So how exactly does an interplanetary warrior come to be a guitarist in one of the most beloved bands on Planet Earth? Practice, lots of practice. We've got GWAR's Pustulus Maximus stepping into the Gear Factor realm, revealing the riffs that helped shape his style and giving insight into his crocodile custom guitar as well.

The guitarist takes us back to the beginning (but really what is time?), explaining, "When I started playing guitar about a year ago, the first song I learned to play all the way through was 'Ride the Lightning' by Metallica. The whole Ride the Lightning album is awesome."

Pustulus also reveals he was heavily influenced by the heavy down picking of late '80s / early '90s metal, showing off one of his favorites from Deicide then digging into one of his favorite titles of all-time from Marduk, playing "Christraping Black Metal." "That's every awesome thing in a song all at once. It is the quintessential black metal song," states the guitarist.

Speaking of black metal, there's a heavy amount of love and respect for Dark Funeral, so much so that he even has a Dark Funeral tattoo that he displays. "The first time I heard Dark Funeral's Vobiscum Santanas, the track 'Thy Allegiance Come,' that wall of guitars ... it didn't even sound like guitars... it was just one of the coolest sounds I'd ever heard. That's one of my favorite bands," says Pustulus.

What else shaped his playing? There's Sepultura and Motorhead, both of which he digs into. But he also shares a love for punk icons the Ramones. "What was crucial about the Ramones was the fucking attitude. Just the attitude and their way of playing, there's a lot of down picking with the Ramones, and I think one of the first songs from them I had to learn was 'She's the One.'" After ripping through a Ramones favorite, he adds, "It makes you do the power stance and everything. You've gotta do that shit onstage. It makes you look cool."

Digging into the GWAR catalog, Pustulus reveals the track that got him the gig in the band was his riff for the "Bonesnapper" song. He displays that, but also reveals another tune that came early on during his start with the group. "I got the job with that tune, but when I came into the first rehearsal, I was like, 'Hey dudes, I got this other tune. Scratch that. Check this one out,' and I ended up playing 'Madness' instead," recalls the guitarist. He also plays a bit of "Ham on the Bone," while admitting it's not a favorite of his to play.

Finishing out the edition of Gear Factor, Pustulus Maximus gives fans a closer look at his Dean custom guitar, which comes with a green crocodile-skinned look. "It's probably my favorite instrument of all time," says Pustulus, then detailing some of the instrument's specifics and things he's added along the way.

GWAR's most recent album was 2017's The Blood of Gods, that you can get here. Stay up to date on all of GWAR's happenings via their website.

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