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GWAR: Tiny Desk Concert

As the band of intergalactic monsters strapped guitars to their battle-worn bodies, thunder and rain pounded the NPR building outside. As if the late Oderus Urungus was pissing his blessing from Valhalla, the prophecy had finally been fulfilled: GWAR came to destroy the Tiny Desk once and for all.

On Feb. 15, 2020, a parody news site ran the headline: "GWAR asks NPR's Tiny Desk Staff if They're Ready to Get Their A******* Ripped Open." My text messages suddenly blew up. Is this real? No, it's literally fake. Can this be real? Little did they know I'd already been talking to one of the group's underlings since 2019 to bring the Scumdogs of the Universe to the office of seltzer and sensibility.

For nearly four decades, GWAR has terrorized planet Earth with its gratuitously blood-soaked stage shows and grotesque satire. The interplanetary warriors have made comic books, beer, BBQ sauce and, um, adult toys. But, most importantly, GWAR has written some of the raunchiest, silliest and hookiest heavy metal songs, four of which were performed at the Tiny Desk to a giddy audience. No heads were decapitated, but Blöthar the Berserker and Pustulus Maximus did invade All Things Considered afterward to part from NPR with these immortal words: "CDeez nutz."


  • "Sex Cow"
  • "I'll Be Your Monster"
  • "Ratcatcher"
  • "Phantom Limb"


  • Blöthar the Berserker: vocals
  • Balsac the Jaws of Death: guitar, vocals
  • Pustulus Maximus: guitar, vocals
  • Beefcake the Mighty: bass, vocals
  • Jizmak Da Gusha: drums


  • Producer: Lars Gotrich
  • Director/Editor: Maia Stern
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
  • Creative Director: Bob Boilen
  • Series Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Videographers: Maia Stern, Joshua Bryant, Sofia Seidel, Zayrha Rodriguez, Alanté Serene
  • Audio Assistant: Hannah Gluvna
  • Production Assistant: Ashley Pointer
  • Photographer: Michael Zamora
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Kara Frame, Hazel Cills
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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