GWAR is a satirical thrash metal/punk band formed in 1985-1986 by a group of artists and musicians at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. The band is perhaps best known for their elaborate sci-fi/horror film inspired costumes, raunchy lyrics, and graphic stage performances, which can consist of scatology, sadomasochism, necrophilia, paedo-necrophilia, beastio-necrophilia, fire dancing, fake pagan rituals, mock executions/mutilations, and other controversial violent and political themes. GWAR was, for a long time, on the leading edge of shock rock, going as far as appearing on Jerry Springer in character and in full costume during the mid 1990’s.
The origin and meaning of the band’s name has been left intentionally vague by its members, although the most widely accepted explanation (though false and denied by the band members) is that GWAR is an acronym for “God What an Awful Racket!” One rumor states that the name may have come from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ graphic novel Watchmen, in which a poster reads, “Pink Triangle LIVE at the Gay Women Against Rape Benefit Concert.” Other unsubstantiated rumors state that GWAR! is the sound monsters make in old horror movies, or that a fan at a club yelled “You should call your band…” and vomited before he could finish, making a sound close to the word GWAR. A final possibility, and the most viable as of yet, coming from sources close to the band suggests strongly that the name comes from the answer David Brockie gave to Hunter Jackson when asked what the band should be called.