Tommy Pickles, Spongebob Squarepants, Wakko Warner, Winnie the Pooh, and Jimmy Neutron, are just a few of the many characters that will be performing at Voice Actors Rock, an upcoming charity concert for VH1’s Save the Music. The show (July 17 at the Whiskey A Go Go) features an impressive lineup of legendary voice actors — Tom Kenny, Jess Harnell, Jim Cummings, EG Daily, Debi Derryberry, Robbie Rist, James Arnold Taylor — who will lend their voice talents in the form of a musical performance.
As Jess Harnell assures, “Everybody on this bill is in the industry, and deservedly so because all these folks are very talented, but I can tell you with pride that all of them are amazing musically. It’s not like you’re going to go and say, ‘Oh, isn’t this cute.’ You’re going to go, ‘Wow, these people make great music and they’re really, really talented musicians.’”
Harnell will be performing with his band Rock Sugar, which started as a fictitious band that had been shipwrecked on a desert island at the end of the ’80s. As Harnell explains it, “They had a 13-year-old girl’s pop CD collection, so they listened to Journey and Rick Springfield and Madonna for twenty years. When they finally got rescued off the island and they thought that stuff was metal, so what the band does, they’ll play a Metallica song and I’ll sing a Journey song on top of the Metallica song, but it works. They’ll play an ACDC song and I’ll sing a Madonna song, but it works.”
Debi Derryberry, Jim Cummings and Billy West will form a band performing rock ‘n’ roll from the ‘60s and ‘70s and EG Daily tell us we can expect “a lot of ‘80s energy from her performance.” The night’s MC is James Arnold Taylor, who tells us, “I’ll be doing parts of the show that really explain more of what voice acting is about and I think so many people are fascinated by what we do. It seems that people are always fascinated to see the actors in the studio with the headphones on and the microphone. I really try to show people what it is like to be a voice actor in that little padded room talking to yourself.”
In anticipation of the upcoming show, we spoke with Harnell, Cummings, Daily, Derryberry and Taylor about the the art of voice over and their journey of voicing classic and beloved characters.