Director / CrewI'm Brendon Small, guy behind Metalocalypse, and my new live-action metal short film called NIGHTMARE is out now via FunnyorDie. AMA!
Mar 3rd 2018 by _BrendonSmall • 25 Questions • 972 Points
Hi everyone! I am Niall Ferguson. I am the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies, Harvard, where I served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. I am also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation Distinguished Scholar at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. I have written fifteen books, including The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild, Empire, Civilization and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. I am an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for my PBS series The Ascent of Money. In addition to writing a weekly column for the Sunday Times (London) and the Boston Globe, I am the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, an advisory firm. I also serve on the board of Affiliated Managers Group. My new book, The Square and the Tower, was published in the U.S. in January.
You can find me online here:
EDIT: And that's it folks. It's 11:02am in Stanford and I have to get back to my day job. Thanks to all of you for really great questions. My RSI is now killing me, but it was fun!
Hey buddy 🤘🏼
So how’s the tour coming along? Soon? Ish? Maybe?
Also are we gonna get any behind the scenes stuff from Nightmare? I want to see more of that badass whale 🐋
In your recent interview with Sam Harris, you seemed to sidestep criticisms of Kissinger by saying that if he's a war criminal, then so is Obama, etc. Since this is not a political question but a legal one, and since many of us are perfectly willing to follow you on your point about Obama, what is an actual substantive argument for your lenient stance on Kissinger's actions?
Tour-wise I'll let you know when I know
however stay tuned because you will get some sweet BTS action from NIGHTMARE- I'm glad you're interested!
I haven't begun writing vol. II, so I wasn't side-stepping Sam's question, just making sure I didn't preempt myself. My argument is for consistency. My hunch is that either there are a lot of war criminals who have led the State Department / U.S. government or none, depending on your definition. What seems highly implausible to me is that there is only one, and that is Kissinger. Remember, the main basis for this claim is a really shoddy little book by my old friend Chris Hitchens. He was many things, but a lawyer wasn't one of them.
Can we expect some of he highlights in your new book?
And that's it folks. It's 11:02am in Stanford and I have to get back to my day job. Thanks to all of you for really great questions. My RSI is now killing me, but it was fun!
Hey Brendon, any chance of a Planet Piss album/EP in the future?
It seems like so many of our problems and the rapid rise in political and ideological polarization in 2018 comes from a real lack of History in education. How can we make this a priority (in the west, I suppose) and give historians some confidence again?
I agree 100%. But academic history has to earn public respect, and most history departments seem intent on doing the opposite. That is why I am hosting a conference on Applied History at Stanford tomorrow.
Hey Brendon! I had a great time seeing Dethklok perform some years ago in Seattle. Is there any chance of another tour? Or does Adult Swim own the music rights too?
With Dodd-Frank repeal or revision an increasing possibility, do you have any thoughts on the value of that legislation? It's hard to find reliably sensible commentary amid the political debate where reps on both sides may be pandering towards special interests in their arguments.
who knows? But I will say we loved touring and connecting with the fans. What a fun fucking show that was eh?
I am writing an update to the Ascent of Money which will tear into Dodd-Frank as a really badly designed mess that didn't address more than a tenth of the causes of the financial crisis. Should be out in September.
Brendon, what's the weirdest thing you've ever done high?
Also, any advice for someone also trying to become something of a one-man band?
Will you eventually write about the 7th killer app for the book Civilisation's next edition?
I went to Cirque du Soliel really high once and was afraid somebody's taint was going to land on my face, That was scary.
I'd say for band stuff- write all the time, write a ton of riffs- record yourself and be willing to change your stuff according to the logic that the song presents you- listen to yourself and don't be afraid to critique yourself harshly- but not so harshly that you never let anybody listen to your stuff!
Yes, but I can reveal now that it's alcohol.
Hi Brendon, thanks for coming back!
Nightmare was pretty cool, especially with the practical effects. How intentional was it to draw so many parallels to The Galaxy and Metalocalypse/Dethok in general?
I’m really digging the comic and I can’t wait for the next issue. After you finish up this series, can we expect to see more? And can we expect to see more shorts like Nightmare for Galaktikon tracks?
Love your work man, keep it up!
What do you think about the networks formed by media companies such as Disney? It seems that these networks have quite a bit of power (maybe even a sinister amount of power). How does this form of network fit into the overall premise of your book?
the parallels you see are motifs that will most likely follow me forever. I have been drawn to the water and sea creatures for a long time- I like the look of certain shots- I like scale and bigness. I also love Ralph BAkshi and rip him off mercilessly- so what you're seeing is a collection of what I like to look at.
I'm having such a blast in the comic book world with Eric Powell and Steve Mannion that I could easily see myself continuing. I'm also really happy with how the series finished- I hope you all check it out. I love it.
Disney is quite an old kind of network: a centralized content producer, with roots in the golden age of Hollywood. I think the future of content will be different, because the Internet creates a Darwinian environment of constant innovation and experimentation, with obscure people becoming stars by going viral online. Disney will still churn out its musical cartoons, but I think it's share of total entertainment diminishes.
I have 3 small questions: 1. Can official tabs for galaktikon 2 be expected?I'm tearible at learning by ear. 2. Is Beastblade involved in the story of Galaktikon 2? because it looked like he was in the Icarus video 3. If you were to do another comic series would it be Galaktikon 2 or a Triton spin- off?
Are all Freemasons the same or are there imitators and different types of Freemasonry?
thats a good question- we are so independent over here that I hadn't really put thought into TAB book- don't people just rip them and put them up online for free anyway? I know that happened to Dethklok- but i also know that people buy them and are really interested in learning the parts- what do i do??
I'd love to continue in the comic world with Galaktikon- I'd like to take the story in fun unexpected directions related or not related to the music
All shapes and sizes, but every formally constituted lodge has some connection to the masonic tradition as it evolved in the British Isles between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Any chance of more live Dethklok in the future or is the stage a no go along with the cartoon etc?
What is the most important truth that very few people agree with you on?
- Recently: That Angela Merkel has been a disaster for Germany.
- For many years: That the benefits of the British Empire outweighed the costs.
Hey Brendon, always enjoyed your shows and music.
Both with Dethklok and your Galaktikon albums you have produced what most would consider melodic death metal, but have you ever experimented with making a different subgenre of metal such as black, thrash, etc. that didn't make it on to an album?
On the immigration front, you have Japan, whose birth rate is as low as some European nations, yet decided it would rather shrink its population than open itself to more immigration and with it the risk of losing its identity. Do you think Japan’s policy is suicidal or could it be a model for countries in Europe?
I get to do a lot of heavy genres inside of Dethklok and Galaktikon- to me there are tiny black metal moments and trashy moments but built around modern metal- old hard rock
i think in the future I'd like to keep experimenting and doing electric stuff like the intro score of the NIGHTMARE short
In effect, Hungary is going down the Japanese road, Germany is taking the opposite course. These may prove to be alternative methods of suicide. The way to happiness is to have five children. People in wealthy countries can afford this. They should get on with it.
Not only do you make some of my favorite music & television, but you’re also one of my favorite voice actors. How did you grow such a wide variety of character voices? Are they inspired by people you know, or are they just of your own creation?
Hi Niall What historians/historical works have shaped your historical thinking?
You are nice to say that- Skwisgaar from Dethklok is a combo of three or four people: a german kid who went to music school with me, a comedy friend's buddy, Yngwie, the swedish dude from fargo.. . . I guess that what I do- compile a lot of influences and hopefully cover my tracks so the vote feels unique
And that's it folks. It's 11:02am in Stanford and I have to get back to my day job. Thanks to all of you for really great questions. My RSI is now killing me, but it was fun.
Hey Brendon, I really love the first Galaktikon album and the comics. I just really want to know, what is the inspiration for Triton's personality? I want to love him so much, I love how he talks, and how funny and real he is for being set in space. He's such an asshole at the same time though, I can't stand the things he's done, especially to Liz. It's quite the dilemma.
Also, keep doing what you're doing! Long time fan of Dethklok, (even got a tattoo it means so much) and honestly I really love Galaktikon. Also T1 is absolutely adorable <3
What have you previously written about that you have since changed your mind about?
Love your work by the way.
To me Triton is like a 1970's anti hero comedy character. I think he's like a perturbed charles Grodin or Albert Brooks in space, he's constantly irritated and when we meet him he's in a dark place- that to me is incredibly fun because I love that era of movie making- also I think this comic feels like its from the 70's Steve Mannion (G artist) fleshed out the world with a 70's take on sci fi. like an analogue universe in space- I live his aesthetic.
thanks for digging the stuff!!
I got the US macro trends wrong in 2009-10. I quite quickly corrected myself, but wrote a couple of pieces that were wrong about the direction of interest rates and inflation, and my enemies will never let me forget it, nor will they ever acknowledge how quickly and openly I changed my mind.
I have been a fan for many years, Brendon. Please keep making great music and shows!
How likely is a European tour? And if it were to happen, would it be Dethklok, Galaktikon, or a mix of both?
For the past year or so I've had this itch to start making music, but I literally have zero musical background, and my musical tastes also vary wildly, from death metal to electros wing to synthwave... Have you got any tips for starting from absolute zero? I've been considering either starting from pure software or buying myself a very basic synthesizer to mess around with, it seems like an instrument with a lot of range in terms of genres.
Are you familiar with Jordan Peterson? He claims Universities have been taken over by social justice, particularly the humanities, and that History is one of the diciplines that has been corrupted by post modern neo-marxist. Do you have any thoughts on the state of universities and/or predictions for the future?
someday i would love to tour all the music I wrote in europe
I think if you're drawn to an instrument- guitar, keys, whatever save your money and buy one- get a good teacher- I wouldn't be anywhere if I didn't have great teachers in my youth in Salinas- John Sherry and Dennis Murphy- they helped open my eyes up to ear training, technique and theory- teachers are crucial to getting good and exploring
I don't know Jordan Peterson, but I admire what he is doing. Along with Jonathan Haidt and a growing number of courageous professors, he is part of a fightback against academic illiberalism with which I would also identify myself. Last week, I welcomed Charles Murray to Stanford just to make the point that free speech is real here. I may not agree with all he says, but I'll defend to the death his right to air his views, which are deeply researched. The same goes for people on the left. Cornel West is coming to speak at the same series in October. We don't agree on a whole range of issues, but that's not the point. I want to hear views I think I disagree with.
Hey man, love your music! Galaktikon 2 is a great record but I do miss the clean vocals from the first one, any plans for more music with clean vocals? The snow falcon is a beautiful guitar btw.
I'm glad you like the clean vocals- there are a lot on G2 but I hear you. I like doing clean vocals and they're way harder to do than the growl but I think melody is king and I'm glad you dig
any tips on rhythm guitar practicing? how did you get your speed up on songs like "the gears"?
for rhythm- get a metronome of go on youtube and play to drum beats or even better yet record yourself- you'll hear where all the problems are.
and I have found some way to not have my hand get fatigued when playing songs like THE GEARS- I discuss it with Troy Grady in a future video- often times its about relaxing your rt hand and moving as little as possible
When you were first starting out how did you deal with building a name for yourself? I want to create content myself someday and I guess I wanted to know about your personal experiences getting your stuff out there. (Apologies if this question has been asked a billion times.)
its a good question- if you're interested in music and or comedy (as i was inserted in both) theres a point where we have to leave the comfort of our rooms and get in front of people- this does a few things - it tells people "I'm Here" and it forces us to have to deliver. If you wanna do comedy- get out and preform, bomb- work it out- nobody cares if you fail but you- with music- play out, bomb, nobody cares if you fail but you
Do you plan on making more albums as Galaktikon since you arent allowed to use Dethklok or will your music career take some other turn?
who knows where time will take us my friend- I have not plotted any of what got me here out- I'm just here to be creative and hopefully bring something new to the table