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Interview

Kyle Gass Of Tenacious D Discusses Losing Dio And More

Photo of Black Sabbath

Band Photo: Black Sabbath (?)

In one of his final film appearances, legendary metal icon Ronnie James Dio pops out of a wall poster to convince a young would-be rocker (through song of course) to head out on an epic quest to form the world's most awesome band. "The Pick of Destiny" co-star Kyle Gass, also of the bands Trainwreck and Tenacious D, worked closely alongside Dio during the filming of the movie.

Kyle Gass took some time off his recent tour with Trainwreck to discuss the loss of Dio, who passed away due to stomach cancer in May. Gass also touched on subjects ranging from his currently inability to perform a full cock push up, to the upcoming third Tenacious D album.

Kyle: What’s happening in the metal underground?

xFiruath: Great things and terrible things. We keep losing all the musicians.

Kyle: Who else did we lose?

xFiruath: Peter Steele from Type O Negative died not too long ago, and then Paul Gray from Slipknot. There’s been quite a few musicians from lesser known bands as well.

Kyle: Oh that’s terrible. Well mortality sucks, no doubt about it.

xFiruath: Well before we talk about Dio and all that downer stuff, let’s start if off on a lighter note. I just re-watched “The Pick of Destiny” last night, which is hilarious by the way. So first of all, how many cock pushups can you do, and as a famous super star, how often are you chasing off super hot models with a baseball bat?

Kyle: Almost never, almost never. In terms of cock pushups, I can’t even do one right now. I’ve got to go on a juice fast.

xFiruath: It’s time to get your cock back into shape.

Kyle: Yeah, but on “The Pick of Destiny,” Dio is awesome on that. He actually comes out of a poster and he’s pretty charismatic in that I think. I’m glad we captured him in one of his last film roles.

xFiruath: So you worked pretty closely with Dio during the movie?

Kyle: Yeah we were doing the movie so when we were all there we were like the bosses and he had to check in. We got to hang him with him and he was a super nice guy, totally cool guy. Really funny, but grounded. He was a talented dude with a great career for years and years, so influential really when you think about there are so many people trying to sound like him, and that’s the greatest tribute.

xFiruath: There are so many bands that wouldn’t exist today if it weren’t for him.

Kyle: He’s among the most influential in heavy metal.

xFiruath: Do you have any personal favorite Dio album or song?

Kyle: I’d say every one. I like The Elves, but that’s going too far back. It was great when he took over for Black Sabbath.

xFiruath: Are you attending the public memorial for Dio?

Kyle: We’re on tour so we’ll miss that, but it sounds pretty star studded.

xFiruath: Have you heard about the Westboro Baptist church planning on picketing the memorial?

Kyle: Oh really? Oh wow, that’s a good idea. That’s kind of crazy.

xFiruath: Are there any plans to ever do a second “Pick of Destiny” movie?

Kyle: I was planning for it, but it didn’t do that well. The business part of the show might preclude us for going back in, but I think it would be a great idea. I’m definitely up for it. That would be fun, so I guess as long as we are alive it’s a possibility.

xFiruath: You mentioned before you are on tour, is that with Tenacious D or with Trainwreck?

Kyle: We’re out with Trainwreck right now on a north west tour, but then we’ll come back and play Bonnaroo with Tenacious D. Should be a lot of fun. We’ve had some requests for Dio in Trainwreck, but we didn’t really rehearse it, so it was a little fly by the seat of your pants, but I think we’re going to have to work it out and have a tribute.

xFiruath: Are you guys writing for any new Trainwreck or Tenacious D material?

Kyle: We’re about three quarters of the way through writing for the D record, and I think we are going to go in August and record that. It might take awhile. You need 12 or 14 really strong ones, and I think we’ve got like 7 or 8 right now. I think it’s going to be great. It’s the third record, so it should probably be “Tenacious 3-D.” There’s going to be a “3” and a “D,” so you have to connect them.

xFiruath: I had read awhile back that there was something going on with a Trainwreck T.V. show. Did anything ever come of that?

Kyle: We pitched it around a lot, but no one was interested. That lives on as a dream in my brain. I think we’re going to get the script together when I get back from this tour and we’ll just have to shoot it. Just cobble it together. If we don’t do it, I’ll always live with regrets, and I can’t live that way. There must be a Trainwreck pilot, must do it, even if it’s terrible, that’s still better than not knowing how terrible it will be. If I don’t do it I think my life will have been deemed a failure.

xFiruath: Tenacious D has had some marijuana themed songs, so what are your thoughts on medical marijuana or legalizing marijuana?

Kyle: It’s a pretty amazing breakthrough. Once you’ve sort of accepted it as a medical situation then you are half way home. Once you hit that stage, it’s like “what’s the difference?” really. I think it’s good, and I’m for the legalization of all drugs really. Its nuts for the state to be deciding what we do. It’s America, do what you want.

xFiruath: What bands are you listening to?

Kyle: Listening to Michael McDonald and getting into the alt-rock these days. Whatever’s on the iPod is good.

xFiruath: Are there any shows with either of your bands that stick out in your head where you saw something crazy or you just played an awesome show?

Kyle: No, they all run together, so awesome. Actually we did a speaking engagement at a college. We had about 12 people show up, and so like wow, we thought that was a career highlight, we knew we were huge then. The shows are great though, you sort of lose consciousness and just get into the river and get the people going. It’s good times.

xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to say?

Kyle: Well, Dio we love you and we miss you and we thank you for being there. People buy “The Wreckoning” and look forward to a new Tenacious D album.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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That was fun

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