Dave Grohl talks to Kerrang!


Kerrang!, March 2020

Dave looks back at 25 years of Foo Fighters.

"It started when I was maybe, like, 18 or 19 years old. I had a friend who had a four-track studio in his basement. I realised I could record songs all by myself, by doing the drums first and then overdubbing all the other instruments afterwards. I started writing songs, just for fun, with no intention of being the singer of a band or ever releasing a record or anything. I just liked the experiment and the process. Within about 15 minutes I could have a song recorded. And I would take the cassette home and listen to it and be like, 'Wow, that's kind of cool.'
  "When Nirvana was over, I didn't want to join another band. I didn't really want to have anything to do with music. And then I thought, 'Okay, I need to get out of this rut, so I'm gonna record these things properly.' It was really just to have some sort of evidence that I do this, without wanting anyone to know it was me. I thought, 'I'll just do the thing I've been doing since I was a teenager.' And then it turned into another record... and then it turned into 25 years!
  "How have we lasted so long? I've always been a worker. I did masonry, when I was younger, pushing wheelbarrows full of dirt around in the hot summer sun. I always knew that I had to fucking work because I feel like I have to work in order to not just keep the wheels turning, but to also just feel alive. I cannot just sit down and do nothing. I just can't. It's a joke with my friends. When I say, 'I'm gonna take a year off' they're like, 'There's no fucking way -you can't do that'. And I can't!
  "But really, I don't even call this 'work'. What? I get to go and fucking get in a room and turn my amp up to 10 and jam with my best fucking friends? That's not fucking work! I wake up every day with the band on my mind, but it's not a job. Outside of my children and my family, it is the most rewarding thing I could possibly imagine. "There's been a lot of moments.
  There's been really beautiful highs and difficult lows, and you just have to put your head down and go through them. And it's amazing to be in a band with people I love. I see these guys pretty much every day, and they are my best friends. Still. And I feel that every time I get onstage. I feel like I'm very lucky in a lot of ways. Still. When I think of recording those songs by myself in Seattle in 1994, to then standing onstage next to the guys from Led Zeppelin at Wembley Stadium, it's a beautiful feeling. It's hard to take it all in and process it, but it's a really reassuring feeling that life continues and good things await everyone.
  "Shit, the first time we headlined Reading, I looked over and saw my mother on the side of the stage. She was a public schoolteacher for 35 years, up at 5:30 in the morning for the majority of her life, to teach kids how to go on with their own lives. And I'm just standing onstage and screaming songs at people. I look at my mother and she's my hero, she's a soldier, she's Joan Of Arc, and I'm just some schmuck with a guitar, screaming at people. I'm really fortunate that I have an example like her in my life, to just get down to work every day, because I'm fortunate to do something that I'm very passionate about.
  "We feel very lucky. There are still times even now where we'll turn up to a show or get on a plane, or be so appreciative of things that we'll look at each other and go, 'Oh my God, we really need to practice! We're not good enough for this - we need to be a better band!' Sometimes we'll stand onstage and look at each other and laugh, because none of us expected this to happen. When we walk backstage after a show, it's not often that we don't celebrate. It's really hard to pick one moment that stands out in this journey, honestly, but I think that the beginning of the band, where that noise first came out, it opened a door to a whole new life.
  "We just finished another fucking record, and I'm so fucking proud of it. It's unlike anything we've ever done. I'm fucking exdted for people to hear it and I can't wait to jump on that fucking stage to play it. There are choruses on this record that 50-fucking-thousand people are gonna sing, and it's gonna bring everyone's fucking hearts together in that moment. And that's what it's all about.
  "Honestly, it doesn't feel like we've been doing this for 25 fucking years. It's funny, some people measure time in days and months and years. But with me, I measure time in musical terms. When I think about 1995 to '96, that was one thing. When I think of '90 to'99, that's another, and so on. I see my life in these markers that are represented by our music. I feel like I've been writing this big story, and specific lyrics and songs relate to specific things that happened to me at those times. If I'm driving and I'll Stick Around comes on the radio, it takes me back to the day I recorded it, and my heart goes back to that same place. It's like someone who's been keeping a diary their entire lives. I'm the same, but it's all musical.
  "I can't believe all this time has passed. I don't feel 51 years old. I started this band when I was 25 fucking years old, and I'm still into it, and it's not over."

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