Dethklok’s Brendon Small Talks ‘MetalocalypseNow’ Social Media Campaign
Dethklok frontman and Metalocalypse creator Brendon Small was a guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show. The Metalocalypse creator spent some time discussing the social media campaign to bring back the heavy metal cartoon series, the business side of a television show, and how the program changed his life. Check out the chat below.
How are you?
Hello, Jackie. Good to be here again, good to hear your voice.
I love having members of Dethklok pick tunes every week, it's a very fun part of the show. There's a lot that's been happening for those who are out there on social media. You've suggested that fans rally through social media to find a place for a Metalocalypse finale. Now there's a grassroots campaign, #MetalocalypseNow. What have you noticed about that collective power of the camaraderie of the metal community?
I've noticed there's something amazing about the fanbase of Metalocalypse. That comes straight from the metal community, which is probably the most powerful group of terribly loyal people that I've come across. They're more loyal than regular comedy people. They're more loyal than anyone I know. They've been such great supporters over the years of the show Metalocalypse and the music of Dethklok. They're the ones that made the music into an actual thing. There's no reason that Dethklok should have toured, this is a band that didn't truly exist really. But because of the fans, because of them buying the records and watching the show we realized that we had a real strong market out there. So about a year and a half ago, two years ago, I did a big one hour long rock opera with the intention of adding a mini-series on the end.
Earlier this year I went on a podcast and I said, "Look, you guys want to know, I get barraged every single day by Metalocalypse fans asking, what is going on? Where is my show? Where are the characters I love? You left us in a lurch! When do we get more?" I said, "Look, here's what happened, I pitched a mini-series and the network said they couldn't afford it." I said we got a strong fanbase, in fact our ratings are really solid right now after our premiere. After we premiered nine years ago, on Adult Swim our ratings are still super great. Super solid. We know there's a fanbase there, but they can't afford it. So I came up with an idea, talked to different people including Netflix and asked, how do I get my show finished? I see a lot of shows having a second life on streaming sites. Adult Swim hasn't really gotten in with that and I thought, what a great opportunity for them to start planning a second home for the shows that still have real strong audiences like Metalocalypse.
Brendon mentioned this online and a group of people came to him and now we have MetalocalypseNow.com. Go there for info, have your voices heard. We all want to see the ending of Metalocalypse. Is it hard not taking it personally when art and creativity are conflicted by business?
Not at all, and that's the first lesson you learn in show business. First of all, I think a fan tweeted this, I feel real bad for you about all this stuff. I thought, me? You shouldn't feel bad about me. I'm a big boy. I decided to chose this business. I'm lucky enough to get to work in it, and I'm gonna end up on my feet no matter what because it's my job to have ideas about TV shows. But I also get TV is in a really strange place. Standard cable, what TV is is losing money every year. These streaming companies are starting, it's the future of TV. We see it happening, people are cutting the cable cord constantly and it's a smart business move to find where the money is and to find where the audience is, and that's what I'm offering to the fans and to Adult Swim and to Hulu -- to try and get together and make it work. Once we show people the numbers, I think it's going to either mobilize everyone or we can meet with apathy. But don't think that happens within the metal community. Metalheads take action, which is why metal is still strong and powerful. But no, I can't take it personally. I'm proud of the work. If I'm proud of the work, than nothing can hurt me.
Metalocalypse has been a significant part of your career. What has been the most unexpected change to your life because of it?
Before Metalocalypse I was a musician. But I would just introduce myself as a writer, I didn't introduce myself as a comedian. Since Metalocalypse, I put the hours in as a guitarist. I went to music school, Berklee College of Music but I didn't think I would do anything with it. But the biggest, most significant difference is that music has actually changed my life and made me a more serious musician and I think it's either influenced people to either start playing music or start playing guitar or learning songs. It's been a music thing. This show is so very much rooted in the music of the genre and for me, that's the coolest part of the whole job. That I get to be a guitar player for a living and I get to help design guitars for Gibson. I get to do a lot of cool, crazy stuff. People are now bringing me in to demo their products and I get to - for me it's like living in Candy Land. I can't believe I get to do this stuff. That's the most significant difference, that I live in a world of guitars all day and I love it.
Dethklok is unique because it exists within different contexts. Will there still be albums and live performances regardless how the animated series concludes?
That was my first plan when I pitched the show, TV shows go away because they cost a lot of money but I can make records forever if I want to. That's the plan. I'm not going to stop making music. In fact, that's what I've been doing. I've been demoing a bunch of stuff and I don't know what to call it just yet. I don't know if it's Galakticon, Dethklok or if it's Galaktik Lok, I don't know! Either way, I'm writing music in a style that I like to write music in which is extreme metal that's melodic and has interesting changes. I have no interest in stopping that. I like recording, I like writing music and I'll do that forever.
What have you got planned for post Metalocalypse?
Like I said, the way that I've created and cultivated my career, it's my job to come up with an idea and get people excited about it and then work on something. So, I have tons of ideas. I have a cool project that I'm working on right now that Jack Black is producing, that's all I can say. I love the idea and I think the Metalocalypse will love it too. We'll see how far we get with it, you never know. For every one idea, you try thirty and that's part of what I'm doing. Plenty of other stuff, I have plenty of other cool stuff but it's hard to get to that stuff when I have this gigantic fanbase of people who want me to finish this one thing which I totally get. Here's the thing, I have a final story for Metalocalypse that I really like a lot and I even have a title and if you want to know what the title of this project is, it may get you excited and I think it's cool and if you're caught up with the show, it'll mean something to you. So go to Metalocalypsenow.com and check it out.
Thank you so much.
[Laughs] well I really appreciate you taking the time and spreading the word. Thanks to the fans that have inspired me to put this campaign together. It's because of you guys I'm doing this. It's not for me, it's for you. So, I think you're going to like it.
Thanks to Brendon Small for the interview. You can show your support for Metalocalypse by visiting metalocalypsenow.com to demand to see the finale of the show! Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show at this location.
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