Tenacious D: Interview with Kyle Gass and Jack Black

Tenacious DIf you look around, there’s no shortage of The D. Between a new studio album, a film, a nationwide tour and other appearances in support of The Pick Of Destiny, the duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass are in the spotlight.

But it hasn’t always been that way. There was a seeming dearth of activity from the act since their last tour and subsequent DVD, titled The Complete Masterworks, released in 2003. That wasn’t the case—The D were hard at work, crafting their perfect return to the limelight, waiting for the right moment to strike.

And strike they have. Most bands are content to tour on albums alone. Not The D. The Aquarian talked with Jack and Kyle about their film, concepts, hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations, guest stars and stage show.

How did this project evolve? Did you write a script first, then base music around it?

KG: Yeah, we came up with a good story, which took a while, and then we started writing a script and then we wrote in places for songs, and then wrote the songs after. Some were written during and before, but just as it came.

How long did everything take?

JB: It took 40 nights times 5… what’s 5 times 40?
KG: 200.
JB: 203 hours.
KG: It seemed like longer really.
JB: Well it took five years, but we really kicked it into overdrive in the last couple of years.

Was it a Herculean task?

KG: It felt more like Sisyphus.
JB: It did take some concentrated effort, but once we got the script done it was just really fun.
KG: It was kind of easy-breezy-as-you-pleasy.
JB: It was the most fun I’ve had making a movie. Hopefully, that will translate to cinema gold. (laughs)

How was working with Liam Lynch again?

JB: Fantastic.
KG: Who? Oh, Liam.
JB: We’ve worked with him so many times, but it was like the first time we’ve ever worked with him in a way, because the other things we had done were fun little nuggets…

But this was a real project.

JB: Yeah, this was like an opus, a real thing. And he rose to the occasion as we thought he would.

How different was it to work as The D in a movie rather than in a series?

JB: It was the same vibe as the series, but we had more creative responsibilities on this one.
KG: Well said.
JB: On the series, we did a lot of writing but a lot of the little small elements were taken care of for us. This time, we were in charge of every department, we had a say over who was hired on every level of production. We took advantage of that and participated fully, as producers will.
KG: I felt we took it to the bank, and then we cashed it.

Was it difficult to assemble all the guest stars in the film?

JB: No. not really.
KG: It was as easy as calling them, really. We had a delicious cachet, as we say in the industry, and there was a tasty momentum of indie credentials.
KG: We could feel the vibrations.
JB: Yeah, and they were also friends that we called. We called people that we had worked with before for the most part, like Lee, Kim, Ben Stiller and even Ronnie James Dio we had worked with. Meat Loaf was the wildcard, but he was into it from the get-go.