Brendon Small (born February 15, 1975 in Springfield, Illinois) is an American actor, composer, and musician. He is best known as the creator of the animated series Home Movies and Metalocalypse.
Early career Edit
Small started learning guitar at age 14 after a kid in his neighborhood began teaching him about guitar and music. At his first public performance his hands shook so wildly that he had trouble controlling the guitar. It was another ten years before he was comfortable performing in public. He graduated from Salinas High School in Salinas, California. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1997. During his music studies he concurrently took several writing and comedy classes at Emerson College. After graduating, he felt that the rock music genre was fading in popularity so decided to try his hand at comedy.
He was performing at The Comedy Studio in Harvard Square when he was spotted by Loren Bouchard, who at the time was casting for the central character for a UPN pilot produced by Tom Snyder Productions which eventually evolved into Home Movies.
Brendon Small was the co-creator, writer, voice actor, composer and musician for Home Movies, a cartoon initially aired on the UPN television network and then moved to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. The final episode of Home Movies aired on April 4, 2004, after running four seasons, although the show is periodically rerun on Adult Swim. In the series, he voiced the show's protagonist, 8-year-old aspiring filmmaker Brendon Small, as well as a number of other characters.
Small lent his voice to a number of other animated shows. He co-starred as Chad in the BET animated sit-com, Hey Monie!, and has voiced many supporting characters in The Venture Bros., including that show's shell shocked and drug-addicted version of Jonny Quest. Small has also had cameo roles in Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies, Reno 911!, and Frisky Dingo. Small along with Scott Adsit appeared as lead characters of the Adult Swim pilot Let's Fish; the show's pilot premiered on May 13, 2007, but the series was not picked up.
In April 2005, the Sci Fi Channel announced an upcoming debut of a half-hour animated ensemble comedy show created by Small titled Barbarian Chronicles. The show, which has yet to be seen, was said to be produced by Small and Worldwide Pants Incorporated. Small has said that there are currently no plans to produce the show but that anything can happen in the future.
Small posed for a pictorial that appeared in the April 2006 issue of Playgirl magazine, as part of a humor-themed issue. Small posed naked holding a medieval flail and a strategically placed metal shield that hid his genitals. Along with comedians Ron Lynch and Craig Anton, Small has hosted the "Tomorrow Show", a weekly live comedy show at the Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles.
Small's latest television project is as co-producer, co-writer, composer, and voice actor for the Adult Swim series Metalocalypse, which premiered on August 6, 2006. The series focuses on a fictional death metal band named Dethklok, and each episode features a song "performed" by the band. In addition to all of the behind-the-scenes work he does for the series, he also provides voice talent for the characters Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Pickles, and Nathan Explosion, three of the five members of Dethklok. Small has stated that while this is his dream job, he does not really like watching animation that much.
In 2007 and 2009, Small hosted the Guitar Superstar competition and in September 2008 he was one of the judges.
In 2010 Small directed Soundgarden's music video for "Black Rain", and The Damned Things' music video for "We've Got a Situation Here". Small's virtual band Dethklok appeared, via video, at the 2009 Golden Gods Awards. The band received the award for Best International Band. At the 2010 Golden Gods Awards, Small attended and performed with Brian Posehn's band and introduced Fear Factory's set. At the 2011 Golden Gods Awards, Small attended and introduced DevilDriver's set. Small attended the 2012 Golden Gods Awards and introduced Triviums's set. Small had been nominated for best guitarist at the 2013 Golden Gods Awards but did not win.
In early 2012 Small finished work on the fourth season of Metalocalypse, which began airing on April 29, 2012 and concluded July 15, 2012. The DVD was released on October 30, 2012.
On May 10, 2013, Small and Adult Swim announced that a one-hour rock opera Metalocalypse special, entitled Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem, was in the works. It aired on October 27, 2013, and featured brand new music from Dethklok.
Small wrote all the music for the show Home Movies, and released all the songs he had written for the show on the Home Movies: Bonus CD. The CD was included with purchase of the Season 4 DVD box set.
With his new series Metalocalypse, Small continued to write all the music for the show. In September 2007, he completed work on the Dethklok album titled The Dethalbum, in which he collaborated with Gene Hoglan to deliver an authentic melodic death metal sound while simultaneously retaining the light-hearted nature with which Small portrays the heavy metal genre. The album debuted at No. 21 on the Billboard 200, making it the highest-rated death metal album on the Billboard at that time.
In November 2007, Small, Hoglan, Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller performed live as Dethklok at twelve US college campuses in support of The Dethalbum. The Adult Swim-sponsored "Dethtour" featured Dethklok supporting indie rock band ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The foursome reunited in 2008 to headline a longer "Dethtour", where they toured the US in June and early July with fellow metal bands Chimaira and Soilent Green. During the tour they released the ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead/Dethklok split EP for free at the concerts. The second Dethklok album, Dethalbum II, was released on September 29, 2009. Dethalbum II reached No. 15 on the Billboard 200, making it the highest charting death metal album in history. A tour in support of the new album began in late 2009, where Dethklok co-headlined with the band Mastodon.
Small performed guest vocals as Nathan Explosion on the Zimmers Hole song "The Vowel Song". Small also contributed guitar work to the songs "Devils Teeth" from Exodus's album Exhibit B: The Human Condition, as well as "More Metal Than You" from comedian Brian Posehn's album Fart and Wiener Jokes. Small created the "Murder Mix" of the song "Liar" by Emilie Autumn from the Liar/Dead Is the New Alive EP. Small performed the solo for the song "Get It Up" (Van Halen cover) on Sylencers' debut album A Lethal Dose of Truth. Small performs a guitar solo on the song "Let's Make Out" on the Sex Slaves album Call of the Wild.
In early 2011, Small introduced the Dethklok "Thunderhorse" Explorer from Gibson, a guitar made to his own specifications, and modeled after Skwisgaar's Gibson Explorer. A limited edition Epiphone Brendon Small "Thunderhorse" Explorer, based on the Gibson "Thunderhorse" Explorer, was introduced in early 2013. In May 2012, Small introduced the prototype for the Gibson Flying V "Snow Falcon", built to his own specifications, and modeled after Toki Wartooth's Gibson Flying V. The final version of the guitar was released on December 13, 2013 as the Brendon Small "Snow Falcon" Flying V.
In April 2012 Small released his debut solo album, Brendon Small's Galaktikon. The album featured Dethklok members Beller on bass and Hoglan on drums. Small described the album as a "high-stakes, intergalactic, extreme rock album" and described it as being similar to Dethklok but with more melodic vocals and rock elements. Small performed songs from Brendon Small's Galaktikon for the first time at "WesFest 8" on March 3, 2013, in West Hollywood, California.
On April 29, 2012, Small started a weekly guitar lesson video series on the adult swim YouTube channel, entitled "Shreducation", which consisted of 12 installments. Small, Beller and Hoglan got together to work on the third Dethklok album, Dethalbum III, which was released on October 16, 2012. Small released a fourth Dethklok album, entitled The Doomstar Requiem, on October 29, 2013, which it is a soundtrack album to the Metalocalypse special of the same name. The album featured Hoglan on drums, Beller performing guest bass on a track, and Mike Keneally performing guest vocals.