In the beginning, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was on to the coolness of the cartoon series on Adult Swim called Metalocalypse, the animated adventures of Dethklok, the most successful imaginary band in the world, but I told everyone who would listen that it was going to be huge in a way that no one would ever imagine (I also came up with the concept of MTV at the age of nine, but nobody believes that either.)
Since the first season debuted in 2006, Dethklok had a second season, an album, and an incredible multi-media live show that has toured North America twice, even opening at a festival for Iron Maiden. There’s a Dethklok video game in the works, a guest appearance on Guitar Hero II and even a comic book deal with Dark Horse Comics. Co-creator and musical creative force behind the band, Brendon Small—well, actually, he IS the band—is currently working on the music for the third season of the show and another full length album.
According to Brendon, the goal was to create a show that would be fun to do for himself. “What’s evolved is an entity that can live in any medium - there’s the music, print and games, you name it. Television shows can get canceled, but this way it can go on forever.” Dethklok has become pretty serious business, with Brendon snagging endorsement deals even the hugest bands can only dream of: Gibson Guitars, Marshall Amps, Line 6, Dunlop and MXR…the list goes on.
“The first Dethklok tablature book released by Alfred Publishing was their fourth biggest seller of all time - right behind Led Zeppelin 4. I’m practically Jimmy Page by now.” Brendon not only plays the instruments of both guitarists on the show, but does the voices of at least three characters per episode, plays all the bass and keyboards as well as the growling vocals and songwriting. “I’m in a band with myself, so at least there’s no arguing. The drawback is that I have nobody to bounce ideas off of, so I have to base the ferocity of a solo on how much it made the dog tear up my bedroom. He’s especially freaked out by sweeping arpeggios.”
Brendon composes and records the soundtrack at home and sings the praises of Pro Tools, but still finds it a bit lonely from time to time. “Sometimes I think I’d like to be in a band someday, but for now it’s just me and my dog.” In a short time, Brendon has become a respected member of the elite guitar community, punctuated by serving on the judge panel alongside Steve Vai and Joe Satriani at the annual Guitar Player Guitar Superstar Competition in San Francisco. The highly anticipated third season of Metalocalypse is scheduled to debut on the Cartoon Network in Fall of 2009, but in the meantime you can catch receive updates by friending Dethklok on their myspace, or if you haven’t yet experienced the brutality for yourself, go here for a pretty good random montage from you tube. And then, in the words of Dethklok vocalist Nathan Explosion, you may go die now.