Dethklok's Brendon Small predicts future of Metalocalypse
GN: You encounter a lot of bands getting frustrated with micro-labels like that but you've created it. You see the humor
BS: Ah that's funny. Well yeah, I know that. I think that with Dethklok, it is very melodic deathmetal because the subject matter is, well, death. It's definitely its own genre though,thats why people call it melodic death metal. But within every record there's still influence that's like Slayer or black metal or old Metallica or whatever. I just thought it'd be fun to have a project where I could have, like, Weezer influences and then have double-kicks and some Soundgarden style stuff and then have the rock that I like: Smashing Pumpkins, stuff from the '90s.
GN: It's interesting to see the Brendon Small outside of strictly death metal.
BS: Yeah. Once in a while I'll do a clinic where I'll talk to musicians. I like to remind them that it's okay to enjoy ELO and David Bowie AND Cannibal Corpse or other stuff. If you just listened to death metal all day I think you'll quickly find that you need a palate of not just one thing. It's nice to have diversity. When I go jogging and listen to music I put my iPod on shuffle and you'll hear Mastodon but then there's Michael Jackson and Hall & Oates and there's tons of what many people would consider "guilty pleasure" music. But I don't think you should have to feel guilty. I think the reason I'm drawn to that stuff is because songwriting wins all of the time, it's the best song and the best melody that's the best thing to listen to.
GN: Now, as far as Metalocalypse goes, you've acknowledged that you ultimately have a story that you want to tell, one that has a lifespan. How much longer do you foresee the story that you're telling to be able to carry on?
BS:That's a good
question because I think, something's happened in Hollywood in the last decade.
They keep making, like, three movies to tell a story that they probably could
have told in one movie or a half of a movie. Umm, so what I'm doing is I have a
certain amount of story that I want to tell to conclude this bigger story, and
I mean, maybe there will be a spinoff show afterwards or maybe I'll hand it off
to somebody else but my relationship with this show will probably, or the
amount of stuff I do on the show -- which is the music and storytelling and
directing and blah blah blah -- will be reduced.
The amount of story I'm going to tell, I'm going to find out very soon because I'm mapping it all out and I need to find out exactly how long its going to take to do the thing I want to do. It could be something close to a feature length or less, maybe a feature and then a season finale. I'm not sure just yet. But I've got something else that I'm working on right now that I don't want to talk too much about for Adult Swim.
GN: I like your attitude towards whiny Metalocalypse fans.
BS: [laughs] Ah. It was really funny I just watched this Steve Martin DVD that just came out from the Shout Factory. I love Steve Martin and I'd never seen some of his stuff from TV and at some point there was this guy at a table who was doing some really stupid stuff and he just goes "Well, YOU go try and be funny!" And it wasn't that funny but at the end he kind of acknowledged the fact like "hey, fuck you! At least I'm doing something." What I would say to people is that yeah, I think that we're a pretty tricky place for people who think they can vote the ending to a show. I realize that they want to know what the ending is. But I don't think it really works, you know, as a reason. Some people are telling a story and some people aren't. Some people are the storytellers and some people are the story listeners. And they may not agree with me but there is a story that I'm telling.
GN: They'll probably tune in regardless.
BS: Well yeah. Luckily they have been and as the show grows as more of an episodic thing. That's what it's gonna be. I think that with music writing or any kind of art: it's not a democracy. If Van Gogh came out and started a painting and people were like: "ehhh I don't know... move the flowers over there" it wouldn't be his thought or composition. It would be a group of people just randomly throwing ideas or something. That's what the Internet is: an imaginary reservoir of complainers.
GN: Comment sections kind of baffle me sometimes.
BS: Yeah, totally. But I also understand it. I remember the first time I went into a chat room. A friend of mine with, like, dial-up internet connected and I was like "what is that?" and he's like "people talking to each other about a movie or something." So I said: "let me go in there" and he's like: "okay" and so I go in and type "Hey fuck you! Who wants to fight me?" That was the first instinct I had. Everyone's got that annoying, anonymous disrupter inside of them. I mean watch CNN right now. Watch Fox News right now. Watch a bunch of powerless people try to make sense of something that they have no control over and nothing to do with.
GN: No Kidding.
BS: You know? I mean it's just part of the human condition. And I get it; I just don't have to acknowledge it if I don't want to. And there will be times where I will respond but you know what? I'm not gonna go online and complain about it. Though as a creative person I can hopefully learn a lesson from it.
GN: What's the most exciting thing that will happen for you in the next year, assuming that we make it past December 21. Can you give any more cryptic clues to your next project?
BS: That's right I know. It's coming.
GN: Dethklok's magnum opus should probably be an Armageddon show.
BS: I know. That would be... so... CATASTROPHIC! I'm only interested in the stuff I haven't done, not the stuff I have already done. I do have my eye on this new project that I'm excited about... and all I will say is that it has nothing to do with animation. It doesn't have too much to do with music either. I've gotten to play around in the world of music and that's been really satisfying and fun for me. I 'm not gonna stop doing that but I just think my next project has to be a live action one. The reason I got into this whole business was because I like playing, I like being onstage, I like engaging. So you know what? That's what I'm gonna do.
Dethklok plays Myth nightclub tonight with Black Dahlia Murder at 7 p.m. Tickets are $32. It is an all ages event.