Free to be

Like the riddle about why dogs lick their balls, Dave Brockie takes the same, "because he can" attitude when it comes to his absurdly offensive songwriting. As frontman of shock-rockers GWAR, Brockie (aka Oderus Urungus) is no stranger to writing crude, rude music that knows no subject boundaries. Now, sans the monster suit and huge rubber cock that he dons in GWAR, Brockie focuses his attention to his solo Dave Brockie Experience project. (The term "solo" is used loosely, given that DBX consists of three GWAR members.)

As fans of the monster moshers would expect, Brockie's side project continues his prophecy toward the enlightenment of meaninglessness on the trio's latest "Songs for the Wrong." With titles such as "March of the Faggot Soldier" and "Should the Ugly Girl Blow Me?" it's apparent that Brockie hasn't tempered his off-color humor. Consider these lyrics from "Hard for a 'Tard": "I'm in love with a girl that's fucking retarded/ the only times she made a sound was when her pussy farted."

"I'm not really trying to offend people; I'm just trying to amuse myself," he says.

Brockie shows a rare, sensitive side, however, on "Churchmouse In the Snow," dedicating the rather touching ballad (!) to his late mother. "I thought about it for a while before I put it on the record," he says, "but I figured I'd throw it in anyway. I think our fans are ready for anything we throw their way."

While GWAR is alive and well and set to release a new album by year's end, Brockie takes advantage of the more relaxed environment and absence of B-movie live performances to -- dare we say -- relish the chance to present the musical side of DBX. It's something that GWAR hasn't been able to accomplish during the years of being hailed as a band that must be seen but not necessarily heard. "The theatrical thing makes people pay less attention to the music. And we are, first and foremost, musicians," he says without a hint of irony. "I relish the opportunity to get out there and strut my stuff without the incumberment of an 80-pound rubber monster suit."

Writing songs that didn't quite belong on a GWAR album, Brockie released DBX's solo debut, 2001's "Diarrhea of a Madman," bringing along drummer Jizmak the Gusher (Brad Roberts) and guitarist Balsac The Jaws of Death (Mike Derks) to help, shedding GWAR's metal mockery and cranking out punk-laced tunes. "I think as a whole, the direction is more focused and not so much art faggotry -- a lot of good, straight-up, ridiculously offensive powerful punk rock," Brockie says, comparing the two acts. "`DBX` provides an interesting counterpoint and kind of makes both projects stronger, I believe."

Starting out in Virginia as a group of artists working on a movie about aliens, GWAR transitioned from a skit of the film (which never happened), to writing for shits and giggles, to releasing 1988's "Hell-O." From then the band snowballed, its members dressing as monsters on stage and unveiling everything from pagan rituals to blood-spewing corpses. The performances led to GWAR's being banned from venues nationwide and legal entanglements, like one in Athens, Ga., where police shut down the band in midshow. With DBX, Brockie doesn't expect the same controversy -- unless homosexual servicemen and mentally challenged women take offense to the music.

"It's just a small-scale project. We get about a hundred people at each gig -- sell a few thousand records. It's no big deal. It's under the radar. I don't think ... people are going to be afraid of it. At least, they shouldn't be afraid of it."

DBX doesn't shy away from its GWAR origins and Brockie makes no apologies. "It's sad when you have to rip off your own band," he says. "But I'll do it. I have no shame."


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