You might not know the name Brendon Small, but if you've ever seen Adult Swim's Metalocalypse—the cartoon about a metal band named Dethklok—you know his voice work, metal music and hilarious writing.
The Metalocalypse co-creator sat down with Fuse to talk about the challenge of crafting a satirical-yet-earnest metal band, and how cartoon outfit Dethklok pulls off the feat of performing live.
"We play in front of a gigantic LCD screen," Small says. "The actual musicians are backlit and we play the whole show linked to the [cartoon] pictures. If we do our job right, it should feel like a big stupid Universal studio ride, but with murder."
Small also touches on the Spinal Tap problem of creating a fictional metal band that sounds like a real one. "It’s a fine line that we're treading between satire and taking it incredibly seriously," Small says.
To meet that goal, Small ensures the music is totally legit: "You have to really play your ass off. Hopefully, the music is interesting enough for people to listen to outside of the show." It seems to be working out so far: Dethklok's third album debuted in the Billboard Top 10 this year, a big accomplishment for any death metal record.
To hear the Metalocalypse mastermind talk about driving his fellow voice actor Mark Hamill "insane" by giving him unpronounceable names, check out the interview above.