"STOP THE MADNESS! Religions are no fun. Religions endanger the
life and happiness and millions. It must stop. We appeal in
particular to the youth of today. Stop the madness. There are
better things in life."
Slogan on Altar's "Youth Against Christ"
WALDROCK - A GREAT DAY IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
by Richard Karsmakers
Bergum, July 9th 1994. Featuring Omission, Anathema, Skintrade,
Gorefest, NOFX, Napalm Death, Sick Of It All, Obituary and Gwar.
These last couple of months have been really exhilerating. I've
met a lot of cool people, and I guess the day of Wâldrock was the
most intense. All in all I think this may well have been one of
the more incredible days of my life.
Let me tell you about it.
I had to get up in time on the morning of Saturday, July 9th
1994, to join Marijn Vermunt and Frank Snijdelaar of Avalanche
Entertainment/Magazine at Amersfoort, whence a voyage by car
would be made to Friesland, the Netherlands' most remote,
northernmost and probably most unemployed province. Somewhere
within its territorial confines lay a town by the name of Burgum
(though for some reason known outside Friesland as Bergum).
Somewhere on the Wâldhei around this town the annual Wâldrock
festival would take place.
I had never gone there before because, quite simply, there was
normally no way to get back by public traffic after it had ended
and something in me doesn't like sleeping in a tent - let alone a
tent surrounded by noise and a lot of drunken metalfolk. This
year, however, I had a chance to be taken (and brought back) by
car so I grasped the opportunity with both hands. What was more
important, however, as I was going in a capacity as press person
of Avalanche Magazine it meant I was getting a Backstage Press
pass and only had to pay a third of the standard admission fee.
It had been decided that I could interview Obituary and Gwar
there, although principally everything could still go wrong
because nobody had been able to organize anything and even the
bands could trash the whole thing by simply not wanting to be
interviewed at all.
At about 12:45 the car arrived at the scene. We went backstage
immediately. I was armed with a photo camera, CD liners to sign,
the Aiwa Dolby B Stereo Recording device, and sufficient
medicines to keep a week of hard-core hayfever attacks down.
At first it was quite boring. Except for Anathema and some
Peaceville dudes no interesting people had actually arrived so
there wasn't a lot of interviewing to be done. I had brought
along the Anathema "Crestfallen EP" to I went to try and find
them all to get it signed. Andy of Peaceville was there, who
confirmed a rumour that was going around about Peaceville being
sold to Music For Nations. I just hope it won't change too much
and, if so, then only for the better.
First band on stage was Omission, a local band I believe. I am
totally unfamiliar with their material but it sounded OK. I
didn't grieve too much when they disappeared, however, and the
stage was made ready for Anathema.
Not too long after that, Anathema took to the stage. It was the
first time I'd seen them in daylight, and I have to say it was
quite different. Of course they started off with "Lovelorn
Rhapsody", after which a variety of older songs were played
(among them "Sleepless"). However, they also performed some stuff
off forthcoming albums: "Welcome to Hell" from the Venom Tribute
Album and a song off forthcoming EP "Pentacost 3", wrapping up
their show with a fiery version of a musically simple but
otherwise OK song I believe was called "666" (probably to be
found on their January 1995 full-length release, "Rise Pantheon
Dreams"). Anathema seem to have gone for all-out inspiration of
their heroes of old, Venom. And, so far, I like it.
After Anathema, probably the sweatiest appearance that day as
the sun showed itself several times and I flipped out the most, I
went backstage again. The members of Gorefest had in the mean
time arrived. I briefly talked with them about their latest
effort, "Erase", and got them to sign my "Eindhoven Insanity" CD
liner. Drummer Ed Warby told me, whilst signing across a TAMA
logo in the CD booklet, that he had recently switched to Remo
drums. Apparently these were a lot better than Tama.
So far, things were going exactly as planned. The other two
Avalanche guys sat in the constantly reappearing sun, talking
with whoever seemingly important that happened to pass by and
drinking what must have been gallons of beer. It was clear that I
had been taken along for the ride to talk my arse off and get
these interviews done that hadn't been arranged or anything. The
day could be great if only I did my best. Had I decided to join
them in their lethargy, nothing would have been done.
Between bands I went backstage a lot, then back on the actual
concert grounds. I had to keep on moving, not miss anything, and
try to find out if my target bands had already arrived. In the
mean time, the muddy trenches backstage were deepening. The
atmosphere was getting constantly better, however. Mitch of
Napalm Death was roaming around, and some members of Anathema and
Omission were playing soccer, trying not to sprain their ankles
on the uneven soil. I spotted Duncan (Anathema bassist) between a
few tour fans, curled up in foetal position, sleeping deeply.
Around that time, Obituary turned out to have arrived. I kept
tabs on two organizing people, Paul and Alice, and eventually
they told me the band had gone into the farmer's shack annex
dressing room hall, where Alice introduced me to the band for an
interview. The results of that can be found in another article in
When the interview had finished, Skintrade was playing. I didn't
like what I heard, so basically I decided to join Frank and
Marijn for a while and have a few beers. Talked to Andy of
Peaceville a bit more, too, and waited until Gorefest were on.
Gorefest, it seems, are quick learners. Around the release
of their third album, "Erase", they appear to have decided to go
for a certain image involving "GF" logo banners on the back of
the stage and "GF" logo T-shirts. I am not too sure myself
whether that's a good or a bad move, but in the end I did hear
some people telling me Gorefest was going too much into this
Never mind image. Mind the music.
Which is exactly what I did when they started. They played four
old songs and three new ones, the latter part of which I didn't
recognize because I don't have "Erase" yet. The old songs I seem
to recall were "Mental Misery", "Get A Life", "Reality When You
Die" and, the last song of course, the more than excellent
"Confessions of a Serial Killer" (this being the only song off
their debut album, "Mindloss").
It wasn't like Dynamo Open Air '93, but it was an good gig
nonetheless. The new songs sounded OK, though I will still have
to listen to "Erase" some time before I can make a final
When I got backstage again I found out that Gwar had been
present all along. As a matter of fact, when I later developed
the pictures I had taken it turned out that my very first picture
of the day, prior even to Anathema taking the stage, already had
the undisguised Don Drakulich (a.k.a. Sleazy P. Martini) on it.
Gwar looked set on doing a spectacular and huge show. There were
three large Trans Am Trucking vehicles filled to the gills with
props. A huge shape already stood looming at a stage exit,
covered with black plastic so as not to spoil too much of its
surprise (and a surprise it would certainly turn out to be!).
I got Paul to contact the Gwar road manager, Matt Miles, a
somewhat flabby man with half-long hair who promptly entered the
Gwar tent to ask if perhaps they'd be willing to be interviewed.
The result of that can be found elsewhere in this issue of ST
NEWS as well.
Napalm Death came on stage during the final part of a
conversation I had with the Gwar computer person, Scott Krahl
(a.k.a. One Of The Slaves). Excusing myself, I dashed for the
press pit where I would now have a chance to make some decent
pictures of Napalm Death because those taken at their Tivoli
appearance some months earlier had been too poor.
"Suffer the Children" was their first song - and one of my
favourites that this time I actually got to hear (last time I was
interviewing Entombed during the first bit of Napalm Death's
performance). Although I think Napalm Death had below average
sound and they're more of a small venue band to begin with, they
played excellently. "More than Meets the Eye", "Twist the Knife
(Slowly)" and "Hung" were played off their latest album "Fear
Emptiness Despair", whereas some old classics passed the
listeners by as well. Unfortunately the Napalm Death set had to
be cut short. Because of them having forgotten European power
sockets they had started much too late and now they had to pay.
They didn't mind, though I suppose large part of the audience
did. Even so, they played the Dead Kennedies cover "Nazi Skins
Fuck Off" (I still don't know if it's called this actually) after
which they went off stage.
And I did make some good pictures this time.
Next on were Sick of it All. Again, I didn't like that band
particularly. Time for me to try and get a bite to eat, and get
some loose ends tied up: I hadn't yet gotten Obituary to pose
with an "ST NEWS - The Atari ST Disk Magazine" T-shirts, and I
also wanted to contact Gwar's road manager again to see if
perhaps he could do me a favour and allow me 1 minute with the
band in full gear just prior to going on stage, to have them pose
The food, first of all, was horribly expensive. You had to pay
2,50 Dutch guilders (almost £1) to get some French Fries with
mayo. You got about 8 French Fries for your money. In the end I
opted for a better-looking and, unfortunately, similarly
expensive "Hamburger Special". That would have to do.
Getting Obituary to pose without hassling them too much took the
best of my diplomatic abilities (they had to prepare to get on
stage after Sick of it All, of course, and they also had to eat),
but in the end it worked. Off, quickly, to find Matt Miles to get
permission to give Gwar the T-shirt before they went on and make
pictures of them holding it. To my immense satisfaction, this
proved to be no problem at all.
Chuck Varga (a.k.a. the Sexecutioner) was sowing his suit,
apparently damaged the night before. I asked him if perhaps the
Cuddlefish of Cthulu (i.e. lead singer Oderus Urungus' huge fat
prick) was in the vicinity too. After an affirmative answer I
took the next step and asked if perhaps I could...er...wield it
for a while. He agreed, and even made a picture of yours truly
holding the thing at the right spot, agony all over my face. That
was 19:46, because that's what I commented in pseudo-real-time on
the walkman tape. A small thing for mankind but a huge wad for a
Next up was one of my two most favourite bands appearing at this
year's Wâldrock, Obituary. They had not been on the road long and
it was evident that they had a lot of fun on the stage. During
the first two songs - one of them "Turned Inside Out", I recall -
I was in the press pit, making some pictures that later turned
out to be class A. I made a picture of John Tardy that is just
too perfect for description. I usually have 2 or 3 really good
pictures out of the usual 37; I just hope this figure will
increase in the future.
Anyway, after having shot enough pictures still to have some
left to shoot Gwar I went backstage again. There were two stage
exits, of which one was guarded by somewhat of a zealot. On the
other side, however, there wasn't a guard at all. I spent the
entire rest of the Obituary concert standing on that left back
corner of the stage, enjoying myself tremendously, flipping out.
That was half past nine in the evening. Sound was perfect, the
band played their songs with awesome energy and I also got the
opportunity to get Trevor Peres' guitar pick and one of Donald
Tardy's drum sticks in the end - which was not until they had
played about three new songs (which sounded great) and a load of
classics including "'Til Death", "Words of Evil" (the predictable
encore), "Cause of Death", "Body Bag" (?), "Back to One" and
"Killing Time" (and probably some more).
Covered by the huge banner that hung behind Donald's drum kit,
Gwar roadies (including some of them that would later appear on
stage as Slaves) had already been building up their drum kit
while Obituary were performing. Their drums are quite ordinary,
really, but all parts that can be covered by rubber bones and
stuff without them interfering with the drum sound were covered
up. I really respect these guys. I think the claim to their being
the hardest working band in showbusiness might very well hold
true. And I wouldn't like to be one of the roadies, who obviously
do the bulk of the work.
To ensure nothing going wrong with the intended posing with "ST
NEWS" T-shirt just prior to them having to go on stage, I kept at
a close distance to their stage exit.
It was around that time that Romario scored the first of the
Brazilians' goals that were to kick the Dutch National Soccer
Team out of the '94 World Cup. In the organisation's tent behind
me I suddenly heard the people uttering shouts of dismay. Only
the next day would I find out that we had had a change of beating
Brazil after all. At least we lost from the World Champs, whereas
arch rival Germany got kicked by outsider Bulgaria...
At around half past ten the various members of Gwar disappeared
into a large truck to change into their various outfits. As time
was progressing I felt increasingly restive. Had Matt told them
about the posing? And, if he had, would they recall at the
On 22:40 Gwar was announced on the stage. I had to act quickly
or nothing would come of it at all. I jumped on the truck into
their impromptu dressing room and handed them the T-shirt. It was
pretty clear that I wouldn't have a minute alone with them - time
was running out. It would have to happen while they were walking
up the ramp to the stage. Quite a few photopgraphers had already
gathered there, too.
Then Gwar came out. First Jizmak da Gusha, followed by Flattus
Maximus, his huge tail bobbing. Next Beefcake the Mighty (who I
could have sworn they told me had left Gwar - at least it was
someone with his outfit), ponderously walking, posing. Cameras
clicked. Then Balsac the Jaws of Death, walking on hooves. He
held the "ST NEWS - The Atari ST Disk Magazine" T-shirt like a
pro, and I guess all people present got it on film properly,
including me. A slave scuttered past, bowing nonworthily. There
were a few moments before Slymenstra Hymen appeared, yawning
boredly at the gathered scum of the earth. Blood poured from her
crotch. Another few moments came and went. I was still trying to
get a half-decent shot of Slymenstra when a threatening growl
became audible. I looked to my left and there stood the huge
looming shape of Oderus Urungus, bloody and quite horrible. A
climactic orgasm of many clicking cameras ensued.
Off they walked to the stage. I ran to to get in front of the
stage, in the press pit again.
The gathered security people all wore thin plastic coats and all
monitors on the stage had been covered similarly. Obviously, Gwar
was going to kick some bloody (and sperm-y) ass.
On stage came Sleazy P. Martini. The show had begun. Two heavily
dressed people entered the stage, offering Sleazy millions of
dollars to sell out Gwar. He politely declined, Gwar kicking off
with "Americanized" and the heavily dressed people turning out to
conceal huge amounts of blood and gore beneat their coats. Swords
and knives were used to disembowel them, Gwar claiming it would
never sell out.
I had already left the press pit to prevent the many
gallons of expected semen and bloodshed from damaging my camera
or the other stuff present in the bag I carried around.
What followed was probably the most entertaining heavy metal
show I had ever seen and probably won't ever see again unless I
go to see Gwar another time. I believe, for starters, the
disemboweled corpses first got eaten by a huge worm-like pair of
jaws located under the drumkit. Some moments later there were
three further people coming on the stage of which the heads got
chopped off - blood splattering copiously dozens of feet into the
audience as the three linked arms and danced a morbid polka.
Slymenstra did a pyro show and suddenly took from between her
legs an enormously huge, blackened and bleeding tampon. Also, we
were introduced to Skulhedface, a creature that seeks to warp
Gwar fans into hating the band by means of a ray device called
the Homoginizer to the sound of the first chords, distorted
heavily, of "The Road Behind". Sleazy defeated it with a
Krakzooka, smoke enveloping the stage.
One of the climaxes was the appearance of Michael Jackson on
stage to the sounds of "Billy Jean". Sexecutioner interviewed
him, asking him the secret of his success.
"Well," the sampled voice of the real Michael said, "I love
The audience doubled with laughter. Then Sexy continued... "But
whatta good are all the little boys and girls in Holland unless
it is templed with limitless child molestation..." leading the
band into "Sexecutioner". Somewhere during this song Michael
Jackson's...er...procreative organ was pulled out, not long after
which he started coming all over the audience, shooting blue
semen. At the end of the song the skin of his head got torn off,
revealing that in fact Michael Jackson was a transvestite space
"Isn't that amazing," Oderus concluded dryly.
After that we got the first song I ever heard of Gwar, "Horrors
of Jig", during which it is revealed what the huge black-plastic-
covered contraption at the side of the stage exit was - a huge
three-person costume of a mutated Skulhedface, one huge shape in
the middle with a fanged jaw at crotch height, several mutated
heads and breasts at chest level, the two side shapes being huge
hands. Later in the song the hands got cut off, blood splattering
even further and in even more huge quantities. Suddenly out of
the fangs came Hitler's face spitting blood at the audience.
Oderus took a sword and cut off Skulhedface's head, again with
blood splattering almost up to the very ceiling. Slymenstra
collected the head and opened it to reveal (and eat) its brains.
Oderus got a hammer and began mindlessly hammering about.
After the song, two normal girls suddenly find themselves on the
stage. I am not sure whether these were ordinary girls or
roadies, but anyway they got eaten by the monster under the
drumkit, that suddenly turned out to be some huge kind of
caterpillar that danced and prowled across virtually the entire
stage, pretty impressive. After the girls have been fed to silent
its frenzy, suddenly Sexecutioner got caught. Other band members
started hacking at the beast, cutting off the head. The
caterpillar remains (need I say they were bleeding profusedly?)
retracted under the drumkit, Sexecutioner jumping around with the
cut-off fangs around him.
The last song prior to the encore was "Sick of You", at the end
of which Oderus took his biggest of all swords, hosing some more
red fluid all over the stage and the befuddled audience.
Midnight arrived when the band stopped playing. I had to get
backstage where the other two Avalanche guys were waiting for me
to beat the rush out. We entered the car to the sound of the
first song in the encore in the background, "Black and Huge".
I discovered green stains on my bag, that could only have been
Oderus' semen. And I had been way far off!
What with my having emphasized the show elements of Gwar so far,
it remains to be told that the music actually stood like a house.
Gwar played the songs fairly faithfully, and I think many people
who had only heard of Gwar's image before were pleasantly
surprised at the music they got to hear. A lot of sampled sounds
were used throughout the concert in the background, adding a lot
to the whole experience.
I didn't recognize the songs they played off their latest album
(I only listened to it a few times when reviewing it), but I
assume they played the forthcoming single releases "Jack the
World" and "Saddam A-Go-Go", as well as, probably, "The Incidious
Soliloquy of Skullhedface". Other songs they performed, apart
from the ones mentioned above already, were "Maggots", "Ham on
the Bone" and, I believe, "The Salaminizer".
I was pretty tired, thirsty and hungry when the car left Burgum.
There was barely enough fuel to get us to Marijn's home in
Amersfoort crossing a country where all fuel stations were
closed. The last few kilometres got fairly intense, the "fuel
out" warning light blinking almost constantly. But we made it,
and at about 3 AM I lay myself to sleep, praying for the lord my
soul to keep.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.