cutting off people’s heads for thousands and thousands of years, but now it just looks like humans are just doing a lot worse than we are.”

Underscoring the point, with a bit of dark humor of course, the band explain that it is tough to use their shock value to stay relevant if the world continues to normalize such shocking things.

The band also touched on the culture of gatekeeping that still seems to be all to prevalent in metal music. For the TikTok that seem to be at odds with who can and can’t like metal, Gwar offer two words to those that continue to tend that gate – “Fuck you”. Advocating a very simple ideology in, “It’s okay to like stuff”, Gwar articulated their distain for the “too cool for school” crowd and asserted that people should be able to explore their interests however they see fit. Blothar added, “Metal has been excluded. People that like it and are drawn to it are outsiders. Why do they wanna put up the same walls for other people? It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

The punctuation delivered a mic-drop moment that spoke to the importance of GWAR as the tenured voice of reason in extreme music and art.

Stream the complete conversation with Sophie K of the On Wednesdays We Wear Black Podcast and the immortal GWAR from Wacken below.

The New Dark Ages from GWAR along with their graphic novel Gwar In the Duoverse of Absurdity are both available – HERE

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