Dave Grohl settles into a seat on the Foo Fighters' well-appointed tourbus gently breaks wind and pulls a Marlboro Light from a freshly opened pack. "Want a beer? We got Guinness, Grolsch. Mmm, shall I have one? No, no, I'll wait." Water it is, then.
In the adjacent artists' paddock backstage at Chelmsford's V2003 festival the other Foo Fighters - guitarist Chris Shiflett, bassist Nate Mendel, drummer Taylor Hawkins - enjoy the late afternoon sunshine. Second on the bill to Coldplay, Foo Fighters have against Grohl's own expectations, proved to be much more than a post-Nirvana cock-around (that's despite Hawkins's painkiller flirtation putting him in rehab in 2001).
Grohl married his girlfriend, Jordyn, two weeks ago and is looking forward to "a lifetime of exclusive sex". He has little to complain about, least of all Cash For Questions.
"I've seen it a thousand times...it can be rather entertaining." he says. This is perhaps not a view shared by his Nirvana colleague Krist Novoselic, a recent participant. "I read some of that. After the first few he seemed kind of discouraged, like, What the fuck is this?" He was particularly riled by the reader who asked if he and Grohl ever had the "Courtney: would you?" conversation"
"Oh yeah, you don't want to get him started on that" Grohl laughs.
So did that discussion ever happen?
"You've got to give me some credit, dude." he exclaims, his incredulous expression rhetorically asking, Would you?
Frankly, no. Ready to face the music, Dave? "Absolutely."
Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, "Man, this moustache looks quite gay"?
Rebecca Russell, Kendal
Yeah, I have. I got to the point where I realised that the goatee is better for porn than me. I've always aspired to become a porn star someday but I think it's a little premature to rock the goatee. Have I got what it takes for porn? I could manage a film or two, yeah. I haven't been asked but it's never too late. I mean, John Wayne Bobbit had his cock cut off and put back on and he started making porns. The reason why, people have facial hair is that they think they're funny enough looking that anything to hide the face is good. Do I think, I'm funny looking? I know I'm funny looking.
What's your favourite memory of Kurt?
Mark Lloyd, Marlborough
Probably on the first tour I did with Nirvana in England in 1990. I'd only been in the band for about a month and we went out drinking at some bar where they were playing Ride and My Bloody Valentine, shit like that. Kurt was drunk and he came up to me and he said, "Man, I'm so glad you're in this band, you have no idea. We really feel like you're a brother to us and we're so happy and thankful that you joined the band and made us what we are." That was great. It was the only time he ever said anything like that [laughs].
Are those tattoos on your arms finished?
Rob Nixon, Colchester
No. I have to fill these in with red, actually. They took a fuck of a long time. Just this outline on my left arm took about five hours because it's so thick, and to shade it in is going to take the rest of my life, I'm sure. Have I had any covered up? Er, yes. What was it? Just an old tattoo. There was a homemade ink blot on my arm, another A homemade thing on the chest. I decided to keep the first tattoo which I gave myself, which was supposed to be the Black Flag logo, but I never even really finished it.
When you have kids, what are you going to to call them?
Vicky Denman, Epsom
I've got some good family names. My grandmother's maiden name is Bonebrake and her brother's name was Harper. My other grandmother's maiden name is Prince and her name is Violet. So, a boy would be Harper Bonebrake Grohl, and Violet Prince Grohl for a girl.
Were you a geek at school?
Lisa McEwen, Hollyhead
I wasn't a geek, I got along with everyone. I smoked weed with the potheads, played lacrosse with the jocks, played in bands with the rockers and made friends with all of the fucking nerds. Girls? I wasn't really a player until I hit 15 or 16. What changed? I just started fucking, and my reputation got around that I'd figured that out quickly. I had one partner when I was young that showed me the ropes. An older woman? No, she was my age but she lived in the city.
Are all of those unreleased Nirvana tracks any good?
Sue Wood, Aldershot
Yes, absolutely. There was so much music they made before I joined the band that's incredibly weird and there's probably a lot that Kurt recorded on his own that I've never heard, so there's a wealth of material - for lack of a better term - that'll be released in years to come. Me, Krist and Kurt, we didn't have too many out-takes. We had different versions of things and every session we had maybe one or two songs that didn't make it to the album -most of that's been boodegged and a lot of it's just noise. So to me the most interesting stuff is really the early material.
Are you famous enough to have a stalker?
Dan Brannigan, Lisburn
No, I don't have any stalkers. I'm fortunate that the people who like our band are pretty normal, but if anyone made their way onto my property I'd take my fucking 12-gauge and stick it down their throat.
Are you a lover or a fighter?
Daniel Hill, Newmarket
A lover. It takes a lot for me to get in a row, for me to throw down with a person. I'm a patient, tolerant person, but if you cross the line I see red and it's on. I can take as much abuse as you can throw at me, but if you fuck with anybody that I love, my wife or my family or my bandmates, then I'll definitely stand up.
You played at someone's house for Q a while back. How much would it cost to hire Foo Fighters for my Christmas party?
Kate Oakley, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Well, if it was a keg party, just a few cups. If it was some corporate fucking internet billionaire, maybe $500,000 or $600,000. That's just for an hour, too. It doesn't include the encore.
You once said Neil Young was the closest thing rock has to a Pope. Where would you place yourself in the rock/religion hierarchy?
One of those nasty priests who gets busted for touching little kids [laughs].
What makes you cry?
Polly Borden, Hackney
Movie scores, actually. It doesn't matter how lame the movie, if it's got a sappy Steven Spielberg score underneath it I'll fucking bawl my eyes out. Another thing that really gets me is movies where animals talk, like Babe. I never saw Free Willy - and I know that Willy doesn't talk in the movie - but I cried at the preview. That was bad. The last time I really cried was at my wedding. My wife and I had a little moment right after we got married. During the service? No, I held it together. It was tough though - there was a string quartet. I was all smiles until I saw her coming down the aisle and the score started. Then I had to keep the fucking pipes from leaking.
Who's your least favourite rock star, besides Courtney Love?
William Highes, London
Let's see. Who's the most disrespectful, annoying, egotistical, self-centered, power-hungry, talentless piece of shit? [pause] Well, I hate to name names but I do have someone in mind. Who? I can't say, I've never been that guy and I'm not going to start now. There's been a few times when I've said my piece when it comes to music that I think is fucking atrocious, but who cares what I think? The kids? No, they don't, they probably think the same thing as I do. You can figure it out.
[The tape recorder is turned off and Grohl is pushed further for an answer, but he maintains a gentlemanly silence.]
Is the line "I love it but I hate the taste" from All My Life about oral sex?
Stan, Merseyside [again...]
It is, actually. That song is a little dirty. Use your imagination, but good call - you're the first person that's ever asked that. From experience? Many. I'm very fond of giving oral sex to women. It's a pleasure-giving experience - giving someone something that they'll remember for the rest of their lives, and if you do it right they will.
Who's the best drummer in the Foo Fighters?
Tom Rigg, Clydebank
Taylor, no question. He's getting better- it's nuts. He's accelerating at evolution speed. Taylor's drumming is like... I read recently that if you scale down the history of the world to a 24-hour period that [pause]... I can't remember exactly. He's amazing. Do we still swap places so he can sing Have A Cigar live? No, he doesn't like to do that anymore. He was into it at the time because he was high [laughs]. Now he's not. He decided to be the best drummer on the bill, which he is.
Whafs the strangest thing you've ever seen on mushrooms?
Mark Heath, Peterlee
Well, probably Christmas night, 1984. Somebody had given me mushrooms as a gift and I was driving my mother's car with my head out of the sunroof imagining it to be a tank. It was actually a Ford Fiesta.
Dave, you rock. What's the most unusual thing you've snorted? Mine's a pea.
Beth Saunders, Hampshire
I don't like putting things up my nose, maybe a finger or two. I think the only thing I've ever really snorted was snuff. It wasn't thick cut, it was the powdery stuff, and I actually kind of liked it.
What's the most money you've ever spunked up the wall?
Rowan Perry, Hincklely
Spunked up the wall? Oh, wasted. I don't usually waste money. Hiring private jets I don't see as a waste of money [laughs]. Last Christmas I didn't want to go through the hassle of flying commercial with all of the gifts I'd forgotten to ship, so I got a Learjet. We're furnishing a house right now. I don't think that really counts as spunking up the wall, but it's not fucking cheap. And it's not really "we". I get to finalise the budget. It's my name at the bottom of the cheque.
What are your best and worst cheeses?
Sue Wood, Gloucester
My favourite is probably Esrom, a soft, fragrant, northern European cheese. I love a good sharp cheddar too, with a little chutney. Delish! I can't stand Swiss cheese.
I'm fed up waiting for Probot to come out. What's the hold up?
Guy Ballantyne, Tamworth
November 11. It's good to go - it's finished, it's ready, it's coming out. Probot is a project that I started in my basement in Virginia. I just recorded some music - metal - that couldn't be seen to fit into the Foo Fighters repertoire. Then I had the bright idea of calling up all of my favourite old death metal singers and asking them if they' put vocals on each song. So I've got Lemmy, Cronos from Venom, Snake from Voivod, King Diamond... I played all the music and these guys just sang - it turned out wonderful. I can't imagine trying to take a circus like that on the road - that would be Queens Of The Stone Age times 1000. They're all still playing music, so it would be impossible. It would be nice to have a record release party - that would be like Castle Donington.
You seem to like dressing up as a woman in your videos. Is there anything you want to tell us?
Dan Baker, Crawley
For me there's nothing funnier than seeing a man in women's clothing. I think it's fucking hilarious when big, burly hairy guys paint their fingernails and doll up, unless you're a male Thai prostitute in Bangkok that can really pull it off. You don't think I make an attractive woman? If I did look good I'd be worried.
Are you a mummy's boy?
Jack Henry, Bath
I'd have to say I am. My mother and I have always had a very cool relationship in that we have a lot of respect for each other. She used to take me to jazz clubs as a teenager and she was always very supportive of my music. She just loves life and she's a treat to be around. Everybody loves my mom.
You once said you'd cut off your own cock to drum for Led Zeppelin. What band would you just lop off a nut for?
Matt Pedalino, Canada
Just one nut? Well, I figure why half-ass it, if I had one nut and a cock it'd probably do me no good, so why not wait for the big ticket and lop off the cock?
What did you say to Taylor after his overdose?
Karen Wateridge, Felixstowe
The first thing I said was [farts loudly]. What the hell's wrong with me? I don't know [laughs]. It's catering. The first thing I said was, "Hey man, you're doing great, you're doing alright" and he looked up at me and said, "Fuck off" so I knew he was OK, he was back. Taylor's like a member of my family. I'm closer to him than anyone else in the world. When you see your best friend in trouble it just turns your world upside down. It was the first time I've actually felt inspired to pray. And it worked [laughs].
Did you struggle to keep up with Queens Of The Stone Age's recreational habits?
Sean Atkins, Brentwood
You know, I haven't done any drugs since I was 20. I've tried to smoke weed twice in the last 14 years and I just can't do it anymore. After the gigs, the back lounge was full of bands and I was up at the front watching Lord Of The Rings. What did they make of that? They seemed to like it when I played the drums.