'Metalocalypse' Mastermind on His New Galaktikon Project and the Burden of Selling Records
'Metalocalypse' writer/director/actor/producer Small, also the force behind the music of the show's band Dethklok, will release 'Brendon Small's Galaktikon: A High Stakes Intergalactic Extreme Rock Album' in April. The release coincides with the Season 4 premiere of 'Metalocalypse.
Small admits that Galaktikon takes influence from disparate and varied sources, like Queen, Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins. But relax. Noisecreep's heard the music and it's still metal. The influences are welcomed by not obvious. Galaktikon features the Dethklok rhythm section: drummer Gene Hoglan and bassist Bryan Beller along with Dethklok engineer and mixer Ulrich Wild. The Galaktikon songs were initially bits and pieces of music he had written that Small only recently fashioned into songs.
Fans of 'Metalocalypse' and of Dethklok's music might wonder why Small is releasing a side project as opposed to a proper third album from the animated (literally) band, so we sat down with the multi-tasking and multi-talented Small to find out about the genesis and origin of Galaktikon, and why he is doing this project before a new Dethklok.
Why Galaktikon instead of another Dethklok album?
I am waiting to do that. It's not in place of it. It's something I did on the side. I want to make sure you know it's not instead of Dethklok. This exists because of Dethklok. I wanted something more melodic. I love melody, like ELO and Queen. Metal musicians out there like David Bowie. Death metal has a place, but so does Steely Dan. I am a music nerd. I had rented a studio and got Gene to give me some of his time, but because they were slow with the contracts, I thought, "I've got these guys, they're not getting paid, we need to do something with this window of time. We can't sit still."
And so Galaktikon was born...sort of. If you were to venture a guess, would a Dethklok fan like Galaktikon?
I don't want to guess who the audience is. A portion of my audience will gravitate towards it.
How do the powers-that-be at the network feel about Dethklok as a record-selling entity, since that has been so successful in a down market?
For the network, the show is most important. They don't care about selling records. We sold 900,000 combined and they were like 'We don't give a s---.' I can appreciate not giving a s---, but that's a monumental amount of records for this genre! We're not even a real band.
That's the ironic part. Real bands struggle to sell records, but a "fake" one sells hundreds of thousands of units.
It's an existential crisis. We don't exist.
And the powers-that-be don't care.
So it's combined with nihilism. We don't exist and they don't care.
A philosophical crisis. But it's obvious why they'd care more about the show.
They don't want to take me away from the TV show to do music, so I am constantly getting pulled back and forth, but the show exists because I am a guy who likes playing guitar.
Is it the chicken or egg in this situation for you?
The show exists because I can do the music, but this is very specific and guitar driven.
As for Galaktikon, I thought 'Deathwaltz' started out like Avenged Sevenfold and ended up like Motorhead. 'Dangertits' is a great song title. What did you prefer about the process of making this album?
It is easier and faster and I did it myself. There is a long time between second and third Dethklok albums, but I can do this project myself. I own it. There is no red tape and I don't compromise the show by putting this out.
Will Galaktikon make it into 'Metalocalypse?'
No, it would be disrespectful to the show.
Any details about the fourth season?
We have Corpsegrinder from Cannibal Corpse, Cam Pipes from 3 Inches of Blood. Then we have Dweezil Zappa doing a voice, and actors like Jon Hamm and director Werner Herzog, who are fans of show.