Q&A with Brendon Small
Show date: April 3, 2009
Venue: B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill, NY
Brendon Small is a 34-year-old musician, composer, comedian, writer, and the lead vocals in the invented band Dethklok, from the animated masterpiece called “Metalocalypse”, which he created, co-wrote and co-produced. Small is the voice of Nathan Explosion as well as Skwisgaar Skwigelf and Pickles the Drummer.
Small was the opener to his own headlining act with the School of Rock All Stars. Sometime before our car was broken into that night (long story, cops are useless), he addressed, belittled and made fun of the early-comers at B.B. Kings. Here is the gist of what was said and a few bad pictures.
To the question of which of the Metalocalypse guys he would want to be, Small explained, “I don’t think I want to be any of those guys… I’m more like the manager, wrangling douche bags all day.” And how did he end up in showbusiness anyway? Well, it was all because of the Flash Gordon theme song. That made him love music.
Will he let a fan manage his Facebook which is now never updated? No, because he hates Facebook. He also hates Myspace. He is full of hate in general for superficial friendships and methods of communication.
“What does the future hold for ‘Metalocalypse’?” neigh the jittery fans. Small assures them that there will be a new season, a new album, and a new tour. He is now talking to Dark Horse Comics about Dethklok violating the printed page. (BTW, this editor loves most Dark Horse Comics. Do yourself a favor and read some Goon, which we will soon review here).
Small is a busy busy guy, so when asked about his favorite Adult Swim show, it came to light that he doesn’t actually watch Adult Swim as he is “knee deep in production” all the time. Adult Swim is a sister network to Cartoon Network where Small’s first show, “Home Movies” found a home for 4 seasons and where he voiced a slew of characters for other shows, such as “The Venture Bros.”
Metalocalypse is a show about metal. More so, it is about death metal. And the guest stars consistently reflect that. So who can we look forward to hearing in 2009? Well, Small won’t give anything away until it’s really done. The show uses whoever happened to be in town and feels like doing stupid voices. Some possibilities are Enslaved and Gojira. “Cannibal Corpse loves doing this stuff,” Small explains. “Metal guys have a sense of humor too. They aren’t actually mass murderers.” And they so far, they failed to eat any babies. The show channels humor, as well as metal. Anyone who does voices or works on the show, does it because they want to. “Nice guys win at metal. King Diamond is a perfect gentleman”
So how did Small end up with “Metalocalypse” after the more family centered (although not completely kid friendly) “Home Movies”? Well, Small isn’t the guy to do the same thing twice. “Pastels, kids, soccer… that wouldn’t work with metal.” This show is an outlet for a lot of people. The same guys who work for Nickelodeon finally get a chance to get their metal needs met while working on Metalocalypse.
And how did Small get to where he is now? While he was growing up in Illinois, he was “a typical shut in suburban fatso with a guitar teacher”. Then Berklee College of Music of Boston gave him his brilliant education. Later Small came to NYC and became a Jingle House intern, but a friend of his was interning on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, and that opened Small’s eyes to comedy. So he went back to Boston, took some classes at Emerson College and did some stand up comedy. He fell back in love with his guitar, and while all this was going in the 90’s “a dark time for shred,” he was beginning to see virtuosos in metal and got some inspiration which eventually gave birth to “Metalocalypse.” “Dethklok is the only way I could do cool stuff. It was my only chance for an album.”
So any advice for the seething masses? “Be good at more than one thing,” is Small’s message. “Dethklok exists only because I can do more than one thing at a time.”
Final question of the night was about Small’s greatest fear. And that apparently is of his dog getting out. He once received an ominous text while on the road: “I have your dog.” Sounded like a hostage situation, but turned out his dog got out and a family member got a hold of it before it could get itself killed. Small is also afraid of planes, which bites since he lives in California and is often needed everywhere else.
- BrendonSmall.com – Home page. Not very well attended to.
- Metalocalypse at Adult Swim – Get to know Dethklok
- Dethklok vs. Goon!!?!??!?! (thanks x2Holkie)
- Adult Swim Metalocalypse Message Board
- Metalocalypse Central
- Dethklok Minute on LJ