Interplanetary thrash metal icons Gwar may have thrilled punters with their decapitated effigy of Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Soundwave 2014 last weekend, but they’ve attracted the ire of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM), a conservative Government-supporting group.
Frontman Oderus Urungus, real name Dave Brockie, chopped the head off the replica of the Australian Prime Minister during the band’s set on the Brisbane leg of the tour on Saturday, spraying fake plasma and blood over the first fifteen rows of the crowd, an act common at Gwar shows.
He then chopped the breasts off of an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, an act that Australians for Constitutional Monarchy’s executive director, Jai Martinkovits, has described on the group’s website as “offensive” and “an extraordinary breach of good behaviour and standards.”
According to a statement on the organisation’s site, Gwar’s behaviour “is particularly offensive coming from visitors, who have been extended Australian hospitality,” adding:
“Imagine the public outcry, both from Democrats and Republicans, were an Australian band to behave similarly towards the President and First Lady of the United States.
“Gwar, as public figures, are no doubt role models to many impressionable young people. This kind of irresponsible and hateful behaviour has the potential to incite violence both in Australia and abroad.”
Those who “condemn this behaviour” are urged to “make their concerns known to the organisers of the Sound Wave [sic] festival.” The organiser himself, AJ Maddah, has not commented on Gwar’s act, but did retweet a punter who described it as the “Best moment of SW14 so far!”
The extensive media coverage has led Brockie, in character as Oderus Urungus, to release a statement on behalf of the band, addressing the controversy, in which he offers a characteristically satirical take on the events at the centre of ACM’s ire, writing:
“We were just playing our show in Brisbane and this guy with giant ears wanders out onstage and tells us to go back to Antarctica, so naturally I removed his head from his shoulders. But what was really surprising was that it grew back and I had to chop it off again at Sydney Soundwave.
“So we are waiting to see what happens tonight. Will it grow back again? Will it come back as a Koala bear? And what about the poor Queen? We chopped her tits off and stomped the royal baby to death, and all people seem to care about is this Abbott guy.
“I tell you this, if you could harvest the power of the wind with this dude’s ears, then you could create a machine that would move time and space and enable all the asylum seekers to enjoy Caesar salad every night. And also not have dogs set on them.”
Gwar are no strangers to controversy, with the Richmond, Virginia-based heavy metal outfit having previously slaughtered replicas of Lady Gaga, George W Bush, and Barack Obama on stage. It’s yet to be seen whether the Abbott head-chopping will see a repeat performance at the band’s headlining show in Sydney tonight, or this weekend’s Soundwaves in Melbourne and Adelaide.
Gallery: GWAR – Soundwave 2014, Sydney, Photographed by Olivia Hadisaputra
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