TENACIOUS D IN THE PICK OF DESTINY - On the red carpet at the London world premiere
Movie interview by Siobhan Daly
PHASE9 catches up with the newly-crowned Kings of Rock Jack Black and Kyle Gass as they unleash on the world their new film TENACIOUS D IN THE PICK OF DESTINY.
Thousands of fans turned out into London's Leicester Square on Wednesday 1 November, braving the biting November cold to catch sight of Tenacious D, self-appointed 'Greatest Band in the World' at the world premiere of their debut movie. As the celebrities started to arrive, PHASE9 decided to investigate what kind of people would sacrifice their comfort and a large part of their day to get prime locations outside the cinema and found, in true rock fashion, some very die-hard fans.
Amongst the crowd, Paddy and his girlfriend Jerry had taken the day off from uni and travelled from Ealing. Paddy was ecstatic in his praise of Jack Black; "I love Jack Black! I would marry him. I really would, right now if I could!" which Jerry kindly didn't seem to object to. He continued, "I love Tenacious D. I would love to see them. I just love them. I really want a photo with them. That would be amazing." But they weren't the only serious aficionados.
Further down a line, and a little closer to the action was Lucy and her friends, one of whom had booked the day off work just to come down and join the melee. Travelling down from Enfield and Tottenham, they all agreed, "They're mad and we love them!".
The first celeb to rock up the red carpet was bona fide rock god, Ronnie James Dio. Described by Jack Black as "a real legit dark power", Dio is a heavy metal rock vocalist who has performed with Black Sabbath, most famously on their album 'Heaven and Hell'. He makes a cameo as himself in the film, turning up to inspire the young Jack Black to follow his rock dreams.
When asked what he's been up to, Dio said, "I've been with Tony Iommi [Sabbath's guitarist and songwriter], writing and doing Sabbath thing and we're doing Monsters of Rock in June."
"I've come to the premiere as Jack is a dear friend and I wanted to see how what I did turned out in the film. I haven't seen it yet. Jack and I recorded the song, then spent about 1 hour on set and about 14 hours sitting around. It was only me and Jack filming, so I sadly didn't get to meet the rest of the cast like Ben Stiller or Meat Loaf who plays Jack's Dad."
PHASE9 wanted to find out if there was really a Pick of Destiny and get the low-down for all the aspiring rockers out there. Perhaps to put off any fellow seekers of rock immortality, he may not have told the whole truth, but he did say, "There is not a Pick of Destiny as far as I know of. If there was, it would have been Jimmy Hendrix's. We wanted to use his pick as Pick of Destiny but I think that was a problem with Jimmy's family and they wanted about seven million for it or something. I know they [Tenacious D] wanted that first but without it being Jimmy's pick, I don't really think there could be a Pick of Destiny, unless it was Jack and Kyle's." Something for future rockers to bear in mind.
"Jack is a great singer and has a great voice. He has one of the most wonderful attitudes I've ever seen and is one of the most intense people that I've ever known. We're going to be doing another Sabbath tour and I'm going to invite Jack to come up and sing Heaven and Hell with me." So Tenacious D already have the passionate supporters and they now have true rock approval. What else do they need?
Maybe you need to do extreme rock actions to join the pantheon of rock greatness? Dio isn't so sure. "The most rock and roll thing I've ever done involve me being legless and very sorry for what I've done the next day, like everybody else I guess."
Do you need to perfect a power slide to be a real rock god? He told us that "I'm no good at power slides," which may be reassuring for some to know that you can still be a grand wizard of classic rock without the power slide theatrics. Phew.
So how did you get involved in the film? "Jack sent me a letter saying 'We're finally making the film' and asked me to play the part of Ronnie James Dio, which was pretty easy for me. He also said, 'If you don't, I won't make the film or I will, but it won't be as good without you in there'. As Jack's my friend, I did it for him. I'm not an actor. I'm playing me, so it was really, really easy. When other things come up I probably won't do them as I'd feel a fool. I feel a fool walking up this red carpet. Who am I? I'm not a film person. Put me on a stage, it's a different situation! Right now, no, it's not that important to me." True humility from a legend.
A young pretender to the rock throne who turned up to the premiere, perhaps to try and glean some clues from The D was Little Chris from Channel 4's ROCK SCHOOL. Recently performing in front of 20,000 Judas Priest fans in LA, Chris told us that he still found walking down the red carpet "Really brilliant. Jack Black is wicked. I'm here to rock tonight. I think there's lot to learn from Jack Black, especially the fact that he doesn't take himself too seriously unlike a lot of people nowadays."
But Little Chris has competition in the clamour for rock greatness from British band Fightstar. Fronted by former Busted star, Charlie Simpson, they revealed that they are also big fans of Tenacious D. "We're here to steal the Pick of Destiny." An impressive mission. "We've liked them from their HBO show and then their album. Our favourite song by them is Wonder Boy." So apart from trying to steal the Pick, what else are the band up to? Any insider gossip? "We're writing for our next record currently. It's a bit throwback to 90s, old school rock music. It's where most of our influences lie, the music we were listening to when we grew up." So now you know.
Actor Simon Pegg and Justin Hawkins, formerly of rock band The Darkness, both declined to be interviewed, presumably in their rush to beat Fightstar to the Pick and thereby find eternal coolness. Also dashing past were DJ Jono Coleman, Anna Popplewell of Narnia fame and former Eastenders actress Charlie Brooks. The lovely Gail Porter stopped for a chat and let us know that she would also love to marry Jack Black, perhaps unaware that Jack Black is already married and that there were also many unscrupulous rivals vying with her the coveted spot of Jack's spouse outside the cinema already.
But the highlight of the night however was the regal arrival of the film's stars, Jack Black and Kyle Gass. As they put it themselves, "All Hail the Kings of Rock and Roll." Quite.
Appropriately dressed as kings in red ermine trimmed cloaks, crowns and sceptres, they said, "We've always been the two kings. It's our right of birth." Kyle let us know, "Jack is the King of Rock and I'm the King of Roll. We make a wonderful dessert pastry and we shall ride into the sunset."
He didn't however fancy marrying into the British royal family. "No, no there's too much in-breeding in the Windsors. We're taking their crown away from them." Spoken like a true rock anarchist.
Although like Ronnie James Dio, they declined from showing their power slide ("If you see the film, you'll see a power slide like you've never seen in your life"), they did allude to the secret of what the 'D' stands for (Jack - "Don't tell them!" Kyle -" No! I was that close to giving away the secret!" Jack - "Maybe another time...It's Tenacious Donkey.")
They discussed their celebrity friends making appearances in the film, including Meat Loaf who was apparently a very strict father. "Thank goodness I'm not Jack Loaf that's all I can say."
Tim Robbins also has a role in the film and King Jack let us into how they got him involved. "When we were in his Actors' Gang in LA, he ruled with an iron fist but when Kyle and I were both free of it and started out on our own, he bristled. He tried to quash us but we slithered away. Now that we're on top of the universe and on our quest for cinema history, he joined willingly and gave us his all. Tim we salute you."
So, as a true rock and roll band, what's on the Tenacious D rider? Kyle reveals, "We have 3 Columbian whores, cocaine, an ounce of your best marijuana and some hummus. We just like hummus."
With all these aspiring rock gods turning up to the world premiere, what advice can The D give to them? "Give up, you have no chance," proclaims King Kyle. "Music will become obsolete as we know it anyway". But perhaps they might take solace in the fact that Jack revealed he's "hung up my inward singing, I blew an inward gasket. But you can do it."
They let us know that it had taken "the entire century to make this film", but with a film as good as THE PICK OF DESTINY, let's hope it's not too long before their next glorious cinematic outing into rock stardom.