"I get up at 6am, take the kids to school and do the Hoovering... then I become a rock star"
The Sun

You would think that for most multi-million-selling rock stars 6am would be the time they go to bed.

Not so Dave Grohl.

The Foo Fighters frontman sets his alarm early every day so he can get a spot of Hoovering and dusting done before taking his nippers off to nursery.

Eat your heart out, Keith Richards.

It's only then that he thinks about being a serious rock star.

The legendary rocker, who was the drummer with Nirvana before going on to sell millions of albums with Foo Fighters, says he values his domestic life too much to do otherwise.

For him, spending time with daughters Violet Maye, four, and Harper Willow, one, and missus Jordyn, 33, is the most important thing in his life.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun Dave says: "I never take being in a rock band for granted. Before any of this happened I was a high school drop-out who worked in a warehouse.

"I toured with my punk rock band and slept on people's floors for years before Nirvana became popular. When I joined Nirvana it was the same way - we were that band who struggled.

"So when all of this fell into our laps I made sure I never took any of it for granted. I've always thought, 'This is really cool. I don't have to go to the furniture warehouse and work for hours on end and I don't have to worry about how I can eat on six dollars a day'.

"Life is very short and you have to do as much with every day as you can.

"That's one of the reasons why I don't mind getting up at six in the morning.

"We have decided to record our new album at my house - in the garage actually. It's working out really well.

"I can get the kids up in the morning. I love my kids. They're hilarious. I can't wait to get them up out of bed and get them going to school for the day.

"Sometimes I do some housework, a bit of vacuuming and dusting, then in the week get them out for the day.

"Then I go down to my garage and go to work. We make some heavy music.

"But the good thing about making an album in the house is come 6.30 in the evening the kids are having dinner and I get to be there and give them baths and read them stories before they go to bed. Once they go to bed I can go back to the garage and keep on trucking.

"In 2011, believe me, we're going to be on the road a lot, so I want to make sure I see them as much as possible before that."

Foo Fighters, who named themselves after the Second World War term for an unidentified flying object, were formed in 1995 just a year after the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

Dave, now 41, had secretly been penning songs during his time as Nirvana drummer but was so in awe of Cobain's skills as a songwriter that he kept them to himself.

In 15 years Foo Fighters have become one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, selling millions of their six studio albums and greatest hits.

When they last played live in the UK they performed to more than 80,000 people at Wembley stadium.

Dave cuts the figure of a classic rock god. Bearded and with straggly hair, he bellows into the mic while hammering his guitar.

But it's an image he's not always keen to cultivate.

In fact, back in the domestic bliss of LA he says he has to make a special effort to impress teachers.

He adds: "Right after this interview we're visiting a local pre-school we want our daughter to go to. So I've got to take a shower and tidy up to assure them that I'm not like Alice Cooper or something like that."

He jokes: "I have a short-hair wig I put on - I call it my business wig - and a tie. The whole look is great."

Foo Fighters have gone completely back to basics for their seventh studio album. As well as recording in Dave's garage, they have decided to do away with modern digital recording methods and have returned to more archaic methods.

He says: "We decided that, rather than use all the new digital technology, let's go back to tape. Let's dust off our old tape machines and put them in the garage where I keep my motorcycles.

"The best part about it, when I'm sitting there laying down a guitar track, I've got one of my children tapping me on the shoulder saying, 'Dad, you said you were gonna take me to the swings'.

"And then the other one's tugging at my pants because she wants me to put her on top of the slide - and all this time we're making the most rocking album of all time."

Despite swearing by old technology for the new album, Dave has embraced one modern phenomenon - Twitter. Something he's had to apologise about.

He says: "When we started making this album I'd never used Twitter. I said in an interview once that it was a complete waste of time. I thought, 'It's so stupid. People, get up, go outside, go make real friends'.

"But while we were making this album I thought, 'I wanna take pictures of what we're doing and put them up on Twitter so people can see this'.

"So, with a heavy heart, on my first tweet I wrote, 'Dear Twitter, I'm sorry for everything I said before. I didn't have an album to promote at the time'.

"So I've been taking pictures of the tape machine and making movies of the editing and the cutting. At one point I put up a picture of a tape machine and someone wrote, 'That's the way they used to make records'.

"That was weird to me, like it's some archaic antique or something."

The next big gig in the UK the Fighters are doing is at the Milton Keynes Bowl in July next year. Dave says: "I'll never forget when we played Wembley Stadium in 2008. It's quite a feeling to stand at the lip of the stage at Wembley Stadium and raise your arms up and have 80,000 people sing Everlong or Learn To Fly.

"That's a huge feeling and that enormous space becomes like a chapel and everyone's connected by that one thing.

"So coming over to do Milton Keynes is going to be something really special. I can't wait."

Dave has just finished touring with Them Crooked Vultures, the supergroup he helped to form. He went back to his first love of drumming with the band, which features one of his heroes, bassist John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin, and Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age.

He says: "My love for this Foo Fighters tour is so strong. Let's face it, it has to be for me to come back from being in a band with John Paul Jones.

"The Foo Fighters are like my heart and soul - it's a big family. The Vultures is like driving a Ferrari. It's flying and you're holding on for dear life. It's an experience of a lifetime.

"That was a dream come true - that was really, really strong."

Words: Gordon Smart

back to the features index