David Brockie, frontman for the satirical extra-terrestrial metal band Gwar, has been found dead at his Richmond home, police said. He was 50.
Officers were called to Brockie's home Sunday evening and found him inside, police said in a statement. Foul play is not suspected and an autopsy will determine the cause of death, it said.
Brockie co-founded Gwar, billed on its website as "Earth's only openly extra-terrestrial rock band," in the 1980s with fellow art students at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The Grammy-nominated group gained a worldwide cult following for its mix of thrash metal, grotesque costumes and outrageous stage shows.
Described by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper in 2007 as "the mutant child of early '80s hair music," Gwar's onstage antics included simulated urination, dismemberment of lifesize puppets and lots of fake blood. It released its latest album last year.
Performing as "Oderus Urungus," Brockie wore an elaborate costume of a horned mask, shoulder pads, massive helmets and armor with blades jutting out of it.
In a profanity-laced 2014 television interview produced by Australia's Soundwave music festival, Brockie said he was less than sober on stage.
"For me, being wasted is not being wasted. When I'm sober, that's being wasted, literally," he said while in full costume, a bottle in one armored hand.
"They're like, 'Oderus, you don't have to be drunk to perform.' I'm like, 'What the fuck are you talking about?'" he said, laughing.
Brockie called the late Bon Scott of Australian hard rock band AC/DC "my favorite performer in the history of metal. He's the greatest lead singer ever."
Don Drakulich, another founder of Gwar and one of its costume and prop makers, said he knew little about Brockie's death except that his roommate found the body.
"It's very sad, and I'm shocked," said Drakulich, who no longer tours with the band.