One of the weirdest elements of “Mad Max: Fury Road” — in a movie full of them — is the presence of The Doof Warrior, aka Coma Doof, aka the riff-rockin, flame-throwing guitarist in the film, played by musician/artist iOTA (real name, Sean Hape). Riding on a rig that seems to be devoted mostly to providing Immortan Joe and his warriors constant music for their chase, you might wonder how George Miller dreamed up such a character and what his backstory might be. Well, the answer to both of those questions are here.
“He’s logical to that world,” Miller explained to The Daily Beast. “Pre-modern communications, there was always the music of war — the bugle, horns, bagpipes, drummers. Every war culture had some sound to signal the troops… ours is just weaponized, so it’s a flamethrower as well.” Simple and smart, much like everything else conjured in Miller’s pic. And iOTA reveals what the director told him about Doof, and what he brought the part as well.
“…George had said that Coma was found by Immortan Joe in a cave and taken under his wing and he learned to be a musician,” iOTA explained to Audiences Everywhere. “I kind of embellished that for myself. Basically, my story was that Coma was found with his mother’s head, after she had been killed, and he was clinging to it and Immortan Joe came and found him and Coma took her face off and made the mask out of her face, to honor her when he went to war.” And that sounds like the kind of detail that Miller would be cool with.
In case you wondering, the practical effects of the movie carried over to the guitar — it actually shot flames. “…it was gas and it was controlled by the whammy bar,” the performer told Noisey. Damn. Though he adds, perhaps not surprisingly, “…it wasn’t a great guitar. It spent a lot of time out in the desert, you wouldn’t want to record with it.”
So there you are, all you need to know about Doof. And if there’s sequels iOTA says, “I’ll absolutely be there.”