Kyle Gass Interview
Kyle Gass (Tenacious D) Interview on Moe Train’s Tracks
Kyle Gass, Monty Wiradilaga, Brian Kracyla
Rothbury, MI – Rothbury Festival
M: We’re here with Kyle from Tenacious D also working with General Motors.
K: I am saving General Motors from their ultimate collapse.
M: How close are they?
K: Obviously, General Motors, they’ve had a bad couple of decades. Why? The cars haven’t been up to snuff. They’re ugly and they don’t get good gas mileage. So I called them and I said, ‘Dudes, what the hell are you guys up to? Has anyone been to Japan? Let’s see what they’re doing over there. They are making a superior product.’ They said, “What?! Tell us more!” So I said, ‘Alright, listen to me. If you send me around the world to various rock festivals and I interview bands, I’m pretty sure I can save the company.’ They said, “Whatever. Whatever you need, whatever you want.” I said, ‘I need an eight-ball and some Thai hookers.’
M: (laughs) How many eight-balls have you gone through today?
K: Well, I usually only go through one per festival. I try to keep it real, because I’m working.
M: Tough lifestyle, huh, living the festival life.
K: It is. Working the festivals, saving a multi-national corporation, that’s how I be. That’s how I roll.
M: Are they gonna make a car in your honor or what?
K: They are. They’re coming out with the Cage Mobile. Interesting enough, it only has three wheels. It’s not safe. It’s just meant to drive around your neighborhood. It’s like a golf cart. But it’s pimped out, yo! It’s f’in pimped out.
M: It’s got 22’s?
K: Oh yeah, the rims, it’s all about the spinners. I gots to have Spreewells on all my golf carts.
M: That’s right. Iced out.
K: (laughs) Totally.
M: So I guess you’re seeing a little different side of the music biz, doing the journalism thing.
K: I have. I’ve always hated interviews. Not this one! You guys are cool. But being on the other end of it, I don’t really care about anyone else but you know when you do an interview you have to pretend. It’s like, ‘Uh, so, when’s your next album? What are you…” No, actually it’s been cool. Actually, I’ve been doing a lot of jamming with the bands.
M: With who?
K: Yesterday we did Perpetual Groove and the Disco Biscuits.
M: How was that?
K: Do you like the Biscuits?
M: Oh yeah. Did you see their set?
K: No I didn’t see it.
M: I was solid.
K: They actually invited me out. I should’ve gone. But they were going on at like 11:30.
M: What, that’s past your bedtime now?
K: Ha, yeah, it was past my bedtime. But that would have been fun. What was their set like, was it good?
M: Aw yeah, it was great. The light show, the whole scene, was awesome. They were actually having a glow stick war. Everyone was throwing tons of glow sticks, hitting everybody in the head. It was raining down.
M: It was definitely a very trippy experience, which was cool, half the people were tripping anyway.
K: Yeah, it seems like that kind of festival.
M: So you’re going around to the different festivals. You’re hitting Lollapalooza in a couple weeks?
K: We’re doing Lollapalooza. We did Rock On The Range earlier. We did Pinkpop in the Netherlands and I just got back from Germany last week.
M: And you’re opening for Metallica?!
M; Who’s the better shredder, you or Hetfield?
K: Oh, I’ll take Hetfield down any day.
M: Oh yeah?!
K: Oh yeah.
M: We gonna see proof of this or what?
K: I could burn up both my arms and be better than Hetfield. No, those guys are good. They’re gonna have a tough time following us. We’re gonna blaze up the stage. And it’s gonna be an inferno.
B: If they come with the pyrotechnics, you’re gonna have to bust something out that’s…
K: They’re gonna need ‘um. We might steal them. We’re actually planning on maybe doing their whole set before…(all laugh) We going to definitely do Sandman, just to steal their thunder.
M: Ha, they’re going to walk on stage all pissed off..
K: (singing) Say your prayers, little one. Don’t forget, my son, to include everyone!! Brah Brah Bruh, Arruh! The all you gotta do to be Hetfield, just end everything in a Arruh!
M: They just played Bonnaroo, we saw them there.
K: Oh, did you see them there?
M: It was great. They’re tight as ever.
K: Well, Lars is dropping the beat sometimes. Let’s be honest. He’s not always on it, he’s dragging. Sometimes he speeds it up, it’s like, ‘Lars, come on. What, you got some triggers on there? What do ya got?’
M: You’ve got the Grohl hook-up. How’d that happen?
K: Dave, we were playing the Viper room, a friend of his was working there and he kept saying, “you gotta check these guys out, you gotta check these guys out.” And then he finally came. Our minds were blown, ‘cause we were huge Nirvana fans…
M: Nirvana, yeah, absolutely.
K: Who wasn’t, right? And I went (in a woman’s voice) “Dave Grohl’s here!! This is insane!” And the worst part is that he came on stage before we went on. He said, “Hey guys, how ya doing?” And we were like, (stupefied)‘Uhhhhhh…’ But he was a very cool guy, very nice. And then they asked us to be in their video. I was like, ‘Oh, it’s on. Okay. Alright, we’ll do that.’ And then, somehow, we just asked him to play drums on our album. And he did.
M: How did he compliment your sound?
K: He dominated.
M: Domination is what it’s all about.
K: It was kind of funny because we only had him for like a day. We were like, ‘Alright! You wanna play this one? You wanna play this one!?” He thought he was going to come in and play like three songs and he ended up the whole album. (laughs) But it happen so fast. And the tempo of the songs were all completely different, but we didn’t care. We were like, ‘Who cares?! Dave Grohl’s playing drums on our songs!’ And I remember just that feeling when we did the basic tracks, it was just me and Jack because we always work with just two guitars, and then Grohl in our headphones and it was just the most amazing feeling. Just having like your shitty little songs and then all of a sudden Grohl’s bringin the thunder! Making it sound like monsters of rock.
M: It was one of those dream accompaniments?
K: Oh yeah. It was pretty dreamy. I still can’t quite believe he’s on there.
M: If you think about it, who else? Now you have all these connections, you’re out there talking to everybody.
K: It’s been a magic carpet thrill ride, the whole thing. I can’t believe where I end up sometimes. One time we did Neil Young’s bridge school benefit, you know those things he does, and he’ll have a party at his place, which is just sick. He’s got this crazy like log-cabin-mansion out in the middle of Santa Cruz. It’s crazy, he’s got his own lake, and it’s just off-the-chain. I mean the guy’s just got it going. And we’re partying and there’s like Tom Yorke of Radiohead and I’m a fire-pit with like James Taylor on my left and talking about old cars with Neil Young and I’m like, ‘Who am I right now?! This is crazy, these are my heroes.’ So yeah, it’s been fun, it’s been a fun ride.
M: Awesome. Thanks for being with us.
K: Yeah, thanks a lot, man.