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GWAR settles feud with Empire Records' Ethan Embry in surprising, tentative show of mercy

Photo: Scott Dudelson (Getty Images)

Late last month, we reported on a long-simmering feud between extraterrestrial rock stars GWAR and Ethan Embry, who sought revenge for the band’s World Maggot eating his character Mark during a psychedelic daydream scene in 1995's Empire Records. The date of their threatened confrontation at this year’s Riot Fest drawing near, the festival enlisted comedian Anya Volz to publicly mediate the potentially cosmos-rending beef.

Surprisingly, GWAR and Embry have found shaky, but common ground, sparing us from the doomsday scenario of all-out war between the forces of Earth and the riff-loving crew of space freaks.


Balsac the Jaws of Death and Jiazmak Da Gusha agreed to join Volz on a call with Embry, which started off on the wrong foot when Balsac was infuriated that they were talking to Embry the actor and not “that nibbling little creature Mark from Empire Records.”

After being assured that Embry could represent Mark (as his “vessel”), the actor apologized for being so confrontational on social media, saying that he didn’t understand how intense a Twitter fight could be.


“I think you also combine the power of an intergalactic entity such as GWAR with Twitter beefs,” he says. “And you end up where we are now.”

Jiazmak, clearly unimpressed, responds to Embry’s apology by calling it “a very typical let’s-blame-it-on-the-media-type stance that you Hollywood people always take.”


“You were trying to start something with GWAR, and you didn’t think that we’d come all the way from Antarctica to Chicago to stand in front of you and slaughter you in front of the whole crowd,” he adds. “And that’s what we’re gonna do.”

Though things start off pretty rocky, Volz gets to the root of the issue by guiding the argument toward its root cause: GWAR just wants to get high by eating Mark’s head since they believe “there’s enough residual THC from those hash brownies he was eating in the ‘80s” left in it to do the trick.


Even with that point settled, though, Balsac says that some “blood needs to be shed here.” He clarifies that he’s “got no beef with Ethan” and just wants “Mark’s head on a platter.” Embry, for his part, says that “Mark doesn’t have any beef with GWAR, it’s just the [World Maggot]” that ate him in the first place he’s upset about.

The discussion continues back and forth, both sides slowly working toward a compromise. GWAR suggests they get to kill Empire Records’ Liv Tyler or that Embry can live by bringing “David Cassidy, Susan Day, or the little Partridge kid—Chris Partridge—as a substitute sacrifice,” but ends up settingly the entire thing with an uneasy truce based on the promise that Embry will come to Chicago for GWAR’s set.


The entire transcript is well worth reading not only for its entertainment value, but also for the lessons it can teach us all about how to mediate conflict between parties as deeply opposed as murderous alien warriors and actors whose characters they let be devoured.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com


Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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