Kim Thayil: Why SOUNDGARDEN and 'METALOCALYPSE' go hand in hand | Revolver

Kim Thayil: Why SOUNDGARDEN and 'METALOCALYPSE' go hand in hand

"The characters of Dethklok were so popular amongst our band"
collage_maker-28-sep-2023-10-27-am-563.jpg, Thayil: Dave Simpson/WireImage
photograph by Thayil: Dave Simpson/WireImage

Order Revolver's new Dethklok collector's issue, limited-edition vinyl variants of all their albums, and official band shirts in exclusive colorways at our shop.

Metalocalypse is a show about the most brutal metal band in the world, Dethklok, and over the years, its creators have enlisted an army of real-life metal legends to voice various characters in the epic storyline. Grunge musicians, too!

Season 4 of Metalocalypse featured notable contributions from Soundgarden's lead guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Ben Shepherd (the latter appears in 2012's Episode 4, "Motherklok," while the former voices Toki's bully in Episode 7, "Dethcamp").

But the Seattle grunge innovators' relationship with Dethklok stretches much further back.

"Metalocalypse was so cool," says Thayil, who first fell in love with the series when he discovered the rock & roll clown Dr. Rockzo. "I loved the fact that the show was both a parody of, and homage to, heavy metal — with equal parts mockery and exaltation of the genre.

"This fit well with Soundgarden's attitude towards much of rock culture. Along with hilarious scriptwriting and voice acting, the show featured cool songwriting and recording, with excellent musicianship.

"But, beyond the music and storylines, the visuals and art direction were amazing! The show looked great! The landscapes were dark and apocalyptic looking, with horizons and skies that evoked doom and bordered on psychedelic. The look managed to convey both humor and horror within a sci-fi context."

Thayil, Shepherd and the rest of Soundgarden's camp were so enamored of the show that the guitarist was struck with a crazy idea.

"I suggested we work with the show's creator, director and illustrators on a video for our single, 'Black Rain,' which was our first single released after reuniting in 2010," says Thayil.

After connecting with director Brendon Small, Soundgarden and the Metalocalypse team cooked up an epic animated video that beautifully matched the gravitas of Soundgarden's Grammy-nominated comeback song.

"Metalocalypse and the characters of its band Dethklok were so popular amongst our band, crew and peers," Thayil reflects. "I'm still super proud of this fun association between Soundgarden and Metalocalypse."

Revolver is celebrating all of the above with a deluxe collector's issue dedicated to the Metalocalypse stars. The 100-page magazine features new in-depth interviews with series co-creator and musical mastermind Brendon Small, along with key collaborators, telling the full behind-the-scenes story of the animated band. It also features commentary from famous fans including King Diamond, Anthrax's Scott Ian and Cannibal Corpse's George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher. The issue comes in five collectible alternate covers, one of which was illustrated by artist Songgu Kwon just for this project.

In addition, we've got limited-edition vinyl variants and CDs of all four of Dethklok's albums, including the new Dethalbum IV, plus official band T-shirts in exclusive colorways.

Quantities are limited and going fast. Order yours now!