Dave Brockie, who as "Oderus Urungus" fronted the alien-costumed heavy metal band GWAR during graphic and fake-blood-soaked stage shows for more than three decades, has died. He was 50.
Officers were called to Brockie's home Sunday evening and found the singer dead inside the home, Richmond police spokeswoman Dionne Waugh said Monday. Detectives don't suspect foul play at this time, and the medical examiner's office will determine cause of death, Waugh said.
TMZ reported that Brockie was found by his roommate sitting upright in his chair, and authorities don't suspect suicide. "There were no drugs found, as far as I know," TMZ quoted one law enforcement source as saying.
The band founded in 1984 is known for its comically grotesque costumes, stage antics and vulgar lyrics. GWAR was nominated for a Grammy Award for best long-form music video in 1993 for "Phallus in Wonderland" but lost to "Diva" by Annie Lennox. It also was nominated for best metal performance for "S.F.W." in 1996 but lost to "Happiness In Slavery" by Nine Inch Nails.
Randy Blythe, the lead vocalist for Virginia-based metal band Lamb of God, fondly recalled Brockie's approach to humor in a post on the band's Facebook page: "Right now, if I were to truly honor Dave in the way HE would do it if it were ME that had died, I would make a completely tasteless joke about his death. But I do not have the stomach for that — Dave would, but not me. He never put much stock in 'limits.'"
GWAR released its latest album, "Battle Maximus," in September 2013 and recently toured Australia and Japan. Over the summer, the band held its 4th annual GWAR-B-Q at a small water park in Richmond and released its own canned craft beer for the occasion made by Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Fla. The band had announced plans for its 5th annual event last week.
Brockie remained a constant in the band that has had a revolving door of members, including lead guitarist Cory Smoot, who was found dead on the band's tour bus in North Dakota in 2011. He was 34.
The state medical examiner said Smoot, who had performed since 2002 under the name "Flattus Maximus," died of "coronary artery thrombosis brought about by his pre-existing coronary artery disease." But records showed that investigators found on Smoot a $5 bill with a white powder residue, a prescription bottle holding eight Oxycodone-Acetaminophen pills, a lighter and two empty syringes.