Entertainment Music

Saturday 16 December 2017

D best band in the world

Arcade Fire should be very worried. Tenacious D are rockin' all over the place and are going to knock them off their sugar cake mountain. By Eamon Sweeney

Tenacious D
Tenacious D

Since 1994, Jack Black and Kyle Glass have been professionally goofing around and performing their inimitable blend of mock rock, yet have only released three studio albums. Forget about the much-hyped Bowie brouhaha, the madcap duo who rocked town this week are nominated for a Golden God Award for the comeback of the year.

"A lot of people think rock 'n' roll is just playing instruments and having sex, but there's a lot more to it than that," begins film star turned rock star Jack Black.

"I'm always down in the gymnasium (the mind boggles). It's important that we get our cardio up to scratch, because we're going to be running around."

For interviews, both Glass and Black field the questions, but unsurprisingly, it is Black that does most of the talking.

For example, Day & Night asks the duo would they take a leaf out of Sting's book and engage in a little pre-show yoga?

"Of course you have to do yoga," Black splutters indignantly. "You have to stay limber if you want to have incredible and lasting staying power. You want to be able into your eighties, or even rock into your fifties and sixties. Have you been keeping up with your exercises, Kyle?"

"I have but not today," Glass deadpans.

"It's either the gym or the mountaintop," Black responds. "I'm always encouraging Kyle to climb the mountaintop outside of his house."

Black's japes with Kyle have seen them travel the world spreading their gospel of comedy folk rock, and even open for Metallica in Marlay Park.

"That was an incredibly successful tour," Black boasts. "Was it my imagination or was our performance electric? I don't think people even remembered that Metallica played after us, or whether that just happened. It's hard to remember anything else happening that day.

"We stayed in Bono's hotel in Dublin, but I don't remember getting a discount. I think he might have forgotten. Maybe there was a misunderstanding. I'm sure he sent us flowers, but they just went to the wrong room. There was some mishap."

Tenacious D tour very sporadically, which helps keep their working relationship and routine fresh.

"It's not easy holding together the magic," Black maintains. "A lot of time when you get two powerful creative forces together they become anti-magnets and they push each other away. Kyle and I have found a way to harness it. We finish each other's sentences and we're almost the same person. It's like being two heads of the same body, or some terrifying mythical creature at the mouth of hell."

Watch out Arcade Fire and other hipster bands, Tenacious D are coming after your crown. "It does seem like they're on the top of sugar cake mountain right now and someone's got to knock them off," Black opines. "It might as well be us. If it's not us, God knows who it could be. I think it's important that it is us."

Then why on earth wait six years between The Pick of Destiny and The Rise of the Fenix? "We're on a cycle and it was important to do some living," Jack answers. "We could have put out a record three years ago, and it would have just been incredible, but we're looking for a lot more than incredible. We're looking for mind-blowing. That's what we do.

"We were actually thinking of changing the name of the band to Tenacious D and the Mindblowers, but we decided to stick with simple Tenacious D."

There's a rumour doing the rounds that Jack and Kyle didn't particularly like each other when they first met. "I don't know if that's true," Kyle says. "I liked you, Jack. I was just very inquisitive. You're very talented. I think I was a little scared."

"You know why?" Jack says. "Because you gave me the cold shoulder for years. You wouldn't let me into your world for five years. We became best friends and then we became the most successful band at doing folk metal in the world.

"Then, we rekindled the friendship, and then, we went underground. Our heads are not sprouting out of the ground. We are still mostly underground, but our heads are out and we're saying 'Get ready. Prepare to be rocked'."

Two of Tenacious D's biggest fans are Jack's sons Samuel and Thomas. "My boys love the album," Black reveals. "I made the mistake of playing them the dirty version and they've got a whole new vocabulary, but we've since recorded a clean version mainly for my boys, so if anyone out there has kids, they'll probably appreciate having that version."

For a man who has been in several blockbusters and starred in School of Rock and High Fidelity, how does it compare to stand onstage in front of a sold-out venue in Dublin this week?

"I tell you what it feels like," Black says. "It feels like my crowning achievement. It feels very satisfying, and in a way it feels like it could be the end. How do you top perfection? Every rocker from the past has proven that staying power comes from a quick exit. We might do a double suicide at the end of this tour onstage to solidify our legendary status."

Wow, so Black is suggesting there mightn't necessarily be another Tenacious D album? "The problem is that I've got OCD and I really like the number three and this is our third album," Jack says. "If we do another album, we can't leave it at four. We've got to go for five. If we go on our usual cycle, which is six years, then twelve years from now it will be about 2024. I'm going to be 54."

"And I'll be 64," Glass says. Black breaks into song. "Dude, will you still meet me? Will you still feed me? When I'm 64. I think the answer is no.

"We won't need each other more.

"That's all exciting. I think we've mapped out the next 12 years in this interview. Thank you very much. Later."

Irish Independent

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