The frontman of the always obscene, yet genius/boundary-defying thrash metal band Gwar was found dead at his home in Virgina on Sunday night. Dave Brockie, also known by his stage name "Oderus Urungus", was one of the most beloved and well-respected musicians in the metal community, and left a profound impact on the music scene through his out-of-this-world and unbelievable creative work with Gwar.
Gwar's manager has released the following statement:
"It is with a saddened heart that I confirm my dear friend Dave Brockie, artist, musician, and lead singer of GWAR, passed away at approximately 6:50 p.m. EST Sunday, March 23, 2014. His body was found Sunday by his bandmate at his home in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond authorities have confirmed his death and next of kin has been notified. A full autopsy will be performed. He was 50 years old, born August 30, 1963. My main focus right now is to look after my bandmates and his family. More information regarding his death shall be released as the details are confirmed."
Dave Brockie was known for his highly creative and utterly limitless style, often [effectively] offending everyone in his path. Having music and stage shows that knew no limits allowed for a musical live experience that was like nothing else the world had ever seen. No subject was too offensive or too taboo. Those fans and critics who understood him however, could see the depths of his creativity that he employed in the art and music of his band; a band in which he was both a founding member and staple character.
Former bassist Mike Bishop said Brockie was
"...deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art. His penchant for scatological humors belied a lucid wit. He was a criminally underrated lyricist and hard rock vocalist, one of the best, ever!"
The news comes as a huge shock, especially with the recent (and equally tragic) passing of Gwar guitarist Cory Smoot. Playing the character of "Flattus Maximus", Smoot was only 34 at the time of his passing in late 2011, when he was found dead on the tour bus as it was crossing borders into Canada. The shocking news affected everyone in both the music world, and especially within the band.
Brockie remarked on the death of Smoot, stating the band was relieved to discover that Smoot's death was not due to a drug overdose, but still alarming in and of itself, due to the 34 year old suffering a heart attack on the road while traveling.
The community has been very vocal about the deeply saddening news of Brockie's death, with condolences pouring out from all corners of the music industry. Fellow Virginia metal icon Randy Blythe of Lamb of God was deeply saddened by the news of Brockie's untimely death, and understood that despite his character of being 'tasteless about death', Randy could not make light of it:
"Right now, if I were to truly honor Dave in the way HE would do it if it were ME that had died, I would make a completely tasteless joke about his death. But I do not have the stomach for that — Dave would, but not me. He never put much stock in 'limits.' Richmond has lost one of its most creative people. This is a crying shame to me"
Randy's respect and reverence for Brockie is shared by everyone across the music world (http://www.metalsucks.net/2014/03/24/metal-celebrities-react-dave-brockies-passing/). Complete facts are still unknown about the cause of Brockie's death at the time. His death leaves the band without any of its founding members.
Photo Courtesy of http://www.gwar.net/dave-brockie-fund