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GWAR is a satirical thrash metal and shock rock band formed in 1985. The band is best known for their elaborate sci-fi/horror film inspired costumes; raunchy, obscene, politically incorrect lyrics; and graphic stage performances, which consist of humorous re-enactments of political and moral taboo themes. The band occasionally also performs fire dancing. Their costumes are generally made of foam latex, styrofoam, and hardened rubber. It should be noted that the costumes cover very little, with the rest of their bodies accentuated with makeup. They further their production in concert by spraying their audiences with imitation fluids. Most of the fluids are made of water and powdered food coloring which, for the most part, flakes off or washes out easily. The thicker fluids are made from a clear seaweed extract called carrageenan which is also used in ice cream and milkshakes. GWAR does not use syrups or stage blood due to the fact that they dry solid, wrecking their costumes. In concert, GWAR has been known occasionally to perform their encore without costumes.
Another trademark of GWAR's live show is their lampooning of celebrities and figures in current events. Victims of GWAR's antics have included O.J. Simpson, John Kerry, George W. Bush (as well as every other President since Ronald Reagan), Jerry Garcia, Osama Bin Laden, Michael Jackson, Al Gore, Paris Hilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Adolf Hitler, and many others. The band also makes frequent references to political and historical figures, fantasy literature, and mythology. For instance, the song "Whargoul" makes reference to Minas Morgul as well as the eternal warrior of Michael Moorcock, GWAR also has many references to Lovecraft themes (Antarctica, Yig, Giant Penguins, Fleshy Insanities, etc.) as well as Warhammer 40,000 (Plasma Cannons, Plague Infection, Barges, Slaanesh Chaos Champions obsessed with pleasure and violence). In addition, the title of their fifth album RagNaRok comes from Norse mythology.
Originally, the group's musical style was largely influenced by punk rock and the band composed short, simple songs, which would evolve over the years into heavily hardcore-influenced crossover thrash, with GWAR's musical experimentation becoming present in Scumdogs of the Universe, America Must Be Destroyed and This Toilet Earth. Later, this experimental sound would partially eclipse their heavy metal style and GWAR would become a chaotic blend of genres that would be most noticeable on RagNaRok and Carnival of Chaos (the latter showcasing the most variety in musical styles of any point in GWAR's career). 1999's We Kill Everything would present a similar sound, but based largely on GWAR's Hell-O-era sound, resulting in an album that the band dismisses as their worst. Indeed, the band's rejection of We Kill Everything would drive them to return to their thrash metal sound with Violence Has Arrived, which would later evolve into a highly technical form of thrash, present in War Party and Beyond Hell.
Despite various explanations that GWAR is an acronym for something, band members have insisted from its inception that the letters do not stand for anything. Indeed, the official website of Slave Pit Inc. indicates that GWAR is a shortened version of "GWAARGGGH!!!" the name the band used originally when opening up for Death Piggy. Lead singer and founding member Dave Brockie has been quoted as saying "...it doesn't mean Gay Woman Against Rape. It doesn't mean Great White Aryan Race. It doesn't mean Gay Weird Anal Reprobates. It doesn't even mean God What an Awful Racket. It just means GWAR, which means everything pretty much."
-Balsac the Jaws of Death.
-Beefcake the Mighty.
-Jizmak Da Gusha.
-Sexecutioner (Side member).
-Sleazy P. Martini (Side member).