Dethklok mastermind Brendon Small shares preview from new album ‘Galaktikon II’—listen - Features - Alternative Press Alt-rock act Behind The Façade premiere high-energy song “Devil”—listen - Features - Alternative Press Hundred Suns drop video for “Amaranthine,” plan to donate proceeds to charity—watch - Features - Alternative Press 5 social media tricks to get your band more fans - Features - Alternative Press Anberlin’s frontman Stephen Christian premieres powerful, personal solo work—listen - Features - Alternative Press Frank Zummo remembers Chester Bennington: “I just really miss him” - Features - Alternative Press 5 times your favorite bands were the ultimate #FriendshipGoals - Features - Alternative Press 10 Neck Deep lyrics we can’t get out of our heads - Features - Alternative Press 10 new songs you might have missed this week - Features - Alternative Press Get to know pop-punk band Between You And Me, recently signed to Hopeless Records - Features - Alternative Press 11 things you might not know about MCR’s I Brought You My Bullets… - Features - Alternative Press Listen to punk rapper Juiceboxxx’s LP ‘Freaked Out American Loser’ ahead of its release - Features - Alternative Press Hear BVB’s Jinxx play violin on new Marty Friedman song “Sorrow And Madness”—exclusive - Features - Alternative Press TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski responds to the death of Chester Bennington - Features - Alternative Press Musicians mourn the loss of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington — UPDATED - Features - Alternative Press How Spotify influenced Moby’s latest post-punk masterpiece ‘More Fast Songs About The Apocalypse’ - Features - Alternative Press Sløtface premiere “Pitted” off debut album—listen - Features - Alternative Press How rock ‘n’ roll shoe designer Char Tedrick went from punk band to footwear brand - Features - Alternative Press Some of your favorite lyrics from Brand New, Panic! and more explained by fans - Features - Alternative Press Producer Colin Brittain explains how he topped major charts with All Time Low, Papa Roach - Features - Alternative Press ‘Talk music’ band Listener premiere new video for “There’s Money in the Walls”—watch - Features - Alternative Press The top moments at the 2017 APMAs, as chosen by you - Features - Alternative Press Jesse Michaels reflects on Operation Ivy and East Bay Punk 30 years later - Features - Alternative Press 10 bands show us their “I just met my idol” face at the APMAs - Features - Alternative Press And the winners of the 2017 APMAs are… - Features - Alternative Press 15 bands show their best “faces my grandma makes when she hears my band” at the APMAs - Features - Alternative Press 15 essential merch items you need to survive the summer - Features - Alternative Press Here are the best moments from every year of the APMAs - Features - Alternative Press 16 fantastic movie soundtracks you need to hear (or relisten to) - Features - Alternative Press 22 songs with more than one music video — from Blink-182 to the 1975 - Features - Alternative Press 12 new songs you need to hear this week - Features - Alternative Press Memorable on-stage moments with Black Veil Brides - Features - Alternative Press 11 Broadway and theater productions with ties to rock music (and Eminem) - Features - Alternative Press The Holy Bright release “Camus Kids Smoke Camels” (feat. Knuckle Puck’s Joe Taylor)—exclusive - Features - Alternative Press Night Argent pay homage to horror in new video for “Dreamcatcher”—watch - Features - Alternative Press Best Ex (formerly Candy Hearts) balance punk and pop on sugar-coated debut EP - Features - Alternative Press 2017 APMAs FAQ: All your burning questions about the show answered - Features - Alternative Press That time Nick Jonas almost got arrested at a Fall Out Boy show - Features - Alternative Press 13 X Games athletes to keep your eye on this weekend in Minneapolis - Features - Alternative Press Rock band Save Us From The Archon premiere “Lost in a Reverie” video—watch - Features - Alternative Press Pop-punkers Belmont have an epic house show in music video for new song “Step Aside”—watch - Features - Alternative Press 6 songs you didn’t know the White Noise helped create — from Motionless In White to Cane Hill - Features - Alternative Press 6 bands that will scare the s*** out of you - Features - Alternative Press Waterparks hold bassist auditions in new video for “Gloom Boys”—watch - Features - Alternative Press This up-and-coming artist is making dope posters for all of your favorite bands - Features - Alternative Press Chicago’s prized pop-punks Showoff premiere “Popular Kid”—listen - Features - Alternative Press Where it all began: 16 bands’ very first music videos - Features - Alternative Press John Feldmann talks Goldfinger’s past, present and future - Features - Alternative Press Pop-punk band A Summer High premiere new video for “Pretty Little Liar”—watch - Features - Alternative Press The 10 best alternative music videos this year (so far) - Features - Alternative Press Hear Choir Vandals’ debut album and see them with Moose Blood—exclusive - Features - Alternative Press British ‘sister-doom’ duo CHAMBERS drop new single “Down The Rabbit Hole”—listen - Features - Alternative Press Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Zeitgeist’: 10 things to know on its 10-year anniversary - Features - Alternative Press 10 State Champs choruses you can’t get out of your head - Features - Alternative Press 18 of the best music videos where bands destroy shit - Features - Alternative Press 10 alt rap/hip-hop artists you should be listening to by now - Features - Alternative Press 10 books by musicians that you’ll want to read immediately - Features - Alternative Press 15 songs we bet you didn’t catch this week - Features - Alternative Press 10 albums made to listen to on vinyl - Features - Alternative Press 10 bands we hope will have reunions soon - Features - Alternative Press The Wild! are “Livin’ Free” in new music video—watch - Features - Alternative Press Rooney release smooth summer jam “Day 2 Day”—listen - Features - Alternative Press 11 bands you gotta see at Warped Tour this summer - Features - Alternative Press 10 videos of kids singing songs by their favorite bands - Features - Alternative Press Hear one of the most brutal cuts from Decapitated’s upcoming ‘Anticult’ - Features - Alternative Press Barb Wire Dolls premiere “If I Fall,” a song written about depression and suicide — listen - Features - Alternative Press 16 bands with their own branded booze - Features - Alternative Press 13 best banters between As It Is and ROAM - Features - Alternative Press Code Orange’s priceless endorsements from some of the biggest names in metal - Features - Alternative Press Punk rapper HXLT drops new single “Superfun” through Adult Swim Singles Program—listen - Features - Alternative Press 14 musician cameos in cartoons - Features - Alternative Press 14 songs to listen to when you need a good cry - Features - Alternative Press World Of Pain live up to their name on “Apocalypse Now”—exclusive - Features - Alternative Press 10 of the heaviest breakdowns from 2007 - Features - Alternative Press 20 things you won’t believe happened in 2007 - Features - Alternative Press 15 songs you need to hear this week - Features - Alternative Press The ultimate goth cookbook for recipes as dark as your soul - Features - Alternative Press 10 goth beauty must-haves - Features - Alternative Press Kevin Day’s solo act Graduation Speech release exclusive stream of new EP—listen - Features - Alternative Press These photos of bands at their proms are everything - Features - Alternative Press Modern Chemistry drop new track “Tripping Over You” off upcoming album—listen - Features - Alternative Press Corey Taylor talks ‘Hydrograd,’ gives major props to Chester Bennington & Linkin Park - Features - Alternative Press Vanish premiere haunting track “Paper House” from new EP—listen - Features - Alternative Press 5 things you should never say to a record label - Features - Alternative Press 16 iconic photos of your fave bands and the stories behind them - Features - Alternative Press Misery Signals premiere exclusive clip from their documentary, ‘Yesterday Was Everything’—watch - Features - Alternative Press Indie band the Kickback premiere new track “Rube”—listen - Features - Alternative Press Extreme brotherhood: 10 metal bands with siblings - Features - Alternative Press 10 easy ways to dress like Paramore’s Hayley Williams - Features - Alternative Press Here’s what some of the top YouTubers listen to - Features - Alternative Press Marina City premiere powerful music video for new song, “Dreamers Never Die” - Features - Alternative Press Vagabonds streams new album, recorded entirely in random, unoccupied places— listen - Features - Alternative Press 13 times the scene has shown its love for ‘Harry Potter’ - Features - Alternative Press 13 statues, murals dedicated to musicians and where you can find them - Features - Alternative Press McCafferty release early stream of new EP ‘Thanks. Sorry. Sure.’—listen - Features - Alternative Press Upcoming emo movie premieres original song, exclusive teaser featuring Frank Iero—watch - Features - Alternative Press 19 songs we bet you didn’t catch this week - Features - Alternative Press Greeley Estates premiere new song, discuss upcoming EP ‘Calling All The Hopeless’—listen - Features - Alternative Press 10 alt beauty vloggers who deserve your subscription - Features - Alternative Press YouTube sensation NateWantsToBattle drops music video for “Heroes Never Die”—watch - Features - Alternative Press

SECTIONS

ALTERNATIVE PRESS

Features

Dethklok mastermind Brendon Small shares preview from new album ‘Galaktikon II’—listen

July 25 2017, 12:00 PM EDT By Philip Trapp


[Photo by: Jim Donnelly]

Brendon Small, the brain behind virtual death-metal act Dethklok is back with a new story to tell. Brendon Small's Galaktikon II: Become The Storm, the new album from the musician, writer and producer, is due out on Aug. 25 from Megaforce Records. Check out an exclusive preview of the new album below.

Galaktikon II is the follow-up to Small’s 2012 Galaktikon solo debut and further infuses the musician’s melodic death metal with an otherworldly, interplanetary theme. The music is an evolution of Small’s Dethklok work, taking core elements from his previous records such as The Dethalbum and The Doomstar Requiem and adding a progressive layer of harmonic craft to the proceedings. AP spoke to Small about the new album and some of his influences in making Galaktikon II.

It’s been 10 years since Dethklok’s The Dethalbum, and you’re continuing your musical journey on Galaktikon II. Does this new record epitomize what you wanted to accomplish in music at this point?
I think it kind of puts together the things I’ve been doing, from the first Galaktikon record to all of my Dethklok work, which will probably live inside of my veins for a long time. It’s like a culmination of my music over the last 10 years. There’s rock opera moments inside of this thing, there’s storytelling moments, there are very heavy, brutal moments. But ultimately, I’m just trying to make a record that’s worth listening to.

Your first Galaktikon record presented a very specific theme, a sort of space opera/superhero story, and the narrative was publicly laid out when the album was released. For Galaktikon II, I haven’t seen any lyrics or synopsis for the plot therein. Are we still following the lead character, Triton, from the first album, or is this a new story arc?
It’s a whole new world, that’s what this is. Triton is a character that’s going to pop up here and there, but it’s not his story. This is a story about another planet, basically.

The first time I did a Galaktikon record, I blabbed the whole story to everyone, and I kind of regret doing that. I think one of the coolest things about music is not knowing [the whole story] and trying to figure it out for yourself. People don’t have to give a shit about the story if they don’t want to, but if they want to, I’d rather not tell them what it is. I’d like to leave it open. Those who are interested, I’d rather hear their take on the story, rather than me just forcing it down your throat and removing the mystery.

I can understand wanting to keep it a bit more mysterious. Are there lyrics in the album?
The answer is no, there are no lyrics. If you can figure them out, I want to hear what your take is. You don’t have to give everything away, and you can maybe even hopefully build a little bit of intrigue. I remember being a kid and having records at a friend’s house and combing through the record and looking for clues. I remember doing it with a Queen record. I even remember doing it with Kilroy Was Here, that Styx album where they were all dressed up like robots.

What Queen record was it?
It was A Night At The Opera. My parents luckily had that sitting around, and it changed my life. Listening to “The Prophet’s Song,” for me, was like the most powerful music ever. Ultimately, I’m trying to rip that off. That’s where [Galaktikon II’s] “The Ocean Galaktik” comes from, taking cues from those kind of mid-tempo ballads that are heavy as hell, like “The Sign Of The Southern Cross” by Dio and [Black] Sabbath or even “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” by AC/DC.

There’s something to be said about those songs, and I don’t hear it often enough. I’ve been throwing them into my world from the very first record, trying to have these larger-than-life, epic moments. On The Dethalbum, I did a song called “Go Into The Water,” which was me trying to play in that world, trying to have a song that’s bigger than the sum of its parts.

Speaking of “The Ocean Galaktik,” that’s probably my favorite song on Galaktikon II. Hearing you tie it to Queen’s “The Prophet’s Song,” might be why I picked up on it as a real highlight on your new album.
If you haven’t heard “The Prophet’s Song,” anyone reading this, it’s just one of the coolest, most powerful songs. It’s about the coolest stuff: It’s about the end of the world, and it’s about trying to save all the people that still exist. Basically the whole reason Galaktikon exists is because of Queen and that song.

That’s awesome. So, you’re pretty much an entertainment renaissance man. Many fans know you from creating Metalocalypse or even Home Movies, and you also do stand-up comedy in addition to your various musical projects. It seemed like the first Galaktikton record maybe had comedic elements to it, but I don’t sense much of that in Galaktikon II. Am I overlooking that?
No, the way that I saw this story unfolding, it’s about just the absolute darkest place that a mind can go, with terrible people manipulating others into doing terrible things. And there are some songs from a very, very bad point of view. Like, the song “My Name Is Murder” is about a person doing terrible, terrible things.

But inside of that, there’s a lot of optimism. Even “The Ocean Galaktik” is an optimistic song. And I leave the album in what I think is a very optimistic place. There’s darkness and then there’s optimism. I don’t know, living in America this past year, it’s been a lot of highs and lows. There’s been a lot of strange shit. Whether I want it to or not, I think that stuff creeps into the record. Even if you’re not political or whatever, I think everyone right now is kind of asking the gods, “What the fuck?”

So, all that stuff is in there. This one’s not necessarily comedy. I think there’s fun in it and I think there’s levity in it, but I don’t think this is a comedic story.

Going back to the new record, it’s pretty cool that you’ve been making your albums with the same group of people for about 10 years: bassist Bryan Beller, drummer Gene Hoglan and co-producer Ulrich Wild. That must be a pretty good feeling.
This is a relationship that I kind of lucked into 10 years ago. I like how I work with these guys. When I have a project, and it may be getting a little bit too big, it helps when someone will ask a very good, calming question. I love when people do this, and I think Gene asked one at the end of “The Ocean Galaktik.” We have this big, huge outro part with the band, but it was slathered with so much more stuff. It was just me going crazy, like, how many things can I do at once? How can I keep people invested in this song?

And Gene just said, like, “Hey, would it be worthwhile building to that moment?” And I completely understood what he was talking about. I knew I was looking for a way to just kick the song over the top with one little extra move. Him just saying that was really, really important. It helped that song get somewhere, it just kind of kicked my ass. Like, “Right, let’s just cut everything down to the band and build up to that moment.” Going into the mixing, it was very helpful, and it made that song, I think, maybe my favorite song on the record. ALT

Listen to the opening of "To Kill A God":

The aforementioned "The Ocean Galaktik" is just one of the 11 conceptual juggernauts included on Brendon Small's Galaktikon II: Become The Storm, out August 25. The new record, Small's continuing intergalactic saga of extreme rock and metal, is sure to please fans of both his Dethklok work and the 2012 Galaktikon debut. Pre-order Galaktikon II on Amazon here and iTunes here.

The space-themed story of the first Galaktikon album will also be brought to life in a six-issue series of comic books from Albatross Funnybooks called GALAKTIKON!, created by Small with writer Eric Powell and artist Steve Mannion. Due this August, you can get more info on the comic books here. Additionally, Small will host Brendon Small’s Galaktikon Guitar Camp from July 31 to August 4 at The Paul Green Rock Academy in Saugerties, New York—check here for daily times and pricing.

COMMENTS