The first band that I was in was called On Parole and we were… It was the early 80’s so there’s a lot of Iron Maiden influence and, kind of like, Van Halen, Riot. A lot of those rock – they were probably known as “metal” back then – but they were really rock bands, but we were into Priest and Maiden, stuff like that. Wrote all the lyrics, wrote all the music, and it was really bad.
I never really had a first band. It was always with just Nick, the singer of Paradise Lost now. It was always just me and him doing stuff since the age of like 17. Just messing around and different people came and went until because Paradise Lost. So, there’s a few weird names along the way, but it was the same couple of guys just pulling other people in.
My first band was called Whip. I think I was about 9, 10 years old. I wrote the songs and lyrics all about this guy going to war. it was kind of classic metal sounding.
Dethklok is my first band. I’d put projects together and it would be like, “The Brendon Small Band” and I would do that at music school, put like a project together. It would be, grab a really good drummer and a really good bass player and go and do an evening of some stuff, and write some original stuff and try to put that in there too. And that’s what I would do, but it was always a project thing. This has become more of a band. It started out as a project thing. I think the influence of the other guys have kinda like, knowing what they can do, helps me compose. Knowing what Gene (Hoglan’s) fortes are helps me compose stuff.
We were called the Johnny Ross Quartet. We were just a bunch of idiot fifteen, sixteen year-olds. Of course, there was five of us. We were trying to be ironic, the Johnny Ross Quartet, with five dudes. Oh man, we were awful, dude. It was terrifying how bad we were. It was fun, just a high school thing. I think we did a Deftones cover from their first record. I guess we had that nu-metal vibe going, which at the time was just Korn, Deftones and bands like Korn. That was kind of our thing. We were into bands like that. It was pretty dark days, man. But, I was young and really just getting into heavy music and stuff like that, I guess that was the beginning of it. The funny thing about it is that everybody starts somewhere, obviously. Most people have some shitty band they were in and it’s only really by accident and happenstance that you wind up in a successful band or a band that’s pretty good. There’s a lot of good players out there that are just destined to be in shitty bands their whole life. Even though I’m embarrassed to say I was in the Johnny Ross Quartet, I could easily be in a band like that now. It just so happens that I found some people that have a unique synergy with one another and write some tunes that people kind of like and we’re all committed to it. Everybody has been in a shitty band at one point or another; it’s really just dumb luck that you end up in a cool band.