While details are still scarce, it’s with a heavy heart that we report that GWAR frontman Dave Brockie (aka Oderus Urungus) has died. He was 50. “I wish it was a joke,” former Gwar member Chris Bopst said. “Everyone is in shock.” According to Style Weekly, which broke the story, Brockie’s roommate found him yesterday between 3 and 7pm, and the Richmond Police confirmed that a 50 year-old was found deceased at the residence. Gwar were in the process of celebrating their 30th Anniversary, and along with Lamb of God were Richmond’s most popular musicians. The band had just finished playing Japan for the first time ever, and had announced their fifth annual GWAR-B-QUE this past week.
Tributes are already pouring in from friends and bandmates.
“Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I’ve known,” former Gwar bassist Mike Bishop says. “He was brash sometimes, always crass, irreverent, he was hilarious in every way. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art. His penchant for scatological humors belied a lucid wit. He was a criminally underrated lyricist and hard rock vocalist, one of the best, ever! A great front man, a great painter, writer, he was also a hell of a bass guitarist. I loved him. He was capable of great empathy and had a real sense of justice.”
Randy Blythe weighed in via Instagram:
I got a very sad call tonight from my buddy Chris Bopst, who was one of the original members of GWAR- my friend Dave Brockie, AKA Oderus Urungus, the singer of GWAR, has left the building & taken off back to his home planet. He was 50 years old. I do not know details of why he died yet, just that he passed away at home & his roommates found him. When someone dies, a lot of the time people will say “Oh, he was a unique person, really one of a kind, a true original”- most of these people no idea of what they are talking about- they obviously had never met Dave. Dave TRULY WAS ONE OF A KIND- I can’t think of ANYONE even remotely like him. That’s VERY HARD TO SAY. My band learned how to become a real touring band from GWAR- they gave us out first shot at this thing. I learned many things from Dave, many of which I am eternally grateful for, and some of which I am deeply ashamed of. I took this picture at his birthday party a few months ago- Dave kissing his Oderous birthday cake. Right now, if I were to truly honor Dave in the way HE would do it if it were ME that had died, I would make a completely tasteless joke about his death. But I do not have the stomach for that- Dave would, but not me. He never put much stock in “limits”. Richmond, VA has lost one of its most creative people. This is a crying shame to me. Thank you Brockie, for all the crazy shit you did- thank God you existed, so you could do it and I didn’t have to. It was an honor to know you, to be your Shaky Slave, to serve in the Blood Vomits along side you (let’s ride!), and to be soaked by your sweet cuttlefish. RIP Dave Brockie. Oderous, enjoy your trip back home.
This is all the more tragic given that only three years ago, GWAR guitarist Corey Smoot died at the age of 34 after suffering a heart attack. The band soldiered on, replacing him and releasing last year’s Battle Maximus, an album that sold more than its predecessor. And while the band had been around for 30 years, it seemed like they’d been gaining more momentum, appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Dan Patrick Show. This is still developing, so we’ll update as more information comes through, but this is truly a sad day for the metal community.