Trainwreck (band)

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Photograph of the band Trainwreck.jpg
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Hard rock, southern rock, heavy metal, comedy rock
Years active 2002–2010
Labels Sony BMG/Epic (2004-2007), Jo Jo Entertainment (2008-2010), Space Horse Records, (2013-present)
Associated acts Tenacious D, Kyle Gass Band
Members Darryl Lee Donald (JR Reed)
Klip Calhoun (Kyle Gass)
John Bartholomew Shredman (John Konesky)
Boy Johnny (John Spiker)
Dallas St. Bernard (Nate Rothacker)

Trainwreck were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles in 2002. The group featured JR Reed on lead vocals, Kyle Gass on acoustic guitar, John Konesky on electric guitar and John Spiker on bass. The band's line-up originally featured Kevin Weisman on drums and Chris D'Arienzo on the keyboards up until 2005. Nate Rothacker became the second drummer for Trainwreck in 2005. The band released one studio album, one live album, two EPs and one single before splitting up in 2010.

The band were best known for their association with Tenacious D due to the vast majority of members also having some form of role in Tenacious D. Jack Black would occasionally appear as a guest at some Trainwreck concerts. Trainwreck performed under their "alter-egos" with different clothing and talking with country accents to represent their southern style of music, for example Kyle Gass became "Klip Calhoun". Reed was well known for performing with obscure instruments during sets such as a washerboard and whistles.


Beginnings (2002-2005)[edit]

Gass started the rock band Tenacious D along with Jack Black in 1994. Black became very popular in the turn of the new millennium with many film and TV roles which led for Black to not have as much time to spend playing gigs with Gass - so Gass created Trainwreck to keep him musically active when Black was busy.[1] In December 2001, Tenacious D played a concert with Weezer and Jimmy Eat World in Value City Arena, where Kyle Gass befriended Erin Robinson, who described herself as a "huge D fan." [2] In 2002, Trainwreck were formed, but just as an occasional band with JR Reed on vocals, Kevin Weisman on drums and Gass as guitar and played their first concert at Highland Grounds in Los Angeles on 2 August 2002. In 2003, Gass asked Erin Robinson to recruit electric backing musicians for the "Trainwreck sideproject" so she found bassist John Spiker and electric guitarist John Konesky.[2] At this point, Gass, Reed and Weisman also added Chris D'Arienzo as keyboard in addition.[3] Trainwreck made their first TV appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2004 and featured on Current TV's 2005 Halloween special performing "TV Theme" as the musical guest.

The Pick of Destiny & Touring (2006-2008)[edit]

Trainwreck performed on the official score, later released as More Rocktastic Music From The Film, for the Tenacious D movie with their songs 'Caveman', 'I Wanna Know' and 'John Bartholomew Shredman'. Gass wears a Trainwreck T-shirt during the vast majority of the film as well as appearing in it on promotional materials such as the official poster. For the concert tour to support the movie and soundtrack, Konesky and Spiker were recruited to play guitar for the shows based on their work with Trainwreck. Rothacker worked as a roadie and drum-tech. Because the Pick Of Destiny tour featured all the members of Trainwreck, Trainwreck played shows in the cities they were in on their days off. This is notable because the band performed at the Scala in England, the Annandale Hotel in Australia and the Mod Club Theater in Canada which were the band's first international dates. In late 2006, Black expressed wishes for 2007 to take a break from the entertainment industry, this meant for Trainwreck to tour during 2007, especially in the summer, to keep Gass musically active.

In September 2008, Trainwreck released their first music video Tim Blankenship directed by Nick Simon. The actual song itself would later feature on their debut album.

The Wreckoning (2009-2010)[edit]

The band released their debut 15-track album on 2 December 2009 at The Roxy in Los Angeles. There was also a music video created in support for the album - Brodeo. The band also released a music video for "Baby, Let's Rock" off of Trainwreck's 2003 "2 Tracks" single. The band went on a tour to support the new album throughout March and May in various cities of the United States. In June during Tenacious D's Bonnaroo Music Festival slot, Rothacker played for Tenacious D for the first time as he replaced Brooks Wackerman due to him being on tour with Bad Religion. Later on, in September, they began touring again after a short absence. The band played their last show on the 25 September 2010 at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago. This show was in the middle of their Transcontinental Railroad tour - the Chicago show was their tenth show into the tour. Reed informed in a podcast that after the Chicago show, the band forgot to lock their trailer properly and equipment fell out the back during the drive, causing them to cancel the remaining eleven shows for the tour.[4] After five months of in-activity, in March 2011, they announced their closure on their Facebook page as Gass, Konesky and Rothacker formed Kyle Gass Band.


Band Members[edit]

Former Members[edit]

  • Lance Branson (Chris D'Arienzo) - keyboard, vocals
  • Kenny Bob Thornton (Kevin Weisman) - drums


  1. ^ Tranchell, T.J. (2006-06-28). "Waking Up with Kyle Gass". Reverb. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  2. ^ a b "Destiny lands Ohioans jobs with". The Columbus Dispatch. 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2007-03-11. 
  3. ^ Michael Libby (2004-10-20). "'Tenacious' musician starts his own Trainwreck". Lifestyle. Retrieved 2006-12-30. [dead link]
  4. ^
  5. ^

External links[edit]