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Klip Calhoun (Kyle Gass) and Darryl Lee Donald (J.R. Reed) of Trainwreck.

The hold music I hear before speaking with Kyle Gass of Trainwreck and

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Waking Up with Kyle Gass

We've been mean to KG in the past, but, hey, at least we aren't Fresno.

trainwreck.jpg
Klip Calhoun (Kyle Gass) and Darryl Lee Donald (J.R. Reed) of Trainwreck.

The hold music I hear before speaking with Kyle Gass of Trainwreck and Tenacious D is “Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)” from the Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny soundtrack. It’s way great way to kick off a 10:30 a.m. interview. I didn't waste any of KG's morning, got right to it.

Seattle Weekly: Tell me about Trainwreck.

Kyle Gass: Trainwreck started many moons ago. I’d say four or five years ago. Page McConnell of Phish was doing a side project called Vida Blue and he asked me open. I was like, alright I can’t play solo but, wait a minute, I’ve been forming this band in my mind with my buddy J.R. who plays Lee in the Tenacious D oeuvre and, I don’t know, it just kind of developed. We went out to Columbus, Ohio, and picked up some musicians and went on a little tour and it kind of evolved into the kick ass, shit-kicking pleasure we know as Trainwreck today.

The concept, the mythology of the band, the pseudonyms, was that part of the original idea?

That was part of the original. It was designed for J.R. because he just looks so damn good in a mullet. And I just kind said, “I’m gonna join that look,” and it went from there. Plus I thought, well, if it’s me in a band, I don’t know that I really want to put KG in another band, really. It would be more fun to adopt a thinly veiled guise. It’s not really heavy on the character. My wig comes off pretty fast after the show. And then I’m just hitting on girls as me.

How’s that working out for you?

Pretty bad, really. I think I might be too old now. There’s a lot of pathos and it’s pretty desperate at this point. What can we do. Read the rest of the Kyle Gass interview by clicking here.

But you’re out there.

Yeah, I’m out there, just trying to have a fun retirement.

Has it gotten better since Pick of Destiny came out?

No, no. I think it might have hurt. If it would have done better, but the numbers weren’t there. I’ve met a bunch of people on the road who enjoyed it. I saw it in my hotel. I saw it in the strip division menu. I thought, “Well, that’s good. You can watch some porn or you can go watch some POD.”

Speaking of the road, Trainwreck has been in Seattle three times before. If the third time is a charm, what’s the fourth?

The fourth time is the double redemption round. I don’t know what it is. Where are we playing this time?

The Tractor Tavern.

The Tractor Tavern, again. We’re paying the rent there. Seattle’s been pretty good. I think the last time, you guys said, what did you call us? “Hollywood hipsters doing country,” I don’t know. You were mean to us. It’s to be expected from you lefty, liberal, too cool for school, weekly newspapers, and your Seattle ‘tude. Give us a chance, Seattle.

I’m not from here originally, so I have nothing to do with those guys.

OK, good. You’re the outsider. Where are you from?

I’m from Las Vegas, just here for the summer.

Oh, cool. That’s where J.R. is from. Right on.

How long have you known J.R.? You’ve been working with him for a while now.

Probably, oh, going on fifteen years now.

And you still like each other apparently.

Yeah. We’re bonded through the drugs, the pipes hold us together. He’s a good buddy. We have a good time. Still trying to rescue his career. You can only do so much.

Speaking of career rescue, any plans for a Saving Silverman follow up?

I haven’t heard. Maybe they should. Any movie, even if you’re not a hit, that’s the thing in Hollywood, name recognition is so high that even a bomb can make it. People know what it is so we might as well do a sequel. But I don’t know where you go in that story. I’m ready to reprise my role. Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.

Is there anywhere you’d like to play that you haven’t with either Trainwreck or Tenacious D?

Well, you know, we haven’t … No. It’s funny. I was looking at a magazine, the 50 best live venues in the States and I’ve played about half of these. I’m doing alright. We sold out Madison Square Garden. We barely sold it out, it wasn’t like we were doing seven nights. Still, it was a little surreal. There’s not too many places. I guess I’d like to play the Roman Coliseum and maybe in front of the pyramids. I think Grateful Dead did that one time. That’d be pretty cool.

What can fans expect from a Trainwreck show?

They’re gonna be really rocked, they’ll be entertained. It’s sure-fire. It’s been honed, it’s been sharpened. It’s a rollick, a rollicking good time. We jump around. We’ll play good. It’s tight as a virgin’s pussy. It’s just gonna be good.

Any surprises in store or do you guys stick to a strict set?

There should be more surprises. I’m going to put some surprises in. Seattle, look out for surprises. This probably won’t even be out before we’re there.

Actually it will be.

It will be? What’s today?

Today’s Thursday, but this is going up on our Web site right as soon as I’m done talking.

Really? On the web? On the intraweb? That reminds me of when videogames passed up movies. That’s the earmark. It’s gonna be good. We’ve been getting a lot better crowds. I think our constant touring might have paid off. We’ll see.

Any weird stories from the road? Other than all the great stuff from the Tenacious D videos.

Besides all that stuff? I can’t think of one thing, it’s so boring. That’s the one thing I remember. The tedium. Sitting in a vibrating “wreckabeggo” for ten hours, going, “Wait a minute? This is what my life has become. All I do is travel around.” No, um, shit. I gotta think about this, weird stories.

I won’t make you think too hard this early in the morning.

OK, good.

What’s the shittiest place you’ve ever played?

Oh, man, you’re get me in trouble. Fresno was pretty beat. I don’t know, they might have been doing a Springer show on location. I don’t know what was happening there. And the funny thing was, I was thinking, “Wow, I really wish we could get some love,” and then we got too much love from a few of the locals. It was like a big dog was humping my leg. I was like, no, be careful what you wish for. This is too much love. I might have to take that off the list. Some places are just weird.

Trainwreck plays the Tractor Tavern Sunday, July 1 at 9 p.m. 

 
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