Sick Riffs: Pustulus Maximus wants you to learn GWAR's Auroch - and he wants you to learn it NOW

Sick Riffs #58: Few bands can compete with the arresting aesthetics and all-out rock fury of GWAR. Adopting larger-than-life monikers - Balsac the Jaws of Death and Beefcake the Mighty, to name but a couple - and donning even larger horror-themed stage outfits, the five-piece have been assaulting speakers and screens around the world since 1984.

For today's special episode of Sick Riffs, lead guitarist Pustulus Maximus joins us to teach you how to play Auroch - taken from the band's 2017 album The Blood of Gods - in full. His electric guitar of choice is a Dean Custom Shop ML "Croc-top" and it's running through 3 different Marshall amps.

The first - which is heard on the left channel - is a 1976  JMP-50 1987 powering a 4x15 cab. In the center, you hear the same amp head but instead with a 4x12 cab.

Finally, a JCM800 50W 2204 is heard on the right channel, which is powering a 1960B 4x12 cab. The latter pair are mic'd with Shure SM57s, while the former is captured using an SM57 Unidyne. Pedals used include a Maxon OD9 overdrive and Dunlop GCB95 Crybaby wah.

"I thought the whole pandemic was a joke until recently," the enigmatic guitarist says. "Now I'm not laughing. Swinger resorts and clubs across the nation have closed until further notice. 

"All swapping and orgies have grinded to a halt. I have been micro-dosing meth but I don't think I'll ever be truly happy until my swinger Parties start raging again. Financially I'm not worried. I'm already at the bottom. GWAR has only paid me in weed and beef jerky since the beginning"

Support GWAR

Sick Riffs is a Guitar World video series designed to help guitarists affected by the coronavirus. Self-isolating players around the world have each filmed a lesson where they teach you one of their own guitar riffs, up close and personal. If you dig the lesson, we encourage you to buy music and merch from the artist or stream their music.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.