Interview: Brendon Small [Dethklok]

Having made a name for himself with Home Movies, entertainment extraordinaire Brendon Small has spent the last few years being the mind behind Dethklok, the fictional metal band from the hit Adult Swim program Metalocalypse and things show no signns of slowing down. With a new albuma nd full scale tour with Mastodon schedule for this Fall, we had a lot of question for Mr. Smalls and not much time. Luckily, this is truly just the beginning as we will be chatting again this fall [while he’s on tour]. However, for now, look below for details on the new season, the tour, and most importantly, the answer to the question many of you have been asking: Will there be a Metalocalypse movie?

dethklok-band

UTG: Hey Brendon, How are you today?

BS: It’s going good.

UTG: Let’s dive right into this. I know you’ve got a lot going on, but, will we ever see new episodes of Home Movies?

BS: Uh…never [laughs]. It’s been 5 years now. The thing is that it was cancelled. It’s weird to keep telling the same story and so we reached a point, and it’s very obvious on the last episode, where we just called it quits. It’s like, when can I be done? Like, it was fun, but it was nice to get out.

UTG: Ok, now moving onto the real story at hand. Dethklok. The new album, The Dethalbum II hits stores next month. Outside of the songs from the show, there are two “non episode” tracks. “The Cyborg Slayers” and “Murmaider II: The Water God.” What’s the story behind these tracks?

BS: Basically, Murmaider is a sequel to the first one. I thought it would be a lot of fun to continue the story like Metallica or “Trapped in The Closet.” It was fun to reharmonize and whatnot. The other track, we had finished everything, but there was a tempo we wanted to use really bad and so we did it. I just want people to see the title and wonder why they never saw the group slaying Cyborgs. Cyborg related metal is not everywhere…yet.

UTG: The Murmaider story line is getting quite large. Think you’ll ever revisit it in the storyline of the show?

BS: Let’s say if I get a vacation at some point I might, but I might just get burned out.

UTG: I’ve read that there will be a special edition vinyl for the new record? Can you tell us anything about that?

BS: The CD comes with a dvd with all the live animated footage from the last tour. The vinyl is limited edition and has a picture disc.

UTG: When it comes to compiling the music aspect. Do you write the music first or the show. Basically, which reflects the other?

BS: It’s usually the show gets written and then I deliver really rough versions of the songs so that we can start animating everything. Basically I insert where a song should be in the script. However, I think I could do things the other way around if I really put my mind to it.

UTG: Outside of the new album, there’s a large scale tour coming up with Mastodon which really seems like a perfect pairing. How did that all come together?

BS: I guess at some point it is really all our booking person. We see whose available and venue size fits us. They asked me about Mastodon and I love that band. We got really lucky. I know, this is a bit boring storywise, but it’s the truth.

UTG: Now when getting ready to take this fictional cast of characters on the road, how early does the planning process begin to get the visual effects and the like ready?

BS: We’ve been working on the animation since the beginning of the year. We’re always doing a lot of things so we need to start early. I had to choose the set list before I finished the album even, It’s crazy. We’re about done now though. We’re not sure how long we’re playing yet. I don’t like playing for more than an hour because, as a concert goer, I don’t like it when a band just plays forever. You need to leave them wanting more.

UTG: Speaking of the visual aspects, the new season of the show is going to contain 30min. episodes. How did that change the overall creation process for the show? Did you find it difficult to write for the longer time frame?

BS: The thing is more just making sure it stays fresh. You have to focus more on story and character. In the short episodes, you can be as weird as you want, but now you have a storyline. We’re trying to make the show not boring, but funny. Metal and brutality gets plugged in after. The show has to work on its own first and foremost.

UTG: More time allows for more story arc and such. Can you give us any details on the trials and tribulations the band will face this season?

BS: I don’t know what I’m prepared to discuss. We do everything up until the last second and so we don’t know if anything stays or goes until it’s like, about to air. We’re not satisfied until we’re truly satisfied. I can say there may be more and less music depending on the episodes. We pick up where we left off in Season 2 and the group is as narcissistic as ever and living in these terrible economic times.

UTG: It seems which each season the show and plot line has grown. Now that we’re at the 30min. mark, the question of an eventually Metalocalypse has risen. Do you think we’ll ever see Nathan Explosion and crew on the big screen?

BS: I think we could go there. That’s how I see the show ending because I obviously know the end of the story, but I don’t want to rush it. The thing is though, if that’s the case, I need like a year to do it where we’re not also making the show. The show is done by a very small group and we work nonstop, 24-7 and making a full length film would take a lot out of us. We don’t want to rush to the end or scramble anything because I think the whole movement from TV to movie gets rushed and ruined easily. South Park is the only show that worked well as a movie because of the time they took to do it.

UTG: Do you have any closing comments [outside the world of Dethklok]:

BS: My world is all music and Dethklok right now.I have really been into cooking a lot recently. I can’t get soap-box about that though. Let’s do this. The only thing outside of Dethklok in my world is eating and sleeping.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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