|Also known as|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
Tenacious D is an American comedy rock duo, formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1994. It was founded by actors Jack Black and Kyle Gass, who were part of The Actors' Gang theater company at the time. The duo's name is derived from "tenacious defense" - a phrase used by NBA basketball sportscaster Marv Albert.
Prior to the release of Tenacious D's 2001 debut album Tenacious D, the duo had a three-episode TV series released on HBO, with the episodes broadcasting between 1997 and 2000. These episodes came about after the band had met David Cross and Bob Odenkirk on the Los Angeles music scene—and Black featuring in episodes of Mr. Show with Bob and David. The band also befriended former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, and this would begin a working relationship between Foo Fighters and Tenacious D. Towards the end of the 1990s, the duo would go on to support large rock acts - such as Pearl Jam, Tool and Beck.
In 2000 they signed with Epic Records, and the year after released Tenacious D, their debut album featuring a full band, including Grohl on the drums. The first single "Tribute" has since achieved cult-status, and made the band popular overseas, this being mainly the United Kingdom, Sweden, Ireland and Australia. In 2003, the band released The Complete Master Works, their first live concert DVD which would go on to achieve gold and platinum status by the RIAA.
In November 2006, they starred in their own film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, released by New Line Cinema, with Epic Records releasing the soundtrack as their second album, The Pick of Destiny. The film cost $20 million to produce, though only grossed $13.9 million at the box office and suffered mixed reviews from critics. Despite the poor receivership of the actual film, the band would near sell-out arenas on its respective tour, notably Madison Square Garden in New York and Manchester Arena in England. Following several years of sporadic festival dates and special appearances, the band released their third album Rize of the Fenix on May 15, 2012 through Columbia Records, the album making light of The Pick of Destiny's commercial failure.
In 2013, the band hosted comedy music festival, Festival Supreme in Los Angeles, which would go on to host three more editions. In 2014, the band were invited to feature on Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life, a compilation album where various artists cover Ronnie James Dio songs to raise funds for cancer. Their cover of "The Last in Line" won a Grammy for best heavy metal performance at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. In 2018, the band would begin independently releasing an animatic hand-drawn web series titled, Tenacious D in Post-Apocalypto, each of the six episodes uploading exclusively to YouTube every week starting from the 28th of September. Columbia Records released the album Post-Apocalypto on November 2, 2018, just after the release of the sixth episode.
Tenacious D's music showcases Black's theatrical vocal delivery and Gass' acoustic guitar playing abilities. Critics have described their fusion of vulgar absurdist comedy with rock music as "mock rock". Their songs discuss the duo's purported musical and sexual prowess, as well as their friendship and cannabis usage in a style that music critics have compared with the storyteller-style lyrics of rock opera.
- 1 History
- 2 Musical style
- 3 Appearances
- 4 Political activity
- 5 Other projects
- 6 Band members
- 7 Discography
- 8 Awards
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Jack Black and Kyle Gass initially met in Los Angeles in 1986, both members of The Actors' Gang theater troupe. Black admits due to animosity, he and Gass didn't initially see eye-to-eye, as Gass was the main musician for the Actor's Gang and "felt threatened by Black". The Actor's Gang travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1989. They were performing Tim Robbins' and Adam Simon's play Carnage. The two befriended during the trip and eventually became best friends. Black states he didn't learn guitar until he was "around twenty-three years old", so would regularly visit Gass' Cochran Avenue studio apartment, in the deal that Gass would teach Black to play guitar in return for food, mainly from fast-food chain Jack in the Box. Their go-to order was two tacos for a dollar, as it was cheap. If they wanted to splurge, they would go with the Monster Tacos, which included a little extra lettuce and salsa.
The two would work at The Actor's Gang together, and would collaborate in productions. Gass and Black wrote their first song in 1994 after Black had been dumped by a girlfriend, a non-comedic song. The two have since admitted to feeling embarrassed about the song, though occasionally sing it during interviews when telling their story. Their second song came about when Black was listening to the Metallica song "One" in 1994 and told Gass that it was "the best song in the world". Gass told Black that they couldn't write the best song in the world, but Black put a twist on it and said they could "write a tribute". Gass played an A-minor chord on his guitar at the apartment and the two spent three full days crafting the song, when it was done Gass mentioned "they knew they had something". The song made the duo realize their comedic potential.
At their first concert, at Al's Bar, the band performed the live debut of "Tribute", their only song at the time, and the duo also gave the audience the chance to vote for their name. Black and Gass gave them the choice between "Pets or Meat", "Balboa's Biblical Theater" and "The Axe Lords Featuring Gorgazon's Mischief" (Gass' personal favorite). "Tenacious D"—a basketball term used by commentators to describe robust defensive positioning in basketball — did not get the majority of votes, however, but according to Black "we forced it through". The venue had become a hotbed for upcoming bands due to the success of Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, so much so that in attendance was David Cross who invited Black and Gass to attend productions of his. Black would later be cast in his sketch comedy television series on HBO, Mr. Show in 1995.
The band would continue to generate momentum on the Los Angeles music scene, notably performing headline shows at Al's Bar, Pedro's, Largo and The Actors' Gang studio. Maynard James Keenan, lead vocalist of the band Tool, had also met Cross on the Los Angeles scene, and therefore had also become involved in Mr. Show. Keenan would go on to invite Black and Gass to support three Californian Tool concerts in December 1995. Tool was the first large act that Tenacious D were a support act for. Black had previously attended UCLA with director Jason Bloom, therefore, when Bloom was made the director of 1996's Bio-Dome, Black and Gass were invited to perform a short song in the film. The two wrote the song "5 Needs", and this was their first on-screen appearance as Tenacious D.
In 1997, Tenacious D had become a popular act on the Los Angeles music scene, and would perform residencies at The Viper Room. Peter Stahl, the vocalist of the band Scream, worked at The Viper Room at the time and became a fan of Black and Gass. Stahl invited friend Dave Grohl to come and visit The Viper Room to see Tenacious D, though Grohl initially didn't want to go. Grohl changed his stance and went to see the band perform a couple of weeks later and thoroughly enjoyed it. This would start a relationship between Grohl, Black and Gass.
Tenacious D recorded their songs "Tribute", "Kyle Quit the Band", "Krishna" and "History" and released them in a demo tape called Tenacious Demo, in the late-1990s with Andrew Gross, distributing it to various record companies until HBO offered them a TV show based upon the tape and Black's work on Mr. Show.
Television series (1997–2000)
Cross, with Mr. Show writer Bob Odenkirk, continued his involvement with Tenacious D by producing three half-hour shows based on the band. The series, entitled Tenacious D, premiered on HBO in 1997, immediately following an episode of Mr. Show. While a total of three episodes consisting of two shorts each, ten to twelve minutes in length, were produced, only the first was aired that year; the final two episodes did not air until the summer of 2000. According to Gass, the series was cancelled after HBO requested ten episodes with the stipulation that he and Black would have to relinquish their role as executive producers, and only write songs. After the series aired, the band continued to perform live. At a show at the Viper Room in Los Angeles, they met Dave Grohl, who remarked that he was impressed with their performance; this led to their cameo in the Foo Fighters' "Learn to Fly" music video. The popularity of Tenacious D further increased as they began to open for high-profile acts, including Beck, Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters.
First album Tenacious D (2001–2003)
In May 2000, Tenacious D signed to Epic Records. As Black's profile increased due to his roles in films such as High Fidelity the band worked on recording their first album with producers the Dust Brothers. In 2001, they released their debut Tenacious D. It peaked at #33 on the Billboard 200 on October 13, 2001. While Tenacious D usually appears as a duo, the album was backed by a full band, consisting of Dave Grohl on drums and guitar, keyboardist Page McConnell of Phish, guitarist Warren Fitzgerald of The Vandals, and bassist Steven Shane McDonald of Redd Kross. According to Black, they chose to use a band because "no one's ever heard us with a band". The majority of songs on the album were performed previously on their short-lived television series.
Although the critical reaction varied, by November 2005, the album had achieved platinum status in the US. Entertainment Weekly described the release as "hilarious", and "no mere comedy record". AllMusic wrote that the album "rocks so damn hard", but lamented the absence of some of the songs from the television show. Flak Magazine criticised the band's use of skits between songs, describing them as "distracting" and a "nuisance". In addition, The Independent remarked that the album was full of "swearing and scatology" and was "bereft of even the slightest skidmark of humour".
The first single from the album was "Tribute": a tribute to the "greatest song in the world" which, in the song, Tenacious D claimed they had performed in order to save their souls from a demon. A music video, directed by Liam Lynch, was shot for the song. The video achieved success and was voted the fifth best music video ever by Kerrang! readers. This was followed by the second single, "Wonderboy", the music video of which was directed by Spike Jonze. A third video, an animation depicting Black and Gass as cherubs, was made for "Fuck Her Gently", directed by Ren and Stimpy-creator John Kricfalusi.
The album also included "Dio", a song written as a tribute to rock singer Ronnie James Dio, which mocked him somewhat for being too old. Dio liked the song enough to ask the band to appear in the music video for his song, "Push". An EP entitled D Fun Pak was released in 2002. It featured a skit and acoustic versions of "Jesus Ranch" and "Kyle Quit The Band", as well as a megamix by Mocean Worker. The Complete Masterworks, a music DVD featuring the entire run of their TV series, music videos, and a live performance from London's Brixton Academy recorded in 2002, was released on November 9, 2003.
The Pick of Destiny (2003–2008)
On November 7, 2000, Tenacious D had just finished writing the rough first script for a movie. This script was later scrapped for a plot line about the two searching for a sacred guitar pick.
In October 2003 Black announced that the screenplay for The Pick of Destiny—a fictional portrayal of the band's formation—had been completed. Again working with director Liam Lynch, the film was initially to be written and developed by Working Title Films, but Black and Gass decided to assume creative control when they were not satisfied with the writers' ideas. Filming had been expected to take place by the end of 2003; however, it was delayed by almost a year due to Black being cast in Peter Jackson's big budget remake of King Kong. The band started recording songs for the soundtrack of the film, their second studio album, The Pick of Destiny. This album's recording featured John Konesky on electric guitar and John Spiker on bass—two musicians Gass had met in Ohio when forming his side-project band, Trainwreck. Dave Grohl again played drums, and further lent vocals to "Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)" as well as acting in the film, as Satan.
The film had its premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles on November 9, 2006. Many of the actors who had cameos in the film were in attendance; including Ronnie James Dio, Dave Grohl, and Ben Stiller. The film was released worldwide on November 22. The soundtrack had been released just over a week earlier, on November 14. Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny grossed US$8,334,575 in the US and Canada and a total of US$13,426,450 worldwide, falling well short of its US$20 million production budget and US$40 million in estimated marketing costs. Financially, it is regarded as a box office bomb. The soundtrack reached #8 on the Billboard 200 in the US as well as topping the iTunes chart, and #10 in the UK. The film was released globally on DVD on February 27, 2007. In an interview on the Daily Show on November 30, 2006, Black admitted the film had "bombed", but has recently[when?] said that DVD sales have shown that the film has picked up a cult audience.
Kevin Crust of the Los Angeles Times said that the film "might best be enjoyed in an enhanced state of consciousness, a herbal supplement, and we aren't talking ginkgo biloba." Stephen Rae of The Philadelphia Inquirer said that the frequent drug-use in the film gives "the term potty humor a new meaning." Michael Phillips criticized the frequency of the drug-use by saying: "This may be the problem. Pot rarely helped anybody's comic timing." Stephen Holden of The New York Times suggested that the film could be viewed as a "jolly rock 'n' roll comedy", but he also described the progression of the film as being a "garish mess."
The soundtrack was produced by John King of the Dust Brothers, but the reviews were less favourable than for the band's first album. Rolling Stone comments that the soundtrack "never quite takes off". It criticises the reliance the album makes on a knowledge of the film, and some songs' existence only to "advance the plot". It summarizes by saying the album is inferior to the band's previous effort. Allmusic also describes the follow-up as less "satisfying" than Tenacious D, noting that the songs feel like "narrative filler". Blender continues the criticism of the songs being plot devices calling them "plot-nudging song-sketches". The Guardian views the album more positively, describing the album as a meeting of "old school riffology" and "schoolboy humour".
To coincide with the release of their new film and album, Tenacious D embarked on their 2006–07 tour of the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. This tour included the band's first appearance at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Unlike other tours, this one featured a full backing band. Konesky and Spiker resumed their roles from the album, and Brooks Wackerman was added as drummer. Each member used a pseudonym; Konesky as the Antichrist, Spiker as Charlie Chaplin, and Wackerman as Colonel Sanders. JR Reed also toured as Satan. Black has said that the band lost money on the tour due to the cost of touring with a full band for the first time.
Rize of the Fenix (2008–2015)
In November 2006, Black expressed wishes to take a year-long break from acting, though Gass hinted a desire for Tenacious D to end at their current highpoint. However, Black confirmed that a third album would be recorded by announcing that a new song has been written for it entitled "Deth Star". He said that the album would likely be released in 2010, but on other occasions had mentioned the year 2012. In early 2008, Black announced that the band was working on a new album, and a DVD titled The Complete Masterworks Part 2. The DVD was released later that year, and included a documentary of their world tour entitled D Tour: A Tenacious Documentary. The film focuses on the tour Tenacious D made in support of the film and soundtrack and the consequences of their film's poor showing at the box office. Kyle has commented that the new album only has "one to one and a half" songs written for it, and would like to write between twelve and fifteen.
The band played the main stage at the 2008 Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK, playing Leeds on Friday, August 22 and Reading on Sunday, August 24. In addition to this, the band provided support for Metallica at Marlay Park, Dublin in Ireland on August 20. They headlined the last night of the 2009 Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, on Sunday August 30, 2009. Music magazine Billboard quoted Black as revealing that "We just laid down a hot [...] we're calling it the bomb track. It's a very powerful recording called "Deth Starr" [...] so it has nothing to do with the Star Wars [Death Star]," adding that "It's kind of sci-fi, doomsday rock." Jack Black also stated on the Late Show with David Letterman that he had an idea for a song called "Rize of the Fenix", which he described as a "rise from the ashes" workout song similar to "Eye of the Tiger". He performed a vocal sample of the song along to keyboards. Tenacious D played the main stage at Bonnaroo music festival in 2010, which featured the band playing the song "Dio" as a tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio.
Gass has hinted that the band's third album may be called Tenacious D 3-D, reasoning that "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." Dave Grohl has confirmed that he will appear as the drummer on the album, after performing on both Tenacious D and The Pick of Destiny. In an interview with Spinner.com in December 2010, Black revealed that the band was "about halfway through the writing process" for its new album, telling fans to expect the release of new material "at the end of 2011". In terms of lyrical themes for the new songs, Black noted that "We're gonna be talking about love, there are gonna be some songs about sex and there's gonna be songs about food".
In a May 2011 interview at Attack of the Show, Black announced that three songs on their upcoming album would be named "Rize of the Fenix", distinguishable by either letter or number. Also in the same interview, he named another song called "Señorita". John Konesky estimated that the new album would come out "in spring 2012". Tenacious D also played at Download Festival. In February 2012 it was revealed that the title of the album would in fact be spelled Rize of the Fenix and will be released on May 15, 2012.
On March 26, 2012 a 6-minute film was uploaded to the Tenacious D VEVO channel on YouTube. The mockumentary, titled 'Tenacious D - To Be the Best', documents the uncertain future Tenacious D faced after the box-office failure of The Pick of Destiny, KG's subsequent breakdown and incarceration in "an institution", and Jack's embracing of an indulgent Hollywood lifestyle. The film shows a deranged Kyle escaping the facility and attempting to kill Jack and then himself, before they each realize their importance to each other and revive the band. They produce a new album in 75 minutes in the studio, described as "awful", but try again and emerge with another new album, described at the end of the film as "the greatest album recorded by anyone, ever". The film features numerous cameo appearances, including Maria Menounos, Val Kilmer, Dave Grohl, Yoshiki Hayashi, Josh Groban, Richard Ghagan, Mike White, Tim Robbins and Jimmy Kimmel.
The band released the album on April 28, 2012 in its entirety on their Soundcloud account. Rize of the Fenix was officially released on May 15, 2012 with mostly positive reviews from music critics.
On the Rize of the Fenix album commentary on Spotify, Black stated, "We'll be coming out with another album probably in 2017".
Post-Apocalypto and touring (2012–present)
In 2012, when asked on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast about another movie, Black stated that they had no plans, however he stated that Tenacious D had been thinking about releasing a project on the Internet, an animated series or online episodes in some form. He would also mention this project in other interviews throughout 2012 and 2013.
On February 5, 2016, Black was a guest on BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans Breakfast Show. When asked about the status of the band, Black confirmed that they were working on a new album. Stating that they were "very slow," Black suggested that it would likely be completed in 2018. Black also mentioned that so far they just had a few song titles.
In 2017, while on promotion for the film, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Black stated on the British radio station, Kerrang Radio, that Tenacious D had created an animated series, and that the fourth album would be called Post-Apocalypto.
In 2018, before performing at Hell & Heaven Metal Fest in Mexico City, the band entered the stage to a short studio snippet of their new song "Post-Apocalypto Theme". The night after this, Black asked the audience at Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta, Georgia whether they had seen The Pick of Destiny and that "part 2 is coming out in October". He went to state that "I don't know where you will be able to see it, but we have decided it's happening and it's coming out. Rocktober".
Tenacious D in Post-Apocalypto was released as six individual episodes on YouTube. These would be uploaded from September 28 to November 2. Columbia Records would release the album Post-Apocalypto on the 2nd of November.
At a live screening of the series at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in New York, Black stated that the two would attempt to speed up their album cycle, jokingly commenting about the duo's age if the current speed continues and their record obligation with Sony. Black stated that the fifth album will take time, and "most likely be released [at sometime] after 2020".
Tenacious D has been described as acoustic rock, comedy rock, and heavy metal, with the majority of their songs are played on acoustic guitars and rely heavily on power chords. Satire and comedy are a major aspect of Tenacious D's lyrical content. Gass said of their approach: "I'd love to do the straight music thing, but that's kind of against our mission, which is to rebel against the serious singer-songwriter mentality." Their songs evoke heavy metal clichés of bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. In particular, the song "Dio" pokes fun at the idea of a torch being passed. Songs like "Friendship" parody the lack of real friendship, as well as point out the [bromance] traits in rock groups with the lyric "As long as there's a record deal, we'll always be friends". Tenacious D also employs the technique of deliberate backmasking on "Karate", a technique employed by other metal bands like Slayer, who recorded a message in Hell Awaits.
Black has said that the first song he enjoyed was ABBA's "Take a Chance on Me". His style was distinctly shaped by "big dinosaurs of rock" such as The Who and Led Zeppelin. In addition, Gass lists his influences as being Tom Waits and Tony Robbins. The band claimed that the inspiration for the song "Tribute" came after Black played Metallica's "One" for Gass, describing it as "the best song in the world", leading to an attempt to themselves write an even better song.
Gass has described Tenacious D's comic assertion that they are the best band as being "ridiculous because it's a matter of opinion". Black characterizes Tenacious D's comic nature as an antidote to "the masculinity of rock", adding "There's also something funny about the macho-ness of rock. Like the bands that are the fucking hardest rocking are like, 'We'll fucking kick your ass, dude... with our rock.'" Russell Brand, All Shall Perish, The Lonely Island, and Kanye West have in turn been influenced by the work of Tenacious D.
Film and television
Black and Gass first performed together in Bio-Dome (1996), followed by The Cable Guy (1996), Bongwater (1997), Cradle Will Rock (1999), Saving Silverman (2001), Shallow Hal (2001), and Year One (2009). Black has starred in a number of films himself, and he has provided voices for animated films. In 2006, Tenacious D starred in their own film, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, in which they set out to become the greatest rock band in the world, by means of a guitar pick with mystic powers.
Black and Gass have made several television appearances performing songs from their first album. On June 16, 2001, Tenacious D were featured as puppets performing "Friendship" on an episode of Crank Yankers. They were guest starred when they were taught by Zorak how to perform in an episode of the Cartoon Network/Adult Swim series Space Ghost Coast to Coast. In 2002 they guest starred on MADtv playing the songs "Tribute", & "Lee" with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl on drums. Later, Tenacious D made an appearance in the first episode of Tom Goes to the Mayor televised on Adult Swim.
In the run up to the release of the film The Pick of Destiny, Tenacious D performed the "Pick of Destiny" at the 2006 American Music Awards and on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Tenacious D was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live for the first time, although they had previously appeared as an uncredited musical guest on May 2, 1998. They also opened the 2006 Spike TV Video Game Awards with a performance of "The Metal", and played "Friendship" at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. The band's first television appearance of 2008 was in support of the Who at the VH1 Rock Honors.
Black and Gass were interviewed on August 29, 2012, by Tony Hawk as part of the "Dissent" series on the web channel, Ride. The interview was conducted in the Sirius/XM studios as part of the Hawk's "Demolition Radio" program. The interview's topics include comedy rock and Upland Skatepark.
In 2001, Tenacious D started their second nationwide concert tour, performing at larger venues, many of which sold out. Until 2006, Tenacious D usually performed only with acoustic guitars, rarely with a full backing band. The band has also staged two international concert tours as well as numerous domestic tours, though they have rarely played in non-English speaking countries. Black says this is because foreign concerts are "a little funky" because "the subtleties do get lost in translation". In addition, he comments on the angst they experience before concerts saying: "We're always looking for a loophole. Pretty much every concert we've ever done, we're trying to find a way to cancel the show at the last minute." The band permits live recording during concerts if the venue allows recording. Many of these recordings have been recorded and released through Live Music Archive and are available for free digital download.
The band uses an electronic musical toy saxophone called a Sax-A-Boom on-stage. Each of its keys plays a clip of music that sounds almost like a saxophone. The Sax-A-Boom has now become heavily linked with their act.
On October 23, 2010, the band performed live at the BlizzCon 2010 convention in Anaheim, California. The performance, featured the debut of new songs, and was viewed via an online stream (BlizzCon Virtual Ticket) at blizzcon.rayv.com and on DIRECTV as a Pay Per View event.
On Friday, June 11, 2010, Tenacious D was in the middle of their "One Day Tour" in Manchester, TN for the annual Bonnaroo Music Festival. The band opened for 'Kings of Leon', the first headliner of Bonnaroo 2010.
Throughout November and December 2011, the band supported Foo Fighters during their Wasting Light tour of Australia and New Zealand.
In June 2012, Tenacious D played at the Rock am Ring music festival in Germany. This is the biggest event that Tenacious D have ever played with 86,500 people in attendance.
On Sunday 11 August 2013, Tenacious D played at a theme park Gröna Lund in Stockholm, Sweden. The area holding 17,000 fans was quickly full, forcing Gröna Lund to close the gates 3 hours before the concert. Over 5000 fans were left outside with no chance to see Tenacious D. The Swedish Police called it "chaos" and some fans were even seen swimming into the theme park via the water entrance. Lots of fans also rented pedal boats to see the show from the water This is the biggest show that Tenacious D have ever played that has not been a collaboration with other artists such as a festival.
On November 27, 2015, Tenacious D released their first live album on vinyl, Tenacious D Live, compiling some of their 2012-2013 live performances, and on January 15, 2016, to digital platforms. The live performances album contains music from all 3 albums.
Tenacious D are supporters of cannabis legalization. They have also performed at a NORML benefit concert. Black described his view that allowing drug use would remove the stigma of feeling "naughty" attached to users, making the activity mundane and less attractive. Black was the executive producer for a documentary about Randy Credico entitled Sixty Spins Around the Sun. It calls for the so-called Rockefeller Drug Laws to be repealed. Black said of it, "They're populating our prisons with people, you know, first time drug offenders—single mothers that have a little bit of coke end up going to prison for 20 years or something. It's just cruel and unusual punishment."
In 2004, Tenacious D supported John Kerry's US presidential election campaign by playing a benefit concert for him. Black and Gass were disparaging towards George W. Bush's presidency on many occasions. The band performed a benefit concert for Barack Obama's presidential campaign on November 2, 2008 in Milwaukee. Other performers included Ben Harper and Relentless7, David Crosby and Graham Nash, and the Beastie Boys. Tenacious D guested with Crosby and Nash on "Find the Cost of Freedom" which concluded the Crosby-Nash set. In 2010, Tenacious D agreed to boycott Arizona due to laws passed there concerning illegal immigration. In 2012, Tenacious D performed at the House of Blues in Cleveland and did a surprise gig at Kent State University earlier on that day to encourage voting. Tenacious D supported Barack Obama that year. For the 2016 election, the band did not publicly show support for any candidate. In 2017, Black and Gass performed "The Government Totally Sucks" at an anti-Donald Trump Prophets of Rage show in Los Angeles.
Tenacious D have appeared in numerous music videos by other bands, including "Learn to Fly" by Foo Fighters, "Push" by Dio, and "Photograph" by Weezer. Black has appeared on his own in many music videos, including a cameo alongside Dave Grohl in the music video for the Eagles of Death Metal song "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)", alongside Grohl again in the music video for the Foo Fighters' "Low", a cameo in the music video for the song "Sexx Laws" by Beck, and the video for "Humility" by Gorillaz.
In addition to appearing in videos, Black and Gass sang backup vocals on the 2003 Styx album Cyclorama, on the song "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye". Tenacious D lent backing vocals to The Vandals album Look What I Almost Stepped In..., on the song "Fourteen". Tenacious D appeared on KROQ-FM's twelfth full-length Christmas compilation, Swallow My Eggnog, with Sum 41, on a song entitled "Things I Want". Gass appeared in the Good Charlotte music video for the song "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".
Following Black's popularity in the film industry, he was unable to tour regularly with Gass, so Gass started Trainwreck, under the pseudonym "Klip Calhoun". The band also features JR Reed (Lee of Tenacious D) under the pseudonym "Darryl Donald", as well as Konesky and Spiker, who play lead guitar and bass. They have released a live album, Trainwreck Live, and a studio album The Wreckoning. Black occasionally appeared with the band under the name "Tuffy McFuckelby". Trainwreck broke up in 2010, though reunited in 2018 and announced that they were working on a new album.
Kyle Gass Band
Following the breakup of Trainwreck, Gass started Kyle Gass Band in 2011. The band released their first album, Kyle Gass Band in 2013 and Thundering Herd in 2016. The band features Mike Bray as lead singer - who used to open for Trainwreck shows as the lead singer for Band of Bigfoot. The band also features Konesky reprising his role as electric guitarist.
Gass and Konesky produced a YouTube series between 2009-2012, after Gass was annoyed at people uploading inaccurate guitar chord tutorials for Tenacious D songs. As well as uploading their own Tenacious D song tutorials, the duo also did numerous videos featuring equipment reviews, music shop tours and answering fan mail. From 2013 to 2015, Konesky hosted the series by himself - this including the "Weekly Lick" series. Gass would return in 2015 to perform "Manchild" and "Bro Ho" from the Kyle Gass Band's album, as well as giving tutorials on the songs. Due to the Kyle Gass Band not having their own YouTube channel, the Guitarings channel is usually used to upload many of their videos.
- Jack Black – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1994–present)
- Kyle Gass – lead guitar, backing vocals (1994–present)
- John Konesky – guitars, backing vocals (2005–present, touring and session)
- John Spiker – bass, keyboards, piano, backing vocals (2005–present, touring and session)
- Scott Seiver – drums, percussion (2012–present, touring and session)
- Dave Grohl - drums, additional guitars (2001–present, session and ocassionally live as guest)
Former additional members
- Brooks Wackerman – drums (2006–2015, touring, session on live albums)
|2002||Annie Award||Best Animated Short Subject||"Fuck Her Gently"||Nominated|||
|2003||MVPA Awards||Alternative Video of the Year||"Tribute"||Nominated|||
|2012||Kerrang! Awards||Kerrang! Service to Rock||N/A||Won|||
|2013||Grammy Award||Best Comedy Album||Rize of the Fenix||Nominated|||
|2015||Best Metal Performance||"The Last in Line"||Won|||
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