How Tenacious D plan to save rock 'n' roll 0
Looking for the next saviours of rock ’n’ roll? Look no further.
“Luckily for planet Earth, we’ve found them — it’s Tenacious D,” humbly asserts Jack Black of the dynamic folk-metal duo. “We’ve got it covered. We’ll take it from here.”
Make that take it back. It’s been many a year since we last heard from Black and musical partner Kyle Gass, whose seemingly unstoppable ascent to the pantheon of rock godliness was thwarted by the poor performance of their 2006 film and CD The Pick of Destiny. Bloodied but undaunted, the portly pair are picking up where they left off with their third album Rize of the Fenix, strumming away on their acoustic guitars and belting out over-the-top ’70s-rock anthems about roadies, death stars, their own mythos and the state of their beloved rock.
From “the top rehearsal studio” in Los Angeles, The D got on the speaker phone to discuss tenacity, haiku and how they taste. Here’s some of what went down:
It’s been six years since your last album. That doesn’t seem very tenacious.
JB: Don’t confuse activity with tenacity.
KG: Or quantity with quality. We’re actually working on a six-year cycle.
JB: Who was the most tenacious of all time? You gotta say Zeppelin, because they had the most great records. How far apart were their records? Did they crank one out every year?
I think they did eight in 10 years.
JB: Yeah, well, that’s what we’re going to do now. We’ll have another record in 2013, another in 2014, another in 2015. Then we’ll take a break and come back in 2017. Mark it on your calendar.
What did you learn from the time away?
JB: We learned about ourselves. And if you ask us, ‘What did we learn about ourselves?,’ I guess we learned we are fragile creatures in an uncertain universe and we must cherish every moment of this life before it’s gone.
KG: We stood up and lived before we sat down and wrote.
JB: We’ve got a million of those, by the way. For every question, there’s going to be a clever haiku. Ask another question, here comes the haiku.
OK. What bought you back together?
JB: Rain falls apart but the puddle rejoins.
KG: (Laughs) We have a seven-record commitment.
JB: Wait, Kyle. that’s cold. You can’t say that’s what brought us back together. What brought us back together is that we are an undeniable force of nature. What brings thunder and lightning back together? Uh, the universe. So I guess the answer is the universe.
Are you doing it for yourselves? For the kids? For rock ’n’ roll?
JB: Why do peanut butter and jelly keep coming back together? Because they taste so f---ing good. Me and Kage just taste really good. If you don’t believe me, come have a lick. What was your question? I ignored it.
Are you doing it for yourselves? For the fans? For rock?
JB: We have an addiction to the roar of the crowd. So we do it for ourselves. But we also want to bring the message to the people that rock is in deep need of a creativity goose. What is the message of The D? To set the artist free — the artist that resides inside of your heart. ’Cause right now it seems like the artist has been shackled by corporate greed.
KG: He’s been shackled by The Man.
How intimidating is it for you to play your music for your father-in- law (legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden)?
JB: Charlie? I’d never play him The D. And I hope to God he never listens to it.
When are we going to get a Canadian tour out of you guys?
JB: We go where the love is. Anyplace where we go gold, we will arrive on a golden chariot of gold. And you will be rocked. So it’s on you.
We’re watching the SoundScan numbers.