And it just keeps escalating. The statement released today by GWAR announcing the departure of Kim Dylla from the band after just a few months after joining came as a surprise to everyone ,including Dylla herself, according to a statement released by the singer via Facebook.
It’s really nice when you find out important things from people you consider to be your friends from posts on the internet and messages from strangers. There is something called basic respect not existing in that modus of communication. That being said, I’m currently looking for a new vocal gig with a serious metal band that likes to tour their asses off. Doesn’t matter what style but no core b.s., no symphonic metal. Must be chill dudes and down with beer drinking hellraisers. Must not be threatened by strong women, no deep-seated drama. Location unimportant.
This seems to be becoming the norm for many bands to fire their musicians, probably to avoid any awkward situation by dealing with it in person. It happened with Chance Garnette from Skeletonwitch and Gene Hoglan from Fear Factory, among others. It doesn’t necessarily qualify as a “No ill will, no acrimony, and no drama” situation like GWAR said, but if you’re in a band looking for a tough chick singer who had “vulva” in her name recently, you might have found your woman.
UPDATE: Well… this REALLY escalated fast. Shortly after Dylla’s post on Facebook, Brent Purgason [aka GWAR guitarist Pustulus Maximus] commented on the post calling the singer’s statement misleading. That resulted in a heated back and forth spat via the comment section. Here’s a rundown of each response:
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 in short, this now ugly situation appears to stem from a massive misunderstanding that probably could’ve been prevented. Whose ever side of the story you believe, it’s a shame this has become a public debacle.
UPDATE #2: Wow… in case you didn’t think this public spout could get uglier… In a now deleted posted, Purgason took to his personal Facebook account claiming that Dylla had been fired over multiple drunk performances, despite being warned to stop drinking. That post lead to ANOTHER heated exchange between the GWAR guitarist and former Vulvatron. Metal Sucks was able to grab a screen shot of the exchange before they were deleted, which read as follows:
“Purgason: If you really want to keep dragging this out then I can tell them the truth. I wanted to keep the crew in Richmond so of course my first choice was to pick someone local and I figured it would be great to grab somebody that I had come up with. So I picked you above all others and it seemed like it was going to work out great so we hired you. Then you toured and you were drinking too much before you performed and we told you to stop.
Then it happened again, then again and the final straw was when you were so inebriated you broke a bone on stage during the show. Not cool. It wasn’t like we never said anything to you. We told you again and again from individual band members and tour manager and you didn’t listen. Did we say that to the world? No, but you want to paint this picture like you got sidelined out of nowhere. Dude, we told you JANUARY 5th 2015 and we told you WHY. You insulted fan art right from the get go in public for the world to see. I don’t like it when someone that is supposed to be working with me is disrespecting the people that make this possible.
Say whatever you want, your friends are going to have your back no matter what but don’t call me a fucking asshole for protecting my livelihood. You showed up drunk for work after given multiple chances to correct the mistake and you were the NEWEST person on the crew. If anyone here got a new job and showed up hammered they would get fired too. We gave you more than a few times to fix the problem and you would just deny you had one. I tried to help you out and you want to make us look like assholes? Tell the truth for once and accept responsibility for what happened. I didn’t want it to come to this but I’m not going to shy away while you try and turn our mutual friends against me. I even reached out to you today because I didn’t want it to go this far but this thread is still up and this is what you want. Not cool.
Dylla: I broke my rib because i made a stupid fucking mistake trying to put on a good show for the last date not because I was drunk. If others can drink i can, there aren’t different rules for ppl based on how long they are in the band.. hazing is for frats not music. I asked ppl how they thought about how I was doing my job and every time they said I was doing a great job. Until someone told me I wasn’t doing a good job or did something wrong no one had a right to say shit about my lifestyle unless they said something about everyone’s lifestyle.
Purgason: We lost two members to abuse problems and you don’t think we have a right to tell our employees to not put us at risk by performing under the influence?
Dylla: If there is no drinking then no one can drink, not just different. Arbitrary rules for everyone… drugs are different and you drink more beer than anyone. We agreed not to say anything publicly and you did without talking to me about something you never talked to me about so I will not let you bully me out of saying something because it is wrong what you did.
Purgason: Asking you not to perform drunk is not hazing. I am baffled by your logic… We are asking you not to drink because you are BRAND NEW to have on a tour around guys that know their jobs inside and out. Nobody has come to me and asked me to stop and if they did, what do you think would happen to me if I just disregarded that and showed up wasted every night? I would get fired too. That’s obvious.
Dylla: Sorry but having 2 or 3 lite beers in the course of 4 or 5 hours is not showing up wasted, if you got accused of being drunk after 2 bud lights I’m pretty sure you’d ignore what people say too because that’s just ridiculous and a physical impossibility.
Purgason: We asked you not to drink before you went on because we saw it as a problem and it affected how the show went. You ignored that request and now we are here. There you go. That’s the whole story in a nutshell.
Dylla: You didn’t have the right to treat me differently than the other band members. Sorry that is a rule of any employment, any band. Equal treatment.
Purgason: Asking you to do the job we hired you to do is not unequal treatment. I still wish you the best of luck. It just didn’t work out between the band. It didn’t have to go this far.
Purgason: Man, you could have just told everyone 5 months ago that we just went in separate directions. We didn’t fire you to be mean.
Dylla: You never told me you were getting a new Vulvatron. Would you get a new Slymenstra and expect her not to be upset if you didn’t tell her even if you don’t ‘owe’ that to her it’s called respect.”
Dylla later posted a separate Facebook post reiterating that she was misled by GWAR and that Purgason’s claims about her ability to perform are lies, saying:
“Spending the beautiful day on the lake with my boyfriend. Not answering messages or texts or emails, though I thank you all for the kind words and support. It’s good to know the music industry never changes. For clarification I was told in January in a meeting that the band would be taking a year off and that they would not be using my character in the upcoming storyline, but that I would be invited back in the future if the gigs were right for the character. We both said that we would not say anything publicly about it which is why I never did. That is wholly different than finding out via metal news sites and random fan messages that they are indeed using your character and getting someone else to play it, and thus not inviting you back. Basic respect would have thought someone would have cared enough as a friend to let me know this personally before broadcasting it to the world. I’m strong but I’m still a girl with feelings. That’s just beyond disrespectful and I am very disappointed in you all, no matter what reason you had for being dissatisfied with me you still have a responsibility to handle things in a professional manner and with respect for other people’s legacy and feelings. I designed that character with Matt Maguire, came up with the name, worked on the costume, developed the entire character because GWAR told me just to make it up and try my best. I tried my best and people liked it. I think Brockie would have been proud. Yes, I drink beer. Almost every day. Find me a group of metal musicians who think that is weird. No, I don’t perform incapacitated and never have. Yes, I can handle my shit. No, I don’t do drugs. Yes, I broke my rib and kept singing through the rest of the set and the crowd never noticed. No, I didn’t break it because I was drunk, I broke it because I elbow dropped the wrong part of the Mr. Perfect costume trying to put on a good show. Anyone who has ever worked in the ring with me knows I constantly injure myself because I am clumsy as fuck. Yes, I called fan art “bad”- privately and to my friends on my private page, because it was technically bad, and amazingly so. Was that meant as an insult? No. Anyone who knows me knows I love bad art. It sucks that this had to turn into a media shitstorm but when people say things about you publicly that you honestly had no idea were going on, it’s going to be expected you want to say something back. Anyway, never get famous- it sucks. I only just wanted to play music. If you have a serious band and would like to play some music, hit me up.”