The extremely multi-talented Brendon Small is a writer, producer, actor, voice over actor, comedian, composer and musician who is best known as the co-creator of the popular Adult Swim animated series Metalocalypse, and the virtual death metal band, Dethklok. He has a new side project called Brendon Small’s Galaktikon, and the self-titled debut album was released in April. Brendon Small’s Galaktikon is described as a “high stakes intergalactic extreme rock album.” Small is responsible for writing and performing all of the music on Metalocalypse, as well as the Billboard chart-topping albums Dethklok: The Dethalbum and Dethalbum II, released by William Street Records. The latter album is now known as the fastest-selling death metal album to date. As far as talent, there doesn’t seem to be anything Small can’t do. In a recent interview with Small he talked about how he got his start in music, his new project and what he has coming up.
While growing up, music was always a large part of his life. He has an eclectic group of musical influences that have helped shape him into the talented artist he is today. Small’s earliest musical influences include Queen, Slayer, King Diamond, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Steve Morris, Led Zeppelin and ELO. At the early age of 11 or 12, he bought his first guitar at Toys ‘R Us with $84 he had raised by mowing lawns. At the age of 14 he started to play guitar more seriously and met a neighbor, with whom he still keeps in touch with to this day, who introduced him to all the bands he grew to love.
The new project was entirely accidental. Small had always wanted to do a side project, so everything happened for a reason when this project came to life. “We were going into the studio to do a second Dethklok album, but the contract hadn’t gone through. I had musicians coming in and I didn’t want them to be without work. So, over the weekend I compiled all of this music so they could work,” he explained. The project turned out to be one of his most favorites to date. It was something that he had always aspired to do.
The music for Galaktikon came from some of his musical influences including Metallica, Soundgarden and Weezer. Of the sound, he wanted it to be different from the Dethklok sound. “The Dethklok sound has to sound like Dethklok. For Galaktikon, we added more keyboards and harmonies,” he explained. The new album has received rave reviews and is something that Small is very proud of. One of his favorite tracks to play off the new album is Dangertits, which is the only instrumental track on the album. It’s his tribute to the great guitar legends such as Steve Vai, Steve Morse and Yngwie Malmsteen.
Songwriting appears to come easy to Small. He said, “There’s inspiration constantly and I have to make sure I go out and find it.” Explaining further, he said it can come from movies, bands, plays…just about anything. “There’s tons and tons of inspiration out there,” he said.
With so many projects going on at the same time, Small has to find time to be able to juggle it all, which he does very well. As far as what makes him so productive, he said, “If I tell people that I’m going to do something the stakes are high…I have people who work for me. I think I’m more fearful of the humiliation for not finishing a project.” This is what drives him to keep all of his projects afloat.
Fans will be happy to know that Small has been working on the next Dethklok album. Dethklok III has recently been recorded and Dethklok is getting ready for a tour. Fans should expect a release date of the new album in the fall. Of the new album, he said, “These songs will tell more of a story. I am very happy about them and fans are in for a few surprises.” Dethklok also has a tour scheduled to kick off on August 1st in Seattle. They are scheduled for a co-headlining tour with Lamb of God, with special guest Gojira, but due to the arrest of Lamb of God lead singer, Randy Blythe, there will likely be some changes to the tour. Updated information will be available soon.
It has just been announced that the complete Season 4 of Metalocalypse will be available on Blu-ray on October 30th. The season features guest appearances from the likes of Corpsegrinder (Cannibal Corpse), Cam Pipes (3 Inches Of Blood), Dweezil Zappa, actor Jon Hamm and director Werner Herzog.
Dethklok is: Brendon Small (vocals, guitar), Gene Hoglan (drums), Bryan Bellar (bass), and Mike Keneally (guitar)
Brendon Small’s Glaktikon is: Brendon Small (vocals, guitar), Gene Hoglan (drums) and Bryan Bellar (bass)
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