Tenacious D on classic rock and fresh cock

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For those who haven’t seen the movie Tenacious D in “The Pick of Destiny”, one of the funniest lines in the musical comedy is “Use the cock.” It may not sound all that hilarious out of context, but trust me, it works in the film. So when I talked to Jack Black and his Tenacious D partner, Kyle Gass, about their upcoming Vancouver shows, I felt it was my journalistic duty to ask if we can expect any fresh “cock material”. It was a question Black and Gass apparently weren’t expecting—either that, or they didn’t hear my last word. In fact, it took so long for Black to say anything I was beginning to think we had been disconnected. But eventually he broke the silence.

Black: “Wow.”

Gass: “Wow.”

Black: “Yeah, all I can say to that is ”˜Wow”¦’ Could you repeat the question?”

Gass: “I think she wants to know if there will be any fresh cock. I would say ”˜Yes.’ And can we get her a backstage pass?”

Black: “There will be fresh cock. There will be stale old cock. Cocks will be a-flying in every direction, I can assure you. It will be a veritable sausage fest—I guarantee it.”

With that bit of awkwardness behind us, I expected the rest of the interview to be a cinch. But no, the two-man comedy troupe, which has been performing as Tenacious D since 1997, insists on doing interviews en masse. On a three-way phone call, that means listening to them talk to and over each other, meaning that getting a fat quote from them is next to impossible.

Anyone who thought Black had finally shot his air-guitar load with School of Rock was wrong. Both The Pick of Destiny and its soundtrack are hilarious piss-takes on rock ’n’ roll, the ultimate breeding ground for ridiculous clichés. One of the best songs is “Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)”, a metal rock-off with Satan (played and sung by Dave Grohl). Which brings us to the soundtrack’s opener, “Kickapoo”. This operatic rock number features Ronnie James Dio and Meat Loaf and is chock full of guitar riffs that smell a lot like teen spirit.

Throughout the album, Black proves that not only does he stand alone as one of the great multidisciplinary comic geniuses of our time, he also has an impressive vocal range, capable of reaching ear-shatteringly high pitches to rival Rob Halford. It’s an album that will have you banging your head and laughing out loud—though sometimes against your better judgment.

Tenacious D plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Tuesday and Wednesday (February 20 and 21).