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Gwar at Saint Andrews: 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Gwar has always reigned triumphant -- at least to its fans, and itself.

But this year has been particularly profound for the costumed group of “alien” headbangers.

Gwar lost its frontman Dave Brockie (aka Oderus Urungus) to a heroin overdose in 2014. It quietly put the pieces back together, reemerging with a new vocalist, Michael “Blothar the Berserker” Bishop (who’d logged two previous tenures on bass) and released a new album, “The Blood Of Gods,” which gave the group its highest ever position (No. 43) on the Billboard 200 chart. Gwar also spent the summer as part of the Vans Warped Tour.

There are still some shadows over Gwar; guitarist Michael Derks (BalSac the Jaws of Death) is being treated for a rare bone marrow disease. But neither death nor disorders seem to keep Gwar down, as guitarist Brent Purgason (Pustulus Maximus) affirms...

• Though Purgason says he doesn’t “care much for feelings,” he acknowledges that Gwar is feeling good about what it’s accomplished this year. “It feels good to have a success under your belt,” he says. “It’s like a rebirth, like a...reckoning. We can tour with great bands and sell out clubs. It’s just a good feeling to know your...career isn’t over.”

• Purgason says Gwar’s goal on “The Blood Of Gods” “was just to write badass rock songs.” And, he adds, that’s not always what the band has been able to do. “I think a lot of the previous records were rushed, more or less, and we weren’t’ going to do that on this one,” he explains. “We wanted to take our time and we didn’t set out to do anything other than write good music. We weren’t even trying to be genre specific. Everybody was around all the time, which really helped unify us. The only thing I knew I didn’t want to do was write a boneheaded, awful metal record and we didn’t.”

• Gwar was a bit unusual for the Warped Tour this stage this summer, and Purgason says the experience “was very grueling. (The heat) was unbearable, like ‘Mama’s Kitchen’ on TV. I enjoyed getting paid and I enjoyed exposing myself every day. I think we successfully destroyed the Warped Tour; There’s only going to be one more. That’s a feat of strength, my friend.”

If You Go:

• Gwar and Is Legend

• Sunday, Dec. 10. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

• Tickets are $28 and $35.

• Call 313-833-6358 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewshall.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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