Tenacious D: 'There's Nothing Like a Big Truck to Make You Feel Like a Man'

artist: Tenacious D date: 12/10/2013 category: interviews
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Tenacious D: 'There's Nothing Like a Big Truck to Make You Feel Like a Man'
When Tenacious D struck it big in the 1990s it was an affirmation to any regular Joe who has ever had a dream of playing on a big stage in front of thousands of adoring fans. A duo of best friends armed with only a big dream, a couple acoustic guitars, and an indubitable sense of originality. They were the underdogs, indie heroes whose charm propelled them to legendary status. The band started when Kyle Gass taught Jack Black how to play the guitar. Tenacious D shows no signs of stopping with a new album possibly beginning production next year. In the meantime, Kyle has started another band with several members of the D's touring musical accompaniment simply called the Kyle Gass Band (KGB). The KGB's first album came out in the summer of 2013 and proves that the band is serious about bringing their own special brand of rock and roll to the masses. The following interview with Kyle and John Konesky of the KGB sheds some light on the future plans for The D, the demise of Trainwreck, the formation of the Kyle Gass Band, and the current happenings in Kyle Gass' acting career. UG: Are you familiar with Ultimate-Guitar.com? KG: Oh God yes. That’s where I go when I want to cheat. Do you often find yourself learning other people’s songs? KG: I love learning other people’s songs. If I hear a song with a clever riff or a good chord progression, I’ll try to explore some of those things. I feel like that usually my job in the band is to come up with that stuff and it’s interesting to see what other people do. What were the first three songs you learned to play? KG: I learned "Dust in the Wind," "Stairway to Heaven" and "Until There Was You" I think were probably the first three. I remember "Dust in the Wind" was a big hit at the time and it was really impressive if you could pull that off. JK: You learned "Dust in the Wind" when "Dust in the Wind" was a hit. KG: That's a grandpa moment. I had another grandpa moment yesterday. I was watching a Civil War documentary and the last veteran from the Civil War died around my birthdate. So I could have met a dude who fought in the Civil War. I'm f--kin' old, dude. Clearly, you're not too old to be starting new bands. How did the Kyle Gass Band come together? KG: I believe that Mike Campbell, guitarist for Tom Petty asked us to open for him. Is that correct John? JK: Well the Duesenberg Guitar Company, when we played the aftershow party for NAMM, they asked us to open for Mike Campbell. Slightly less cool then Mike himself asking us but it was still great. KG: You know how these things get fuzzy after a while. Recently my former side project, Trainwreck, actually had a train wreck on the road. We imploded and from the ashes rose the Kyle Gass Band. You've been a little soft on the details on what exactly went down with Trainwreck. I won't beg, but I will give an opportunity for you to set the record straight on just what went wrong there. KG: No one needs to know. It happened in Chicago. An event happened and it was so explosive and so traumatic that we could not go any further. That's all I can say. Ok, so the train wrecked, and then what happened? KG: What happened then, John? JK: Some time passed because I think we all needed a bit of a break because it was so psychologically traumatic. So we took about a year and then we all kind of wanted to do something again. KG: And at that time, our good friend Mike Bray from Champagne, Illinois came into our circle. He is an extremely talented singer, guitarist, drummer, multi-instrumentalist. I actually moved him into my guest house and I think that precipitated the rally to start another band. JK: We were pretty excited to work with Mike because he was the new blood, the new talent, and we were all really excited to work with him. He was the new spark. KG: He's brought an injection of rock to our group. So he was a big part of the reason. The other reason is that it just seemed like it would be fun. I love starting bands; it's a great thing to do. It doesn't cost anything, it's new, it's challenging. Bands are great. So that’s why we started the KGB (Kyle Gass Band). A lot of times with Trainwreck it would be Trainwreck Featuring Kyle Gass of Tenacious D and that was a little weird. So I thought, why not just put my name in the title; the Kyle Gass Band. Then it's right there - you don't need to add any extra stuff on the posters. We did do one gig as Falcon and I think we were at one time going to be Bro Jam. Anyways, back to the Mike Campbell gig, the Kyle Gass Band was formed but it was a strange lineup. Basically I just asked all of my talented friends to play that gig. So we had like a seven member crew down there. Brooks Wackerman (of Bad Religion) actually played drums for that gig. That was the only gig he played for us - he's out of our price range. We've continued on from there. JK: It's a collection of affordable friends. KG: That's true. We don't skip on the rock though. The album has a couple songs like "Dying Day" which I could see being played on the radio. Is that something you were trying to do? KG: No, I don't think we were trying for that at all. It was pretty organic. I love that you say that though and I wish that the radio stations would believe that too. JK: I think radio is pretty political and unless you've got someone with some pull in your corner, you're not going to get on it. KG: Radio is kind of a mystery to me. For example, with my other band, I don't think we ever really had a radio hit in this country although I think we gained some pretty decent popularity. It seemed like radio eluded us. Once in a while local markets will play a "Tribute" or a "Wonderboy" but I'm not sure how that works. There are certain stations that are taste makers like KROQ out here in LA and if they don't pick you up then other stations follow suit and assume that you're not radio worthy and KROQ has never really liked us even though we'd been on their morning show like 20 times, they still won't play our song. But hey, that's the way it goes. Are you content with the level of success the KGB album has had? KG: Oh God no. I think it's one of the best rock albums I've ever heard, let alone have ever made. I think it needs to reach a much larger audience. Is this "just" a side project; do you think the KGB could be the musical vessel that carries your career at some point? KG: I think it's going to be a side project for me just because the other band has been so successful. It could be the main project if it gets popular enough. I'm sure the band will be viewed as a side project. It's inevitable; I mean you're always going to have trouble getting people to go see the John Oats Experience no matter what you do. It's all about branding and the Tenacious D brand has been pretty successful and it's been around for quite a while and when one of the guys starts another band, it's just going to be viewed as a side project. There's no way around it. The challenge is to make it a main project. But I try to not really think in terms of side projects. To me, it's just a kick ass band and I'm really proud of the album. We're just doing our thing. We're just crazy bearded musicians hitting the road and playing our little rock and roll, and the local ladies in various markets, that's just frosting on the cake. And if we get too drunk after the show and don't realize where we ended up, that's part of the gig. (Kyle starts singing "On the Road Again") The album sounds great, who produced it? KG: Yeah our buddy John Spiker produced it. John was in Trainwreck and is the bass player in Tenacious D. He's turned into quite the producer wiz and he really put some nice production on it. How long did it take to record it? KG: I think the album actually took us over a year. Is that right, John? JK: Yeah it took some time because we were doing it between Tenacious D tours. Our first session happened when we had just gotten back from Australia where we were opening for the Foo Fighters and we booked three days and we were jetlagged big time, just coming off of a 14 hour flight and we ran through all of the songs live. All of that live material made the album.

KG: Yeah, we had a collection of songs that we were pretty much sure were going on the record and we got a notion that we’d get a better feel if we just played them live in the studio. Then we ended up tracking and overdubbing for a year. Now it seems to me that The D takes a long time to get new albums out. It may be too early to tell but will the KGB get albums out there a little sooner? KG: Well The D is on about a five or six year album cycle. I don't know what cycle we'll be on with the KGB because we put everything we had into this album and I want to work it until the last drop is out. I don't know how they used to do it in the old days, putting out two albums a year. I don't know how that was done. I suppose they didn't have smartphones. If the Beatles had smartphone, they would have put out a lot less records. JK: I could see Ringo just playing Xbox 360 all day long. KG: Totally, John would be f--king Tweeting. So I saw that a couple of your guitars have a D on the headstock. Did you force them to do that? KG: Yes. Duesenberg's whole company is based on Tenacious D. We inspire them to make guitars and gave them permission to use the D on the headstock. No, kidding. But they give us the guitar and John believes that it is actually the finest guitar that we have in the arsenal. JK: It's a wonderful instrument but they are very costly. So we have the one that they gave us but we don't really want to buy anymore. We'll keep the one. KG: One is all you need. JK: One is good for the studio but playing live, you’ll want to have a backup and the last thing we need is fifteen thousand dollar Duesenbergs flying around in jets and crates all over the world. KG: No, when you go on the road, you want to take like 15 Mockingbirds. I don't know if we're endorsed by Gibson but they let us use their acoustic guitars. JK: You and Jack have been using the Gibson's pretty exclusively for a while and there are quite a few now in the collection. KG: I know. We've been talking about ending that. Actually I was just rehearsing with Jack and we were talking about how apparently they're not really our guitars, they're just lent to us. JK: Who told you that? KG: That's what Jack said. JK: I don't know man I think they give you those things. KG: That's what I think too. One thing is for sure, they’re not asking for them back. Nor would we give them back if they did ask. But it is the cheapest form of advertising. I mean they should actually pay us to play those things. I'm sure we've sold a lot of Gibson Guitars for them and to get three of four guitars, I don't know. JK: You could always start doing print ads. KG: Yeah ... I don't want to do that. But I was also thinking that I should just find like the greatest guitar possible and just buy it. JK: Would you play it after spending that much on a guitar? KG: I don't know; how much is it going to cost me? JK: I don't know $25,000. Any number you can think of, there is a guitar out there that costs that much. KG: That's a little steep. I don't mean vintage necessarily, just what's the best sounding acoustic that I would enjoy? I feel like I could get into a really nice Martin or Taylor for five to ten thousand, maybe I'm dreaming. JK: No, you're right, you could get a great one for that much. How much time do you spend in guitar shops? KG: I used to spend a lot of time in guitar shops but now we have this embarrassment of guitar riches where over the years we've accumulated a lot of really nice guitars. I was just at the rehearsal space and God damn, there's got to be one hundred guitars on the wall. I don't even know what's in there - guitars that we don't play anymore. I can't even keep all the guitars in the house, I have to put them in the guest house and Mike has them all. My favorite guitar is this sh-tty Takamine that I play because it's got a tuner on the side and low action. When we're on tour, John and John will go around and hit guitar stores and stuff - they're gearheads. When you're in the studio, do you go through all the different guitars and search for that one tone for that one song? You know what, absolutely. Whenever you're in the studio it’s like, let’s try all the possible amps with all of the possible guitars to see what sound is good that day. One day you might be like, oh man the Duesenberg through the blarbitibloo with that pedal – that’s the sound we want right there. JK: Nothing sounds quite like the blarbitibloo. Let's talk about some of those guitar collection gems. KG: Oh my God, we have some crazy gems. We have a Larson. John, tell him about the Larson. JK: The Larson is a 1920's parlor guitar that was made by the Larson Brothers. They're really rare and amazing guitars that have stood the test of time. Apparently Jimi Hendrix had a Larson parlor guitar that was his go-to around the house guitar and it is believed that he wrote a lot of his stuff on that guitar. But they're fantastic and they’re really hard to come by. Our friend Al is a guitar collector and he sort of gifted/permanently loaned it to Kyle.

KG: Yeah that's the weird thing; I don't really feel like it's mine. He knows I don’t play it on stage and I think he was kind of hoping that I would. But he asked me not too long ago if I wanted to trade it in for something newer and I flat out said no. I don't want to play a rare, expensive instrument on stage. But David Crosby, I read in an interview, said "I just play the very best ones and I take the risk because they're meant to be played" and I think there's something to that argument and that's where I was thinking about getting an old Martin. It's just that you really would have to take care of it but it can be done, they have some great cases out there. JK: I have a friend who is an amazingly talented luthier named Ray Kraut who lives in the Pacific Northwest and we'll be swinging by his shop when we tour through there very soon. His guitars are just insane works of art. But I love the idea of you acquiring an old Martin too. I think that would be a perfect guitar for you. KG: You know what; we use them in the studio. So at the very least, we'd have a great guitar in the studio that we could record with. It's never bad to have a great instrument around. JK: Were you going to tell him about the duo of custom electric Tenacious D guitars? KG: Yeah, they're not really playable. But Jack did that video game, "Brutal Legend," and the video game company made us these two custom electric guitars that are kind of indescribable. Maybe you could describe them better than I can, John. JK: It's like a wild kind of offset Z shape body. They're made by Alembic. The headstock is like this curly carved thing. The body itself has a three dimensional relieved molded composite mural of The D in hell with all these nude women and devils and fire and brimstone. It's fully heavy metal. It's got "Tenacious D" in old English abalone inlays along the entire fretboards. They made two identical guitars. KG: They look like they mean business, like they're well-made but I think we plugged one in and we weren't really that impressed with the sound of it. JK: Well it was good for the sound of what that guitar looked like. It sounded really heavy and thick with high gain. KG: It's actually really heavy too, which I don't like. I don't like a really heavy guitar. You've got to carry those things around, you know. JK: It's like when you play a Strat or a Tele, the guitar feels good in your hands because it was designed that way. These guitars were not designed with any of that stuff in mind. KG: You know what it reminds me of, the Empress. That was really heavy and was not fun to play. I think it actually had a goldfish in it. What's "The Empress?" JK: Oh, where to begin ... it was a homemade. I would say handmade but that would imply that it was good. This was a homemade guitar. It was made out of ... I don't even know what. It looked like that outsider art kind of shit, like weird metal sculptures and yeah there was a fish tank in there. It had a Kaoss Pad thing where you could wave your hand in front of it and it would make stupid noises. It just didn't sound good ... or feel good ... or look good. It was a disaster. KG: I think it's pretty common for custom guitars to not sound good, the ones that look really bad ass anyway. Like the one that Danny Farrington, made for "The Pick of Destiny," the one that I gift Jack in the movie, that's a really great guitar but not really fun to play. I think that was a rush job, like he focused on the look and got it done for the movie. It's got the special inlays on the fretboard. Danny is just an insane guitar builder and a great guy. JK: You have that cigar box guitar that Matty Beratto made for you. He makes the cigar box guitars for Paul McCartney now. KG: That's a great one. I think everyone who's anyone has one now. They're really popular. They're just fun and they sound pretty good. He makes a lot of variations of them too. JK: He makes amps out of wine crates now that pair with the guitars. He's an artist. What else do we have over there in the rehearsal space? KG: Well we have a couple Martins and a BC Rico, the first D guitar. Gibson has given us some great guitars. We've got some Les Pauls. I think John has the largest collection of BC Rich guitars. JK: Yeah the Mockingbirds used to be my main guitars. I don't use them very much anymore, now I only use them for the heavy stuff. I like to use my Teles now for the rest of it. I like the feeling of having a workhorse guitar in my hands. It’s the right tool for the job. It's like a Honda Accord, it gets you there. Have you used any of your crazy instruments or the Larson on any of your records? JK: I don't think we've ever used any of the crazy customs or the Larson on any records. It seems like the dreadnoughts sound good because they sound like The D when you put a mic in front of them. I think that's more the idea than trying to chase some crispy guitar sound. The D sound is a dreadnought standard. KG: It's interesting though, I remember recording "F--k Her Gently" and that was on the Santa Cruz because it had a more of a delicate sound. For "39," Jack had gotten this new Rain Song and it just sounded right for that song. JK: The Rain Song is actually all over the "Rize of the Fenix." KG: It has a really nice recorded sound. Jack's is the lower priced model but it's the winner as far as sound goes if you ask me. John: Then you liked Jack's so much that we got you that one with the shark inlays on it that looked like something Greg Norman would own. KG: Yeah I got a guitar and a driver in one purchase. Now they're the dressing room guitars. We plugged it in and the graphite could take out an electrical grid. It messed with the wireless signal and it kept cutting in and out, it was really annoying. It's taken a beating and it keeps on ticking. I had to buy the Rain Song actually, they wouldn't give me one. They gave me a good deal though. JK: Remember when I was talking to their rep over there and he kept calling you Lyle. I kept writing him back and hinting that your name was actually Kyle but I don't know if he ever did get it right. Do you use a lot of effects?KG: I don't. JK: I do. But for years now we've been trying to get Kyle set up with a Monte Montgomery style acoustic pedalboard. So he can do looping and hit distortion pedals. KG: Maybe that's the next phase for me. I just use a tuner pedal and then direct to the PA usually. I should spend more time on my sound though I think. I get a little lazy up there. You just go directly to the PA? KG: I go direct. I haven't really looked back. I don't know if it's the best sound but it's just so damn easy and I don't mind the sound guy having control over it. And when they dial that thing in, it can sound really good. At the very beginning we used to drag around some amps but it was just a pain. Once we made the quantum leap into the direct box, we never looked back.

JK: I love the thought of you guys in the early days not really knowing how things work, like you were running acoustic guitars into electric guitar amps. KG: ...and they were some shitty amps too. It must have been comical. But I think at that point it was part of the shtick. You know, it was charming and things didn't work. It must have been fun to be watching it thinking, these guys think they're great but they can barely plug in their own amps. Do you use the same equipment with KGB as you do with The D? JK: The acoustic rig is identical except that it is wired in KGB and its wireless with The D. The big difference in sound would be the PA which is different in every club that we play with KGB. With The D, the big sound system comes along for the ride. My rig is the same for both bands. So what is your guitar rig looking like these days? John: I've been playing the BC Rich Mockingbirds, Fender Cabronita Telecaster, and the Duesenberg. My pedalboard is pretty basic - RMC Wizard Wah, MXR Phase 90, a Boss Tuner, Boss CS-3 Compressor/Sustainer, Maxon AD-999 Delay, and the backbone of my tone is the Analog Man King of Tone V4 dual overdrive pedal. I usually run Mesa Boogie amps. KG: I've been playing the Gibson Dove, the Black Dove; we call it "The Elvis" because I think he played it in his Hawaiian concert or something. It's been a good guitar; it's been pretty reliable. It sounds pretty decent and it's pretty much indestructible. I broke my fall with one once after a show and we call that the accordion model. I've been thinking about searching for the ultimate Martin lately though. I love Martin's and I think it would be great to find one that I could play live. I like the older ones from the 60's but I always worry about intonation with those. But if you get a good one, it's going to be good. JK: I believe it was Martins that didn't have truss rods for a long time. I think they started putting truss rods in like maybe in the '70s or '80s (editor's note: the adjustable truss rod was introduced to Martins in 1985). Durability is important when you rock as hard as the KGB. KG: Yeah when you're on the road, it's no joke. You're going to want those babies to hold up. We actually just had a gig in Austin, TX and we took three guitars and I was like, do we really need an extra guitar and then of course one, the pickup starts fucking around. There's always something going wrong with them. Why did you go with an acoustic all these years, did you ever give the electric a go? KG: It just feels right. I like the sound, I like the way it feels, I like everything about it. The electric never really felt comfortable. I like the percussiveness of an acoustic too. I think it's better for keeping the rhythm, to me anyways. Plus I feel like John is sort of an electric specialist and is so good at and Ray is really good too, so within the KGB, it's really not necessary for me to pick up an electric and do a mediocre Molly Hatchet kind of thing. I wanted to talk about the flute. Did the flute predate the guitar in your musical endeavors? KG: Yeah that was something I took up in about fourth grade about the same time they introduce the recorder. Then I was all about the flute and the recorder all through high school. I did a little stint in the marching band. The recorder has been a lot of fun to this day. When did you realize that you loved music and wanted to pursue it? KG: I remember playing with Jack early on and we were just jamming in the apartment and just thinking, dude we are way too good to stay home. We have to find a place for this. We just thought we were so entertaining but we didn't know how to get gigs or anything- that was completely alien world to us. But we just knew that we had to take it out of the apartment and out to the people. I remember listening to the Radio under the blankets and waiting for a song to come on. That was back in the old days before the computer and such. What was your first guitar? KG: Oh my God I had the sweetest f--king guitar that I wish I still had. It was this Guild Blonde Jumbo with the square inlays which I thought was the bomb. It wasn't that expensive, I mean it was a lot for me at the time because I didn't have any money but this was in the '70s and I think I paid like $350 for it then. I loved it. I don't know how I could have sold that. I guess I was poor and needed some money. Damn. Then I think my first electric was a hollowbody Gibson 150 Stereo guitar. It had this weird stereo input where each string had its own signal. It was just one of those really bad ideas with no practical application. I don't know how it worked. JK: I think my first guitar was from a grocery store and it was a Harmony acoustic. I think it was like $30 and it was very much a toy but it played. My parents said they wouldn't just buy me a nice guitar. I had to show them that guitar was something I wanted to pursue. So I had to learn on that Harmony for like a year before they would entertain the idea of getting me a Squier Strat for my birthday, which was my first electric. I can still remember receiving the Squier and I knew I was getting it for Christmas or my birthday or whatever. But it was just insane; I get excited just thinking about it because that Harmony was hell to play. The action was so high, it was like a Dobro. Were there ever formal lessons? KG: I started with no formal training. The first guitar that I played wasn't mine; we had a classical laying around the house. I remember going through the Aaron Sheer "Guitar One" book. It was good because it started out super easy and it kind of gradually threw sh-t at you. It was really fun because it had some nice easy guitar pieces in there and that was the first thing. I didn't take any lessons until later. Then later you became a teacher yourself by teaching Jack how to play. KG: Yes. He was just singing at the time. I thought that was really unique; I'd never met anyone who just sang before. I told him dude, you've got to learn some guitar even just to accompany yourself and it would add a whole new dimension. So yeah, he was a great student. He really loved it and he was really curious about it. Did you teach him the same way that you learned? Were there certain songs that you taught him in the beginning? KG: No, I already had my eye on the bottom line. The idea was to just teach him enough to get the gig going I think. That's how it started out. Plus he was pretty late; he was maybe 19 or 20 and I think at that stage you just want to get the basics down - the basic chords. I remember he fell in love with the D, A, E progression and played it over and over until I was ready to go insane. He did it obsessively to a weird stage but I didn't want to discourage him so I just had to sort of bear with it and suggest things like maybe you could go to a G chord here. But he was stuck on that pattern. Was The D your first band where you were composing your own music? KG: Yes, I think it was. I accompanied a lot of theater stuff because I was mainly an actor. Actually I did have a duo with a buddy named Jeff and it was called Piper Green and that did predate The D. So that was the first band but I had some add hawk bands before that like this jazz combo called the Freeloaders for a play about heroin. So we played some heroin jazz. Then I was in a little folky thing called the Whiskernuts and we'd play for a play, Brother Courage. But I would say that the first band where we started gigging would be The D. I always loved the idea of being in a rock band but I think I kind of missed out on the whole high school garage band thing because I was doing musicals. How did the talented John Konesky come to join you and Jack? KG: Well, back in Trainwreck, we went to Columbus, OH, to play some gigs with Page McConnell's band Vida Blue and John was going to be my guitar tech and then he ended up joining the band. Later he moved to Los Angeles and we reconnected and began our journey. Your journey continues; you’ll be heading out on tour pretty soon? Are you taking the Tundra? KG: Yes, we'll be taking the Tundra although I'd really like to buy a used tour bus. They're expensive to operate. But between the D and the KGB, within a year you'd be making pure profit. To have one dope enough for the D tour, it would be expensive. They're super expense to rent. It's like $10,000 a week with a driver. If your own, you could really make it your own. Like the great basketball player Karl Malone, who is also kind of an idiot, bought his own semi-truck and put a picture of his face on the side of it. Is that true? Why the hell would Karl Malone buy a semi-truck? KG: Yeah it's true. I don't know why he did it, I think it was like a kid thing like he always wanted one when he was a kid. There's nothing like a big truck to make you feel like a man. John, I was wondering if you could shed some light on the delicate dance of putting electric guitars over the top of acoustic guitars in a live setting. KG: John pretty much drowns me out live every time. JK: I will say that the ongoing joke is that the acoustics become mosquitos when the electrics are on but I've been doing it for so long now that there are times when I don't even notice it happening but I will bow out or not play or go way quiet. If I can't hear the acoustics, I make a modification to what I'm doing so that I can. I'm always listening to him because that acoustic sound has to be there. It's so important that it's there. KG: All jokes aside, John plays with a lot of dynamics and he does take it down and I think it makes a great combo platter. It's a big sound, especially when you add the drums and the bass but you guys tone it down when it's time for the mosquito to roar. JK: The thing that can drown out both electrics and acoustics more than anything are cymbals because they share some of the frequency range. It's got to be nice to be playing smaller clubs again. KG: Yeah I love it. JK: People ask us sometimes which is more fun. You see the big D shows and it looks like a lot of fun and it definitely is but there's always been something special about playing those smaller clubs. Sometimes the shows where there are only 20 or 30 people are really special for some reason. Maybe it's because you're right there in front of them and you can make more of a connection.

KG: There is definitely a connection that happens. It's like hey we're all in this crazy bar at midnight. We're drinking and it's a party. It's a good feeling. Do you guys still do Guitarings? KG: Guitarings lives on, if only in the minds of so many YouTube users. JK: We did a lot of stuff for that. We got to a point where there are a lot of Tenacious D tutorials out there and they'll always be out there. We talked about doing some more stuff with it and I'm sure that we will at some point. I do some stuff with it occasionally just to promote it and have fun. Fret 12 has been a big help. KG: I'm more of a silent partner with that at this point. JK: I'd like to do some KGB tutorials. I think that would be really fun and it would be a good promotion for us. KG: I have a series that I would like to do and I don't know if Fret 12 is the best place for it but it's called Band Meeting. Like we just have a three to five minute and just talk things over. We'd just film our meeting with the KGB. JK: Then we could Skype in other bands and help them with their meetings. KG: That could be season two. You discussed an animated show too the last time we talked. KG: Yeah, for Tenacious D. That's in development. I don't know where we find the time for it all. It seems like indie cred is important to you. How have you managed to hang on to that even as The D got pretty big? KG: I think by just being true to our mission. I mean we could have sold out a lot more than we have. We've gotten offers from a lot of places that would have us do commercials and stuff like that. I think people appreciate that we've passed on those and tried to stay independent. What's new with the D? KG: We're going to Europe in December and I think we're going to be working on a new album next year. And we've also been working on an animated show for the internet, so I think that will be a fun project. What's new with the acting career? I must say I do like the cameos that you’ve done and the film Lower Learning was great. KG: Ah yes, Decatur Doublewide, one of my many roles. JK: Was that the movie my old landlord produced? KG: Yes it was. That's crazy. I'm doing a pilot next week for a show with Dan Finnerty of the Dan Band. I'm playing his rival from childhood. In the show, I was basically this fat kid who sold cookies and he stole my gig from me and I've hated him my whole life because of it. JK: That sounds amazing! You and Dan were so fantastic together in the original "Rock of Ages." There was some real chemistry there. KG: Yeah, thanks. I liked it. Apparently the movie people didn't. They wanted Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand – they had some chemistry. Also, winter has arrived so you will be able to see me in the classic picture, Elf about three to five times per day. You can view my acting career as a unique collection of cameos or as I look at it, as just a complete failure. Is that really how you view it? KG: Yeah, it's just the problem with acting is that it's just too much work. They want you to wake up early and go to the shoot. It's not that much fun, that's what people don't realize. JK: You have to ask yourself how much do you really want it. Because if you don't want it that bad, how can you call it a failure? It could be exactly what you want it to be. KG: Well, just by a wrinkle in the universe I hooked on to a successful band and thought, this is the way to go. I'm always fighting laziness and entropy. So if you could choose between being a movie star and being a rock star, which would you choose? KG: I've got to go with rock star. The hours are way better, the money is good and I like live performance. Hey, I'm not complaining. Interview by Justin Beckner Ultimate-Guitar.Com 2013
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