A quick catch up with Metalocolypse co-creator Brendon Small!
Hey Brendon, let's start from the beginning, after your first foray into animation with Adult Swim's Home Movies, where did the inspiration come from for Metalocolypse?
Well, I studied at Berklee college Boston, there I did contemporary music. At this time it was the late 90's you know and shredding was more or less considered pretty uncool. But I always had my guitar. Even when I started Home Movies and came into it as a comedy writer I would still see tons of metal shows and just jamming made me so happy. When Home Movies wrapped up I began to pitch lots of ideas to networks for the next show, and my friend at the time suggested why not make a show about metal and it was basically 1+1 you know, it just clicked then and there. It's really great because now I have that motivation to even make great music due to the constraints of television, the deadlines for content etc, it's really helped me creatively.
Home Movies, season by season changed its style a lot, season 3 was mostly movie parodies, any particular reason?
Why did you make the season 3 format of Metalocolypse 21 minutes instead of 11?Umm I think there were lots of more blatant little things in season 3, if they reflected something it was all good they just had to be meaningful things and the other writers would also do absurd little stories, Home Movies for the most part is a string of cool little stories, we just mixed it up a little in season 3.
What is your favorite episode?Well by this stage we really believed that the show could carry it, you know the bizarre world was fully fleshed out so now it was time to really focus on developing the characters more like the KISS solo albums, we basically had solo episodes of every important character.
The Skwisgaar Skwigelf father episode (season 3), I mean not everything is resolved but I loved the way that it turned out and I loved making it.
The Dethalbum II had an impressive position on the Billboard charts for a fictional metal band, how is your solo effort coming along?
Any world tour planned, specifically Australia?Yeah, the music in Metalocolypse really is the focal point, it has to function better than the show and as ludicrous and absurd as it is, to me it is not a laughing matter and regardless of the silly lyrics I try to make the music as cool as I can. My solo effort is coming along nicely it is basically a lot more melodic, less metal but still ridiculous
You know we talk about it a lot, but our focus right now is a polished studio experience, I mean the offers are there but we need to consider time etc. It would have to be of the highest quality I take it very seriously; it is very much on the cards. In Queensland I jammed with a Metalocolypse tribute band Kokblox, they were really good! (laughs)
Any plans in the future to reboot the Metalocolypse videogame or is it completely in the can?
Hmm well I can only control so much, everything is basically about interpretation in other words I really want to wait until it is in its best version, we have seen prototypes of it and chose not to release it, I don't want an OK Metalocolypse game out there, I want it to be the best it can be. The creators of Guitar Hero were actually huge fans of Home Movies and I actually did the music for them before Metalocolypse was even aired! I love games like Guitar Hero though I think it really turns kids onto music, just all the old school stuff that kids today would normally choose not to access is all there, it's great.
Would you consider a Metalocolypse movie?
I would love to do one but it has to have an appropriate budget and time frame to do it. It would definitely be a musical but it would have to be strong and not convoluted it would need to feel like a movie you know? Not some TV special.
In terms of the band, each member is a parody of multiple sources of metal and its various genres, who would you identify with the most out of them or are they all just sociopaths?
(laughs) They are all unbridled narcissists so no one (thinks) maybe Skwisgaar Skwigelf for his mindless jamming.
What do you think about the current heavy metal scene?
Have fans of metal or bands taken Metalocolypse the wrong way?I think very highly of it, amazing bands, outstanding music. I believe a good song is based on its own logical functions and there is a lot of that evident today, regardless of genre, a hooked entry point is the key to a great song.
Just recently learned you did the drug-addled Johnny Quest on Venture Brothers (another Adult Swim cartoon), great stuff, what else have you done outside your own projects and is anything upcoming?Initially, you know we had the reaction, oh who the fuck are these guys, what do they know, but today not really, they've come to appreciate that we love metal as much as they do.
I have done voice work for Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Squidbillies and Venture Brothers as well as some other stuff. Right now I am working on directing some music videos which is great, most recently Soundgarden and The Damned Things. Basically any experience I can get directing different things.
Will you stick to the music industry or do you have something entirely different planned?
I Will never stop doing music but I can tell you my next foray will be a live action sitcom filmed in front of a live studio audience, this is based on shows I grew up loving basically an absurd sitcom and I'm not saying any more on that.
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