Reports have surfaced that David Brockie, known to fans as Oderus Urungus, the boastful, sardonic frontman of Richmond, Virginia satirical thrash metal outfit GWAR, has died. The news broke via Richmond outlet Style Weekly, with no word yet from the band or Brockie’s management.
Brockie’s roommates reportedly found the 50-year-old frontman’s body at his home on Sunday evening. “I wish it was a joke. Everyone is in shock,” said Chris Bopst, former band member and music writer for Style. Brockie had just finished a tour of Japan following Soundwave 2014.
Music Feeds has contacted Soundwave PR, who were unable to confirm the news of Brockie’s death, but indicated that an official statement is expected around 4:00am AEDT. Maric Media, the band’s Australian promoter, has attempted to get in touch with the band’s management in the US.
“Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I’ve known. 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,” former bandmate Mike Bishop told Style.
“His penchant for scatological humour 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.”
The band toured Australia in a year in which they marked their 30th anniversary, stirring controversy by including an effigy of Tony Abbott in their infamous stage show, whose trademarks include horror-style stage spectacles including beheadings, as was bestowed upon Mr Abbott.
Speaking to Music Feeds at Soundwave in Sydney, Brockie, in pure GWAR fashion, described the PM as a “necrotic, vampyritic, thing-like beast,” later releasing a statement explaining that Mr Abbott wandered onto the stage mid-performance, “so naturally I removed his head.”
GWAR formed in Richmond, Virginia in 1984. Describing themselves as the “Scumdogs of the Universe,” the band are renowned for their messy live shows, outlandish space-monster costumes and personas, and satirical theatrics. Brockie as Oderus served as frontman and spokesperson.
In 2011, the splatter-thrash icons suffered the loss of guitarist Cory Smoot, who went by the moniker Flattus Maximus for over ten years. The 34-year-old Smoot was discovered dead on the band’s tour bus.
This story is unconfirmed and currently developing. We will update you as details come to hand.
UPDATE 8:47pm 24/03/14: While a statement from the band is still forthcoming, Style Weekly are now reporting that a member of the Richmond Police Department has confirmed that a 50-year-old musician was found dead in his home between 3pm and 7pm local time by his roommate.
Tributes have begun, with Mobile Deathcamp, a project featuring former GWAR bassist Todd Evans, have posted condolences to their official Facebook channel, adding, “Gibby confirmed.” This is believed to be referring to Butthole Surfers frontman and friend of GWAR, Gibby Haynes.
Meanwhile, Randy Blythe, frontman of fellow Richmond, Virginia outfit Lamb Of God has taken to Instagram to write, “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.” See below.
UPDATE 8:44am 25/03/14: Jack Flanagan, manager of GWAR, has released a statement confirming the death of 50-year-old frontman Dave Brockie. A full autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
Gallery: Gwar, Amon Amarth, Satyricon – Factory Theatre, Sydney 26/02/14
Photos by Ashley Mar
Gallery: GWAR – Soundwave 2014, Sydney, Photographed by Olivia Hadisaputra
Photos by Olivia Hadisaputra
Watch: Soundwave 2014 Interviews – GWAR