‘Hey Duggee’ is arguably the best kids show in the world and metal is inarguably the greatest ever genre of music. Mysterious canine band Slay Duggee combine the two, performing savage metal covers of songs like ‘Stick’:
They’ve gone beyond ‘Hey Duggee’ to cover songs like the Go Jetters theme, the theme to Justin’s House, ‘I Am A Shape’ from Mister Maker, Baby Shark and more. Justin from Justin’s House probably wouldn’t like them, but they’re magnificent. The Kickstarter campaign for their debut album ‘Kids Love Metal’ was a resounding success, featuring such treats for backers as an actual stick.
But this Christmas, Slay Duggee have done one better by transforming that festive classic ‘Walking In The Air’ into a duet/battle between lead singer Ricky Bow-Wow and special guest star Daniel Tompkins from prog giants TesseracT.
We quizzed drummer/Svengali Black Shuck on, well, the whole thing.
How did you find yourself doing heavy metal covers of kids’ songs?
This whole heavy-metal-for-kids adventure started because of a comment Ricky Bow-Wow made on a silly picture I posted on Instagram of Duggee from Hey Duggee dressed as Tupac. He wrote, “Wanna do a heavy metal version of Stick?”
“100%!” I said. 48 hours later Steve Lamacq was playing us on BBC 6Music and we’d sold 10 (yes, 10!) T-shirts. Ever since, our Toddler Metal juggernaut has been gathering pace downhill, with no driver, no brakes, and no driving license... don’t panic, it’s only a metaphor!
What are the best kids’ show out there, both musicwise and in general?
The original Pokemon theme song will never be bettered. It’s a revered classic and shall never be slayed by Slay Duggee. There are other kids’ shows with great music: ‘The Darkness on Zingzillas’, Squarepusher’s soundtrack for ‘Daydreams’, Yo Gabba Gabba (RIP), and ‘Sesame Street’ is always turning out bangers.
Obviously we are big fans of ‘Hey Duggee’ as well. Especially the Stick song, the Raindance song and the music when Duggee makes the chickens do aerobics until their eggs pop out.
Your album is called Kids Love Metal. Do they?
Kids genuinely love heavy metal. Which was a little bit of a surprise to us. Jumping around, shouting, dressing up and running around in circles are all second nature to kids. It helps that very heavy metal is played by a pack of lovable man dogs. The humour of taking things to an unexpected place is easy for very young kids to understand, like putting a saucepan on your head – they know something’s not quite right, but that that something is amazing!
Parents around the world send us videos of their kids moshing their smiling faces off to Slay Duggee. We love it. Today I’ve seen a kid in Tokyo jumping around to Stick, his parents adoringly laughing along until he empties a whole fruit bowl onto the floor on the drop. He’ll be VIP at Download when we get booked to play. We’re still waiting for the call on that...
We’ve also scientifically tested metal on kids:
They genuinely preferred Slay Duggee to some revered classic albums – Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Velvet Underground. It’s immediate, and high energy, with no self-indulgent noodling. You could listen to our whole album in the time it takes ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ to get to the good song.
What is the future for Slay Duggee?
As long as people keep watching our videos and listening to our songs (and buying our t-shirts!) we’ll keep making heavy metal for kids. Our second album, the follow up to ‘Kids Love Metal’, is half-way finished. Expect more of the same. We’re still taking requests, but only ones we agree with or have already recorded.
Walking In The Air by Slay Duggee is available from iTunes and other download services. The band are aiming to get it to number 666 in the charts for Christmas.