Kim Dylla (Vulvatron) Says She Learned She Was Out of GWAR on the Internet; Brent Purgason (Pustulus Maximus) Says “That’s Not the Truth”
Update, 10:46 a.m.: Reader Johnny M. sent us the below screen caps of yet more public arguing between Dylla and Perguson. The exchange makes it clear that the real reason Dylla was let go was because the band felt that she was drinking too much before going on stage, and that said drinking was having a negative impact on the band’s performance.
Point: Purgason. This isn’t an equality issue. I’ve known people who can get insanely fucked-up before a show and still perform perfectly, and I’ve known people who have to keep the partying to a minimum until after the show. Performers need to know their limits, because at the end of the day, the show is for the fans. Period.
Original story follows:
Yesterday, GWAR announced that while they’d be retaining the character of Vulvatron, they’d be doing so without Kim Dylla, the musician who has been playing the role since last September. As part of the band’s statement, Brent Purgason — better known to GWAR fans as Pustulus Maximus — said that “Kim did a great job, but we wanted to go a different direction with the Vulvatron character,” and assure fans that “We respect Kim’s talent without question” and “There is no ill will, no acrimony, no drama.”
And then Dylla took to Facebook and created some drama:
Although it would appear that his comments have since been deleted, Metal Insider reports that Purgason soon responded to Dylla’s claim, leading to a not-very-friendly exchange between the two:
Purgason: I did tell her in person. January 5th of this year. I’m trying to stay out of this thread but I don’t like being villainized when that’s not the truth.
Dylla: No one told me they were getting someone else to play the character I created which is why I am disappointed with the way this was handled. I was told my character was not going to be used for a while and things were going in a different direction with the storyline so take a year off but I’d be welcome back at gigs in the future if they were right for the character. Those are two wholly different things.
Purgason: Yeah but this thread isn’t about telling the world about a misunderstanding. This is up here to make us look like dicks. DC comics didn’t call need to call Adam West to tell them they were using Michael Keaton for a new movie. I told you it we never close the door to a chance that old characters could come back to reprise their role for a special event but we were going to continue the group without you. If they fired me they would have a new Pustulus before my amp got cold and that’s the way it is. You and I don’t own the characters we played.
Dylla: No but it is respectful to tell you personally before telling the internet and the fans if they were gonna do that. I don’t think you guys are dicks but I do absolutely think you acted like dicks in the way you handled this statement. Anyone would be upset about being treated this way and you can’t expect me not to be.
Purgason: We let you go in Jan. You were telling fans misinformation about the next fall tour under the pretense that you were still a band member. How is that respectful to us? We had to clarify that. We didn’t make a big stink about it when it happened because it wasn’t necessary. Many people have played many different characters and their entrances and exits weren’t publicized because the band is not about that. It’s been 5 months and none of us said anything about you being let go. You didn’t have to keep this facade up the whole time. You could have let the fb world know then but now it looks to me like you want to drag this out. Sorry you feel that way but no one here threw you under the bus.
GWAR created Vulvatron so yeah, that is my point.
Dylla: I designed that costume with Matt, came up with the name, invented everything about the character and the voice because you told me to run with it. It belongs to Gwar but I think you’d at least respect me enough to not put someone else out there in my baby without telling me to my face.
So, like I said: oy.
This doesn’t feel like one of those situations with a clear-cut “good guy” and “bad guy” — it seems like a genuine misunderstanding in which Dylla didn’t comprehend when she was let go from the band that they’d still be using the character she created or helped create.
That being said…
Dylla’s initial post was quite misleading, and it does make it sound as though she wasn’t told she was out of the group to her face (and it’s worth noting that she does not deny that Perguson did tell her she was out of the group in January).
Insofar as whether or not it’s “cool” of the band to keep using Vulvatron without her — well, yeah, you could argue it’s not cool, but you can’t deny Purgason’s point that she doesn’t own the character. His Batman/DC comparison is an apt one; another might be Saturday Night Live, where any character or segment (like, say, “Weekend Update”) created during a comedian’s tenure with the show (as a performer or as a writer) is automatically the property of SNL. You could assert that this is unfair, but that’s really a whole other conversation, because this is an intellectual property dispute, and, presumably, she signed some kind of contract at some point making it clear that GWAR would retain ownership of her work. And, again, her initial post didn’t even make it clear that this was the source of her upset… it made sound like the internet knew of her firing before she did, which was clearly not the case.
I also think Purgason makes a valid point about the use of characters in GWAR in general: the band has not often announced when a new musician takes over a character, and the band’s most famous characters have only been retired when the musician playing them dies (e.g., Dave Brockie and Cory Smoot).
Regardless of whether or not you feel the need to choose a side in this argument, hopefully this is the end of it being a public spat (or a spat at all, really). GWAR is bigger than any one person — even Dave Brockie! — and will continue. And hopefully Dylla will find the project she’s looking for, and everyone can put this nastiness behind them.