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Pickles the Drummer: an Unauthorized History

Updated on July 1, 2011

Pickles the Drummer, the full story

So little is known behind metalocalypse's Pickles the Drummer, and his history with Dethklok. For those of you who look forward to Metalocalype's seasons, and subsequently watch them until they're played out when they're played out and you have to wait for new ones, here is a complete unauthorized guide to the history of Pickles the Drummer. Source material is drawn from the DVD seasons only and subject to change pending a new release on DVD. Pickles' bandss and record labels are fictional, musical influences are not. There will be a modest amount of citations.

Metalocalypse Seasons: The Official Record

Herein lies the backstory provided by the show itself. The family episode ("dethfam" season one) is the ultimate of metalocalypse's backstory episode. Here we learn of Pickles parents and his older brother Seth, a hopelessly irresponsible ex-con who is still the light in his mother's eye. Subsequent episodes depict Seth as the groom ("dethwedding" season two) and the instigator of Pickles alcoholism ("rehabklok" season three). Pickles' other important episodes are the Snakes and Barrels episodes from seasons one and two, where Pickles is portrayed as the leader of a glam rock band.

Profile: Pickles the Drummer

Born Aug, 14 1971 to Calvin and Molly in Tomahawk Wisconsin.

Age: 39

Childhood Experiences: Pickles was born into a poor working class community in Tomahawk Wisconsin. An area crime ridden and steeped deep in the crystal meth trade, Pickles grew up with an older brother Seth who turned to crime at a young age to escape the family’s poverty. His mother having two jobs, his father with long stretches of unemployment due to chronic alcoholism, created such an unlivable home life that Pickles made a mad dash to L.A. with the money he had slowly been siphoning from Seth’s drug funds (to this day Seth has been unaware of this theft). Having little to do on the bus but to practice on his new Les Paul goldtop, Pickles was already well on his way to rock fame. Meeting with Antonio Di Marco “Thunderbottom”, Sammy “Candy Nose” Twinskins (born John Hulitt), and Snizzy Snazz Bullets (born David Leon). He formed Snakes and Barrells in early 1986. There followed the “Water Horsey Blues” EP/demo that was bid on by various labels. After successfully signed to Positra records they released “Hunger for Rock”. Which hit the charts at no. 1 and eventually sold three million copies.

Freed from the constraints of money and oppressive parenting, Pickles went through a prolonged drug binge. How he managed two America tours and another successful album “Vixen of Venom” is not known. Before an extensive European tour he nearly overdosed on a combination of morphine and PCP. Since then he has “moderated” his drug regimen, which is now mostly alcohol. The rest of the band collapsed at this time. Snizzy tried a short solo career but his single “The Snizzle” was not picked up by any major label.

While Pickles could have retired in comfort (Pickles’ drug/health costs had not wiped him out.) he was unsatisfied creatively and had recently picked up a copy of Slayer’s Reign in Blood. Meeting another metal fan from Wisconsin (Milwaukee), Timothy O’Brian. (O’Brian being an original member of Dethklok, later replaced by Toki Wartooth. (A brief glimpse of O'Brian appears on metalocalpyse season 3 in "Renovationklok") He was introduced to the thrash scene through such noted acts as Kreator, Dark Angel, and Destruction. They began jamming under the band name Gomorrah. After releasing “The Bed of Needles” in 1989 (a modest success), and The Hottest Hell in 1991 (a failure as death metal began replacing thrash) Pickles and O' Brian parted to work on separate music projects. 

Metalocalypse Season 3 on Blu Ray and DVD

Pickles' hiatus and the Formation of Dethklok

The early 90’s were a difficult time for Pickles musically. Realizing death metal had replaced thrash as the most extreme form of music, he also felt it too generic and over the top. Excited by the new stoner rock albums put out by Kyuss and Sleep, he attempted to start a stoner band but faced constant line up changes and played only a few local shows. For everyone in the music world except Pickles, it looked as if his career were finished.

Then he reunited with his musical friend O’Brian in the winter of ’93. Facing a decline in the popularity of death metal Pickles and O’Brien collaborated mixing Pickles stoner rock with O’ Brien’s death metal and creating a new band Shadows of Smoke. They produced the bizarre classic The Glutamate Antagonists (1994), limited to 2000 copies and a cult classic to those many fans weary of the generic sound of the bands in the early death metal scene. The album contained many tracks with unusual arrangements with several guitars and FX patterns, making it impractical to play the album live. They put out a more toned down Vitamin K (written 96 but unreleased until 03) that was heavily accused as a sell out by dedicated fans.

Metalocalypse Seasons One and Two

Fury Fest and the Newly Named "Pickles the Drummer"

Through a still unexplained miracle, Shadows of Smoke were able to tour, unsigned, on an extensive European tour, Fury Fest. Another band on that tour happened to be Ganglial Ganglia, Skwisgar Skwigelf’s Swedish Death metal band. Financially, the tour was a terrible move for Shadows of Smoke, whose audience wanted traditional black/death metal bands. However, it was also the beginning of Dethklok. Pickles earned the respect of Skwisgar by hard he could party, and Skwisgar earned the respect of Skwisgelf’s ability to find groupies. Skwisgar’s band was well off, but Skwisgar repeated in a number of interviews “My bandmates is dildos”.

Pickles and O’ Brien moved to Sweden after the show, but it was obvious that the band didn’t need three guitar players. Admitting O’Brien’s virtuosity far outshone his, Pickles switched to drum duties. The switch was to forever give him the name Pickles the Drummer by an anonymous letter written in Heavy Metal Maniacs. Dethklok released several albums of great acclaim and Pickles the Drummer has been involved with all of them. He still plays entirely percussion, despite the departure of O'Brian (for a narcotic addiction) finding it more suitable to his temperament.

Pickle’s Influences

Most Idolized: Dave Lombardo

Current Favorites: Nile, Soilent Green,and Mayhem.

Enduring mysteries: What is Pickles the Drummer's actual last name?


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    • Wise fool profile image

      Wise fool 5 years ago from Colorado

      I love the Snakes and Barrels episode. Wickedly fun show.