The album itself shows off your acoustic and electric sides. Was it tough finding a balance?
"No, because the demos ranged from wall-of-noise hard shit to fucking mellow piano ballads. We didn't choose songs by their dynamic; we just picked songs by their lyrics, structure or melody... it happened really naturally."
So does the mix mean that Dave Grohl has mellowed out?
"I've been running around a stage with a beer in my hand singing my fucking throat out for the past 12 years, so you do get to the point where you think, 'Man, there's got to be more than just that, so let's explore a little bit.' At the same time I don't see us as a fucking harpsichord band. It's the balance in the two things that keeps us interested in what we're doing. I'm proud to be in the band that goes on at one o'clock in the afternoon with the acoustic guitars on the side stage and then at night time on the main stage with the big guitars."
Talking of which, did you enjoy the 'secret' shows at V Festival? They didn't seem so secret in the end.
"I know! I thought, 'Oh cool, we'll be playing in some little tent,' and then there's 10,000 people there! It's nice to do that because you shake off the nerves. Honestly, I was just sitting there with a cup of tea before we went on to play going, 'Wow, this isn't whisky!' Usually you're hanging around all day, drinking beer with these bands who are playing amazing sets and you're the last band of the night. You build up this nervous tension, like, 'Oh fuck, I've been here all day, this'd better be good!'lf the band has a great show at one o'clock in the afternoon then it's, like, 'Well, fuck. OK, let's grab something to eat and do it all again with some big amps and watch people beat the fuck out of each other."
Will you support yourselves on your winter UK tour then?
"We have an opening band, but we're still trying to figure out what we're going to do with the show. It'll be something you've never seen us do before."
You've got a lot to live up to after stealing the show from Madonna at Live Earth.
"I didn't necessarily see it that way. I saw Wembley on the television with that Concert For Diana about a week before and thought, 'Oh my god, that place is fucking massive!' Then I immediately got scared. On the day I thought it was kind of funny that we were on after the Pussycat Dolls and before Madonna - that's never happened to the band before! I just thought, 'Alright, let's do this!' Once we got to the middle of 'My Hero' I was like, 'Ah, I think I've got these fuckers in the palm of my hand!'."
We got the feeling you were into it.
"Well, I joked about doing a five-night stand there - but I don't think that's feasible. For that moment it felt like that massive stadium had shrunk into a tiny room, and when that happens it's the greatest feeling in the world! If we could do that again it would be good."
There's a rumour you're booked for two nights there next summer.
"I don't know, man. I'm just trying to get through the day."
Are you excited about the Led Zeppelin reunion? There were rumours you'd be the drummer. Fancy an extra gig in November?
"I am at their beck and call! But Jason [Bonham, original drummer John's son] should be the one. It should be Jason and everyone knows that. He's a fucking phenomenal drummer, y'know? But, ah, if I got that call, what the fuck do you think I'd be saying? 'Hey Chris and Taylor, let's take a little break for a few days. I'll see ya later!' But I don't expect that to happen. I'd love to be at the show though..."
Sounds like someone wants to get on the guestlist?
"I'm not sure. It's sort of at the tail end of the Foo Fighters tour and it's right after Thanksgiving. And I can't be away from home for Thanksgiving... unless Led Zeppelin call! (laughs)"