The singer of metal band Gwar gave a TED Talk about how his music is secretly about togetherness.

Metal band Gwar is not usually associated with thoughtful social commentary.
Unless you’re already a Gwar fan, you probably think of the band as “that crazy group with the freaky costumes and elaborately vulgar stage shows.“ (Actually, even if you are a Gwar fan, you probably think of them that way.)

So you might be surprised to learn that the lead singer of Gwar recently gave a TEDx Talk.

Dr. Michael Bishop, who gave the talk, currently plays the role of Gwar’s lead singer, the berserker Blothar. More importantly, he has a Ph.D. in music from the University of Richmond, with a particular interest in ethnomusicology (basically, the cultural and social context around music).

The talk is about the intersections of regional identity, economics, slavery, and creativity — and how it all relates to the construction of Gwar’s mythology.


Edward: Dad? Isn’t it getting a bit cold to be swimming? I mean, it’s officially autumn…

Edward frets more about Jim’s health than Jim does. Losing his mother at an early age is probably a factor in him being overprotective too. Jim finds it touching. Annoying as hell, but touching.  

Jim: The water’s beautiful, son. Anyway, I’m getting out now. Unless you want to join me for a quick dip.

Edward: No thanks. I’m starving. Have you planned anything for dinner? Or do you want me to grill that salmon that’s in the fridge?

Jim: Salmon sounds an excellent idea.

He sticks out a hand and allows Edward to pull him out of the water. Jim’s breathing is slightly laboured. Edward tut-tuts as he hands him his towel.

Edward: You’ve got to be careful not to overdo it, Dad.

Jim: I hardly think a few laps of a heated pool is overdoing it, Ted. Besides, I’ve been neglecting my fitness lately. I’m ashamed of myself. I need to get back into a routine. After Anita comes home I’m going to be joining her on her morning walks. No excuses.

They go inside the house and Edward opens the fridge.

Jim: Jared won’t be having any dinner, he’s at his father’s.

Edward: Really? How come?

Jim: I thought they should be spending more time together. And I also wanted to see this rumoured girlfriend for myself.

Edward: Yeah? And?

Jim: She does exist. And she’s quite striking, if you like that blonde bimbo type. Tall, slim, mid 20s. They seem like a good fit.

Edward: There must be something in the air. Saffy’s got a boyfriend too.

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