Michael “Blothar” Bishop Interview

BMi: GWAR at this point has pretty much outlasted the (original) performers. It’s almost like a movement bigger than people. Do you see this just keep going and going and going?

MB: It’s definitely a movement and I guess GWAR is the fruit of that movement but the movement itself is Slave Pit, which is the company that produces GWAR. Slave Pit is basically an artist collective and it always has been and that is the art movement. So, yeah, it has way outlasted its’ members either their active recording careers or in some cases their lives. I think Slave Pit will keep going but it’s changing a lot so I don’t know what it will be like. It has already changed a lot. The history of GWAR is very interesting because it starts with Slave Pit, a group of guys making art, and a band wearing costumes and then it becomes this band that’s actually telling a story and is more successful and gets a bunch of new artists on and on and on. There’s been a lot of turnover in both the performers and gwar 2014in the artists that are creating the show but the one thing that has remained constant is that it has been done through Slave Pit.

Some people say that GWAR will get new musicians and keep going even after all the guys die but I don’t know about that. I doubt that, to be honest with you. This is a tough loss, man. Losing Dave Brockie is hard and trying to keep going in the face of that is strenuous and difficult, partly because Dave was one of the only people who existed between the visual side of the band and the music side and he was absolutely vital to both elements of that. What we’ve had to do to compensate for that loss is to kind of go back to a formula that we used when there was a time that Dave was not the lead singer of GWAR. There was a time when he was a bass player, there was a time when he was a guitar player but he was always an artist in GWAR. So, we’ve had to make adjustments for that by kind of going back to the way GWAR was in the early days where it was sort of an ensemble performance and you have characters singing songs and the idea of getting across a narrative was very important in the shows. So, were going back to that and I think that will allow the band to continue.

BMi: Dave Brockie left a huge void in a lot of fans but some good has come out of it with the Dave Brockie Fund, what can you tell me about that?

MB: The first goal is to come up with some money for a memorial for Dave. We’d like to put a good statue in Richmond’s famous Civil War graveyard. It would be sort of a memorial place for fans to go and stuff like that. It would have a cool marker stone. That’s daveBrockieFoundationthe first fundraising goal. After that, we’re just taking it a step at a time.We’re going todo things to promote the things that Dave Brockie was interested inand to promote his art and also to provide help to artists who are doing things creative in music.

BMi: Has any new music material been talked about or worked on at all?

MB: Yeah, we’re working on stuff. We’re definitely talking about writing. We’ve been trying to establish this workflow. It’s a little weird because I write on bass guitar and they already have a bass player so we have to sort of work on things together. I think some good stuff is going to happen.

BMi: What do fans have to look forward to with the GWAR Eternal tour?

MB: The GWAR Eternal Tour is going to be huge, we’re realizing now just how huge. We’re going to have new effects, monsters and characters that people haven’t seen before. So there’s going to be new stuff going on on stage. There’s going to be some new ways of telling the GWAR story better on stage. I’m really excited about it. The theme of the tour is av club gwarthe search for Oderus. The characters in GWAR are looking for their lost leader. That’s how that works. I can’t really give away what happens but there’s been a really positive response to the idea for the search for Oderus. There’s a lot of people who couldn’t be here for Dave’s memorial and certainly when the band lost Cory the touring that they did after that provided a way for people to experience and mourn that lost and I think something similar is going to happen with the loss of Oderus.

BMi: This was the first question I asked Oderus (in our previous interview): What does GWAR mean to you personally?

MB: Honestly, what GWAR means to me is family.They’re the group of people that I clung to when I left my own family. It’s really huge and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing, answering that call. As far as the art side of GWAR, I look at GWAR and what I see is a pretty sincere and far reaching critique of the horror of modernity. The world is getting more horrible every day and GWAR is racing to keep up and all the things GWAR did when we came out in the late 80’s were so outrageous, like beheading people, that shit’s happening in the news and you can see that in your own home. It’s not coming though some cartoon characters on stage, it’s real. The world is a beautiful and terrible place and I think GWAR does a good job of enacting that and working through some of the problems of modern life.