10 Questions: Kyle Gass of Tenacious D
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This month we're introducing a new column called "10 Questions". For our kickoff column, we're featuring Kyle Gass of "Tenacious D." Kyle was taking a break from the road and relaxing while Jack was filming a soon-to-be cinematic masterpiece. Now, for those of you who may not be familiar with "The D," They are Jack Black and Kyle Gass. Jack, also known for his roles in such films as Orange County, Shallow Hal, and Hi-Fidelity. And Kyle, who is also known as??. as?as? as the guitar-wielding, talent-laden sidekick seen on Mr. Show and other well-known episodics, too numerous to mention.
Tenacious D has taken the music world by storm and has been touring for the better part of 2002. Their self-titled debut recording on Epic Records was released late in 2001 and has become a staple of rock radio across America.
If you haven't had a chance to catch them live, you must take advantage of the opportunity should you be lucky enough to have them infect your home town. If you own a radio, this summer you're bound to hear "Tribute" and/or "Wonderboy" pounding out across the beaches, parkways, fine arts museums, and nursing home Bingo rooms.
Produced by The Dust Brothers, who are best known for their work with the Beastie Boys, Beck, and dozens of others, the "D" employed the talents of Foo Fighter Dave Grohl for drumming and guitar duties, Warren Fitzgerald (The Vandals), Page McConnell (Phish), and Steve McDonald (Redd Kross).
Although this column is known as "10 Questions", Kyle was very busy doing all the things that you would expect a true rock god to be up to, so this is an abbreviated version of "10 Questions". We wouldn't do this for anyone else but "THE D!" Okay, maybe "8 Questions" for AC/DC or "7 Questions" with Hendrix, but Jimi's not talking to me since the séance, when I asked him why he wrote the line "scuse me while I kiss this guy." I was just kidding, Jimi, call me! Oh well, with no further introductions needed, I give you: Kyle Gass of The D?
Guitar.com: It's been said, Kyle, that you are responsible for Jack's guitar talents. Many have known Jack's amazing vocal skills (be sure to see Jack in Hi-Fidelity for proof), but is it true that you?re his guitar mentor?
Kyle: Yes, Jack was an accomplished singer when I met him, annoyingly so. So much, in fact, that he thought he was Bobby McFerrin and I said, "Dude, learn sum guitar yo!" And then he sat on my couch for like 3 months playin? the same three chords! Almost drove me batty.
Guitar.com: You both have writing influences that lean in many different directions. For example, Dio must be mixed in there somewhere (there's a song on the Tenacious D album called "Dio"). What would you say would be the strongest musical influences on your writing?
Kyle: Influences? ummm? Ozzy, uh?The Beatles, Neil Young, Foo Fighters, Journey, Styx, Oasis, Jimmy Eat World (takin' care of my homies).
Guitar.com: What types of guitars are you taking on tour with you, and do you have any favorites that maybe didn't make it onto the road?
Kyle: Martins! They sound the best.
Guitar.com: The quality of the recording is exceptional; great guitar tones, both acoustic and electric. Who was the master of tone in the studio and how was it working with the Dust Brothers?
Kyle: It was intimidating at first cuz the Dust Brothers have some great creds? I mean, sh*t, they produced Hanson...(that got me) shakin' in my boots...
Guitar.com: Do either of you have a personal Guitar god?
Kyle: The usuals - your Pages, Jimi Hendrix traditional-ish guitar gods... but for me, personally it's gotta be Neil Young. Not technically the best, but big on soul.
Guitar.com: Now that you have your first record under your belt, are you writing for the new HBO show or having thoughts of a follow-up recording? And with such a busy touring schedule, when do you write the most?
Kyle: The follow up record is almost done in our minds but you know what they say... whole life to come up with the first one, 6 months to come up with the second.
Guitar.com:Thanks, Kyle for taking the time to chat with us. Web surfers - for more information on the "doings" of Tenacious D, be sure to visit www.tenaciousd.com. Be sure to tell Tenacious Lee, Guitar.com said to stop by and say Hi!