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The inspiration for ‘Fuck Her Gently’; Kyle’s stoned scene from Almost Famous; did KG really eat JB’s shitzel? And the best way to do cock push-ups. Tenacious D answer the readers’ questions. Turning up the heat Patrick Hedlund.
The Mixed Grill, 31 Mar 2003
OK, I have a couple… How did you come up with the name Tenacious D?
::: SIAN, Belfast
Kyle Gass: Tenacious D is a sporting term. It’s for Tenacious Defence.
Jack Black: It was the funniest name at the time and there was really only, like, one month that it was really funny to us. Then it stopped being funny but there was momentum, so now we’re stuck with the name. But really, let’s face it, there’s no good name for a band. What’s the best band’s name you’ve ever heard?
KG: And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. Um, I like Ween.
JB: No, the best name there’s ever been for a band is probably Aerosmith. That’s kind of good. Or Judas Priest… Iron Maiden… Black Sabbath! Black Sabbath is the best name! Tenacious D is, y’know, kind of weak.
What was your inspiration for ‘Fuck Her Gently’? And if ‘Tribute’ was just a tribute to the greatest song, what is the greatest song?
::: SIAN, Belfast
KG: Well there was a song that…
JB: …that you wrote with Lee (friend of the D) called ‘Fuck Her Hard’ and then I came in the room and heard them singing this song, and I got so mad I destroyed everything in the room. I said, “You guys, it’s not about fuckin’ her hard. Follow me, children of the corn, and I shall lead the way to the promised land. Kyle, start playing a riff.” And he started playing and I just sang ‘Fuck Her Gently’ straight from the heart. Luckily there was a tape recorder rolling and there it was, the birth of ‘Fuck Her Gently’. It’s a message to the youth of the world and to all the roughhousing fuckballs.
KG: What about older people?
JB: They’re not fuckin’ anyone hard. It’s some kind of thing where you gotta prove your manhood by fuckin’ really hard. Rammin’, slammin’, sigma phi slamma jamma style. And, y’know… (Pause). What am I saying Kyle?
KG: I think you said it. The greatest song is without doubt the Rick Astley song ‘Never Gonna Give You Up!’ “I just want to tell you how I’m feeling.”
JB: Yeah, that’s the one. That’s the greatest song in the world!
Now that you’re both multi-gazillionaire legends with ego and personality surpassing that of the greatest icons in rock history, what are your policies towards lowly servants: treat ’em well, or like the peasant scum they are? And are you both aware that one of your staff more than likely wiped their cock into your breakfast this morning?
::: WOOLY, Dublin
KG: Well that guy’s making a lot of suppositions there. None of our staff put their cock in my breakfast. But it tasted delicious, so if they did, then I’ll have to write a memo to make a new policy. How should we treat our servants? We should treat them well, really. You never know if they’re going to stab you in the back.
Kyle, were you really stoned in the scene from Almost Famous that was cut out? You were pretty damn convincing.
::: BRIAN, Greystones
KG: Wow, thanks.
JB: What are you talking about?
KG: My scene in Almost Famous – don’t interrupt. Yes, that was a whole day I spent and it actually took a year to prepare. Cameron [Crowe] and I became close in pre-production and he sent me some tapes of some old FM DJ’s. But it had been a long day; I couldn’t smoke that much pot in all my life. I’ve read a lot about people being stoned so I was able to research and get that feeling, having never smoked myself.
JB: For every great work of art I would say there’s probably ten even better ones that will never be seen or known. What’s his name? Van Gogh.
KG: Van Gock.
JB: What if fuckin’ he would’ve died and his brother died too and no one knew and then they all got thrown in the garbage. That’s happened.
KG: A few times.
JB: And what about the guy that's fuckin' smarter than Shakespeare who was like, “I'm gonna fuckin pick apples instead of write?” He could’ve written masterpieces.
KG: That were lost.
JB: Lost! What about the fuckin’ songs that we wrote when we were jammin’ that were so awesome and we didn’t have a tape recorder going? Great ones! And they’re gone. That’s just the way it is, only certain stuff survives. Anyway.
KG: I went to a screening just to see how it was and then I found I was cut out. Then I had to pretend I enjoyed the movie.
You’re playing Dublin on Paddy’s weekend. How drunk are you guys going to be?
::: GED CAMPBELL, Drogheda
KG: I didn’t drink anything.
JB: I didn’t either. I had a glass of wine over a fuckin’ ten-course meal. My plan was to drink a lot; instead I just ate a lot. I didn’t even have one pint of Guinness, which was my plan because I heard that Guinness has a lot of vitamins in it.
1. How do you rate Ronnie James Dio’s exceptional performance on Black Sabbath’s Live Evil album? Also, is Ronnie one of the greatest ever metal frontmen and what effect or influence has he had on your career?
2. Apart from your own (forthcoming) live album, which is the greatest live album of all time and why?
3. If I promise to help you load your gear into the van after the gig, can I have a free ticket please?
::: BRAUTIGAN, Rockridge
JB: Yeah, he’s the greatest heavy metal singer of all time, in terms of his pipes, and he had a profound influence on me.
KG: The Allman Brothers live at the Fillmore… Frampton Comes Alive. I think The Who’s Live at Leeds is really good. Kiss Alive. I like Let It Be a lot.
JB: Probably that Cheap Trick one in Budokan because all the kids were going, “Hey! Hey! Hey!” They always pull a switcheroo on you when you’re looking at albums and you go, “Oh my god, it’s a new album by so and so!” and it doesn’t say ‘live’ anywhere on there. Then you get home and put it on and it’s all live and you’re immediately bummed ’cos it sounds like shit. Live albums are usually inherently lame. You know what the best is? Neil Young’s Live Rust. Did Kyle say that one?
JB: Oh good. I win.
KG: And dude, you don’t even have to load the gear.
Howdy, For Jack... So did KG really eat your schnitzel?
::: HELZER, Dublin
JB: Oh yeah! Did he say shitzel? KG has never eaten my shitzel. But he’s always eaten my schnitzel. It was scandalous. It was a stab in the back. But he was hungry!
KG: I mean, I have a problem with food. I tend to gorge myself when I’m trying to fill up an empty space. It’s a hole thing.
KG is that your real hair or are the rumours I’m hearing about a wig true?
::: andrew hayden, Dublin
KG: A wig? Well I do wear bald-cap because I like the look. Under this bald-cap I have a luxurious head of hair.
JB: A lion’s mane.
I’ve a raging heterosexual crush on Dave Grohl. Any tips on how I’d snare the great man?
::: PAUL JONES, Liverpool
KG: Well, I think Dave’s getting married so I think he’s pretty straight. I mean, we had one session together but he wasn’t comfortable with me going up the deuce.
JB: I’d say the way to Dave’s heart is to be real. Know how to have a good time.
KG: You know, if you’re kick-ass enough he might play drums for you.
JB: You have to be awfully awesome. Just be really, really awesome.
What was it like for Dave Grohl to work with you guys?
::: COLM, Dublin
KG: We’d have to know what Dave Grohl was thinking. He looked like he was having a good time. Although at the end of the day he seemed like he did want to leave. He was kind of running out the door at the end but that was after like ten hours so he was probably tired.
What’s the best thing a groupie has ever done?
:::PAUL WARBRICK, Dublin
KG: Give me an orgasm (pause)… then not ask for one herself.
JB: The ultimate sacrifice.
KG: It’s really the line that separates girls from groupies.
Did the cock push ups pay off with regard to the hordes of groupies you’re fighting off with a very big stick?
::: ANDREW LYNCH, Clonmel
JB: That wasn’t the point of the cock push-ups. The cock push-ups are a form of meditation. It calms me.
Will one of you please do some cock push-ups at the show? Failing that, is Lee gonna be at the show and what’s the story with Lee anyways?
::: PAJO, Limerick
JB: No, he will not be at the show. No, I will not do a live cock push-up. (Pause) Maybe I should do a live cock push-up.
KG: Yeah you should. I think you should rig up the hydraulics.
JB: What are you talking about, rig a hydraulic? When you’re on the ground for a cock push-up on your stomach, you have to think to yourself, “Light as a feather, stiff as a board.”
KG: Lee’s a friend of ours but after he did a few gigs he started to obsess. That was his fatal flaw. He expected to be in the gig and we had to kind of shut him down. Right now I’m working with Lee on a side project.
So is your greatest living inspiration actually Nigel Tufnel, or are you more Derek Smalls men? (You don’t seem like David St. Hubbins fellows.)
::: TOM PHILIPS, Seattle
JB: It’s based on a supposition that our whole world and universe is based on Spinal Tap. No question they were an influence. They were, uh, what do you call that when you forge a path?
JB: Yeah they blazed a trail that would pave the way for the D. I guess, yeah, I’m gonna go with Tufnel.
KG: I think I’m more Derek Smalls.
JB: And there you have it. The yin and yang.
What are the D’s personal favourite sexual positions?
::: LISA CUDAHY, Athlone
JB: I like to call it Dr. McDogarty. Get it right – Dr. McDogarty.
KG: We’ve been playing with the deuce though on this tour a lot. It might be the best birth control.
JB: I’ve never been in the deuce, personally. A lot of people say it’s all about the deuce. I’m not really interested.
Are you gonna have another album or is this just one of those once-off things you do when you’re an actor and bored of it?
::: STE, Dublin
JB: If we crank out another masterpiece, there will be another album. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now: there will be no D-wine until it’s D-time.
What do you think of everybody in this country worshipping Bono? Don’t you think he’s just a tad overrated?
::: DAVE MONTEGARI, Dublin
JB: I’ve heard that Bono’s actually worshipped more in Italy and there he’s truly god. Here he’s just a mellow dude that can walk the streets without harassment. I really don’t know though.
KG: I think Bono’s trying to do good. I can’t really knock him for that.
JB: You can’t knock him, of course not. Why shouldn’t we all be trying to do good?
KG: We’ve been trying to get in contact with Bono and join forces but so far he hasn’t returned our calls.
JB: We wanted to start a project.
KG: The feed the universe project?
JB: The thing is, Bono is passionate. You have to admire his passion. I think you could say that for the majority of Irish music. Then there’s also kind of a sappy side. It’s (said in an Irish accent) very emotional! Where ya can weep and den ya fight! Ohhh! There’s a lot of love there. A lot of love.
KG: Sometimes too much
JB: When is it too much love?
KG: Too many beers in, I think.