Retaining Nirvana

Living Abroad Magazine 2002

With the legal battles of the past few months out of the way, we now know more about Dave Grohl, campaigner for all that's right in the name of Nirvana. What about Dave Grohl, ladykiller? The first I became aware of this was when I interviewed Nina Gordon from that superb, sonic, lady-led band, Veruca Salt. After bonding over bad Elvis movies and Roald Dahl, she indicated that all was not well in the Salt camp, due to her band mate, Louise Post, having problems with her fella.

This well and truly came to the fore during a series of lives shows, when Post sometimes, in a disconcertingly unhinged way, slagged off Dave Grohl as being something of a shag-rat, openly cheating on her as they both toured the world. Grohl has also been linked with the slight-of-build, not-so-sleight-of-hand rock-star accessory, Winona Ryder, as well as Melissa Auf Der Maur from Courtney Love's band, Hole, and the Smashing Pumpkins. Some rumour-mongers have even suggested that Dave and Courtney may have had some love action at some stage. And now the latest is tipped to be Christine Aguilera.

"Well the Christina rumour's a rum one, because I live with my girlfriend in Los Angeles. I do know that the band were recording in a studio called Conway and we got in there one day and someone said: 'Oh, wait. Christina Aguilera's in there.' We're like: 'All right!' cos she's on our label. 'Wow! What's she like? What's she like?' And he says: 'Oh, she doesn't come in much. But when she does she usually wears these skimpy little outfits.' And we're like: 'Fuck yeah, that'd be great to see.'

"So, we met and we're like: 'Hi, how are you?' And whatever. That was it. Then, this one morning I was at home and my phone starts ringing at, like, 8:30 in the morning. Just ringing off the fucking hook. My girlfriend gets up to get it cos she's trying to sleep. I get up and she says: 'Guess why people are calling you all morning? The local radio station's saying you're dating Christina Aguilera.' So I fuckin' called the radio station and I was just like: 'Hey, this is Dave Grohl and I hear you guys are sayin' that and can you please STOP?' They're like: 'So, is it true?' I'm like: 'No! It's not true!' Let's face it, I'm, like, 33... she's a kid."

Okay, so he's not into jail-bait or even 'dirty' girls close to jail-bait age but this man, who has been savaged by at least one of his exes, claims to be just a romantic at heart.

"The thing about being a romantic is that you're in love with the feeling of being in love and you're constantly searching for that feeling, aching for it to last forever. Sometimes it's her fault and sometimes it's mine. It's tough doing what I do and the life that I lead. I'm so scattered all over the world, all the time and I have to do it. It's just the way it is. But it's hard. I mean, there's a difference between true love and a crush, lust, a one-night stand and... other things. I do like a good tryst, though."

If there's one thing that could be levelled at the Foo Fighters over the years, it is that they've been making the same album with the same bunch of songs time after time. But One For One is different it's more adventurous for one, even going so far as having Queen's Brian May giving a tasty performance for Tired.

"This album is different to anything we've ever done. But our fingerprints are all over it. It still has our trademarks. While it's a departure, there is still a common thread. That thread is our sense of melody, our sense of arrangement and the way we approach our instruments.

"We do have a lot more freedom than a lot of other bands. We get to make our albums in our own studio, on our label and then hand it on to the big businessmen to distribute, market and do all those things they feel they have to do. Sure, we get everyone giving us their opinions but, at the end of the day, we hang together, stay confident and know that we'll have the final say. In anything."

Grohl is also particularly proud of his lyrics on this outing and so he should be.

"I hate writing lyrics but I love the lyrics more on this album than anything else I've ever done. I used to just spit out lyrics or I'd over-analyse them and lose myself and the plot. But this album begins with All My Life and ends with Come Back and there's a theme linking everything together this time, although I didn't realise it at the time. It's basically just the difficult beginnings of falling in love and then the relief of being comfortable in love. See, I am just a soppy romantic.

"I think that the dark romantic side of aggressive rock music is hard to come by in these times. But really, who can't relate to all that sorta' stuff? On our second album, I was going through some hard relationship times and then I had people come up to me after a show, saying: 'Thank you, that album helped me through my divorce. At the time, that struck me as weird. So, I don't know if there's a message I want to send but I do know what's going on in my head and that its complementing the music. It wasn't an intentional concept record it's not the White Album, it's not Sgt Peppers, but it's getting there."

Words:Morgan Spearwood

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