Life According to Chris Shiflett

Sunday Post, January 31st 2021

The Foo Fighters rocker talks touring with Joe Strummer, dining with Brian May and discovering football with a little help from a Sex Pistol

What has lockdown been like for Foo Fighters?
Like everyone else, our plans fell by the wayside. It felt like it was in slow motion, with each part of a tour being cancelled until it all fell away. I've been doing this for a long time and I've never had a length of break like this, certainly not since having kids, so to be at home with my wife and children and get some time to be a homebody has been really good.

What can you tell us about the new album?
It's a little slicker, poppier, but it still has lots of guitars and still sounds like our band. We kept pushing back the release date, but by the end of last summer, Dave (Grohl) said we had to figure out when to put it out.

Are you missing sell-out gigs?
It has been a gigantic blow to my ego, because I don't get that adulation from my wife and kids. We all love to play live and I know it will come back at some point. And when it does, people will be so joyful and celebratory about it.

You've been with the band 21 years. Can you remember how it felt when you joined?
It was really wild. I wasn't friends with the band previously, so when I joined I was learning all the songs and figuring out where I fitted in. I'd never been in a band of their level before. Not only was I joining my favourite band of that moment, but I was getting to play all the songs I loved and touring with people like Joe Strummer and Primal Scream. I remember the first time we came to London, Taylor (Hawkins, drummer) said he was going to have dinner with Brian May and asked if I wanted to come. So half an hour later there I was eating Indian food with Brian May. It was surreal, a major head spin.

How did you become a football fan?
I didn't grow up a sports fan. I was such a big music fan and the kids who were into sports were the ones who would make fun of me at school. For me, the introduction to European football was through rock 'n' roll. Seeing punk bands wearing different strips made me realise it was such a big part of that culture, and it seemed like such a cool and exotic thing from a distance. The reason I support Arsenal was because Johnny Rotten wrote about them in his autobiography.

Any memories of Scottish gigs?
It's hard to talk about Scotland without talking about the Barrowland. That might have been the first place in Scotland I played with the band. I'd been up there before with my previous band and had some wild gigs - it's always a lot of fun in Scotland.

Words: Murray Scougall   

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