Derek Smalls, in an interview with director Marty Debergi, defined his role in Spinal Tap as the mediator between the two creative geniuses:

"David and Nigel are both like, uh, like poets you know like Shelley or Byron, or people like that. The two totally distinct types of visionaries, it's like fire and ice, basically, you see, and I feel my role in the band, is to be kind of in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water, in a sense."