Have you had much time to indulge in your oft-reported hobby of skeet shooting this year?
"No, I haven't done much. There's nowhere to shoot here in LA. The nearest place is way out in the desert. At home in Virginia, I just have to drive for 25 minutes and I'm at my local shooting range. But I haven't done enough, no. I'm afraid that I'm very out of practice. It's been a while since I shot for my league. I'm sure that I'll go back to my local place and all my team members will be very sore that I abandoned them."
Do you think that maybe you should get your priorities right in future?
"I know. You see, I thought that if the rock thing didn't work out, and now that skeet shooting is in the Olympics, that I'd probably try to get into the Olympic team. That would be fucking awesome. I'd be right there with the rest of 'em, I swear to God."
Have you been tempted to shoot anything else this year?
"What, like people? No. That's against the law, come on! No, I can honestly say I've never thought about shooting people. I don't think I could."
Has everything gone to plan this year?
"We haven't really done much in 2001. We did play Rock In Rio. I'd never been down there with the Foo Fighters and I wasn't really sure if anyone would know who we were. We were standing on the side of the stage, before going on, and there's a huge video screen behind us. Up came the introduction video and 200,000 people went 'Waaaaarrrgggghhhh!'. They were showing clips of our videos and the whole audience was singing along. I thought 'Fuck, this is going to be a piece of cake!' We walked out and fucking kicked ass."
What has been the highlight of your year?
"Out of everything the highlight would have to be playing drums on the Queens Of The Stone Age record. I've been such a huge fan of those guys for 10 years."
Was working with Queens Of The Stone Age just one huge, relentless piss-up?
"There wasn't too much drinking going on. When they're in the studio it's more buisness as usual, they're more focused. Aside from the 12 Coors Lights that you drink throughout the day - that doesn't really count, does it? So, no, there wasn't much drinking going on. Who knows what the fuck else was going on, though, right?."
What's the most metal thing you've done this year?
"I went to a Slipknot and Rammstein show. Rammstein completely blew me away. I was really excited to see Slipknot, man. That new record is pretty fucking great. That drummer is a fucking decathlete. Dave Lombardo was my drumming hero for a long time, but little Joey comes along and turns the world of metal drumming upside down. I was so happy to finally see a band at the top of the charts that was singing about the Devil. I can't remember the last time that happened."
Is there much mention of the Devil on the Probot album?
"Well, I'm basically just the instrumentalist. All enquiries can go to the respective singers of each song, but yeah, there's loads of that kind of thing on there. It's peppered with Satanism. I'm really shooting for that fucking parental advisory sticker."
Have you ever had a parental advisory sticker on a Foo Fighters record?
"No, I don't think so. Actually, we probably get more parents at our fuckings shows than kids these days. We should have a special sticker on our records. 'Caution. Children's Advisory. Your parents will dig this. Do not buy!'"
What's the best song you've written this year?
"Well, it's a tie. There's a song which is tentatively titled 'Knucklehead', which is tuned down to A and it's the closest thing you're going to get to Van Halen's 'Fair Warning'. It's pretty kick-ass. Then there's a song called 'Halo' that I'm pretty proud of. I can't wait to get in and record them. 'Knucklehead' is like a steamroller and 'Halo' is like NoMeansNo meets The Police or something like that."
What's the best song you've heard this year?
"I might have to say 'Chop Suey' by System Of A Down. That one rocks my socks off. I remember hearing them ages ago and they reminded me of the Dead Kennedys. Seeing them live, Serj did remind me of Jello Biafra, and hearing their new record just reminded me of NoMeansNo. To see a band like System getting such recognition really makes me happy."
Have you had any injuries during 2001?
"A lot of chipped teeth from microphones smacking me in the face. A lot of tounges bitten in half from chewing gum and jumping around at the same time. I cracked a rib from being drunk after a Pantera show. Then there was a broken toe. That's probably about it."
Have you had any fights this year?
"I haven't, actually. It's been very peaceful. That's one reason why I couldn't join Queens Of The Stone Age. They need a drummer that's gonna brawl with the best of them. I'm a peaceful guy. I'm never one to pick a fight."
Is Virginia really for lovers, or is that just tourist bullshit?
Are you the living proof then?
"Yes, I am. Virginia is for lovers, but Maryland's for crabs."
And would you know that from bitter experience?
What was the strangest experience of the year?
"Probably mixing the last Nirvana track. I hadn't heard it in ages. Krist and I got together and mixed it down. It was pretty bizarre, following the vocals and trying to mix a track that was eight or nine years old, that we hadn't really listened to that much. It was weird being taken to that time and place and hearing something that brought back so many memories. It was difficult. But it turned out really great."
Is the Nirvana track ever going to be released?
"Ask Courtney! The other day I was thinking, 'You know what we should do? let's just give it to everybody. Let everybody hear it.' Isn't that what everybody wants anyway? But we're not allowed to do that. If it was up to me, that's what I'd do. It's annoying. It's a thorn in my side. It's not that the band don't want people to hear it. We'll just see what happens."