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Monday, March 4, 2024

Jack Black and Kyle Gass are back

So, are you fans, or just extracting the urine?

“Well, we have been accused of being Satan worshippers, and I want to say it is not true,” says Gass. “I mean, we like Satan, but I don’t think we worship him.”

“I do enjoy me some Dungeons and Dragons, and I do love the genre that we sometimes make fun of but oftentimes revel in, the heavy metals,” says Black. “But you can’t ignore the comedy that’s there as well.”

Sometimes, he adds – apparently seriously – “I listen to metal and I love it so much I’ll start to cry. It’s very strange, because it’s one of the most macho musics you can listen to, but I find it sometimes very, very powerfully emotionally, like opera. WHEN IT’S DONE RIGHT!”

Black is in New Zealand at the moment, shooting a movie based on the Minecraft computer game (and yes, it has dragons and quests). Given his 186 screen credits and the fact this tour will be the first by the duo (and their band) to Australia since 2013 and that they have released just three albums in their 30-year career (a fourth is, they say, not far away), it’s tempting to think of music as the second string to their respective bows. But that would be a mistake.

“It’s my favourite thing to do, getting up in front of a crowd who just want to rock,” Black says. “When we get in the zone it’s like we disappear into the night. It’s really pretty magical.”

“Touring might be my favourite thing to do,” agrees Gass. “You get to travel, hang out with your homeslices, you entertain, and they pay you too. What a job it is.”

Plus, adds Black, there’s no better way to the world.

Gass and Black draw heavily on Dungeons and Dragons, Tolkien, satanism and a whole range of other tropes beloved of metal and its fans.

Gass and Black draw heavily on Dungeons and Dragons, Tolkien, satanism and a whole range of other tropes beloved of metal and its fans. Credit: Mihael Elins

“I don’t like to travel otherwise. I don’t like to vacation; that’s like hell to me. I like to go to a town because we’re on a mission to rock them and bring love and joy, and then you get in the bus and you’re OFF TO THE NEXT TOWN. It’s exciting and fun, and the perfect amount of time I like to spend in a place.”

Never one to oversell, Black promises that when the self-styled “best band in the world” rolls into Australian towns in July, they will bring “a cornucopia of entertainment that truly leaves Taylor Swift in the dust, crying, wishing she could have one-tenth of our magical powers.”

He’s got an answer to the obvious question, too.

“Well, you might ask, ‘how come you didn’t make a billion dollars last year?’ The answer is, it’s not about money, it’s about minds. It’s about blowing them. And that’s what we do.”

Tenacious D will play Sydney July 14, Newcastle July 16, Brisbane July 18, Melbourne July 20, Adelaide July 22, Wellington July 24 and Auckland July 26. Details: frontiertouring.com/tenaciousd

Contact the author at [email protected], follow him on Facebook at karlquinnjournalist and on Twitter @karlkwin, and read more of his work here.

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