Tenacious D Interview

Tenacious D Interview

Chay Woodman on 07 February 2003

They're fat, they're a little bit round, they're worth more than several hundred million pound thanks to being signed to Sony Records (not that they'll see it or ever need it), and they enjoy nothing more than singing you sweet little melodies with lyrics taken from their favourite book 'Advanced Karma Sutra - killer moves for the modern male fantasy fucking machine'.

Tenacious D are what they're called.  Not 'two famous people with nothing better to do between films' and they believe that swearing is both big and clever.  Who are we to argue?

Virtual Festivals: I'll start you off with an easy one. What's the official story on what the 'D' stands for?

Jack Black:  It stands for 'Defence', as in the NBA, the National Basketball Association.  It's Tenacious-Defence.  But I'm sure people can play tenacious defence in rugby or cricket or any of your um, local sports. Yeah, defence my friend. It's the key....to winning.

The' Wonderboy' video was done medieval style, 'Tribute' featured Satan, so what was the thinking behind making 'Fuck Her Gently' into a cartoon?

JB:  I don't know.  Why was Paranoid Android a cartoon?  Did you ask Thom Yorke that question?  I bet you didn't?

No, I haven't interviewed him.

JB:  Why?  Because you have too much respect for Thom Yorke?

No, I don't like Radiohead.

JB:  Ok then.  I went to this guy's website, John Prickfucksi (Kricfalusi) I think his name is, the guy who did Ren & Stimpy. I thought Ren & Stimpy was brilliant and Kyle agreed, so we asked him if he would do a cartoon video for Fuck Her Gently.  He said 'of course he would' because he loves our work.  And then it was just $40,000 and then it was done. 

It was as easy as that?

JB:  Yeah... because we're such... close friends.

Has being signed to such a big label (Sony) changed the Tenacious D philosophy in any way?

Kyle Gass:  Ah, it's the old sell-out question... uh

JB:  ...u ....the sell-out

KG:  ....ah

JB:  I wanted to sign to a mini label, a little independent label...

KG:  but I don't think we'd be talking to you here right now if...

JB:  ...Hey listen! It's not for the money because we haven't seen a penny of it!  But, you get the money, and then you get the word spread.  You never would've heard of us if it weren't for the big label signing.  Sellout?  What does it mean? You're only a sellout if you're crappy.  'You were great, then you became crappy, and then they call you a sellout'.  So if you're calling us a sellout....

KG:  but maybe he means...

JB:  (to Kyle) No, look, there's a reason why it's called 'Tenacious Defence', he's got me on the defensive and we're gonna show him what we've got. Were gonna show HIM what we're made of!

[Quite scared] Right.  So you don't expect many royalties?

JB:  Next-question-please, MASTER.

Are you worried that people might treat Tenacious D as a side-project like Keanu Reeves' Dogstar?

JB:  I've never listened to Dogstar, but I imagine that they suck balls.I'd like to think that we are the best band composed of actors... ever.  I don't really care what people's perception is because once they hear the D, they can't deny the sheer force of our, uh, um.... force. 

KG:  I hear Jared Let's got a band.

JB:  Jared Leto's got a band?  Hey, let's have a battle. 

KG:  The only people we're worried about are the Bacon Brothers (Kevin Bacon). 

What about Russell Crowe?

JB:  30 Odd Foot of Grunts? I'm not worried about them. 

JB:  Spinal Tap put out a good record!

KG:  What about Billy Bob? 

JB:  Yeah, Billy Bob Thornton, sounds a little soft though.

The D are in the Foo Fighters' video Learning to fly and Dave Grohl played drums on your album.  Has there been any mutual band influence? 

KG:  Actually, Dave said that his last record was completely influenced by us. 

JB:  Yeah, he gave us a little 'thank you'. One of songs on the album, 'Explosivo', was originally going to be a tribute to Kurt Cobain, but the lyrics were pretty bad.  Dave Grohl came to one of our early shows and made it known that we were on the same page and that he wanted to be part of our magical mystery tour. And so we exploited that.
And now... it's just a love-fest. 

KG:  So now he doesn't call much.

JB:  Were you just taking a sip of water?

Yeah, very sorry.  I apologise.

JB:  Hey, I heard that. 

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