Q&A: Tenacious D at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas

Bringing rich hard rock sounds and hilarious comedy to the stage, Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) is about to ring in the new year from the theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas with back-to-back nights on December 30 and 31. . Las Vegas magazine Em Jurbala recently had a Zoom call with the duo.

You have already played in Vegas; do you have any memories to share?

Jack Black: The first time we played in Vegas, we actually opened for Beck. Beck invited us to Vegas for a concert and I love Beck. And Kyle loves Beck, so we went down and made it super Vegas-ified. We did a little magic, we had stuffed animals for a little animal training and we swayed extremely hard. It was just me and Kyle, and who was watching from the sidelines? Beck. Love that.

JB: And another time we did this weird Miller Genuine Draft gig.

Kyle Gas: It’s this one.

JB: We’ll never do that again, the blind date. Sometimes it’s fun to play a show where you’re a surprise, so you can win over the crowd, which is usually a good time. But (for this show) they brought in everyone from all over the country on radio contests to go to Vegas, drink as much Miller Genuine Draft as you wanted, and then see probably your favorite band. You don’t know what band it is, but probably your favorite… The curtain goes up and it’s Tenacious D. Nobody knows us at the time, we start, and then everyone, drunk as a whore , immediately thought, “Boo, we hate you.” … We survived and in the end only half the people were booing, so it was kind of a win. Here we are 20 years later, still telling the story.

The Wolves of Glendale are coming with you. What brought you together?

KG: I think (John) Spiker was working with the Cooties. We got to know them and became mutual friends. Then the Cooties crumbled, then the Wolves of Glendale emerged. They are funny friends.

JB: John Spiker is our bassist and producer, so these guys were working with him. And then Kyle became best friends with them and said, ‘They’re our opener,’ and I was like, ‘OK. I hope they are good. And I think they’re really good. They are really funny.

What is currently fueling your creative process?

KG: Well, very strong French roast. I jammed a lot, trying to find new sounds.

JB: Me and KG started doing vision quests. It’s called the AirBNB retirement songwriting method. We do this. And I force myself to listen to music to try to inspire myself. You know what I’ve listened to and like. It’s not new. It was our opening music through all post apocalypto tour, but…

KG: PinkFloyd? The wall?

JB: Yeah. This album isn’t funny at all, so I don’t find any comic inspiration in it, but look at this shit guy. It’s good.

What do you do to maintain the chemistry you both have?

KG: Well, it’s like a bit life. The competition, I think, fuels a lot of it, the comedy. But I think the aesthetic is similar and Jack is hilarious. I just have to follow.

JB: No, we must come from love. We have to stay together. This is the main. Because most comedy duos die out in a burst of fire and never speak to each other again. We found a way to stay together. This is the key.

Virgin Las Vegas Hotels, axs.com

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