Foo Fighters appeared on the September cover of Rolling Stone, ahead of the band being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio on October 30. The event will mark frontman Dave Grohl’s second experience with the prestigious organisation, having also been inducted in 2014 as part of Nirvana.
Grohl told the publication that he is still prone to dreaming about his days with the legendary grunge band and his late bandmate Kurt Cobain. “I’ve always had these live-performance anxiety dreams,” he said in the interview.
“They’re usually Nirvana-related. Like, Kurt’s still alive. And we’re doing a show, and I’m so excited that people get to see this once again. And I walk onstage. And my drumsticks are the size of telephone poles. And then the audience just kind of begins to scatter.”
In reality, audiences are doing the opposite of scattering and instead flocking in droves to see Grohl, now 52-years-old, and his bandmates Taylor Hawkins, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee pack out stadiums to deliver hits old and new.
In the first nine months of 2021 alone, the Foos have dropped a Bee Gees tribute album called Hail Satin, performed at the MTV VMA’s where they were the recipients of the first-ever Global Icon Award, played a full house at New York’s Madison Square Garden and, as previously mentioned, been announced as one of the inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Not to mention that Grohl himself collaborated with Mick Jagger on a track, is penning a memoir titled The Storyteller and added to his directing repertoire with a new movie about touring called What Drives Us.
Here’s what we learned from the Foo Fighters’ Rolling Stone interview.
Dave Wasn’t Sure Foo Fighters Should Happen
After the death of Grohl’s bandmate and best friend Kurt Cobain, Grohl knew he needed to keep playing music but worried him forming his own band would be perceived as inappropriate.
“I was thinking, ‘It’s inevitable: People will not want me to do this.’ And there were people, even friends, that were offended,” Grohl said. “And I just thought, ‘How dare they? This is how I’m going to get through life!’ And then, I would sit in an interview, and they’d say, ‘With all the crashing cymbals and distorted guitars and the screaming, did you intentionally want to sound like Nirvana?’ ”
He Also Tried to Convince His Bandmates to Re-Record the First Foos Album With Him
Grohl, very famously, recorded the entire first Foo Fighters album — 1994’s self-titled Foo Fighters — by himself, over six days, playing every instrument and singing every vocal on all 12 tracks.
The frontman has since tried to convince his bandmates to re-record the album so that all current members of the group could be featured.
“I was really into it,” Grohl said. “I was like, ‘It would sound like Styx, you know, instead of like a f—king garage recording.’ . . . Everyone was like, ‘No f—king way, dude. People will wipe their asses with that.’ ”
Drummer Taylor Hawkins Seriously Considered Passing on Being in the Band
Foos fans will know all too well that Taylor Hawkins is not the original drummer for the band, stepping in to replace William Goldsmith after he quit following Grohl re-recorded some of his drum tracks on The Colour and the Shape.
Speaking of the pressure he felt stepping into a rock group run by one of the world’s best drummers, Hawkins recalled a recording session for the band’s third album There Is Nothing Left to Lose.
“I had red-light fever so bad,” he said. “Because the last guy f—kin’, you know . . . So how am I gonna make it through this? And the producer was like, ‘Couldn’t Dave just play drums?’ I could just hear it in his face. Like, ‘Why is this kid trying to learn to play to a click track right now in front of me? Let’s get this record done.’
“And at one point, I just said to Dave, ‘Listen, dude, I just don’t think I can do this,’ ” he continued. “And what he said chokes me up a little. He’s like, ‘You’re gonna play some drums on this.’ I did half the drums on it, because he fuckin’ held my hand through it, like an older brother, best friend does. That’s why we’re here today.”
Added Grohl, “I think Taylor really underestimates his importance in this band. Maybe because he’s not the original drummer, but, my God, what would we be without Taylor Hawkins? Could you imagine? It would be a completely different thing. . . . Taylor’s insecurity pushes him to overachieve.”
Grohl Thinks His Daughter Is Even More Talented Than Him
Grohl’s eldest daughter Violet has followed in her Dad’s footsteps and is a talented singer in her own right. So talented, in fact, that Grohl calls her “the most talented musician our family has ever known, beyond my father, beyond me.”
“The tools that she inherited are so far beyond anyone else in the family,” he said.
Reminiscing about performing with Violet and his former Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear earlier in 2021, Grohl said, “It was great. And one of the greatest parts about it was that I think that she most represented the original aesthetic of Nirvana in that she’s a kid going through those difficult years of discovering identity.”
“I’m used to playing that song with Kurt standing in front of me,” he continued. “And looking out and seeing Violet was . . . I beat the f—king shit out of my drums. The drums weren’t big enough for what I was doing. It was f—king amazing.”
The Foos Aren’t Going Anywhere
After 27 years, ten studio albums and too many shows to count, Foo Fighters have no plans to retire any time soon.
“I don’t imagine the band slowing down,” said Grohl, who revealed he is already thinking about the band’s next album.
“It still blows my mind that when you go to see someone like Paul McCartney, he does a one-and-a-half-hour-long soundcheck for fans, all the songs that they won’t be playing that night. Then he goes and has a dinner, walks out and plays for three f—king hours. And then afterwards, hangs out all night? And is the last one on the dance floor? For real? Where does that energy come from?”