Say what you will about their Satanic-looking masks, gnarly R-rated-Jim-Henson-warrior outfits, and strapped-on penis appendages – no band has ever made monster metal like Gwar. Then again, when a band essentially creates its own genre from scratch, they really don’t have much competition.

Born in 1984 out of the Richmond, Virginia artist collective known as Slave Pit, Gwar embodies a certain kind of rock sensibility that seems like the brainchild of a metal-loving teenager who would go on to become a performance artist. Their band members have names like Oderus Urungus (“undying chaos demon” Dave Brockie) and Balsac the Jaws of Death (Mike Dirks) and, as part of their mythos, are a group of intergalactic “chaos warriors” that were banished to Earth and became “the sickest band in metal history.” (They also throw really great “Gwar-B-Qs.”)

They are, in a word, awesome – and next year they’re celebrating their 30th anniversary. In the lead-up to that anniversary, the Gallery at Black Iris Music – an art space in Richmond – is holding a an exhibit of some 400 pieces of Gwar-t: production drawings, photography, film, and sketchbooks from band members Brockie, Matt Maguire, and Bob Gorman. The exhibit comes from the deep archives of Slave Pit and also includes never-before-seen items like handwritten set lists and “genitalia molds.”

[MORE: A History of Gwar, the Best Satirical Extraterrestrial Metal Band Ever]

(Source: Wired)

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