Dave Grohl on Skinny Ties, Diamond Dave, and Kurt Cobain’s ‘Heartbreaking’ Death
Foo Fighter does hour-plus interview for 'Nerdist' podcast
Dave Grohl continues to make the podcast rounds in support of his Sundance-christened, star-studded Sound City documentary. The Foo Fighters frontman’s latest stop? Comedian Chris Hardwick’s weekly Nerdist podcast, where the ex-Nirvana drummer discusses his new film but also opens up about going solo after Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994.
“At that time I didn’t really want to think about Nirvana,” Grohl says. “It was heartbreaking. We were fucked up by what happened. So it was just, ‘I gotta keep playing music, I gotta keep playing music.'” The Sound City Players leader continues, saying, “I didn’t know how to stand with a guitar or sing — it was so awkward. It was fucking so weird. But it was perfect because the last thing I wanted to do was be a drummer at that time. I didn’t want to play an instrument that would remind me of my friend who died.”
The 44-year-old rocker doesn’t just dwell on the legendary trio’s tragic end, though; he also details the intense work ethic that led to Nirvana’s hugely influential sophomore LP, Nevermind. “We were so prepared [when recording for Nevermind began],” Grohl says. “We rehearsed in a barn and we rehearsed six days a week for four hours a day because we had nothing else to do.”
Single-mindedness has also benefited the Foo Fighters. “One of the reasons why the Foo Fighters is still around is because we didn’t really follow any of those little trends that have happened in the last 20 years,” Grohl says. “We didn’t go nu-metal when it was huge, and we didn’t do the New York skinny-tie thing when it was huge, and at those times we weren’t huge because that shit was. But we lived comfortably in our little world just doing what we did. And I think that’s why we’ve survived.”
Hardwick and Grohl touch on a number of other topics: the dangers of irony in music (“It creates boundaries,” the singer insists), how Grohl became a drummer (he took over for an underwhelming bandmate early in his career), and whether he’d prefer to be David Lee Roth or Thom Yorke (“When it comes to playing a rock show, I would much rather be David Lee Roth… because that’s a fucking party,” he explains).
Sound City begins playing in movie theaters across the country today (January 31) and will be available for download tomorrow (February 1). The Sound City Players are currently planning a tour, and the supergroup’s upcoming studio release, Sound City — Real to Reel is one of SPIN’s 50 Albums You Gotta Hear. It’s out on March 12 through Roswell/RCA.
Listen to Grohl’s entire interview with Hardwick over at Nerdist’s website.