Trainwreck (band)

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Photograph of the band Trainwreck.jpg
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, USA
Genres Hard rock, southern rock, heavy metal, comedy rock
Years active 2002–2011
Labels Sony BMG/Epic (2004-2007), Jo Jo Entertainment (2008-2010), Space Horse Records, (2013-present)
Associated acts Tenacious D, The Kyle Gass Band
Members Klip Calhoun (Kyle Gass)
Darryl Lee Donald (JR Reed)
John Bartholomew Shredman (John Konesky)
Boy Johnny (John Spiker)
Dallas St. Bernard (Nate Rothacker)

Trainwreck was an American rock band, Kyle Gass formed it in 2002 mostly to act as a side-project for Tenacious D when Jack Black was too busy to play concerts. Unlike Tenacious D, Trainwreck wrote more country rock themed music rather than hard rock, the band also played as country characters with character names. The only difference in members between Trainwreck and Tenacious D were that JR Reed played lead singer, replacing Black and Nate Rothacker played as the drummer, replacing Brooks Wackerman. The band rose in popularity since throughout the majority of the Tenacious D movie, Gass wore a yellow Trainwreck T-shirt.[1]


Beginnings (2002-2003)[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.[2] 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." [3] In 2002, Gass asked her to recruit musicians for the "Trainwreck sideproject" so she found bassist John Spiker and electric guitarist John Konesky.[3] Gass also rounded up JR Reed as lead vocals, Chris D'Arienzo as keyboard and Kevin Weisman as drums. Trainwreck played their first concert at Highland Grounds in Los Angeles on the 2nd of August 2002. The band would then go on to play many Los Angeles and Ohio club shows. They would then in 2003 go onto having their first ever full-on US tour where they played the likes of New York, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta to name a few. This tour was called the Pacific Rimjob tour.[4]

Supporting Act (2004-2005)[edit]

Later on, Trainwreck toured the US supporting the Reverend Horton Heat and the Supersuckers. On September the 5th in 2004 - Trainwreck played their one at only festival at Moe Down Festival. In 2005, it should be noted that throughout October - Trainwreck played The Viper Room every week of the month as well as playing many more club dates throughout the year in Nevada and Arizona. Trainwreck also featured on Current TV's 2005 halloween special performing "TV Theme" as the musical guest. At some-point in 2004, D'Arienzo and Weisman left Trainwreck, which lead for Konesky and Spiker to recruit fellow Ohio drummer Nate Rothacker to replace Weisman in the band. Trainwreck was left without a pianist, but it should be noted that D'Arienzo and Weisman would still perform in Trainwreck further on, but just as occasional guests.

The Pick Of Destiny (2006-2007)[edit]

Trainwreck performed on the official score for the Tenacious D movie with their songs 'Caveman' and 'I Wanna Know'. Gass also wears a Trainwreck T-shirt during the vast majority of the film as well as appearing in it on the film posters and on other various merchandise for the movie. 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. 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. These were the band's first international dates.

Various Appearances (2007-2009)[edit]

In the early part of 2007, Trainwreck played a California show in January and a California show in April, and then later on embarked on a tour in June touring California, Oregon and Washington. They also played gigs in July, September and October in California. In 2008, Trainwreck performed their second England and Canadian dates at Dingwalls in London and at the Reverb Club in Toronto as well as playing various shows in California. In 2009, the band played various California shows, as well as recording their debut studio album which they would then launch in 2010.

The Wreckoning (2010)[edit]

The band released their debut 15-track album in early 2010. The first copies of the album were signed and put on the band's Etsy store available in either CD or Vinyl format. There were also signed promo posters available too. Later on, the album came available on iTunes and Amazon in MP3 digital format. There were also two music videos created in support for the album - 'Brodeo' and 'Tim Blankenship'. The band went on a tour to support the new album in California in January and February, and then throughout March and May toured various cities of the United States. In June during Tenacious D's Bonnaroo Music Festival slot, Rothacker replaced Brooks Wackerman whilst he was on tour with Bad Religion. Later on, in September, they began touring again after a short absence.

Break Up (2010-2011)[edit]

The band played their last show on the 25th 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, and they canned the rest of their eleven shows. In an interview, Gass informed that something 'psychologically traumatic' at the Chicago show caused the band to split [5] and notably in a radio interview, Gass mentioned that one of the members had accidentally left the key off the band's trailer.[6] Konesky also claimed in another interview that it was a disagreement held between a couple of the members.[7] After five months of in-activity, in March 2011, they announced their closure on their Facebook page and linked their fans to The Kyle Gass Band as well as linking them to a clearance on their Big Cartel store.[8]


Featured On[edit]

Band Members[edit]

Former Members[edit]

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


External links[edit]