Dave Grohl Speaks To His Ghosts

Esquire Spain, February 2021
The article in it's original language was run through Google Translate, so this text will not be 100% accurate

Tough guys don't believe in ghosts. David Grohl was one of them until, in mid-2019, he received an unexpected call from his former landlord. "He offered me to buy the old mansion at the end of my street where I lived a long time ago ", recalls the leader Foo Fighters and former Nirvana drummer on a video call from Los Angeles. "I said no, but I proposed rent it again to try some demos that I was working on ". He moved in with all his gear (microphones, drums, guitar, bass ...) to exercise as a solo band man. "I felt a special vibe, like if someone were looking at me," he recalls. After a week, he sent the first demo to producer Greg Kurstin, who replied immediately: "I don't know where the hell you are, but it sounds fucking good ". It seemed to Grohl a good idea to record the nine songs from Medicine at Midnight, the tenth album Foo Fighters studio that will see the light on February 5. "I thought It was a paranoia of mine, but as for the rest of the team arrived they started hallucinate like me with the energy of the home ", he confesses. "At first it wasnt more than strange presences that made you shiver, but after a few days we would find guitars out of tune, tracks disappearing from Pro Tools, strange noises open mic ... ". Before running out screaming from there (not in vain has it been one of the more expeditious recording sessions of the band's history) installed several cameras in the studio.
  An amicable confidentiality agreement with the ex-partner prevents you from disclosing its content. "I like to think that more paranormal of that experience has been recorded on the disc. Because who the hell would expect an assortment of songs from us to be so danceable? ".

Esquire ESQ: High voltage rock, but designed for singing and dancing. How should dance this album?
DG: We wanted to spark a burst of euphoria to celebrate the band's 25th anniversary. We had a long tour ahead of us and I imagined haranguing the masses at festivals and stadiums around the world. Then everything stopped and now the record sees the light as a time capsule containing a sound that no one would associate with us. I am referring to a more danceable type of groove, based on simple rhythms like the disco music of the 70s, the funk of Sly Stone and rock of Let's Dance by David Bowie and Tattoo You by the Rolling Stones. A fucking madness between Sly Stone, the Stones and Bowie.
ESQ: Do you care to upset the fans?
DG: What defines us as a band is not both the sound and the constant search for new challenges. Our catalog ranges from dissonant hard rock tunes to acoustic orchestrated melodies. Who expects to find on the disk hymns like My Hero or Best of You and Shame Shame you might wonder if has been mistaken as a group. Or you will understand that our essence is also there.
ESQ: Is it possible to find in any topic the elongated shadow of Nirvana?
DG: I don't know. Two guitars, one bass, one drums, a keyboard and me screaming once in a while [laughs]. Yes I can tell you that I have recovered a riff that I composed 25 years ago in Seattle, shortly after end of Nirvana. It can be heard in the Cloudspotter improvisation, which I composed against the clock during last day of recording. Beyond that, connecting Foo Fighters with Nirvana it is hope. In 1994 I was depressed and consumed with pain, but one day I realized that I still had many things to fight for. And that sing.
ESQ: A clip from the recording of Waiting on a War went viral on Reddit. Was it just part of the album promotion campaign?
DG: Our account was hacked and I got so fucking pissed off ... It's like someone takes your star plate out of the oven half an hour before its done and on top he gives it to your best friends to taste.
ESQ: Following the golden generation of music video directors like Spike Jonze and Michael Gondry, what led you to the unknown Paola Kudacki for Shame Shame?
DG: Kudacki is an Argentine photographer who I met years ago for a session. It was like finding a unicorn in the middle of the desert. She had never directed a video clip, but I convinced her to translate into images a dream I had when I was 15 years old: high on a hill, a coffin on fire and, inside, someone I can't recognize.
ESQ: If you close your eyes and think of Spain, what do you see?
DG: Valencia, July 1992. The night before the Nirvana concert I drank until dawn. I slept about two hours. In the morning, I asked a taxi driver to take me somewhere where they rented motorcycles and I ended up on the outskirts of the city. Half drunk, I skirted cars and roundabouts looking for a sign to say 'bullring'. Don't ask me how, but I found it. When entering through the front door, the motorcycle skidded in the sand and I shot out in the air. I didn't break any bones. I only suffered a little bruised pride.

Words: Benjamin G Rosado    

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