With the pageantry of their presentation and the overwhelming ostentatiousness of their personas, it's easy to forget that the members of Gwar are actual people — not mere caricatures, but beings made of flesh and blood, with feelings and emotions like the rest of us. And that's kind of the whole point of Gwar: to suspend disbelief, to be bigger than life, to tingle all of your senses at once with volume, spectacle and humor, and to leave you covered in ooze, with a perma-grin on your face for days afterward. Last fall, the curtain was abruptly pulled back on this traveling sideshow by the cruelest of life's inventions, with the untimely passing of Cory Smoot (aka Flattus Maximus), which served as a chilling and painful reminder that we're all just human after all. Like many greats before it, the band called a momentary truce as it worked through its grief, but eventually the members soldiered on by recruiting a new guitarist, Flattus's long-lost cousin, Pustulus Maximus (aka Brent Purgason of Cannibal), and nearly a year later, they're back to doing what they do best, waging Gwar on America.


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