The masked shredders of GWAR have tapped CANNABIS CORPSE/ANTIETAM 1862 guitarist Brent Purgason (pictured below) to replace their fallen bandmate and friend Cory Smoot, a.k.a. Flattus Maximus, who was found dead as GWAR was about to enter Canada on November 3, 2011. He was 34 years old.
During an appearance on the August 10 edition of the "What The Fontaine?!" show, which airs on the WRIR 97.3 FM radio station in Richmond, Virginia, GWAR frontman Dave Brockie (a.k.a. Oderus Urungus) stated about the group's new axeman, "Everyone knows we lost Cory last year and it's been a rough time, but we have been forging onwards, we've been writing new songs, and we're in the middle of writing a really awesome new album. And part of the whole process was finding a new guitar player and I'm really happy [to say that] Brent Purgason, who plays in ANTIETAM 1862 and CANNABIS CORPSE now plays in this little band called GWAR. He was a really good friend of Cory's and he's just a perfect fit. He actually got the job about a month ago and he's been in the Slave Pit five days a week. We've been working really hard on the new album. . . His [character] name is 'Pustulus Maximus.'"
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."
According to Brockie, Purgason will make his live debut with GWAR on the band's fall tour. "His costume is still getting put together, and we wanna release the way he looks in a series of Big Foot-like photographs," said the frontman. "Like, 'This shadowy picture of this strange beast was taken on the southside as he attempted to buy crack.' [laughs] Something like that."
He added, "Brent is awesome. GWAR is whole again. We'll always love and miss Cory, but we're a band again."
Tentatively due in early 2013, GWAR's new album will be "really interesting," according to Brockie, because it "tells the story of Oderus's view of the future in which he says the human race falling into a complete apocalypse that they have to somehow save themselves from. And it kind of tells two stories at once: it tells the story of the human race being set against incredible odds and having to overcome these odds; and it tells the story of us, as a band, being faced with a similar situation, losing someone who was an integral part of our band and someone we loved very much and somehow finding the strength to continue on as a band and not fold it."
He adde, "It's heavy stuff. It's taken a while to get together, but we've got 13 songs now, and six are fully arranged with lyrics and everything, so hopefully early next year we'll be dropping that new GWAR album and Flattus will smile."
GWAR's latest album, "Bloody Pit Of Horror", sold around 2,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release.
The band's previous CD, "Lust In Space", opened with 5,000 units to debut at position No. 96 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Pictured below: Brent Purgason (photo by Robert Escue)