Lords of “toddler metal” ‘Slay Duggee’ are currently running a kickstarter campaign to fund their debut album. Writing children’s songs and covers of popular kids TV shows, ‘Slay Duggee’ are creating a brilliant way to introduce young children to the world of rock and metal music. We spoke to the drummer Black Shuck and bassist Teddy Wall-Street to find out more…
Spirit Level: Toddler Metal is a wonderfully unique idea. What made you guys decide to start Slay Duggee?
Black Shuck: Me and Ricky are big fans of kids’ TV AND metal. When the Stick Song blew up from Hey Duggee we decided to create a metal version of it. 57 hours later we were being played by Steve Lamacq on daytime BBC 6Music.
Teddy Wall-Street: My little boy complains when I put on music that isn't heavy. He says "Daddy, put on something STRONG!". He's not wrong. They need that release from their frustrations, same as adults.
Spirit Level: You already have already worked with artists from Tesseract and Nekrogoblikon. Can we expect any more exciting collaborations?
Black Shuck: We’re currently working on a song that I’m going to bill as heavy metal’s Band Aid. It’s about 45 seconds long and we guarantee it won’t feature Sting. We need to get as many guests as possible - anyone got Ozzy’s phone number?
Spirit Level: What are your thoughts on cats?
Black Shuck: Slay Duggee are inclusive, we would never be speciesist. Cats have made some great music in the past… Pantera, Pussycat Dolls, CATS the musical, Steel Panther, Def Leppard, Atomic Kitten. Never tell anyone they can’t pick up a guitar and make some amazing music.
Teddy Wall-Street: Thundercats are metal. So is James the cat and Bagpuss. We'd totally do the Garfield theme if we could get Bill Murray on board.
Spirit Level: You have already generated a brilliant response to your kickstarter with just over a week to go. How does it feel to know that people really want to support your album?
Black Shuck: When we started the band we didn’t have time to think about where it would go. It was just supposed to be a 60 second blast of stupidity. The fact that we are now making an album, and it’s almost funded is our fans’ fault. As long as they keep listening, we’ll keep churning out toddler metal! We love our Squirrels!
Teddy Wall-Street: Yeah, it's good to know that there's plenty of people like us, who won't let the responsible and adult things like being a parent stop us enjoying the things we love, and with all the po-faced rubbish on news feeds these days, who doesn't want the release of a kids tv theme blasted aggressively in their face as they scroll down?
Spirit Level: Do you have any surprises in store for the new album?
Black Shuck: Let’s just say that fans of Justin Fletcher’s back catalog will not be disappointed.
Teddy Wall-Street: I think the string quartet version of "Satan Spawn, the Caco-Daemon" by Deicide will be the biggest surprise.
Spirit Level: What is the most metal kids TV show?
Black Shuck: I was always disappointed by Metal Mickey. He never went anywhere never a BC Rich Warlock. Rubbish robot!
Teddy Wall-Street: There's a great show on CBeebies called Melody, where this amazing, partially-sighted girl visualises the music that is played to her. I'd love to see what she makes of "Seasons in the Abyss”.
Spirit Level: How have toddlers reacted to your music so far?
Black Shuck: I think humans are born with a natural love of metal and aggressive music that is gradually drummed out of them by society. If a toddler is exposed to our music it generally makes them throw up their horns and mosh. Nature is far stronger than nurture. Our music is all about making toddlers lose their shit.
Teddy Wall-Street: They realy do lose their shit. I haven't seen any other reaction. When they realise what tune it is, and that you can do that to music, and make it however you like, they absolutely love it.
Spirit Level: With Slayer announcing their farewell tour, do you think there is an opportunity for Slay Duggee to be the new kings of metal?
Teddy Wall-Street: Well, Steve Lamacq called us the Lords of Toddler metal, so I guess we're in the royal line. I don't think Duke Ellington will cut it on the Metal scene, so yes, I guess it has to pass to us. Makes sense, really.
Spirit Level: How important is it to introduce metal and rock music to kids at a young age?
Black Shuck: Who decided that kids want to listen to gentle music played on a glockenspiel? As soon as kids are exposed to heavier music they instantly love it. Kids love shouting. Kids love running around. Kids love smashing stuff up. Kids love fire. Kids love dressing up. Metal is the perfect music for kids!
Teddy Wall-Street: Kids seem to experience their emotions more strongly than adults, so it makes sense that they're attracted to the music that expresses that emotion. Metal is about energy, excitement, rage, frustration, anger, triumph. What kid doesn't experience all of those things? No wonder they love it.
Spirit Level: Who’s a good boy?
Black Shuck: Not Ricky Bow-Wow!
Teddy Wall-Street: Biscuits is a good boy for putting pinched harmonics in all the right places!
The kickstarter campaign for ‘Slay Duggee’ can be found here…
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