You may know Kyle Gass as the guitar virtuoso next to Jack Black in the greatest rock band of all time: Tenacious D. But he also lends his acoustic shredding powers to Trainwreck, his new jamboree side-project which released their first studio album, ‘The Wreckoning,” last fall and just wrapped up a tour. Gass sat down to talk about the greatness of both groups, and, well, the rest is probably best left for him to say.
Just to begin, how did Trainwreck get started?
It started as an idea. I said, “Wait a minute. So far I’m one-for-one with bands. Tenacious D soared to the top. I’m going to try it again. Can lighting strike twice? Let’s see.’
Also, my good friend J.R. I thought, “You know what; he is a hell of an entertainer. I’m going to design a group specifically for his gifts and talents.’ And bygone, it has evolved to where we are now: a kick ass rock “n’ roll outfit.
You just had your first studio debut, ‘The Wreckoning,” debut last fall. How did it feel to finally record that after touring with the band for a while?
It was quite satisfying. We had been working on it for years off and on between D projects and the like. And then at some point we said we were going to do it ourselves.
So in the spirit of do-it-yourself-ishness, we thought, we can do this. We have the technology. We have computers. We have microphones. John Spiker, our bass player, is a talented producer. So he took it upon himself to record it. I think it’s a masterpiece. Of course, I did it, but that’s the way I feel about it.
What can people expect from a Trainwreck concert?
It’s like watching a kick ass rock “n’ roll cartoon come to life. You may question, “Why am I so entertained right now?,’ but the answer isn’t important. The important thing is that you came, you saw, you witnessed, you experienced the Wreck in the first person. And I think that’s really the best way to do it. I like to call it a five-headed hydra of pleasure.
What can people expect from Trainwreck in the near future?
We want to go to every city in the United States. I don’t know how many cities there are. But if you have over 5,000 people in your city I want to come there.
I want to bring the Wreck right to the people. But it’s gonna take a while. For instance, this tour we’re only hitting like 15 cities. By my calculations we have around 5,000-10,000 cities to hit.
But we’re still relatively young and we’re very energetic. And my credit card isn’t maxed out yet, so I think we can do it. We’ll probably work on another record in the meantime.
How is the writing process for the new D album going?
Well, it’s going pretty good. We only have two records out and they are both masterpieces. So the bar is really high.
But I would say we are about halfway done. We have one [song] called ‘Deathstar,” which I think there is a live Youtube out of it … actually I think there are a few of the new songs out on the Youtube.
We did one, we have a new one called ‘Roadies,” and it’s about, check it out, roadies. And that one has gone over really well, and I think that’s a classic already. So we have a few in the chamber and we’ve got to go and record that and make sure it’s awesome.
Can people expect to see more D tours and the album in the coming future?
I hope so. We’re playing Bonnaroo in June, so that should be a lot of fun. We’ve really got to keep our heads down and make sure we’ve got a new record out, so that takes precedent. But once that’s out I’m sure we’ll be out (on tour), up to the minute and entertaining people.
It’s been too long. And fans out there, it’s been too long. We miss you. We want to make love to every one of you. As soon as possible.
How is it working with Jack Black?
Jack is just a really near, dear old friend. I’ve known him for over 20 years and he’s just one talented mo-fo. And he still makes me laugh to this day. It’s been my pleasure, it’s been great. He’s a good egg, and it’s always been friendship first and making the Tenacious D thing happen second. It’s just a real blessing, so my hat’s off to Jack, he’s a great guy.
For fans of both groups, any closing thoughts for the fans?
Fans, prepare yourselves. Trainwreck is coming to your town. Whatever you do, be sure to witness Trainwreck coming down your tracks. We are going to melt your face and destroy your brain cells. When we are done with you, you will be a little wiser and a little more kick ass.
Clark is a member of the class of 2012.