IS ROCK'N'ROLL DEAD OR IS IT JUST PRETENDING, LIKE ELVIS?
"You know what, it's alive and well in my house. And the crowds I play for - whether it's 200 people or 200,000 - still love to rock out. The audience beats the shit out of each other when my band plays, so I'm happy."
WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON ELECTRONICA?
"I like a lot of it: Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Underworld. But D.J.'s as rock stars? Maybe it's because I like people who play instruments, but I can't recognise the talent in spinning a record on a turntable. I mean if I pick up one more goddamn underground fashion magazine that's got an article on some genius D.J. from Sweden... It's not fucking rocket science."
FOO FIGHTERS HAVE TOURED EUROPE A LOT LATELY. ARE YOU BIG OVERSEAS?
"It's weird, because it's different from album to album. The French for example, were into our first record because it sounded like a demo tape. But then we actually made an effort on the next one, and they hated it. Now we make this one in my basement studio, so they like us again. Who knows what the fucking French are all about."
ARE CONCERT AUDIENCES DIFFERENT OVER THERE?
"I think Americans tend to beat the shit out of each other and rape people and stuff, where everywhere else people dance and have fun."
"Germans just bitch about T-shirt prices."
WHAT'S THE WEIRDEST THING ANYONE HAS EVER TOSSED ONSTAGE?
"Just the other day someone threw a bra duct-taped to a tennis ball. I just stood there, playing guitar, thinking how this was totally premeditated. Some girl sat around inventing a way to get her bra onstage from 40 rows back. I thought, Hey, we should sell those at the merchandise stand."
WHY DO SO MANY MUSICIANS GET NAILED GOING THROUGH CUSTOMS?
"Oh, man when you're in a rock band, you're gonna get searched. A customs guy will say, "Welcome to Australia! I love your band. I'm a huge fan. Could you sign a couple of things for me?" Then he'll rip your luggage to fucking shreads right in front of you."
IT'S PROBABLY THOSE SUSPICIOUS PORKCHOP SIDEBURNS
"I loved the 'burns, man. they just add to that whole Lynyrd Skynyrd redneck vibe. I shaved 'em off for a court appearence 'cause I got a fucking DUI on a moped in Australia! We'd rented these mopeds to cruise around and we were riding them back from a show to the hotel when we saw a police barricade. I figured they'd just wave me through, but I had to blow into the little straw. I'd had like four beers. I told them I could just walk to the hotel but they said, 'Sorry mate, gonna have to put you in the watch house tonight.' Of course when I get to jail it was filled with people who'd been at our show."
DIDN'T YOU GUYS PLAY AT THE VH1 FASHION AWARDS?
"That was funny 'cause we're probably the least fashionable band in the world. You know what makes me sick? Celebrities who get free designer clothes. It's like if Jennifer Lopez gets a $35,000 dress for free to cover her big ass - and she's probably the only person in the world who can afford it."
YOUR ROOTS ARE IN PUNK BUT 'THERE IS NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE' HAS A 70s RADIO-ROCK VIBE.
"I'm not ashamed to say I live for that shit - Wings, Peter Frampton, Supertramp. At the same time I like Black Sabbath, the Stooges, Zeppelin. I believe that our band is a perfect blend of 70s pop and punk, 'cause that's where I'm coming from."
THEN YOU WON'T MIND TAKING OUR 70s ARENA-ROCK POP QUIZ. WE NAME THE SONG, YOU NAME THE BAND: 'RIDIN' THE STORM OUT'
"That's fucking REO speedwagon."
'FOOL FOR THE CITY'
"Dammit, who is that...Foreigner?"
SO CLOSE - BAD COMPANY.
HEY, YOU GOT TWO OUT OF THREE
WHAT WAS THE FIRST BIG CONCERT YOU WENT TO?
"I was a late bloomer. I went to a lot of punk shows in little clubs, but m first big concert was the Monsters Of Rock tour in D.C. when I was, like, 19: Dokken, the Scorpions, Van Halen and Metallica. Everyone was there to see Metallica. It was dumb, 'cause we lost our weed right when we got there, and I spent most of the night trying to buy another bag."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GIANT REUNION TOURS BY BANDS THAT BROKE UP 20 YEARS AGO?
"Kiss was fun. But I hate Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. I wouldn't pay 100 bucks to see any rock show unless there were, like, 15 bands on the bill. I sure wouldn't pay 100 bucks to see Barbra Streisand eat fucking brie. Ok, maybe I'd pay that much to see a Police reunion - but I'd better get a T-shirt."
WILL YOU STILL BE DOING THIS WHEN YOUR 50?
"No way, man - I don't want to be doing this when I'm 34. I'm on the verge of retirement. I'll just kick back at my house in Virginia and make babies."
A RECLUSE WITH HIS OWN RECORDING COMPOUND. EVER CONSIDER CALLING YOURSELF 'THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS DAVE'?
"You know, I don't want to be Prince. I want to be the David Koresh of rock'n'roll: I'll just whole myself up in my studio and everyone will want my tapes, but I'll just burn the place down and be famous forever."