Brendon Small Talks Dethklok and the Future of Metalocalypse
The world?s most epic melodic death metal outfit has hit the road again, dominating stages and playing billions and billions of notes. Dethklok is the brainchild of Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha, and the living persona of the animated band just finished their 2012 U.S. tour in support of the third album, Dethalbum III.
Chris Fox of SMNnews sat down with Brendon Small for an in-depth chat, which yielded some interesting insight into the band’s past as well as their future. Read forth.
Brendon Small explains how he writes music for Dethklok, ?When I?m making a record it?s a combination of influences. In the middle of making a record I?m taking songs from the show and elongating them and personalizing them. I find myself saying that this part has a kind of Slayer vibe and this is a Seek and Destroy vibe, or this is a Meshuggah kind of a thing or there?s some Amon Amarth over here. Ultimately, there is stuff that makes me who I am on guitar and that stems out of growing up on a lot of Queen and Metallica.?
With an education in music, Small thrives on the opportunity to write music that coincides with his animated metal outfit. Small continues, ?Essentially I filter everything through what I like to hear from my favorite people, and try to make every song have those elements.?
Obviously, the show has an inherent connection with the music that the band plays live. The cartoon has broadened and connected a younger audience with the world of metal. Small says, ?I get a lot of people that come to our shows that say that they didn?t really listen to metal before, but they like Dethklok. So, what else is there? In that way, we have kind of acted as a gateway. We actually put a lot of bands as actors on the show because we like those bands a lot. From Cannibal Corpse to Arch Enemy, people that are doing something. So, basically, we are saying go check these guys out – they?re doing something. Saying, these are the people and bands that kind of built Dethklok.?
Without trying, the show and the band has grown the metal community. ?That?s been the coolest thing that I?ve heard. That kids have gone out and checked out other bands because of the show.?
The show has developed one of the Adult Swim phenomenons, and as they are finishing up the tour support their third album, Dethklok continues to help fly the banner of the metal culture. Though categorized (perhaps by their own words) as melodic death metal, Dethklok has an uncanny ability to cross many of metal?s sub genres while maintaining their definitive sound. Small explains, ?Whether or not the world knows about it, this music has been very strong for a good portion of the past decade. The metal audience has been growing. I?m sitting here making a record, and I forgot that metal is so specific yet there are so many subgenres of metal that when I?m making different songs? it?s really fun to be able to play with all these different sub genres within one record.?
The sound develops from song to song each tune not only changes sub genre but also tells the story of a specific episode of Metalocalypse. ?As a music fan I like to hear melody and it doesn?t matter if it?s the Beatles or Nile, I want to somebody to start telling me a story. I don?t know what?s coming next because I don?t know how much heavier it can go, but I?m sure someone can,? Small explains, ?There are so many different toys that you get to play with in the world of metal, and to the layman they put it under the blanket of metal, but there are all of theses different bits to it.?
Many metal fans felt that a show like Metalocalypse was long overdue, and though the connections between it and Spinal Tap aren?t far fetched, there is some considerably different about Dethklok. ?I thought when this show was coming out, it was kind of a gift to me when I was discovering guitar and metal back when I was 14. I remember thinking, ?if there were ever something to acknowledge the thing that I am interested in, then I would probably take a bullet for that show.? That?s what I was hoping a show like Metalocalypse would become, like, ?Oh look, they?re actually playing the guitar parts right,? or ?They?re acknowledging King Diamond.??
The show and the band are sure to progress as the fifth season is just around the corner, as well as an expected fourth album. ?There is more exciting stuff in the future for the show to go where it?s gotta go, to this newer, darker place. Where the mythos around this band needs to be acknowledged for it to move forward, and that?s kind of a point of no return.?
In short, prepare for more Dethklok, more Metalocalypse, and more brutality.