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[INTERVIEW] Jack Black Gets Candid About Music, Movies, and Games

Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D are ready to blow the roof off The Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum.

Tenacious D released their last album Tenacious D in Post-Apocalypto last year and will be bringing it live to DFW. The duo is scheduled to perform on October 19th. Doors will open at 7PM and the music will be unleashed an hour later. Cinema fans may recognize the band from the cult movie classic Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, which followed their legendary journey to rock and roll immortality. Click here to get tickets or find out more information about the concert and venue.

Of course, Jack Black is no stranger to the big screen or music. He headed up the award-winning movie School of Rock and has starred in numerous other blockbuster hits such as Shallow Hal, King Kong, Nacho Libre, and the Jumanji reboots. Since he is heading to Dallas next month, we thought it might be a good idea to catch up and see what we can expect from his debut at The Bomb Factory. Jack was kind enough to agree and what followed was one of our funniest and most open interviews to date. Take a look at what he had to say and also be sure to hear Tenacious D bring the “spicy mustard” to Deep Ellum later next month!

You've received numerous awards for acting in blockbuster movies and you have a successful music career. What would you consider your highest achievement thus far?

Probably School of Rock. That was like my tombstone. That's my biggest gig and my big breakthrough. I've gotten a lot of satisfaction from Tenacious D. Every album is like a baby because that one's all mine. You know? The writing, directing, and starring in each one of those projects.

Are there any projects you've done that you regret?

No. [laughs] No, none that I would ever admit to.

You’ve actually got a new movie, Jumanji: The Next Level, coming out later this year.

That one I definitely don’t regret; that’s for sure.

You’re known for being a gamer. What games are you currently into?

I’ve been playing this golf game on my phone. My phone has ruined my gaming career because I was all about the Xbox until my iPhone took over my life. Now there's a game called W… Is it called WTF? It can’t be called WTF. Hold on let me look… It’s called WGT Golf.

Close enough.

Yeah, it's a great golf game for your phone. It's a great app, but they found a way to suck all the money out of my wallet and it's a pet peeve of mine, all these f*cking phone games. They can be fun, but I'm from a generation where you bought a game and you were done buying sh*t. Do you know what I mean? You could play the whole game for your 50 bucks or whatever it is. Fifty bucks seemed like a lot of money for a game back in the day.

Now, with these little crappy phone apps with the in-app purchases, you can spend hundreds of dollars on stupid ass games. The graphics are not better than my rad Xbox games. They figured out a way to rig the system and I hate them for it. But, in the meantime, I continued to just give them my money because I'm a sucker.

You are spot on with that. I can't think of a truer statement I've heard today.

I keep on meaning to play Red Dead Redemption. I’ve started playing it but I’ve just scratched the surface. I just can't carve out the time in my life, you know. I’ve got kids and I’ve got jobs. I am looking forward to retirement when I'm in the old folk’s home and really catch up on all those video games that I've let fall by the wayside. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

Let’s just hope the arthritis holds off so you can do that.

I guess that would f*ck with my gaming. But you know, those Rockstar Games like Red Dead and the Grand Theft Auto don’t require all that much finger strength or speed. It's more like watching a movie. It’s like Bandersnatch where it's a hybrid between a movie and a video game. Did you check out Bandersnatch?

I heard it was awesome. So yeah, I had to check it out.

Hell yeah! That's the future. It's half game and half movie. It won an Emmy for Best TV Movie and I thought that they deserved it, just for the innovation of the choosing your own adventure style. It’s so rad and exciting. Those Black Mirror folks know what they're doing. They’ve got some good episodes too.

Speaking of Hollywood, you apparently made some comments a few years back that offended some folks involved in making superhero movies. Let's go ahead and bridge that void. You were considered for playing Green Lantern before that movie came out. What superhero could you see yourself playing?

Yep. Then they gave it to the pretty boy and you see how that turned out. Great job Hollywood. You sure f*cked that one up. Mine was going to make a billion dollars but, you know, hindsight is 20/20. And I don't begrudge him; I like that guy's new superhero movie as long as he keeps the mask on. Just don't take that mask off because that's when everything gets f*cked. What's his name again? I can't remember his name.

Ryan Reynolds?

Yes. Thank you. Thank you, Ryan Reynolds. I do enjoy the twists and turns that his career has taken because it took him a while to get it going, but now he's on fuego. More power to him. What was the question again? What would I want to do?

What superhero movie would you do or what superhero would you be?

You know, I'd have to be some fat pain in the @ss. Maybe Penguin would be a good role for me or maybe Thing. If you put me in the right muscle suit made of rocks I could be the Thing from Fantastic Four.

I don’t know, man. I’ve seen you do Chris Hemsworth’s workout and you nailed it. Don’t sell yourself short.

Oh yeah! No, I I've got some upper body strength. It's just covered in fat. I'm trying to think if there's any other good fat superheroes, but nothing's coming to mind. Maybe I could be, like, Buddha. That’s not a superhero, he's a religious figure. He's the king of the of the Buddhists. His power could be that he can float around and talk to animals. He's pretty rad. He's real mellow and super Zen.

You may have to work that into your next album.

I'd like to play Buddha. You think they could work him into the MCU?

I don't see why not. It seems, at this point, that they let anybody in.

But I definitely would get in trouble for taking an Asian-American role; that could actually be the end of my career. So, there's that… Do you remember how much trouble Tilda Swinton got in? She got into big trouble for playing that role in Dr. Strange. So, you don't really want to f*ck with that. In fact, next question please.

Fair enough. So, Tenacious D used to be a popular basketball term. Why did you think it was a good idea to apply it as your band’s name?

Well at the time we thought it was hilarious, but in retrospect it was pretty dumb. It's not a very good name for a band, and it's not even really funny anymore. I don't know. Tenacious D. We thought it was just pure gold. It's funny how things somethings age well like a fine wine, but that name for a band is kind of like aged mayonnaise. You don't want to be called Tenacious D. But you know what? It served us well.

It's just among a list of lots of great bands with crappy names. The Beatles? That's a dumb name. I guess because it's a bug and also the word “beat” is in there. So, it's like they keep the beat. Just another dumb name for a band. Another dumb name? U2. It’s just the letter U and the number two. That's some high school sh*t. My point is that it doesn't really matter. The only thing that matters is the content. Do you bring the spicy mustard sauce? If you do you'll be all right.

I read that years ago you would trade Kyle Gass food from Jack In The Box for music lessons. Who got the better end of that deal?

Oh man, that's a tough one. Those music lessons were crucial, but have you ever had Jack In The Box’s seasoned curly fries? Those are some of the best french fried potatoes in the world. I started leaking in my mouth just now. I'm going to call it a tie.

Will we ever actually get to hear the greatest song in the world?

There is a school of thought that it is the song in the Pick of Destiny, Beelzebub. But, you know, it's always a matter of opinion. That's the joke of the greatest song in the world. It's not really a definable thing. It's not really a measurable quantity. Scientifically, it doesn't make any sense to say something is the best song in the world. That’s the joke. It's in the ear of the beholder. One man’s eargasm is another man’s sh*tty music.

For those who've never been to a Tenacious D concert (or even those that have been), what can they expect from your upcoming concert in Dallas?

Well, for those audience members that are old enough to have seen Pink Floyd’s The Wall, that's what it's being compared to. It's a rock opera. It's epic. It's powerful. It's hilarious. It's rated R. Some say it’s rated X but I'm just going to say it’s a really hard R.

Are you keeping your clothes on?

I keep my pants on, but it's all animated. There's, like, a lot of drawings that will be projected on the screens around us. There’s full penetration, but it's like a really bad cartoon drawing trying to do it. It doesn't seem like it should get the same rating as a pornographic film. You get away with a lot more. Have you ever see the movie Sausage Party? You know you never would have been able to do any of that sh*t if it wasn’t a cartoon.

I was thinking that you were going to say Team America.

Aw, the best! You know, there's an unrated version that has an even funnier though sex montage. They went with, like, a full Cleveland Steamer, but only in the not rated version. You won’t get that on TV. You're not going to get that on iTunes or iMovie, but I highly recommend it. That is one of the greats.

I wouldn't call a rock opera, but man can they write some funny songs. Ah, Team America World Police… It all came down to that one weird homeless person, sort of, moral of the story. Know what I mean?

Yes, I do.

Genius and true. You can't really argue with it. They also did it with Book of Mormon. Did you see that show?

That is one that I have not seen.

They crack the code on Broadway, dude. It is the spiciest mustard, every bit as spicy as Team America. Somehow, they made it so we're laughing our @ss off, but then you look over there and there's an 80-year-old grandma laughing her balls off. How do they do it? It's like some kind of magic trick. It's wizardry.

They definitely have found a way to make some hits. Are you ready for few rapid-fire questions?


Favorite singer?

I'm going to go with that Aerosmith guy.

Favorite song?

I'm going to go with that AC/DC song, Shake A Leg.

Instrument you wish that you could play?


Song you hate to admit that you like?

What’s that song again by Chicago? I’m going to have to look it up. F*cking Chicago, dude. They are my guilty pleasure. I want to nail it. [He proceeds to cuss out his iTunes for not allowing him to log in so he could search] If You Leave Me Now, that’s it.

What would a song title be for the story of your life?

Wow… Sh*t, it would be really embarrassing to say because I've had a very charmed life, so it’d be something like Juke Box Hero.

Now I’m going to give you a subject and I want you to tell me the first word that comes to mind.


Kyle Gass



What's that one jam? It’s their biggest hit. [Proceeds to belt out a few lines from the chorus of How You Remind Me] Only one word?

I’ll let you slide and use a couple if needed.

This is unfair, but I'm going to go with cheesy. If I only get one word it’s cheesy.

Fair enough. Next topic, pirate metal.

What's that? Pirate metal? One word? Um, arrrggghhh!

I didn't know what that was until about a year and a half ago. Apparently, it's heavy metal music with pirate lyrics. That may be right up your alley.

That's a new genre to me.

Taylor Swift


Do I want to know why?

You be careful if you date Taylor Swift. She's going to write it song about it. She will cause you a whole world of hurt.

The next and last topic, Texas.

I'm going with barbecue.

Good answer.

I want you to spell out barbecue, not just BBQ.

Are you sure you don’t want me to put the word “Bar” and the letters BQ?

No. Come on...

Alright, I'll have to edit it. No acronym. That's all the questions I had for you. I appreciate it.

Absolutely man. Thank you. I’ll see you at the show.