On the GWAR fan Facebook group, GWAR Fans Unite, GWAR vocalist Mike “Blothar” Bishop posted a lengthy and very well constructed reply to a fan accusing GWAR of being left wing liberals (like it’s a bad thing).
Here’s what Mike had to say:
I’ve noted before that GWAR has always been made up of people with diverse opinions. Some of them are utterly opposite of what I believe, and it’s always been that way. In that sense, with so many voices, we never articulated anything political with an clarity other than a politics of destruction and rejection of moral authority. Celebrating the low. Embracing chaos. These are the politics of GWAR. I guess thst lack of specificity is what allows Brian Esposito and others to describe GWAR as having once been neutral and equally abusive and confrontational to all regardless of party.
That sort of accidental objectivity was always fine by me and everyone else; a lot of voices saying things and finding certain things, certain themes that come out and developing them even if they lacked consistency, or the consistent was hard to determine. The depravity of man. Thst is one of the main themes and has always been so. Gwar despises sanctimonious people. Religion. Control in any form. GWAR has positioned itself against the dominant culture in the vast majority of instances. There is a kind of morality that emerges from the message of shows and songs and records and banter. And a kind of politics. But beyond that basic resistance to the dominant culture, it isn’t very clear what that position is. And that lack of clarity is comfortable for us because of our diversity of opinions and because it keeps GWAR sort of above the fray. But mainly, we seek to leave ambiguity so people can interpret it for themselves.
But that doesn’t mean GWAR owes it to anyone to be neutral and kill all sides to make sure everyone knows we stand for nothing at all. That isn’t the case. Musicians have the right to make political statements. It sounds like some people can’t reconcile an opinion that runs counter to their own as part of something they generally want to endorse and support. It creates a crisis of sorts. I like you but you say things I don’t like or agree with sometimes. That isn’t very hard to understand. GWAR hasn’t changed. The world has changed into a place where people cannot stand to even hear and respectfully consider, much less acknowledge the quality in something that takes a position they disagree with. That sucks. El Presidente is about Trump only loosely. It is really about Americans.
I didn’t write the lyrics. I changed them a bit, but by and large, Brent wrote it. It’s a tune about Americans who seem to have abdicated an interest in their own future and bought into myths of prosperity through hard work and virtue. That shit doesn’t work anymore. Do what you should and you still get fucked. It is about gwar becoming tired and stepping in to take over America. It is about killing Donald Trump. Not because of his politics, but because he is a human being and humans are awful.
That said, the idea that it is even possible to make music that has zero political resonance is a fantasy. Even if it’s escapism, it’s still political. GWAR, unlike most artists, insists on putting front and center our existence as a commodity. All music is. It is something meant to be bought and sold, and it is art. All at the same time. But it’s a fools errand to think music that comes from within the system can truly resist the dominant culture. We know thst, and so we play with meaning. We insist on it, and reject it. We leave room for the meaning that counts, and that is the meaning you make. It is hardly our fault if someone hears a song and has such little imagination thst they take it as a cut and dry anti-trump statement.