To say Brian Drummond becomes animated when talking about his work would be an understatement.
The former Shuswap resident’s voice has been featured in hundreds of animated movies and television shows and has been heard by millions.
From humble beginnings on a thoroughbred ranch just off the Highway 97B interchange in Salmon Arm, Drummond has found great success in the voice acting and animation industry in Vancouver.
One of his most recent projects includes Rev & Roll, a family TV show about an eight-year-old boy named Rev who goes on adventures with his puppy personified truck Rumble – played by Drummond.
The character of Rumble is created by a combination of car sounds
and puppy sounds
created by Drummond which are then mixed with real clips of cars and canines.
Rumble was created this way because conveying questioning, scared
or excited reactions can be better expressed by the human voice.
Another show Drummond is in will be coming out on Netflix in September. It is based on the popular book series The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, where Drummond plays several monsters. While some of his co-stars are from Vancouver, he works with others based out of Los Angles including Rosario Dawson, Catherine O’Hara, Bruce Campbell, Keith David and Mark Hamill.
“It’s fun to be able to be in the same series with Luke Skywalker when you get a chance,” Drummond said of working with Hamill.
Next comes Norm of the North: Family Vacation. Spawned from the 2016 theatrical film Norm of the North, Drummond lends his voice to the CG sequel double feature in which he plays several roles. One being Tiny, a killer whale with a voice that juxtaposes the character’s on screen size.
He also plays Micky, a ‘wise guy caribou’
and Jim, a narrator for the show.
Drummond’s career started in Salmon Arm. His first experience with acting was in junior high. When he entered senior high, he discovered the theatre program had been dropped for Grades 11 and 12. That didn’t stop Drummond though. After graduating in 1988, he took part in several shows at Shuswap Theatre and worked over the next year.
He was told by the late Shirley Tucker, the instructor that would have taught his senior drama class had the program not been dropped, that he should audition for Studio 58.
He auditioned in the spring of 1988 and was one of the 16 successful auditions out of more than 300. In the fall of the same year, he started his program and met his now wife of 27 years, Laura Drummond.
“It was just sort of a phenomenal thing that she sort of led me down that path and I ended up here. It’s been what created my life, something that she did for me up there,” Drummond said. “Even though I didn’t get to do any theatre classes with her, she helped me put my audition piece together which actually got me in (Studio 58).”
For Drummond, the work is more than about being able to do a funny voice – the acting comes first. That said, he can manipulate his voice in a myriad of ways. Naturally, his voice has a “raspier artifact,” leading to him being cast as more devious characters like Ryuk, the Japanese god of death from the Death Note anime series.
“I never seem to get the young heroic lead guy,” Drummond said. “But I play a lot of the kooky side kick guys and the real big deep sounding demons.”
You might also know of Drummond’s anime work even if you have never seen either of the Dragon Ball series. Over a decade ago, the internet latched onto a moment in Dragon Ball Z and didn’t let it go, creating the ‘It’s over 9,000’ meme.
The original YouTube video which captures the classic line was uploaded in 2008 and since has been watched by more 15 million people.
“You don’t think it’s going to go anywhere, you think it’s sort of a fart in the wind, it’s like it’s funny now but it’s not going to be funny in six months, and it has held on for a long time,” Drummond said.
People still ask him to scream the line at conventions or sign their Dragon Ball Z merchandise with the phrase.
Over the next year, Drummond will be meeting fans at conventions around the world in places like Las Vegas, the U.K., and New York City.