Balsac Jaws of Death

HORROR NEWS: Balsac the Jaws of Death plagued with Myelofibrosis

HORROR NEWS: Balsac the Jaws of Death plagued with Myelofibrosis

The last few years for the shock rock/metal band Gwar has not been all the best in the way of luck. However, we can say that Gwar though will keep on despite what’s been thrown at them making them, by far, the strongest band in the galaxy.
In 2011, Gwar guitarist Cory Smoot, known by his stage name Flattus Maximus, was found deceased of a heart attack while on tour. Then, in 2014, the greatest frontman to ever take the stage Dave Brockie, known to Gwar fans as Oderus Urungus was found dead in his room, due to a heroin overdose. None of this stopped Gwar from carrying on. One thing that they have always done, is kept going despite the odds. Flattus was replaced by Pustulus Maximus, and Oderus role was filled by Blothar which was the original Beefcake The Mighty. Gwar has been through a few changes over the 30+ years of their time on earth. Now, faced with not another change, but another medical issue within the band's members.
Mike Derks aka Balsac the Jaws of Death is facing a disease called myelofibrosis which is a bone marrow disorder that causes the body’s blood cells to not produce properly. This may have come as a surprise to most people. I know for sure it did for me, I got to see Gwar perform on the warped tour, and Balsac was not on a few dates due to this disease causing him great pain and other physical issues. I was wondering why I didn’t see him on stage, and now I understand.
Over the next several months, Derks will be undergoing some major medical treatment, including blood transfusions, constant monitoring, and eventually a bone marrow transplant in which chemotherapy will be administered to rid the body of the diseased marrow, and then the good marrow put in. None of this monitoring and the transfusion of blood will stop Derks or Gwar, as he is still going on tour with the band this fall/winter and will be utilizing various hospital organizations across the country to monitor his condition.
I love music, I love playing music, but if this were me I’d say, “Fuck it”, and not play until it’s all taken care of. Then again, I’m not a bad ass like the guys in Gwar, and I don’t have fans either. HA! Derks has teamed up with Love Hope Strength to get people in the know, get people to donate and gain knowledge of this condition as well as other bone marrow diseases that people face. You can visit https://www.lovehopestrength.org/ and contribute any way you can.
From all of us at House of Tortured Souls as fans, and people with hearts that care about our fellow man, we wish Mike Derks/Balsac Jaws of Death a speedy recovery and issue a thank you for all you do, keeping the ball rolling and having such a positive outlook on the situation at hand.
Posted by Schock in EXCLUSIVE, 0 comments
MEMORIAL: Dave Brockie

MEMORIAL: Dave Brockie

Dave Brockie was born August 30, 1963, and passed away on March 23, 2014. We knew him best as Oderus Urungus, lead vocalist of the shock rock extreme metal band Gwar, but he also assumed the role of vocalist and bass player in bands such as X-Cops and Dave Brockie Experience (DBX).
Dave Brockie/Oderus UrungusDave Brockie left a legacy that took Shock Rock and turned into something of a spectacle. In the beginning of the conception of Gwar, the band saw a lot of flack from the music. Bands like Alice Cooper, Kiss, David Bowie, and Black Sabbath had long embraced their dark sides and employed theatrics in stage performances. Gwar, though, took it to a level that defied all that had been seen before. Gwar literally redefined the concept of theatrical musical performances designed to shock and entertain people. Remaining as the only original member of Gwar before his passing, this legacy truly brought fans something to anticipate and admire whenever the name Gwar was uttered.
Personally, I have seen Gwar 13 times in my life, and I’ll see them every time they come around. During Dave Brockie’s time on earth and as Oderus Urungus, he seriously was the best front man of any band I have ever seen live - and believe me I have seen a LOT of bands in my time. He had a charisma that immediately inspired the crowd to go wild. Not only could he actually sing and had an amazing voice, his on stage antics brought weren’t just for the audience’s amusement. Gwar and Brockieincluded fans in the show, and the fans loved it. From the decapitation of presidential figures and celebrities to jerking his cuttle fish and covering, no…layering the audience in blood, bile, and whatever else they come up with, Gwar always left the audience satisfied. This, partnered with the giant earthworm that ate an audience member (and who knows what happened after that), guaranteed a truly memorable show.
A Gwar show was purely amazing on multiple levels, but when I reflect on all the times I have seen Gwar, I realize the extent to which Oderus fueled that. Gwar, both as a whole and as individual artists, are extremely talented, and original Beefcake, Michael Bishop, ultimately assumed the role of the lead vocalist as Blothar – knowing full well that he had some big shoes to fill after Brockie’s untimely death. Having seen Gwar with Blothar on lead vocals three times now, I can say with confidence that they are still Gwar and are making Dave/Oderusproud. Speaking of which, they have a new album coming out soon titled The Blood of the Gods set for release later this year. House of Tortured Souls will, of course, be reviewing it, so don’t forget to check back for that.
Dave Brockie Experience - Diarrhea of a MadmanBack to Dave Brockie. I also recall getting the opportunity to see DBX live many (many many MANY) years ago at some hole in Muncie, Indiana. Being low key like that, without the entire hullabaloo of Gwar, was a real treat. It was just Dave Brockie and the rest of his band in action - the stripped down, punk rock, roots style. It was an honor just to be in the audience - the jokes didn’t stop, the talent was immense, and the showmanship was godlike. Dave Brockie was not only immensely talented, the best showman in all of rock n’ roll, and a lyrical genius, he was also a genuinely nice guy to everyone he met. I had the opportunity to shake his hand during this DBX performance, and that was better than meeting any other famous person. His friends loved him with a love that could move mountains, which can be seen if you watch the Gwar-B-Q following his death. Just watching through the computer touched my heart with some super strength as the love for Davewas evident and overwhelming. We can say that he was not only loved and cherished, but he was also idolized for his music, his art, and himself as a human - and as an alien overlord who brutally murdered the Republican party and the douche bags that plague this world.
Today, we here at House of Tortured Souls celebrate the day that Dave Brockie/Oderus Urungus was gifted to the world. We encourage you to pop in a Gwar, DBX, or X-Copsalbum and bask in the beauty that was Dave Brockie’s amazing talent. His legacy and creativity will never die as long Gwar keeps going, as long as we not only support the underground music scene that Dave Brockie held close to his heart, and as long as we keep the horror alive! Dave/Oderus, we in the underground love you, brother. You inspired us all to be creative and to push boundaries in what we do. I can honestly say that without you here, life is not the same. We miss you, we will always miss you, but you are still alive in our hearts.
If you wish to follow Gwar, buy merchandise, or see them on tour and whatever else going on in the world of the Scumdogs of the Universe, visit GWAR ONLINE.
Posted by Schock in EDITORIALS, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, TRIBUTE, 1 comment