Blood of Docs – Building Doctor Jones

In my last post about building a costume, I detailed fleshing out a character from our mythos. For our last tour, however, we also added a character for the beginning of the set to introduce the narrative. Like any beginning of a set for a blood-spewing band, we needed a character to kill and come out spewing to capture our audience in the whirlwind of gore to come. Introducing, and then sending to his final resting place, Doctor Jones.

Photos by Johnny Perilla from

Since we were out with GWAR, a decapitation was out of the question. That’s practically a trademark of theirs. But I wanted something splashy, so I settled on ripping someone’s face off. This was only my second two-part mask mold, but it went infinitely easier than the first.

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Blood of Dogs – Building Sgt. Rott

A new part of the mythos for our band since our last record has been the addition of dog soldiers to back up the big bad guy. Well, they’re on the record and on the record cover, but it took us the better part of a year to make ’em. Sean built one and I did the other. You wanna know how Sean built his? Tell him to write a blog. You wanna meet Sgt. Rott? Here he is.

photo by JKR photography

Sgt. Rott was played by our buddy Muddy when he joined the second half of our long-assed tour with GWAR in 2017. Sean’s dog solder, Lt. Collie, was there the whole time. Because that’s how a hierarchy works.

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I was a Middle-Aged GWAR Slave

Our band recently had the amazing opportunity to go on tour for nearly two months as direct support for the Scumdogs of the Universe, GWAR. This came with some strings attached, however. No, we didn’t have to service Blothar’s dick-teats, that was voluntary. Instead, a couple of us would be pressed into service for our lords and masters. I was one of those: the shameless, the stepped-on, the slaves of GWAR.

A love that was forbidden…

For two months, we would play a show, furiously load our gear out in snow, rain, or heat, and then three of us would run back inside to don a more revealing pair of skivvies and monster shoes. To say it was rewarding would be one way to describe. The other would be grueling.

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Richmond, VA has become our East CoastĀ home away from home. I can now find my way from our friend Jim’s house to the Slave Pit, but more importantly, to the local WAWA. Of course, we were more than stoked to be invited again for the annual GWARBQ to play and get wicked drunk with all our good friends.

And so many of our good friends our made of foam rubber and latex
And so many of our good friends areĀ made of foam rubber and latex

First, we shipped all of our biggest stage accouterments on Amtrak well ahead of our flight. Tip: this is easily the cheapest shipping method for large items in North America. Then, we headed out on an early flight to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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Gorenography: visiting the Slave Pit, Inc.

After being entranced for so many years by some of my favorite space mutants, it could be considered sacrilege to see the men behind the curtain. Ah, fuck it. I’d been on tour with these folks for some time. I’d smelled their poos and farts. There was no more disillusionment to be had. The day after our tour ended, we headed to Richmond, VA (not Antarctica) over to see the real headquarters of GWAR: the Slave Pit.

Sean at Slave Pit door

It was an unassuming enough building from the outside. It looked like an little old office or shop of some sort. Now, it is a little fucking shop of horrors full of gorenography!

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Killing Kids in America 4

Knoxville was a blast. Our friends Andy and Emily from Argentum Astrum really hooked us up with a cool warehouse spot to play along with some excellent non-pizza type food.

The venue itself was in an old storage facility and called Fireproof Gallery. It hopefully was, because while we played the entire floor was littered ankle deep with crumpled up pieces of paper. At one point, someone set them on fire. Good decision, what with only one exit. The crowd did their best to shut us down by moshing on top of pedals and such. But if life hasn’t destroyed us by now, these tigers don’t stand a chance.

We drove all night to meet up with Gwar after Mr. Somese rustled us up some spaghet on his camping stove. When we finally showed up in Charlotte to meet Gwar, slave extraordinary Bob Gorman informed us we wouldn’t be needed until more like 4. Thank fucking God, we won’t be loading in at noon the entire tour. Time to celebrate that and Merch King Povey’s birthday.

We had an okay show at Amo’s, though we decided our set definitely needed to be changed. To much mid pace, not enough thrash. We also have to load out immediately each night to make room for Gwar. That’s a little hard, but even harder when Charlotte decides we need a torrential downpour to help lubricate our load out. Good thing I demanded road cases for as much of our gear as possible.

Dino didn’t even want to bring drum cases. I demanded it. Square guitar cases are also preferred when I’m packing. And for the first time, we got amp cases. One is an SKB, one is the case I bought in Denver, and mine is one I pieced together myself.

Two days before tour, I again found myself at Urban Ore, local Bay Area salvage store, looking for something. What I found was two old steamer trunks. Perfect.

I bought some trunk case handles from Home Depot along with some 3/16″ pop rivets of different sizes.

I marked the holes and drilled the case. Pop riveting is my new obsession, so I got to work happily. I added washers, because the wood in these cases is rather thin.

I bought 1/2″ polyethylene foam, the standard foam for road cases, from local supplier Bay Rubber. No jokes, please. This was the most expensive purchase for the project. I had to cut the pieces in multiple and glue them together to make the walls thick enough to fit the case snugly. Another option would’ve been to use a cheaper foam on the outer layer and one layer of polyethylene for the inner layer.

I used 3M 90 spray adhesive to put the layers together and then line the case. I did two layers for the sides and bottom, one for the top, and three for the back and front. I also cut a bit of foam and wrapped it around the handles with some duct tape so it would be more comfortable to hold.

All the riveting, cutting, and gluing was done about an hour before we were suppose to leave for tour. I was so proud, checking the lid latching over and over again… and then the rusted hinges broke. FUCK! I panicked, and then found some fence hinges on my workbench. They were curved, so I bent those back to a straight shape with my vice. A couple quick pop rivets and I had new hinges.

It was all done in time for that first disaster with our trailer to set us back an entire day. Oh well. Now my wonderful Ampeg V4B is protected from the elements. I was not as I got soaked playing tetris with gear in the rain. Hopefully I don’t get all muppetty and catch pneumonia.

Killing Kids in America 3

Funny thing about heading east, you lose an hour when you least expect it. Such was the case when we showed up as the first band was finishing in Kansas City. Twelve and a half hours in the car since 8am, and we were still late. Oops. Let’s see how these 12pm load-ins with Gwar go.

We showed up at the Aftershock Bar & Grill and quickly rushed our load-in. Our friend Jeff Sisson, FX artist and general man-about-town, was putting on the show with his band Troglodyte. I guess that’s why I found bizarre Neanderthal skins lying around in the back.

Troglodyte was awesome, brutal death metal with tons of guitar sweeps all while the members wore these movie-quality masks. Basically, they made us look like shit.

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Killing Kids in America 2

Ad Astra Per Astrum. I just took a piss inside the Kansas welcome and information center (in a toilet, ye bastards) and that is printed on the state seal. Being it was an infomation center, I asked for info on the slogan. It means “to the stars through difficulty.” That seemed perfect to describe our first show of the tour.

We drove all day and night and day to Denver. We arrived at the venue, the Blast-O-Mat, an awesome punk house / venue that Sean and I had played before on the Impaled / Phobia tour in ’08.

When we parked, our ragged asses stumbled out and stretched to find we’d sheared the new wiring for the trailer by having it hang too low. Son of a… does it ever end?

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