For Jack and Kyle Its Pure Destiny by Paul Fischer in Los Angeles.
Jack Black may be a standalone actor and movie star, but he doesnt forget hes tenacious - as in Tenacious D. He and Kyle Gass have been on the road is this weird comic music duo for years, and now the D is on the big screen. Harking back to their genesis, this hilarious, no holds barred comedy bares all, and Jack and Kyle are in top form. They spoke to Paul Fischer.
Paul Fischer: Were you guys always thinking about turning the D into a feature?
Jack Black: The D..
Kyle Gass: I think it started happening pretty seriously after our HBO show and we were going to do a run at HBO.
Jack Black: Wait a second. We did the HBO show and that thing was cancelled.
Kyle Gass: Not really?
Jack Black: Whatever. We fuckin said, or mutually agreed that it was bullshit.
Kyle Gass: Can we just say it was cancelled?
Jack Black: We have to say that we fuckin killed it?
Kyle Gass: They offered us ten episodes and wanted to fire us from being executive producers. We said, F-you. Well go make a movie.
Jack Black: Yeah. They said, yeah, we want to do a lot with you without you having any creative control. We want you to be more like The Monkees. Were like what? Why would we do that when the first ones were so good when with us fuckin in charge?
Kyle Gass: They said do you want to make the show?
Jack Black: Fuck you. Were beyond it. Were gonna go make and movie, then well show you whose [overlapping sounds like: whose shit dont stink???].
Kyle Gass: You know why? Because success is the only revenge.
Jack Black: But then Cage [he calls Kyle Gass Cage for KG] was like dude, fuck the movie. The only thing that matters is the album, remember?
Kyle Gass: Yeah.
Jack Black: So then we made the album.
Kyle Gass: And I was right.
Jack Black: Then, you changed your tune.
Paul Fischer: Was it hard to get some of the people to be in the movie?
Jack Black: It was easy when we were talking with New Line and we were saying lets make a five million dollar movie. Itll be incredible. Itll be funny. Weve got fuckin enough fans already thats its gonna make money. And then it expanded and we said wait a second, its actually more like 18 or 19 million or 20.
Kyle Gass: Is that okay?
Jack Black: And then there was only one studio interested. We went all around the Horn and then New Line was the only one that said yeah. well put our money on that one. Nobody else was interested. It was too expensive. None of them thought we could do it.
Kyle Gass: We had to take no money. On the back end. If it does well, were going to be on Barbados with...
Jack Black: Mai Tais.
Paul Fischer: Jack, since the show and the album you became a huge movie star. Has that changed Tenacious D at all?
Kyle Gass: Yeah. I hate him.
Paul Fischer: Youre as big as he is.
Kyle Gass: Im bigger.
Jack Black: I like to think that we would never have gotten the movie made if I hadnt built some sweet....
Kyle Gass: There you go. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander. As big as Jack was getting, it could only help get a name I think. Thats all they really think about it bankability.
Paul Fischer: But has it changed you, Jack?
Jack Black: Has it changed me? Oh, yeah.. weve gone on tour after School of Rock.
Kyle Gass: Weve played shows. Weve had great tours. I think people seem to separate it pretty much.
Jack Black: It was a bummer after 'Shallow Hal' when people were carrying around the Shallow Hal billboards at the concerts [he indicates people holding them up over their heads]. Thats not really heavy metal to look out in the audience when youre tryin to rock and theres a Shallow Hal cardboard cutout.
Paul Fischer: Theyll have Nacho Libre posters next.
Jack Black: That I dont mind.
Kyle Gass: Its just the way it is. Youve got two jobs. People can separate it.
Paul Fischer: How do you describe your style of humor?
Jack Black: Childish, sophomoric, scatological.
Paul Fischer: Satiric?
Kyle Gass: I suppose theres an element of that.
Jack Black: What are we satiring? Satirizing? Damn, whats the saturnization about in this?
Kyle Gass: The saturnization really begins with.. I think were poking fun at the pomposity of rock stuff.
Jack Black: A little bit, kind of.
Kyle Gass: Its really just about us though. These guys rockin? People respond to the weird confidence about the mission. We have this grand mission to rock and we have acoustic guitars. It seems to connect that way.
Paul Fischer: When was the last time you were in an apartment like yours in the movie?
Kyle Gass: This morning.
Jack Black: No. Youve bumped it up since then.
Kyle Gass: I had to get out of there.
Paul Fischer: Rock of Ages, the movie ever?
Kyle Gass: It was great. Theyre gonna do it in New York City in the Spring at the [sounds like: a nice] theater downtown. Its gonna be great.
Paul Fischer: Jack, you got to fool around with Kate Winslet?
Jack Black: Yeah. What was it like?
Paul Fischer: The movie looks rather nice.
Jack Black: Its very sweet and my moms gonna love it Im sure. I havent seen it yet. Its a departure for me in that its romantic and sweet.
Kyle Gass: Mmmmm. More than 'Shallow Hal'?
Jack Black: More than 'Shallow Hal'.
Kyle Gass: Cuz at the end you said , [baby voice] I dont care if shes fat.
Paul Fischer: Was there a scene in this that was hard to get through because you were cracking up?
Kyle Gass: Were pretty good at not cracking up because you dont want to blow the take. There were a couple of times. You take movies apart so much....some weird close-up.
Jack Black: I was laughing all the time. I havent had this much fun on a movie ever.
Kyle Gass: I think the very last scene we had a good time when were smoking out of the Devils bong and we put some real pot in there.
Jack Black: Yeah. I got too high and I was paranoid that there were some SAG secret officials there that were gonna bust us for smoking real pot. Its too powerful. Someone put the [sounds like: Kronk] in there. Two bong hits. Im a lightweight too. So, its like Aaaaaaaah. Driving home was a real challenge.
Paul Fischer: Can you talk about the physical aspects of the D performance?
Jack Black: Youve got to be in the best shape possible.
Kyle Gass: Were like Jackie Chan. We do all our own stunts.
Paul Fischer: Is what you do on stage choreographed?
Kyle Gass: You pretty much have to choreograph for the movie.
Jack Black: You have to block basically.
Kyle Gass: Cuz lighting is so difficult.
Jack Black: But, on stage they did a lot of camera movement and let us do whatever we want. It was pretty lose up there.
Kyle Gass: Keep it fresh and relaxed.
Paul Fischer: Your music is really good. Does it have to be good before its funny? What comes first?
Kyle Gass: I think its important for us that its as good as we can do it just musically-wise.
Jack Black: Yeah.
Kyle Gass: I think its what makes us a little different from some guitar comics. We love music and just try to make really great songs.
Paul Fischer: Do you start with the tune before the words?
Kyle Gass: We usually have an idea and we do a lot of improv and Jack will riff a lot of the lyrics.
Jack Black: Kyle is always a bubbling cauldron of tunes. Hes always playing and working on little melodies and riffs and then I would need to have something that I think is funny, a concept that I want to riff on, or, I need a type of song that I want to make that weve never made before. Then we can just start jammin and always recording.
Paul Fischer: You are so busy. How do you balance Tenacious D, movies, marriage and children or child?
Kyle Gass: Youre busy.
Jack Black: Im very, very busy. But the way I do it is..
Paul Fischer: Hanging out at Jar....
Jack Black: Jars the best. Love Jar. Its all about the pork chop
What did you have? Heres how I do it. I look ahead on the future calendar and I can see that, come February, I have nothing on the schedule and I can always, not matter how hard it is, no matter how little sleep Im getting, I know that there is sleep at the end of that rainbow.
Paul Fischer: How is Kung Fu Panda going?
Kyle Gass: That is rock and roll.
Jack Black: Im just a voice. Its a sweet gig if you can get it. You go in like once a month, a few hours, once a month for eight years. At the end theres a fuckin great cartoon and you are the star of it. Its a sweet gig.
Paul Fischer: Are you the Kung Fu Panda?
Jack Black: [In big Panda voice] I am the Kung Fu Panda! I havent seen them in a few months though. I hope its still happening. Maybe they scrapped it and its the Kung Fu Giraffe starring someone else now.
Paul Fischer: Maybe theyre waiting to see what happens with this movie. This one might ruin my career as an entertainer for children.
Kyle Gass: You can be like Kate Moss or something [what??]
Jack Black: With the cocaine. Dude, we may be back to coffee houses after this.
Paul Fischer: How much of this story is true?
Jack Black: Glad you asked. Its all true except...
Kyle Gass: His father is one of the most supportive men..
Jack Black: My parents were always very supportive of my rocking.
Kyle Gass: He was not a fundamentalist Christian.
Jack Black: No. I was actually raised a Jew. I went to Hebrew school and got bar mitzvahed. So that was a lie. But the rest.. true.
Paul Fischer: Are you still a good Jew?
Jack Black: No. After my bar mitzvah I never went to synagogue again. Too much Hebrew school. I started to resent it because I didnt like school and then, on top of that, youre gonna send me to extra school? Hebrew school on top of school? Maybe if it had just been Hebrew school but dont sent me to another place. If it had all been in one place. If it started at eight and ended at three, okay but then you start tacking on more school.. its crazy.
Paul Fischer: How much did you practice the power slide and how was the car chase?
Kyle Gass: We had to go to special driving school. No, we had stuntmen to do all that.
Paul Fischer: The director said you got carsick, Kyle.
Kyle Gass: Well, they have a special car that they make to do stunts that has these huge wheels and it kind of spins around and youre sort of driving it but theyre driving you in the car. Its a barfy ride. Im not gonna lie to you. Its a barf machine. Its fun though.
Paul Fischer: On the power slide?
Jack Black: I got a little rug burn, yeah.
Kyle Gass: But it was a pretty old school special effect. We were just being pulled.
Jack Black: And Kyle didnt lean back far enough.
Kyle Gass: We did it all day, okay?
Jack Black: Hes like.. [indicates arms straight up over head.. not leaning back at all].
Kyle Gass: I know. How come Im not sliding?
Jack Black: People ask, is there anything you would go back and change? Just that one thing, the power slide.
Paul Fischer: How about having Meat Loaf sing your music?
Jack Black: Powerful stuff.
Paul Fischer: Was he a good choice for playing your dad?
Jack Black: Yes. It had to be Meat Loaf.
Kyle Gass: He was one of those guys written into the script.
Jack Black: [yawning] and if it wasnt Meat Loaf what were we gonna do?
Kyle Gass: Frank Black, somebody. Larry thought Meat Loaf was okay.
Paul Fischer: Are you going to take a break now?
Jack Black: No! Weve got a grind coming up. Going to New York and do Letterman, were going to go to London and do Jonathan Ross and premiere in London and come back and rehearse hard with our band. Weve got a full band now. When we go on tour, its not just me and Kyle anymore.
Paul Fischer: You guys are big now.
Jack Black: Were big, bigtime, yeah. U2 is opening for us now.
Kyle Gass: Were thinkin well make them play acoustic.
Jack Black: Bono doesnt go all the way down on his knees.
Kyle Gass: And well say Bono, lose the sunglasses.
Jack Black: Oh man, hamstringed. We just took him off his game.
Paul Fischer: Whose idea was it to have in the beginning KG be more aggressive or more the leader?
Jack Black: Thats just kind of how it was.
Kyle Gass: It really was. Whats true? Its all kind of emotionally true but I was older and Jack was kind of
Jack Black: Kyle was never like a fraud. I dont think he was ever going to put one over on me like he did in the movie.
Kyle Gass: But, I knew that you were a fan and I started to take advantage of that and be the smart guy.
Paul Fischer: How did you meet?
Kyle Gass: We met in 89 through a friend [argument over what year it was]
Jack Black: I had been a fan since 86 or 87 because I had gone to see him. The first time I saw you perform was Carnage at the Mocha. When was that.. late 80s.
Kyle Gass: But Jack got in a production that we were doing in the Actors Gang called The Big Show and I would do all the music usually for the Gang stuff and Jack came in there and started contributing and threatening my very existence.
Jack Black: Thats right.
Kyle Gass: But it was a case of if you cant beat um, join um. I couldnt beat him.
Paul Fischer: There is going to be a lot on the DVD in deleted and extended scenes. Are there any you are hoping well get to see?
Jack Black: Yeah. We know what on those scenes.
Kyle Gass: Dave [sounds like Keckner] had a really big scene we had to cut. Theres a really good song in it.
Jack Black: Theres the song "the Government Totally Sucks" Its a shame we had to cut it but its on the record and itll be in the deleted scenes.
Kyle Gass: I think a lot of times when Im talking.
Jack Black: Theres a lot of little chunks but not whole scenes. Theres a great scene in my fantasy sequence where Kyle is actually a cock monster and I go and punch on him, punch him out and punch on his balls with my feet .
Paul Fischer: Was this a real dream you had?
Jack Black: No. It was just a flight of fancy.
Paul Fischer: Some people call this a great love story?
Kyle Gass: Its a threesome.
Jack Black: It actually is. Its about two men in love with their music.