When Kyle Gass was becoming heavily dependent on drugs in 2010, his Tenacious D partner, and musical other half, Jack Black, hired a private jet to scoot his bandmate directly to the doors of a rehabilitation center in the mountains.
“I said, ‘dude, we’re just worried about you, [and] we want to give you a red carpet to the best rehab,” Black remembers saying to Gass, who was reluctant to get help, in an exclusive audio clip shared with American Songwriter. “You were like, ‘no, no, I don’t need it. I don’t want to. I’m good,’ and I was like, ‘dude, I already rented the private jet.’ You were so touched and moved that I had gone ahead and rolled out the red carpet that you were like ‘okay.’”
The duo shares their story of interventions, musical innovations, nearly 30 years as a band and their friendship on the Audible Original “Words + Music” series, The Road to Redunktion, premiering Aug. 5.
“For better and for worse, I also did the calculation [and] you and Tenacious D are kind of my life’s blood,” shared Gass, who said he was questioning his success and dealing with other inner demons. “It was just that important, and I knew if you were feeling that serious, with the private jet and all, I had to take it. I thought what’s the worst thing that can happen. It’s gonna be an adventure. And I think part of me sensed an adult time out.”
Gass previously admitted to eating large quantities of marijuana brownies. “Every day, I’d send my assistant to the store,” said Gass of his unhealthy addiction. “We have stores where you can buy it. It’s crazy. I had a desperate need to be Van Gogh or something… some tremendous artist. Jack’s so successful. What’s wrong with me? Why isn’t this working for me? I hated myself.”
Black remembers driving Gass to the tarmac to catch his flight to rehab, revealing more specifics of Gass’ addiction. “It was a sweet place out in the mountains of Utah,” said Black. “I got in my car and we drove to the PJ (private jet) that was waiting on the tarmac, and as we were driving there, you weren’t on cocaine or any kind of hard drugs. You were just like on a super extreme amount of THC and caffeine.”
He added, “I don’t know if you can OD on THC and caffeine but I think there was also a certain amount of just ups and downs madness that was well along with that.”
Gass joked that his addictions were an “embarrassment” considering that most people are in rehab for “serious” drugs and addiction. “I felt like I was losing you and the D [Tenacious D], and I just I couldn’t deal,” shared Gass. “It was difficult, but I also didn’t want to put you in some a horrible position.”
As for the private jet, Gass likened the rehab center to a “pretty luxurious” Cirque de Soleil and was most thankful for the anonymity of flying by private jet. “Thank God we went on a private plane. I didn’t want any fucking Southwest Airlines passengers capturing it on their phones,” joked Gass, “us hugging in the aisle, crying.”
Featuring a scripted intro from Tenacious mainstay, comedian Paul F. Tompkins, the two-hour The Road to Redunktion, produced along with Fresh Produce Media, also features archival audio accompanying the pair’s life and band stories and seven newly recorded songs, along with instrumental and other musical exclusives.
“In addition to seven newly recorded catalog songs exclusive to this volume, Tenacious D: The Road to Redunktion features 30 years of never-before-heard archival audio, bringing to life every anecdote with a docu-quality that places listeners right then and there,” reads a description of the pair’s audio journey. “What’s unexpected is just how sweet it is to spend two hours with two true friends, both monstrously talented, delighting in their creativity and their unlikely journey from the living room to the stars.”
Early this year, the pair released “The Who Medley,” a three-song tribute to The Who’s 1969 rock opera Tommy to benefit gun safety. Performed in typical D style with proceeds from the sale of the limited edition 7” vinyl release benefitting Everytown For Gun Safety. In 2021 Black and Gass also celebrated the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut with the release of a “Super Power Party Pack” edition of the project, featuring a reissue of the band’s original 1995 demo cassette and 2002 Tribute EP.
Tenacious D is set to kick off the fall leg of their North American tour, along with guest DJ Douggpound, editor for Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
Tenacious D Tour Dates:
9/9/22: Wilmington, NC – Live Oak Bank Pavilion #
9/10/22: Alton, VA – Blue Ridge Rock Festival
9/11/22: Philadelphia, PA – The Mann Center #
9/13/22: Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion #
9/14/22: Bridgeport, CT – Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater #
9/16/22: Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center #
9/18/22: Milwaukee, WI – BMO Harris Pavilion #
9/19/22: Minneapolis, MN – Surly Festival Field # –
9/20/22: Cedar Rapids, IA – McGrath Amphitheater #
9/22/22: Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life Festival
# with special guest Dj Douggpound
Listen to more excerpts from the Audible series HERE, and the exclusive full clip of Black’s intervention with Gass below:
Photo: Audible Cover Art / Shore Fire Media