"Iíd like to knock out someoneís teeth"
Yesterday you ran through the crowd, broadly smiling. And that for the ex-drummer of a band whose singer was someone who didnít make contact with the crowd easily.
"I enjoy all the happy faces around me. And most of all, I see our crowd as acquaintances, people with who I could drink a beer afterwards. We did meet many people before. Yesterday in England during the Jools Holland show, there was a guy who pops up almost everywhere. But heís pretty hard to miss being 6 foot 5."
Donít you ever find them weird, or even scary, those fanatics?
"No. With them it doesnít entirely evolve around us, even more around each other. On the postboard of our website they become a part of each otherís life. We see complete love histories pass our eyes. Take Andrew, he's a blue haired teen from Canada Ė god, this guy is really disturbed Ė who followed us quite fanatically. He fell in love with a girl who was also a big fan of us and suddenly we saw them together everywhere. But now he claims that she is insane and on her turn she says that heís an unreliable dog. They tell us as if weíre their best friends. Our fans react on us like on an electrician who comes to fix the light. Youíre thankful when heís ready, but during his activities youíre not running through the house screaming. And afterwards youíre not going on for hours and hours, yelling how great this guy is with the lights, but you just have a coffee together."
Why are you always being so modest? You know damn well that there are fans that would pass out whenever youíd walk into their house. Even the journalists on this Ďmeet and greetí turned all giggly when you came in.
"Alright, maybe it does happen. But Iíll gladly deny it because I get an awfully uncomfortable feeling about it. Our band is based on the reality of today, so I want people to see us as normal guys."
But in your earlier days you didnít think of Motorheadís Lemmy as a normal guy?
"If he wouldíve walked into my living room when I was young, I indeed wouldnít have said: ĎHey dude, thatís great. Iíll get a beer from the fridgeí. I probably wouldíve collapsed, from sheer admiration. Needless to say I felt extremely honored when this old hero wanted to help me with my Probot project. Nevertheless I donít feel comfortable with people who admire me, and thatís because of the experiences I had in Nirvana. Right before Nirvana I resided in the punk-scene. A scene that only knows anti-heroes. Some of my favorite bands slept in my house because they didnít have money to sleep in hotels. That made them human. It was all about the music and nothing else. Nirvana came from the same idea, but soon turned into something completely different. Iím happy that I wasnít the focus of the adoration. It was Kurt. I thought it was dreadful to see him suffer like that."
You thought it was dreadful, but did you understand why Cobain suffered so badly? You are someone who does enjoy the attention. The more people in the crowd the better.
"I didnít understand Kurt entirely all the time. Our characters were way too different. I found Kurt oversensitive and his drug abuse didnít make it any better. I only was more and more flattered that so many people came to see our shows, that sang our songs from start to finish. I saw our success as a blessing because I could finally pay the fucking rent and buy my first car, an old sixties Ford, but Jesus, I was so happy with it. But alright, Kurt was being honored like a god and he didnít have a stable environment that protected him. My family and friends always stood close by me and kept me firmly on the ground. So I understand why it went wrong with Kurt. But there were times when I thought he was whining. I thought: 'come on Kurt, this is what weíve always dreamed about, playing every day and making money out of it, this is fucking luxury'."
You didnít seem to feel comfortable yesterday playing the only acoustic song on the set. Alone with a guitar.
"Actually I donít like to play a little acoustic song in the middle of a rock show. Itís quite scary when all of a sudden the wall falls away that you hid away behind during the whole show. Last year I played with John Kerry right before his election speeches. In front of war veterans in wheelchairs and teachers, in front of people who were thinking: 'Now who the hell is the pathetic loser with the guitar?' That was a pretty good exercise to get rid of insecurities. Playing acoustic songs in front of an audience who are waiting for it is very much fun because itís intimate, sometimes even touching. And playing acoustic is something we can do until weíre 80. A pretty good pension fund."
Do you want to show another side of Dave Grohl with the acoustic album from ĎIn Your Honorí? Show that youíre more than the clown from the video clips?
"A clown? Thanks a lot. Look, I didnít turn into a new person - through the years you get more introspective naturally. You get more open. I always thought of the band as an instrument to make people feel good I've always had the urge to entertain people and when I see 2 people at a party who donít know each other, Iíll be the first to introduce them to each other. Nevertheless Iím not the funny, sociable guy 24 hours a day. There are times when Iíd like to knock someoneís teeth out of their mouth or hide away deep under the sheets. With this record I show a less carefree part of me. Because I more and more got the feeling that I wasnít completely honest."
Because youíre actually just a very sensitive boy?
"Yes, Iím a walking cliche. A guy that never shows his emotions but bawls his eyes out over a sad movie. Itís true, my whole t-shirt is soaking wet whenever thereís a tearjerker on TV. Crazy thing is that I even cry faster whenever I see a sad movie when Iím sitting on a plane. Really very embarrassing. I still have to find out if itís because a lack of oxygen or the alcohol."
I overheard you talking to your manager about a possible visit to Roswell. Why are you so fascinated with that place? You even called your own record company Roswell Records.
"Because it remains a fascinating story. Back in í47 an officer of a nearby army base was told by a farmer that something crashed just outside his farm that heíd never seen before. The officer came by and was ensured that it was a flying saucer. They immediately went to the paper with the story. The farmer was tracked down by the government and let him go back to the paper with a weather balloon to say: 'sorry, it's a mistake'. The government didnít want people to know of things existing that they didnít know anything about. But the strange thing is that the government changed the Roswell-story 3 or 4 times over the last sixty years. To me, Roswell is a good example that the government is keeping secrets from the people. And of course I am curious about possible extraterrestrial life.
Do you think the American government should support scientific research to find out if thereís life after death?
"Iím not religious myself, so my world wonít fall apart whenever is proven thereís nothing between heaven and earth. However, Iím convinced that the government consciously thwarts this kind of research. To prevent chaos. Because if God does exist, or there is life after death, physicists should have little problems proving this. But President Bush would never support that and lets be honest: Kerry would never do so either. Thereís not a single president that underestimates the importance of religion in the US. Where almost everyone is a believer. Except those heathens of the Foo Fighters."
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