This Saturday, metal, punk and hardcore fans will be converging on Richmond, VA for the fifth annual GWAR-B-Q. Among the many bands playing will be Goatwhore, whose singer Ben Falgoust took some time to chat with us on the last day of the Summer Slaughter tour about what Dave Brockie meant to him, what touring with GWAR was like, and his thoughts on the next phase of the band.
What does playing the GWAR-B-Q mean to you?
It means a lot to me, man. We originally wanted to do it even before the circumstances that recently happened. We’ve toured in the past with GWAR, I’ve toured with them numerous times, with both Goatwhore and Soilent Green. All the guys in general and Dave himself are fucking amazing individuals. I’ve always been a GWAR fan since I was a kid, I remember I used to come to New Orleans, like Mardi Gras night and they would come and play. And way back, you know, when they did Hell-o and before they did Scumdogs. And then as they progressively got bigger, they had touring schedules and they didn’t come do Mardi Gras night anymore. The last time we played with them was at the Housecore Horror Fest thing in Texas and we told them ‘We wanna do the Gwar-B-Q one year, we wanna do it this year.’ And they were like, “We gotta have you on it this year.” Of course later on, some things happened, and tragedy, the loss of a fucking amazing individual, a person that, just, his ideas and everything that he’s done with GWAR, has been fucking phenomenal.
I think sometimes people don’t really understand everything that goes into GWAR, universally, not even with just Dave, but for everybody involved with GWAR, from all the members to the slaves, how much of a family oriented venture it is. So, doing it this year, not only because we wanted to do it prior to that, but just because of the whole cause that it’s pointed at now, it means so much more from that angle.
Have you ever been to one of them before?
No, I’ve just heard lots of fucking really good stories about them. I heard how, I got to hear the whole story of like the first one they ever did and it was just a small get-together and then it just kinda blew up from there and each year it got bigger and bigger and bigger.
And now you get to be part of it which, I guess, has gotta be kinda bittersweet.
It’s definitely is a bittersweet situation. But then also, it’s also for a positive situation as well. I’m sure Dave wouldn’t want people weeping over him, he wants people to be festive and have a good time. He’s always been like that, he was always like that. So, I’m sure this event plays the role in it itself, even more so at this point.
I re-read the story about him, basically swaddling you and cradling you.
(laughs) Well, he, we had an off-day, we played Memphis, Tennessee and the next day was off, so, out back the venue where we were all parked we were allowed to kinda stay parked. And we were hanging out on the bus with him. Being on the road and being in a van gets tiresome, the driving wears you down. So were hanging around the bus, having a few drinks and I was kinda like dozing off and I guess he caught me dozing off and he kinda like laid me down and put a pillow under my head and tucked a blanket around me. But at the same time it was funny, cause we were sitting on the bus and he was telling stories of all the new concepts he had going on for the next GWAR tour. Cause every time, it changed every tour, he always had new things, new ideas, they always did new little shows and stuff like that each time they toured, they had some new kinda props and stuff like that. So he was kinda going through all the new ideas he had and everything so it was like a little story that was going on as well and it was just funny and he was like, “No, you’re really tired, you’ve been driving a lot, lay down right here and go to sleep and (I’ll) tuck you in, and I’ll finish telling the story of things we’re gonna be doing.”
This is when? The most recent tour?
That was, way back, that was actually like in 2002.
What about when you first toured when you were in Soilent? What was your first impression?
That was actually the tour that we got in an accident and I broke both my legs on, too. Well see, the thing was, back then in 2001, it was like a split tour, they did one leg of the tour was in 2001 and someone was supposed to do it but there was some guys injured from an accident that we were in prior to that and so Goatwhore did it in place. And then, the second leg, everything was fine with Soilent and we went out and got into that other accident outside of Chicago and I broke both legs and both ankles. Not to say it’s bad touring with GWAR, just circumstances that happened to us on the road.
So what was your first impression of life on the road with GWAR?
It was awesome, it was fun every single day. There was not like a day you could ever complain about, you know. It was just unique, you’d see the whole set up, them pulling all that shit out, setting it all up. It never got old, not once did it ever get old. It would pump you up every day, and not only that it was just like, when you played GWAR shows, GWAR fans are definitely GWAR fans, so you had to work hard, to kinda swing people over to your side, because they’re definitely there to see GWAR. So, it’s definitely that thing where you had to be on your toes the whole tour, you had to definitely get out there and put like, 150% percent, because nobody was there to see you really, they were there to see GWAR. But in saying that, they’ve always been really good at bringing out bands, smaller bands, bands they’ve made, that have evolved, bands like Lamb of God, whose evolved in like a huge metal band. Their early days, they toured with Gwar. Municipal Waste, Goatwhore, Soilent Green, Toxic Holocaust, the list goes on and on, all the bands that they would always bring out. They would always bring out underground, hardworking bands with them.
Are you looking forward to the next incarnation of whatever GWAR becomes?
Yeah, I’m interested to see what could happen, I mean, of course Oderus is Oderus and the way he came across. But I’m interested to see what’s gonna go beyond that, but definitely Oderus is a unique individual and Dave himself, in general. So it’s, to find another unique individual like that is gonna be a tough thing to do, but I know all those guys know so many different, I mean they’re all unique. So, I’m sure within that fold, that family fold of people, there’s so many unique ideas going on to definitely have one that’s gonna fall into place in the proper way. And I don’t think they’re just gonna do any old, oh let’s just pick someone, I’m sure they’re going in to it with a lot of thought and a lot of ideas behind it in what they’re gonna do.