Longtime GWAR guitarist Brent Purgason has announced his exit from the band.
The former CANNABIS CORPSE and ANTIETAM 1862 guitarist joined GWAR in 2012 as the replacement for Cory Smoot, a.k.a. Flattus Maximus, who was found dead in November 2011. He was 34 years old.
On Sunday (November 5),Purgason released the following message via social media: "11 years ago I had the privilege of joining the greatest shock rock and roll band in the world. Today, I announce my departure from it.
"Playing and performing as Pustulus Maximus has been quite the experience and I'll be forever grateful for it.
"I want to extend my utmost appreciation for all the support given to me by the fans over the years. They have been kind, generous and enthusiastic for the band and my character throughout my tenure and I couldn't ask to ever perform in front of a greater group of people. It has been an honor to spill blood on you.
"GWAR will continue to have my support. I am leaving on good terms and will still be around to help out some behind the scenes. To what degree, I don't know yet but our creative lives are still very much tied together.
"For the fans, I hope you continue to show your love and enthusiasm for the band as I'm sure the future will be filled with more blood and gore.
"Leaving brings back many memories over the years and the main one that comes to mind is getting the call from Dave Brockie while driving home down Lakeside Avenue. He was screaming through the phone, 'Dude! You're in the band!' It was a great moment to have and It breaks my heart that no one else will ever get that call again. It's a reminder that this was a very different band when I joined and I was a very different person. People grow and priorities change.
"From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the members of GWAR that invited me in, not only to perform but to become an owner of the band, a friend, and a brother. I am happy I was able to share many stages with you all across the world and have been supported by the hardest working crew in the industry.
"There are many things I could say and reflect on but I will conclude this statement and leave you with a passage from a song, 'A Farewell To Kings' by RUSH.
"When they turn the pages of history
When these days have passed long ago
Will they read of us with sadness
For the seeds that we let grow?
We turned our gaze
From the castles in the distance
Eyes cast down
On the path of least resistance
"Sincerely, Brent Purgason".
In an August 2012 interview with the "What The Fontaine?!" show, then-GWAR frontman Dave Brockie (a.k.a. Oderus Urungus) stated about Purgason: "He was a really good friend of Cory's and he's just a perfect fit."
Brockie went on to detail the backstory for the Pustulus Maximus character's addition to GWAR, explaining: "What happened was when Flattus went back to the stars, all the different members of the Maximus tribe came to earth, because, you see, every member of the Maximus tribe shreds on guitar. So they all laid tracks for the new GWAR album. And what we're doing with that is we're getting a bunch of friends of ours who knew Cory, artists we know, local artists, big-time artists, to all kind of do a 'Scumdog' version of themselves and lay down tracks on the new album. So we have all these guest guitar players, all members of the Maximus clan. But, when they all went back to their home planets, one of them stole Pustulus's spaceship. So Pustulus was trapped on earth and he had no choice but to join GWAR permanently."
He continued, "Now Pustulus is angry. He has really bad acne, and it hurts, and the only way to make it not hurt so bad is to play guitar. But also, he's deaf, and so he yells at everyone all the time, 'cause his acne hurts, but when we talk back to him and try to say, 'Hey, we know some stuff that you can rub on your acne to have it not hurt so bad,' he can't hear us, so he thinks everyone is ignoring him, so he gets even more mad."
He added, "Brent is awesome. GWAR is whole again. We'll always love and miss Cory, but we're a band again."
Image courtesy of Purgasound