Herman, The Legal Labrador - A New Animated Australian Film


Dan Sullivan
Score, orchestration

Dan scored much of the second half of the film, giving Herman and Palumbo's confrontations one-on-one and in the courtroom the grave cop show textures they deserve. I can't stop smiling when that badass guitar comes in after Palumbo says, "See you in court, Mr Herman". Dan also tossed in a convincing mock-Magnum theme and helped produce "Dogs Of Law".


David Blumenstein

My bits were: the titles theme, the park scene and the rustic tune that ends the film. Also, I can be heard briefly singing counterpoint to James on "Dogs Of Law".


Nick Ives

Nick's bass permeates time, space and this cartoon. You first hear it right at the beginning of the film, stalking the city streets, it rumbles back in as Palumbo menaces our heroes and it pumps like a mofo at the bottom end of Metzengerstein's "Dogs Of Law".


Jesse Bear

Snatches of Jesse's crying guitar can be heard in the opening scene of the film, and he is the guy burning with METAL GUITAR POWER on "Dogs Of Law" (rhythm and lead), but Jesse's finest moment is the sad tune which is called "Use My Finger" for some reason I can't remember. This is the music heard while Chuck bares his loser's soul to Herman in their flat, and naturally I asked Jesse to come up with something that sounded a lot like the "sad theme" from Lethal Weapon, "Riggs & Rog" (this is the Eric Clapton guitar-twiddling you hear every time Riggs laments his wife's suicide or is badly injured). Interestingly, he came up with something I reckon is better. You heard me. Better than Clapton.


Ben Sullivan

Ben plays all the drums you hear in HERMAN, from funk to metal to military tattoo. Besides this, he is a lovely fellow and Dan is his brother.


Lenny Volkov

You can hear Lenny's slide guitar underscoring Chuck as he rants drunkenly on the couch. FUN FACT: As one of the originators of the Chino The Pimp character, Lenny co-wrote Chino's Rules Of Pimping, which are not at all for general audiences.


"Funky Punk"

Ben Sullivan  :  drums
Ollie McGill  :  keyboards
Shane Reilly  :  guitar
Ramesh Ponnusamy  :  bass

The only previously recorded track used in HERMAN. It's my favourite of the songs Ryokan (or whatever the hell they were called at the time) would play when I went to their gigs. This is the song the band are playing at the Bar Downtown as the Conference of Evil gets going. The track was recorded by the last version of Ryokan, which included Shane on guitar and vocals, but the track was written by the earlier version featuring Jesse on guitar. Band is now defunct, probably because Ollie's gig with The Cat Empire got very serious indeed. Luckily, there is METZENGERSTEIN.


"Dogs Of Law"

Ben Sullivan  :  drums
Nick Ives  :  bass
Jesse Bear  :  guitar
David Blumenstein  :  keyboards

I already wrote a perfectly good description of this band and song in the journal, so here it is:

(December 2003)

Ever since hearing Pegazus for the first time earlier this year, I've known that the only way this film could possibly end is with an explosive burst of unvarnished POWER METAL. That's why I informed the other members of METZENGERSTEIN that their services would be required for this very special project.

METZENGERSTEIN could be charitably described as an "experimental side project" for a group of otherwise disparate musicians. In reality, it is a cool metal-sounding name for a band that doesn't exist outside a rehearsal room. It consists of:

BEN SULLIVAN -- classy drummer, art-painter, bum.

JESSE BEAR -- fruitfully employed in some field of biological research of which I have little grasp, Jesse is also a talented and modest (as opposed to "modestly talented") guitarist.

NICHOLAS CHARLES IVES -- boy do I love typing his full name. Nick plays bass.

and ME -- like all non-musician types, I play keyboards.

When METZENGERSTEIN gets together (extremely infrequently), what results is hard to describe. Ben and Jesse, as "gigging" types, are well-versed in band playing, with leanings towards da funk. Nick is an experimentalist, with one eye always on the Mike Patton playbook. And I enjoy playing stupid instruments, like kazoo, melodica or "the red thing" (one of those little keyboards shaped like a guitar that hangs on a strap round your neck). So everything we play turns into a 15-minute distortionfest in 13/4 with the Super Mario theme dancing around the edges.

While disorganised, this group is not lacking in chops (although I function much better in a "producer" role than as somebody expected to play notes correctly). So I called on METZENGERSTEIN to deliver some Pegazus/Motorhead/Deep Purple power metal to the floor. Having written some suitably metal lyrics involving dragons, hordes, wizards and a chorus stolen from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar", we got together and chiseled some marbled power chords into a song called "DOGS OF LAW".

Having recorded Ben's drum part with the production expertise of his brother Dan at the Sullivan studio downtown, I then got Nick and Jesse down to Rancho Del Animación Muy Impresionante to thunder and wail respectively. METAL VOCALS are last on the agenda. I tried to do them myself but they sounded both piss and weak. It has become evident that if this track is going to sound convincingly METAL, I'm going to have to keep my voice and my silly instruments off it. Thankfully, in the western world there is always a metal singer within one or two degrees of separation...


... and the one I found is James Simpson, singer of Melbourne group Dr James And The Zero Patients. Jake suggested him. They went to high school together. James rocks.

PS: I did in fact keep my silly instruments off this track, if not my silly voice. A brother's gotta mark his territory.


It's downloading time. >>


"Dogs Of Law": The Music Video
Herman, The Legal Labrador Trailer
QuickTime (16 mb - SWEET)
MPEG-1 (10 mb - OK)
"Dogs Of Law" (End Theme From Herman, The Legal Labrador)
MP3 (192kbps, 6 mb)
Buy Herman crap at cafepress.com


About the creator
Making Herman
Latest entry: August 12
Press Notes (PDF)
Herman screenings/awards
The production of HERMAN has been kindly supported by
Next Wave