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Brendon Small Talks ‘Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem: A Klok Opera’

Brendon Small Talks ‘Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem: A Klok Opera’

brendon-small-feature-2013

‘Metalocalypse’ creator Brendon Small had little idea when he chose to combine his loves of music and comedy that they would form one of the biggest underground animated  sensations the world had ever seen, nor did he expect DETHKLOK to become “the world’s greatest cultural force!” Now, both Small and Dethklok stand ready to take on their biggest challenge to date — a full-on, no-holds-barred, over the top rock opera! ‘Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem: A Klok Opera’ picka up directly after the abduction of Dethklok guitarist Toki Wartooth in the season four finale. With his life in danger, his only salvation can come from the four most selfish human celebrities on Earth—his bandmates, extreme metal band Dethklok. Will they be able to get past their own egos to help someone besides themselves? Only time will tell! The animated one-hour special, ‘Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem: A Klok Opera’ airs Sunday, October 27 at Midnight (ET/PT) on Adult Swim. 

The impressive original score  for the special will be released as a full-length album on October 29, 2013. And this isn’t just your average metal record— this is full blown musical featuring a fifty-piece orchestra! The album features the bonus Dethklok single ‘Blazing Star’ and orchestral movements, produced by Brendon Small and Emmy winning composer Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica/Walking Dead). Legendary powerhouse metal drummer Gene Hoglan returns once more to join Brendon and other musicians such as bassist Bryan Beller (Dethklok, The Aristocrats, Joe Satriani) and Mike Keneally (Dethklok, Frank Zappa, Joe Satriani) for this epic undetaking. As you can imagine, being the world’s most extreme metal band can be an undertaking in it’s own right. Luckily, we have you covered! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with creator Brendon Small to discuss the history of the band, his own musical roots, the challenges of composing an animated rock opera and much more!

Brendon Small

Brendon Small

You are a very multi-faceted artist but music is a huge part of what you do. How did music first come into your life?

I was lucky to have parents who got me into lessons early on. That was great and there was always a piano in the house. I took lessons, starting around the time I was seven or eight years old. I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it. Then I saw people playing a keyboard in some school assembly. One of the keyboardists was playing a song by Van Halen or something. That is when I realized, “Oh, you can actually play cool music!” [laughs] I think that was a big eye opener for me as an eight year old. That was probably the first thing. Then something just happened and I am not sure how it happened. I used this line on my old show, “Home Movies,” it goes “The reason I play guitar is because I was a boy from the suburbs and it was my destiny. I had no choice.” [laughs]

There are so many hardcore fans of “Metalocalypse” out there but there are also a lot of people who are just now discovering it. Going all the way back to the beginning, what sparked the idea which would lead to all of this madness?

I had gone to music school awhile back and then got into standup comedy. Through standup comedy, I started to do TV and I made my first show, “Home Movies.” That show lasted for seasons and we had a really good run. At that point, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do next. While I was on my comedy jag, I didn’t know what I was going to do with music anymore. I had put my guitars aside at the time. As more time passed, the more I got excited about my guitars because I was reconnecting with the world of metal. I had grown up with it and listened to it before I got confused by music school. I was really excited in the early 2000s with everything that was going on and found myself falling back in love with my guitar. I was trying to find an excuse to play it all the time. That is how this show came together. I thought “How can I make all of these things come together?” Basically, that is how “Metalocalypse” was made!

Did you have any inkling early on that “Metalocalypse” would have the impact that it has had on its fans?

You can hope that people will gravitate to your project but the main question I think you have to ask yourself as a creator is “Do I connect with this stuff?” or “What do I have to do with this stuff?” If you start liking your own stuff and taking it seriously enough to present it properly, I think people will maybe start liking it. I don’t know! Honestly, I had no idea that anyone would ever watch the show! [laughs] What I did know was that there wasn’t a show like this on TV. That is the only thing I can do as a creative person is to try to do something I don’t think someone else has done.

To what do you attribute the longevity of the project?

I think the network is really cool. We get good ratings, I guess. That gives a little leeway and they have always been up for it. The reason the team and myself keep doing it is because we continue to try and grow the show from previous seasons. We try to make each move a cooler move than the previous one and try to keep the characters and the show moving forward. That for me is why the show continues to exist — it is growing and moving forward. This next incarnation, the hour long rock opera special, is what I had hoped the show would achieve.

An Adventure of Epic Proportions!

An Adventure of Epic Proportions!

“Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera” is a huge milestone for you and your team. Was there anything specific you wanted to achieve with this release?

Yeah. First of all, there was “How do I make an hour long rock opera with this music only and no dialog?” That was just one of the technical things. Also, I thought “I have a story I want to tell and I want to make sure the story works first. If I have the right tone, I am going to put it to music. Not only am I going to put it to music but I am going to get a fifty piece orchestra to play with me! I am going to get a bunch of great musicians to play with me and really treat it the way it needs to be treated with the right respect so it will be the project I hope for it to be.”

How did the writing process for this outing mirror what you have done in the past or become more challenging due to the subject matter of a rock opera?

It is similar in some ways and very different in others. This is so stupid but slowly we re-figured out that if our story isn’t tracking in the outline of the whole thing, then we are screwed and have to go back and fix stuff. We had both instances where it was like “Oh, this is a solid story and it could work.” or “The story is somewhat problematic in the second act and we are probably going to have to go back and fix stuff.” I had a lot of this story in my head and brought it into the two other people I wrote with, Mark Brooks and Janine Ditullio. I pitched them the whole story and in two weeks we weeded it out in a way. I thought for each story point in this thing, there has to be a piece of music. “What piece of music will it be?” was something I was wondering about. I said “Ok, this intro reminds me of the intro of this other rock opera but hopefully we can cover our tracks!” There are moments from “Tommy,” “Evita,” Jesus Christ Superstar” or “Annie.” [laughs] This is the moment from “Annie!” People are going to know it but it was in my mind. That was the normal part, just outlining the thing. The abnormal part was picking each story point as a piece of music. It all started to make sense. The totally different part, which we had never done before, was I went away for a month and a half into my home studio and started writing music. I was going to write the entire piece of music, a gigantic demo, so we could start storyboarding. That is what I did! I gave myself a month and a half and I turned it in mid-April. I played it for everyone and gave everybody the script to read along. Everyone said “This is making sense to us.” That is very rare for us to have that feeling! [laughs] So, we just went from there. Basically, in order this whole thing to start; I had to write forty-six minutes and thirty seconds of music.

dethklok-brendon-small-3

Wow! It is very interesting to hear how the process gets started. It sounds like quite an undertaking to say the very least!

Yeah. It was but you know what? It was fun! As you will see in the rock opera or hear in the soundtrack, the way this music and the whole show works is that the music has to contradict itself. When I write music on the show, the metal music is what people remember. I have one metal moment per episode, pretty much. Everything else is the most not metal thing in the world. You will hear elevator music, source music, some kind of a score or some kind of a stupid plucky song one of the characters sings, followed by really heavy stuff with double kicks, crazy guitar and all that stuff. That is kinda how this rock opera works as well. You hear heavy, light, heavy, light. Not necessarily light but a lot of other styles of music. There are a lot of contradictory styles going on but that is what propels it. If I were a whole hour of metal, I think your ears would get fatigued and you would stop paying attention. This is designed to keep you engaged and the whole thing moving forward.

Brendon Small

Brendon Small

You worked with composer Bear McCreary on this project. How did the collaboration come about and what did you learn from your time together?

We have been friends for a while and his work is amazing. He is a fan of the show and had said “Hey. Have you ever thought about getting an orchestra?” I said “Wouldn’t that be a wonderful world to live in, where we can afford orchestras!” He was like “Well, there is a way to do it and if you ever want to know how to do it, give me a call. He talked me through a lot of the stuff and ways to go about it. At some point, I said “I think I am ready to do this. I think I am ready to get a fifty piece orchestra on this thing!” He was very helpful. He took my music and plus’d it all. He helped arrange and produce the whole orchestral part of the whole thing and added a huge amount, which is great! That is my ultimate thing with the show, “Take my idea. Please! Make it cooler!” [laughs] When I talk to the director, an editor, a compositor or an artist, I have to come to them with something. I could be a sketch of an idea, what a character look like, a description or something. My challenge to each one of these people along the way is “Beat this idea!” Bear definitely brought that to the table. You will hear it. It is really cool. There is no mistaking how cool that stuff sounds. You will hear it right when the whole thing opens!

Looking back on putting this project together, what stands out in your mind as the biggest obstacle or challenge?

The challenge of all animation is that animation does not look good until the last couple of days. You have to get a whole team up and running. Because of the nature of the show, I will do a whole season and then put out a record and tour; we won’t always get the same team of animators. We have to get these guys up and running and change them from guys who are moving characters around to guys who think like actors would. We have to make sure a mood is being conveyed and making sure they understand the script or the story. Sometimes in animation, people will just lift the shots and have to second guess or not know the story but because of the way we do the show, we are editing in one room and in the animators are in the next. That allows us to go over and talk to them to walk them through stuff. Our director, Mark Brooks, will say “Guys, it’s like this… check out this movie.” There are different times where he had to get up and dance for them because we had a musical and we had to have a dance sequence! [laughs] Not only that, we had to have a couple! We had to show them because they are guys who haven’t danced once in their life and we have to show them these ridiculous moves! That was really different! [laughs] The cool thing about doing this is that there are some things that made it easier in some ways. When you are cutting to music, all of a sudden, your story starts flowing! We have known that about “Metalocalypse” from the beginning. We start finding where all the down-beats are and start cross-cutting and using our drums as a guide, it is going to have a really fun energy to it. We still have to make sure our story is completely tracking throughout the whole thing. This is a crazy thing! The main idea for all of “Metalocalypse” is that if we turn it off and just listen to the dialog and the music, does that make sense to us? Can we follow the story? Also, if we turn off the music and look at the visual, can we follow the story? When you and the two together, you get something that is really nice!

Brendon Small Dabbles In The Makeup

Brendon Small dabbles in the face paint.

Obviously, you have covered a lot of ground with “Metalocalypse” on many levels. If there still ground you are looking to cover or something you still are looking to accomplish, not only with the show but on a personal musical level?

I don’t know. That is a good question. I don’t know. I have gotten to fulfill so many things throughout the history of this show from meeting my personal guitar heroes to being able to build guitars with Gibson Guitars to this new special, which is one of the biggest and coolest things yet. Having an orchestra play is a huge deal; not only having them play but having them increase the drama.

Looking back on all you have been able to accomplish in your career, how do you feel you have evolved as an artist?

Good question. I think the one thing you can do as a writer is realize when something isn’t going to work in an early stage or be able to change it sooner and not become married to the idea. I think sometimes that is helpful when you say “Ok, I don’t think that is going to work.” and you are able to move on to another idea quickly. As a musician, I feel like I have the same process from when I started but I may be able to get to the conclusion sooner and I can do it quicker than I did before. I think I can just do stuff faster these days. I am a lucky guy because I get all of these outlets to be creative in a couple of different ways, as a writer, an actor doing the voices and writing the music. This project is really fun to work on because even though I really love metal and making a full metal record, it is really fun to have different styles of music come through. Every person, metal band or band in general listens to different styles of music but you don’t always get to play them. AC/DC has to play AC/DC, ya know! [laughs] They probably like different styles of music but they don’t always get to play them. In this case, I got to play a lot of different styles of music, which is really fun and ridiculous!

What are your plans as far as taking the show on the road? I imagine that will be quite an undertaking.

You have to realize, this is a small group of people who make this show, so coordinating all of this stuff is really crazy. The soundtrack is coming out and that is my main thing because I am financing all of that stuff. The record is finishing being mastered today (10/23/2013). It is going to go up for pre-order a couple days before it comes out and my website will probably reflect all of that stuff. It is all last second! We just turned in the special to the network yesterday (10/22/2013) and it airs on October 26th, but that was the plan! That is how much time we needed. That is how much time I needed to mix and master. It is a small amount of people involved but I have people involved in the touring aspects. I will have news on that soon enough! The way that I pitched this was “This is a rock opera that I would love to be able to animate, put out a record for and tour to picture.” It is definitely its own genre at this point. It is a weird, dramatic, comedy musical, rock opera thing! I don’t know who we would tour with! [laughs] How do you bookend that!

Dethklok creator Brendon Small

Dethklok creator Brendon Small

What do you feel the future holds for Dethklok?

People are asking a lot of stuff. People want to know if this is the shows end and I keep my mouth shut about that stuff because I don’t want to ruin the special. I think if you watch this special, you will know everything you need to know!

You are a guy who always has a ton of irons in the fire. What other projects are on the horizon for you?

I have a lot of stuff I am excited about doing. I am in the middle of a couple different projects right now. Nothing to announce just yet. In the meantime, my favorite thing to do is be creative in different ways. You will find me doing standup in Los Angeles. You will find me performing; I did a one act play this summer. I am just developing and working on stuff, ya know? I just want to beat the last thing I did and try to bring something unique to the table. Like I said earlier, the most exciting thing I can do for myself is put something on TV that I haven’t seen before and I think that is “Metalocalypse.” I want to do more things like that.

I know I have found your work inspiring and I am sure a lot of others do as well. What do you think is the best lesson that can be taken from your life and times?

First of all, thank you very much. That is nice to hear. I think the thing is not to wait for someone to tell you to do something, go it yourself. It is like standup and guitar. Don’t let anyone tell you that they don’t see you as a comedian or a musician or that your fingers are too fat to play fast! [laughs] Those are things I remember hearing in my life and I was like “Hey! FUCK YOU!” [laughs] I think if you want to be a comedian, an actor, a writer or an editor, start doing it today. You are going to suck but you are going to get better. It is like all artwork, you are going to suck but you are going to get better! Guitar is the perfect example, you are going to be terrible when you start out but you are going to get good if you really give a shit! Don’t wait for someone to discover you, start doing it!

Any final thoughts before I let you go today?

The thing I am trying to draw the most attention to is the soundtrack for “Metalocalypse: Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera,” which is coming out October 29th. I am really excited for people to hear it. It is such a fun, roller coaster ride on the ears! I am really excited and very happy with the way it turned out!

Thanks for letting us help spread the word, Brendon! Keep up the amazing work and we will talk soon!

Thank you, man! I really appreciate it!

‘Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera’  premieres Sunday, October 27 at Midnight (ET/PT) on Adult Swim. The original score from the special will be released as a full-length album on October 29, 2013.

For more updates on the music and show, follow Brendon Small on Twitter at @_brendonsmall.

The deluxe edition of the original score soundtrack will include and exclusive bonus “making of” featurette with Executive Producer/creator/writer/musician Brendon Small and cast/musicians, available only via www.brendonsmall.com.

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Dethklok’s ‘Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera’ Soundtrack Tracklisting Revealed!

Dethklok’s ‘Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera’ Soundtrack Tracklisting Revealed!

An Event of Epic Proportions!

An Event of Epic Proportions!

DETHKLOK mastermind Brendon Small is pleased to reveal the official METALOCALYPSE: THE DOOMSTAR REQUIEM A KLOK OPERA soundtrack track listing today! See below for the full list of original score tracks, including the bonus track ‘Blazing Star’, released last week via Loudwire.com at this location. The original score will be released on Tuesday, October 29th.

OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK TRACK LISTING:

1. The Birth/ Fata Sidus Oritur/ One of Us Must Die

2. Magnus and the Assassin

3. Partying around the World

4. Tracking/ Ishnifus and the Challenge

5. How Can I Be a Hero?

6. The Fans are Chatting

7. Abigail’s lullaby

8. Some Time Ago…

9. The Duel

10. I Believe

11. A Traitor Amongst Them

12. Training/ Do it All for My Brother

13. The Answer is in Your Past

14. The Depths of Humanity

15. Givin’ Back to You

16. En Antris et Stella Fatum Cruenti

17. The Crossroads

18. Morte Lumina

19. Blazing Star

20. The DOOMSTAR Orchestra

This isn’t just your average metal record— as mentioned above, this is full blown musical featuring a fifty-piece orchestra. This full-length album features the intense, driving metal that DETHKLOK fans clamor for, as well as orchestral movements (produced by Brendon Small and Emmy winning composer Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica/Walking Dead). Also included with the album will be a bonus “making of” featurette with Executive Producer/creator/writer/musician Brendon Small and cast/musicians. Legendary powerhouse metal drummer Gene Hoglan returns to join Brendon and DETHKLOK. Other musicians include bassist Bryan Beller (DETHKLOK/THE ARISTOCRATS/ JOE SATRIANI), and Mike Keneally (DETHKLOK, FRANK ZAPPA, JOE SATRIANI).

In other DETHKLOK happenings, Adult Swim unveiled a five-minute intro clip of METALOCALYPSE: the DOOMSTAR REQUIEM A KLOK OPERA special yesterday via this link: http://video.adultswim.com/metalocalypse/special/. Take a sneak peek at the special now before the air date on Sunday, October 27th! 

METALOCALYPSE: the DOOMSTAR REQUIEM A KLOK OPERA airs on Sunday, October 27th at Midnight (ET/PT) on Adult Swim. This once-in-a-lifetime DETHKLOK experience includes special guests Jack Black, Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, and Cannibal Corpse’s George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher.

In METALOCALYPSE: the DOOMSTAR REQUIEM A KLOK OPERA we pick up directly after the abduction of DETHKLOK guitarist Toki Wartooth in the season four finale. With his life in danger, his only salvation can come from the four most selfish human celebrities on Earth—his bandmates, extreme metal band DETHKLOK. Will they be able to get past their own egos to help someone besides themselves? Find out in this one-hour heavy metal rock opera special with a completely original score.

More information is coming soon. Please visit www.brendonsmall.com for more information on the music, and www.adultswim.com for information on the television special.

For more updates, follow Brendon Small on Twitter at @_brendonsmall.

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Dethklok’s ‘Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera’ Airs Sunday October 27th

Dethklok’s ‘Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera’ Airs Sunday October 27th

An Event of Epic Proportions!

An Event of Epic Proportions!

In METALOCALYPSE: the DOOMSTAR REQUIEM –  A KLOK OPERA we pick up directly after the abduction of DETHKLOK guitarist Toki Wartooth in the season four finale. With his life in danger, his only salvation can come from the four most selfish human celebrities on Earth—his bandmates, extreme metal band DETHKLOK. Will they be able to get past their own egos to help someone besides themselves? Find out in this one-hour heavy metal rock opera special with a completely original score.

Created by Brendon Small, the animated one-hour special, METALOCALYPSE: the DOOMSTAR REQUIEM A KLOK OPERAairs Sunday, October 27 at Midnight (ET/PT) on Adult Swim. This once-in-a-lifetime DETHKLOK experience includes special guests Jack Black, Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, and Cannibal Corpse’s George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher.

Watch a first look of the special HERE.

The original score from METALOCALYPSE: the DOOMSTAR REQUIEM A KLOK OPERA will be released as a full-length album on October 29, 2013. And this isn’t just your average metal record— this is full blown musical featuring a fifty-piece orchestra. This full-length album features the bonus DETHKLOK single ‘Blazing Star’ and orchestral movements (produced by Brendon Small and Emmy winning composer Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica/Walking Dead). Also included with the album will be a bonus “making of” featurette with Executive Producer/creator/writer/musician Brendon Small and cast/musicians.

Legendary powerhouse metal drummer Gene Hoglan returns to join Brendon and DETHKLOK. Other musicians include bassist Bryan Beller (DETHKLOK/THE ARISTOCRATS/ JOE SATRIANI), and Mike Keneally (DETHKLOK, FRANK ZAPPA, JOE SATRIANI).

Creator Brendon Small states, “This is not like anything we’ve ever done. This is a full blown musical- metal combined with symphonic passages, classic musical theatre, high stakes drama, emotional moments, and yes totally ridiculous comedy. I drew from all of my influences to make this the most unique project I could dream of. This is easily the best thing we’ve ever done with the show and the music. I can’t wait for you to hear it.”

Composer Bear McCreary states, “I have been a fan of Metalocalypse for many years, and I am fortunate to call Brendon Small my friend. METALOCALYPSE: the DOOMSTAR REQUIEM A KLOK OPERA provided us the opportunity to collaborate that we’d always been looking for. I had a blast helping Brendon realize his vision for a fully-produced orchestral score to accompany his drop-tuned guitars and pounding double kicks.  This opera takes his catchy songwriting to a whole new level, and I was thrilled to help out.”

More information is coming soon. Please visit www.adultswim.com for information on the television special.

For more updates on the music and show, follow Brendon Small on Twitter at @_brendonsmall.

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DETHKLOK: Hot Topic Premieres New Music Video for ‘The Galaxy’

DETHKLOK: Hot Topic Premieres New Music Video for ‘The Galaxy’

Deathlok

An all new music video for ‘The Galaxy’, the latest single from the upcoming DETHKLOK album Metalocalypse: Dethklok Dethalbum III, made its world-premiere today and is currently available for viewing at www.HotTopic.om (the video can be located at the bottom left of the page).

Metalocalypse: Dethklok Dethalbum III is being released via Williams Street Records on October 16 in a variety of formats including a standard CD, clean CD and Deluxe Edition CD/DVD combo, which will include a 32-minute behind-the-scenes documentary of the making of Dethalbum III, as well as music videos and more. A vinyl edition of the album with special etching will also be released on November 6, 2012.

Adult Swim recently announced the release of Metalocalypse Season 4 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 30, bringing DETHKLOK back to DVD and Blu-ray for the first time in two years. In the fourth season of the comedy series from co-creators Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha, the band welcomes guest appearances from the likes of Corpsegrinder (Cannibal Corpse), Cam Pipes (3 Inches Of Blood), Dweezil Zappa, Jon Hamm and director Werner Herzog among others. Along with all 12 episodes from the series’ fourth season, the Metalocalypse Season 4 DVD and Blu-ray releases will feature more than two hours of special features. Highlights from those features include a 90-minute feature film of Nathan Explosion tackling his latest Shakespeare reading, in “Nathan Reads Shakespeare 4: Comedy of Errors,” a series of band member “StaresDowns,” a look at DETHKLOK Fan Art, “MurderThoughts,” a “Pickles Flyby” and much, much more.

DETHKLOK recently announced a North American headline tour with support from All That Remains, Machine Head, and special guest The Black Dahlia Murder. Kicking off on October 30 in Norfolk, VA, the tour featuring the band from the Metalocalypse animated series will make more than 30 stops throughout the United States and Canada before coming to an end in Atlanta, GA. For ticket information please visit www.adultswim.com/dethtour. See below for all upcoming tour dates.

With The Black Dahlia Murder as the openers, and Machine Head and All That Remains alternating direct support positions in the line-up in each city, the Dethklok North American headliner tour includes the following stops:

10/30/2012 – Norfolk, VA @ Norva

10/31/2012 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory

11/2/2012 – Silver Spring, MD @ Fillmore

11/3/2012 – New York, NY @ Roseland Ballroom

11/4/2012 – Worcester, MA @ Palladium

11/5/2012 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis

11/7/2012 – Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy

11/8/2012 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE

11/9/2012 – Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion

11/10/2012 – Detroit, MI @ Fillmore

11/11/2012 – Grand Rapids, MI @Orbit Room

11/13/2012 – Fargo, ND @ The Venue

11/14/2012 – Minneapolis, MN @ Myth

11/15/2012  – Milwaukee, WI @ Rave

11/16/2012 – Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom

11/17/2012 – Kansas City, MO @ Midland

11/18/2012 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant

11/20/2012 – Denver, CO @ Fillmore

11/21/2012 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Great Salt Air

11/23/2012 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO

11/24/2012 – Portland, OR @ Roseland

11/26/2012 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater

11/27/2012 – Hollywood, CA @ Palladium

11/28/2012 – Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee

11/30/2012 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues

12/1/2012 – Austin, TX @ Stubbs

12/2/2012 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues

12/4/2012 – Orlando, FL @ House of Blues

12/6/2012 – Chattanooga, TN @ Track 29

12/7/2012 – Charlotte, NC @ Fillmore

12/8/2012 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle

For more information on DETHKLOK and Dethalbum III, please visit http://metalocalypse.tv/ or http://www.adultswim.com/music/.

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Adult Swim Announces Details For Deathlok’s Highly-Anticipated “Metalocalypse: Dethklok Dethalbum III”

Adult Swim Announces Details For Deathlok’s Highly-Anticipated “Metalocalypse: Dethklok Dethalbum III”

Deathlok

DETHKLOK returns this fall with Metalocalypse: Dethklok Dethalbum III, the highly-anticipated follow up album that fans of the animated band have been begging for. The stars of the Adult Swim series Metalocalypse will unleash 12 brand new tracks that are more brutal than ever before in this fall’s release, set to hit stores throughout North America on October 16, 2012 from Williams Street Records. The Dethalbum III is once again co-produced byMetalocalypse co-creator Brendon Small and Dethklok producer Ulrich Wild (The Dethalbum and Dethalbum II). The cover art was also illustrated by The Dethalbum and Dethalbum II cover artist Antonio Canobbio.

Dethalbum III will not only be released in its original CD and digital format, but also as a Deluxe Edition CD/DVD and a clean version of the CD. The Deluxe Edition CD/DVD will include a 32-minute behind-the-scenes documentary of the making of Dethalbum III, as well as music videos and much more. A vinyl edition of the album with special etching will be released on November 6, 2012.

The full track listing for Dethalbum III includes:

1. I Ejaculate Fire

2. Crush the Industry

3. Andromeda

4. The Galaxy

5. Starved

6. Killstardo Abominate

7. Ghostqueen

8. Impeach God

9. Biological Warfare

10.  Skyhunter

11.  The Hammer

12.  Rejoin

The fourth season of Metalocalypse, created by Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha with Small executive producing, recently wrapped on Adult Swim and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 30. Along with all 12 episodes from the series’ fourth season, the Metalocalypse Season 4 DVD and Blu-ray releases will feature more than two hours of special features. Highlights from those features include a 90-minute feature film of Nathan Explosion tackling his latest Shakespeare reading, in “Nathan Reads Shakespeare 4: Comedy of Errors,” a series of band member “StaresDowns,” a look at Dethklok Fan Art, “MurderThoughts,” a “Pickles Flyby” and much, much more.

For more information on DETHKLOK and Dethalbum III, please visit http://metalocalypse.tv/ or http://www.adultswim.com/music/, and more details, including pre-order information and a corresponding fall tour for Dethklok, are set to be released shortly. Stay tuned for an assault of new information, multimedia and exclusives coming very soon.

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Director Scott Sanders Talks ‘Black Dynamite’ Film and Animated Series

Director Scott Sanders Talks ‘Black Dynamite’ Film and Animated Series

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Writer/director Scott Sanders is preparing to unleash one of the greatest blaxploitation characters of all time in his highly anticipated new film, ‘Black Dynamite’. The film has been generating a huge buzz at film festivals around the world and stars the multifaceted Michael Jai White as the title character. The story is a classic vengeance tale that follows Black Dynamite as he aims to take back the streets from the clutches of “The Man” who has killed his brother and is pumping heroin into local orphanages. Along the way he is forced to hand out heaping helpings of bloody retribution as he follows the trail that leads him all the way to the White House and President Nixon. Taking the audience on a thrill-a-minute fun ride, while giving nods to blaxploitation cinema past, ‘Black Dynamite’ is sure to be the biggest sleeper hit of 2009! Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Scott Sanders to discuss the origins the film, the animated series that it will soon spawn and the challenges involved in bringing such a unique film to the masses. Can you dig it?

scott-sanders-3I wanted to give our readers a little background on you, in your own words. What got you started on journey in the entertainment industry?

Film was my major in college. I went to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. After that, I just came out to Hollywood. I actually ended up working at the United Talent Agency right when it started. I got fired from that job and I started writing a spec script with the money that I got from that job. The script was for a television show. Then they signed me as a client and I was a TV writer for a while, then I did a short film and that lead to me doing a movie called ‘Thick As Thieves’ with Michael Jai White and Alec Baldwin. That was my first movie, ten years ago.

Who were some of your influences directorially?

I think it started off for me with Spike Lee. It has been a real honor to show him ‘Black Dynamite’. He has been extremely supportive, so that has been great! I’d also say the Coen Brothers, who I just love. I can’t wait to see ‘A Serious Man’. Stanley Kubrick is another one.

That is definitely a mixed bag.

Yeah.

For those how don’t know, how did the original concept for ‘Black Dynamite’ come about?

BlackDynamite1

Well, as I mentioned Michael Jai White and I worked together ten years ago on ‘Thick As Thieves’. I was doing some other projects and working on some other things and I had approached him about another movie that I was interested in having him star in. He was really into it and I asked him what he was up to. He showed me a photo shot that he had done of himself with the afro wig, the gun, the nunchucks and the suit that he is wearing in the last scene of the movie. That is when it dawned on me that this would be the best thing to do! [laughs] It just became so obvious! Let’s make a blaxploitation movie, set in the seventies, now. It felt like it would be a blast to do. So we got together and shot a trailer for five hundred dollars, like a fake trailer, where we cut in stock footage with him on the other end. He would shot a bullet and kill somebody from thirty years ago! I showed it to our producer friend, who produced our first film ‘Thick As Thieves’, and he was like “Why are you showing me this old blaxploitation trailer?” I said to him “That’s Mike!” He did not even recognize that it was Mike in the trailer. [laughs] He said “Ok, I can raise the money for this based on the trailer alone.” That is how we raised the money. We didn’t even have a script yet and we had already raised the money for ‘Black Dynamite’. Actually, it was called ‘Superbad’ at the time but another movie took that title away from us. [laughs] So that is how it became ‘Black Dynamite’. It was really funny too, because we had the original trailer posted on a little website just for us to show other people and a Japanese website picked it up and it just spread all over the internet! It was the old trailer that we had just done for promotional purposes and there are still people out there that think that ‘Black Dynamite’ is a remake of that movie!

Oh really?! Wow!

Yeah! I mean, there are people who have written whole articles saying “Why would you remake ‘Black Dynamite’!?!!” [laughs] It’s like… “Ok?!!!”

As a director, what key elements did Michael Jai White bring to the to the role that made it jump of the page and screen?

mjw-3It’s a rare situation where Mike is a born blaxploitation star. If he was old enough to be an actual blaxploitation star, he would be the biggest one! He is built like a football player and has eight black belts in karate. Not even the guys then were like that! He is just as big as those guys. I mean, in ‘Black Dynamite’, we don’t move the camera or anything and he literally jumps ten feet in the air and kicks out a light! All of the blaxploitation stars were football players, except for Jim Kelly who a karate star. The fact that Mike is a combination of both and that he has amazing comic timing really brings it all together.

Was it difficult to balance the elements of those original films while you added you own flavor to it and was there ever a point where you pulled back because you thought something might be going too far?

I think we knew where the lines kinda were. I mean, if we took the worst of blaxploitation movies, it would go way over the top. The worst ones had crazy stuff in it.

If you look back on those films, it is hard to believe that they got made in the 70s!

Yeah! It is amazing! You have a movie, made by a major studio called ‘Boss Nigger’. It is hard to imagine a time where that would ever happen again, ya know! Fred Williamson was “Boss Nigger.” I can’t imagine going into a major studio and saying “Yeah, I’d like to make ‘The Legend of Nigger Charley’.” Ya know!? I think it would be impossible! So, there were lines that we knew that we didn’t want to cross, but the thing is that it does give us license because we are just kinda examining the genre. So with that, we had a license to go farther than most go.

You have been traveling around quite a bit to promote the film. How have audiences been reacting and what has the whole experience been like for you?

It’s been great. It has been something that has been totally unexpected. The fact that it has been so embraced by the film festival circuit has been a joy. I’ve never traveled, so it was great to travel as well. Traveling has been great. My favorite trip has been to the Czech Republic. We had the movie at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. That was the biggest audience that we have ever had. They had 1200 people and they let 100 more people just sit in the aisles. They were all just laughing and having a great time! It was translated in Czech and I guess it was a great translation! It was great! To me, that experience made me very encouraged that the film might be a lot more universal that we had expected.

scott-sanders-1For you personally, what was the biggest challenge in making “Black Dynamite”?

The challenge, but I think made the movie better, was having such a limited amount of time and a short schedule. Everyday we had to put ten pounds into a three pound bag! What is good about that is that’s how those original movies were made. I feel like you can see that energy on the screen.

Did you originally envision ‘Black Dynamite’ as a series of films, and the word is that ‘Black Dynamite’ may soon find his way onto the small screen by way of an animated series. What can you tell us about that?

It is pretty much all systems go on the animated series, which is great. That is kinda the first byproduct of the film. It’s going to be on Adult Swim on The Cartoon Network. Carl Jones, who worked on ‘The Boondocks’ is going to run the show. He is hilarious and really gets it, so that is a really fun thing that we are going to do. So yeah, I definitely want to do more! It would be hard to come up with a directing job that is more fun than ‘Black Dynamite’. Just going through the stock footage from the stock footage houses and saying “What scene are we going to work around?” It just feels so loose. My editor goes “Here is some footage I have of a chopper picking up a 1972 Chevette Caprice with a giant magnet!” Then we just work that into the story! It is just so much fun!

Is there any date that we can expect to see the animated series? And I would assume that Michael Jai White will be back to do the voice of Black Dynamite?

We are just working on the pilot right now and I am really bad with cartoon lead time. I just don’t know where they do it or how they do it but it is all moving forward fairly quickly, so that is exciting.

mjw-2I know the movie is just being released theatrically but do you have anything special that you are preparing for a DVD release?

Absolutely! The great thing is that we have never stopped making viral videos, there is a lot of stuff on the internet and it will be great to have it all in one place. There are a lot of great outtakes and a lot of funny stuff with Richard Nixon in it, because he was a method actor and never stopped acting. There is some really crazy stuff with him!

What is the best piece of advice that you can give to aspiring filmmakers?

There is some good and bad going on right now. Right now, it is very, very difficult to go through the studio system and get things done. It is just difficult. The upside is that if you have a good idea and you are entrepreneurial, the world really can be your oyster. You have to do things, you have to make things. You have to make things that you feel are going to bring attention to yourself. You have to just do it. With us, it started off with five hundred dollars and a trailer and led to all of these things. It started very, very small. You just have to get out there and do it. I don’t think the rewards are as far off as people think that they are.

Obviously you have a lot on your plate with the release of ‘Black Dynamite’ and the animated series on the way, but what other projects are on the horizon for you?

I’d like to stay in this kind of world. I like doing things that are genre based but have an independent spirit minded thing to it. There is some stuff that is pretty much in the early stages but I can say something like ‘Black Dynamite’ or ‘District 9’, I am kinda into that sort of thing.

Cool. It sounds like we will see you behind the camera again sooner rather than later, right?

Yeah. I was thinking about staying on the “ten year plan”, doing two more films and then dying but now I think I need to do them a little bit quicker! [laughs]

scott-sanders-2Looking back on making the film, what is you fondest memory of the project?

I have one that really stands out, because all of these things are such little wars. It was when we were getting all of the production design together, which is difficult for a movie like this where you are trying to get all of this period stuff. When I got to the neighborhood of Ladera Heights, we were literally walking through the neighborhood and knocked on a door. There was an old reverend there and he let us in his house. It looked like perfect 1970s house for a brothel! [laughs] That was a moment of relief! We barely dressed that house and it looked perfect.

Anything that you would like to say to the fans before I let you go?

Just that I hope that they come out to see the film on October 16th. I hope that they really enjoy it in the spirit that it was meant to be enjoyed in!

Thanks for your time and we will be spreading the word about the film!

Ok, thank you very much!

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For all the latest information on ‘Black Dynamite’, visit the official site for the film at www.blackdynamitemovie.com. Be sure to check out the official trailer for the film below.

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Michael Jai White Talks About His Explosive Role In ‘Black Dynamite’ And More!

Michael Jai White Talks About His Explosive Role In ‘Black Dynamite’ And More!

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Michael Jai White is one of the most dynamic actors in show business. His breakthrough role came when he portrayed boxing legend Mike Tyson in a 1995 HBO biopic. In the years to follow, White has tackled roles ranging from superhero to super soldier with everything in between. Now in 2009, donning a leisure suit, an afro wig, a mustache that would make both Rudy Ray Moore and Richard Roundtree proud, White is thrilling fans worldwide with his latest creation, ‘Black Dynamite’. The title character is a former CIA operative, war veteran and all around badass. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, Black Dynamite is the lone hero brave enough to take back the blood-soaked city streets after “The Man” murders his brother, pumps heroin into local orphanages, and floods the ghetto with malt liquor. The film serves as a loving homage to blaxploitation cinema and serves up a heaping helping of thrilling, first rate action!

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Michael Jai White as he was doing press for the film’s highly anticipated premiere in New York City. In the interview, the two discuss White’s career, the birth and challenges of making ‘Black Dynamite’, his latest on-screen outings and what the future holds for the rising star.


mjw-7Let’s get started with some basic questions: Where did you grow up and what got you started on journey in the entertainment industry?

I was born in Brooklyn and I left there when I was a teenager. I grew up, the rest of my time, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Originally, I didn’t know that I wanted to be an entertainer. There were some warning signs, but I didn’t pay attention to them. I was always shooting my own little Super 8 movies and as a kid I did puppet shows when I was in grammar school. When I got out of high school and went to college, I would dabble in acting classes but I never took it seriously. I became a school teacher and I would try to go out for auditions for television and commercials in my off time. Eventually, I decided that I needed to see if this could work, so I took a leave of absence from teaching and that has lasted up until now.

Well it seems like it is working out for you so far!

[laughs] Yeah! Yeah, I think I might stay away from teaching.

I want to touch on your latest exciting project, ‘Black Dynamite’. How did you first get involved with director Scott Sanders and what can you tell us about the film?

Scott and I met ten years ago on ‘Thick As Thieves’. The idea for the film is something I came up with one day while listening to a James Brown song. I was a fan of Blaxploitation movies when I was a kid. I thought that they were funny, cool, campy and all of that. I would periodically have a Blaxploitation Night at my house. Everyone really appreciated the films from my kids to people that had never even seen one before. They have such a style and brashness, that you just never saw anywhere else. I eventually decided to shoot my own film that would have all of those qualities. I wanted to give the viewer the experience that they saw a genuine blaxploitation film.

mjw-1What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

The biggest challenge was getting it all done in twenty days. That was definitely a challenge.

How hard was it to achieve that authentic look and genuine feel that you were going for?

It had it’s own set of difficulties. We shot on a film stock which is rarely used. With the stock, we just, you don’t have any movement with the film, meaning that you can’t really alter it after you shoot it. Whatever you shoot, you are stuck with. It’s not like most films where you can change things in post production. That made it a bit interesting. Your lighting had to be just right.

You have been traveling around quite a bit to promote the film. How have audiences been reacting and what has the whole experience been like for you?

It has been overwhelming. It has been such an education! We learned so much because this film is being very well received overseas. We are selling it to territories, so for example, there were packed houses in Germany and France. We had a standing ovation in the Czech Republic. There were 1,200 people in the theater and they let 100 more in, just to pack the aisles afterwards.

Wow!

They erupted! It was a standing ovation. It has been really heralded in Brazil and Australia. It has been an unprecedented thing, where a small movie with black folks is being this well received around the world. We never thought that it would be this big around the world. It just goes to show that you don’t have to grow up knowing about Blaxploitation movies to enjoy the film. It is just a fun action movie that people are really enjoying.

mjw-3Bringing the idea full circle from that first spark to the completed picture. What is your fondest memory of the experience on ‘Black Dynamite’?

I think one of my fondest memories was the day that we shot this pimp scene. I had these great actors that came out to lend their talents to the movie, to myself and just to have fun. I was really proud of that day. Aresnio Hall, John Salley, Bokeem Woodbine, Brian McKnight and all of these really great actors came out to have fun and it meant a lot to me.

With the tremendous buzz and fan reaction to the film, is there any chance we will see you revisit the Black Dynamite character anytime in the near future?

Absolutely. There is a very strong chance for that. Hopefully people will come out for the movie and that would really dictate it.

Another interesting project you have recently appeared in is ‘Blood and Bone’. What can you tell us about that?

‘Blood and Bone’ is kind of a straight forward action film. It is gritty in the tradition of the old Charles Bronson type of films, but it has a bit of a twist with that MMA type technique and martial arts in it, along with a pretty gripping story.

You mentioned MMA. In ‘Blood and Bone’ you have two of the sports biggest names, Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano in the film with you. What was it like working alongside them in the film?

It was great. They are really good fighters. You know, Kimbo is still having his ups and downs. Bob Sapp is still fighting. We had some cameos too, like Maurice Smith, who is the only United States K-1 Champion in Japan. He also graced the film. It was great working with all of them. Gina Carano is a sweetheart. People fall in love with her because they can see how sweet of a person she is. Kimbo is a really good guy as well. He is another kind of American success story, kinda in the way that Mike Tyson was. He just got people to really root for him and he is a great personality.

mjw-6You are very involved with martial arts and that plays a big part in many of your roles. I imagine that you play a large role in the fight choreography.

Completely. It is hard for someone to choreograph for me. I pretty much have to do the things that are natural for my character. That is one thing, I would not fight the same in two movies. I would fight as the character. So, it is really about that. Unless someone understands choreographing for the character, I tend to shun that away. I pretty much know that it is my responsibility to know the character, so I would be the logical person to dictate how the character fights.

That is interesting, as you have played so many varied characters from Black Dynamite to Spawn and so on. I am curious, is there a certain type of role that you haven’t yet taken on that you would like to take a stab at in the future?

Oh yeah, I think that some of my greatest roles, I haven’t even done yet. I would love to play an athletic, football type of role and even a “real” soldier. I haven’t played any “real” soldiers in a drama or even a cop. I was literally studying to become a police officer for years. Over the past few years, I have been getting myself ready to become a reserve cop. Police work is in my blood. It is something that my family is very close to and that I am very close to, so I know when I get a chance to play an officer on film, there is a lot of “me” that I can put into the role. I have also never played a teacher, which I am. I think that there are a number of dramatic roles that I would love to play. I would love to do my take on a ‘Lean On Me’ type of movie, where someone like me goes into the school systems and works with the youth, because that is what I do.

With that being said, what is the best advice that you have for anyone who would like to get involved in the entertainment industry?

I would say that this thing is called “show business” for a reason. You need to learn the business part of it. To often people just think from the artist standpoint and they have such a myopic view, their hearts are on their sleeves. They tend to take things personally. You hear people say often that they were rejected, which really to me is untrue because you aren’t rejected. It may be the character that you are playing was rejected but they don’t know you to reject you. I would tell people to look at it as if you were a private contractor and you are bringing your bid and if they don’t take your bid, it’s fine. It’s nothing personal. So again, I say learn the business end of it.

mjw-2What do you have in the works and what can we look for you, in next?

The next thing that you will probably see me in is Tyler Perry’s ‘Why Did I Get Married Too?’ I also have some really interesting action projects that are on the horizon.

Sounds very cool. I know you have been rumored to joining the cast of ‘Predators’, is there any confirmation on that?

Nothing to really report on that right now but I tend to only claim things once they have begun.

Is there anything that you want to say to your fans before I let you go?

I want to encourage people to come out, forget your troubles and see ‘Black Dynamite’ and come in for a ride!

It looks like quite a ride! Thanks for talking with us and we really appreciate your time.

I appreciate you!

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For all the latest information on ‘Black Dynamite’, visit the official site for the film at www.blackdynamitemovie.com. Be sure to check out the official trailer for the film below.

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