Out Of This World


Dave meets his people

Foo Fighters are hitting the stages of T In the Park and Oxegen this weekend, so why is Dave Grohl keeping one eye on the sky?

Not content with being a Foo Fighter, Nirvana drummer, sometime Queen Of The Stone Age and The Nicest Man In Rock, frontman Dave Grohl is also an alien-obsessed geek.
  To prepare for their headlining slots at T In The Park and Oxegen this weekend, Grohl arranged for the Foo Fighters to play a special show at an ex-military facility in Roswell, New Mexico, the site of an alleged UFO crash in 1947 and now something of a Mecca for crazies and conspiracy theorists.

Are you bit of a sci-fi fan, then?
"When I recorded the first Foo Fighters record in '94 I'd been reading books on UFO sightings, so I named the band after the air force slang term for one. Then when I needed to come up with a name for the record label I was starting, I chose Roswell Records."

What was so special about Roswell?
"A UFO crashed there in 1947! Well, something landed on a farmer's ranch. He called up the airbase and said, 'One of your things is on my property: So the air force sent someone out who realised they. hadn't seen it before and brought it back to that very hangar. Then everyone shouted their mouths off saying, 'We found a UFO!', so the military took it to Texas where they say it still is."

Really? Sounds like a tall story to us...
"Here's what I think happened. After World War II our country was hyper-sensitive to anything. So when people starting talking about seeing UFOs it was a threat to national security. Whether it was an alien craft or not, the authorities covered it up. One thing you should believe is that the government doesn't always tell you what's true."

Do you believe in little green men?
Anyone who refuses to believe there's life out there is an idiot. It's practically proven that in a universe of billions of stars and suns there could be life somewhere else. Whether it's flying around in discs and has big eyes and green heads, I'm not sure."

Have you been abducted by aliens?
"I saw something strange on the first Foo Fighters tour. We were driving through the Southwest at sunset and we saw what looked like a Ferris wheel slowly spinning in the sky, leaving a cloud tracer. It lasted for a minute then stopped, and soon enough there were helicopters circling the area where we saw it. We were probably near some military testing base, but it was a nice omen for the band."

Right, that's enough flying saucers. You've got two discs of stuff on your new album 'In Your Honour': how will you decide what to play this weekend?
"We're playing only the noisy stuff. It's such a treat to open a show with a song like 'In Your Honour', I was hoping these songs would become big. sweaty singalongs. We played the other night in Toronto and to hear the entire audience sing 'Best Of You' is exactly what I hoped would happen. So I hope people are ready and have done their homework."

Will you ever play the quieter songs?
"We're going to do some acoustic shows in small venues where people can sit down. We'll assemble a mini orchestra of the people that helped record the album. It's going to take more than the four of us to perform that stuff live, we just need to get the right people and do some practice. I'm looking forward to having a show where people listen rather than punch each other in the head for an hour and a half."