Playboy Interview

Playboy (Germany) March 2021

Foo Fighters boss DAVE GROHL on the new way of life in 2021, his old disco love and cool grey beard hair

This article was run through Google Translate, so this text will not be 100% accurate - click the pics for the original German text

Playboy Germany Hello Dave, You are sitting in the tracksuit in front of the Computer. Is this your sports program or just general neglect?
(Laughs) The time of day!
In Los Angeles, it's now nine in the morning.
Yes, but we left the city. I wanted to take my family to a place with better air quality. Now we are in the Mountains of Utah. The children are also all squatting at their Computers, they have school. The Grohl family always spends their mornings in front of monitors at the moment.
Not only the Grohl family.
Well. That is the new reality.
How do you cope with it?
Well. I'll tell you what the secret is: I have a great family, who I love spending time with. I love to work for my Girls (Violet, 14, Harper, 11, Ophelia, 6) to cook, to play with them, to hang out with them. One of the beautiful aspects of life is that it consists of changes. It makes us mentally and also physically fit, if things don't always run smoothly. I feel better when I notice that nothing is taken for granted. A lot of people have since felt such a new appreciation for their lives. I am definitely one of them.
What can you do in Utah?
(Dave Grohl walks to the window with his laptop.) Here, look. There's a mountain. Afternoons when the children are finished with their school work, we always go out. Walking, hiking, with the bikes. We always think of something.
How is your condition while hiking?
Well, I just turned 52. I have to take care of myself so that I don't physically dismantle. But I was never the type who runs into the gym. My sports program are the three hours in the evening on stage. That's what I need to do now Compensate.
The album "Medicine At Midnight" was finished a year ago. Corona has thwarted your plans. But at least Foo Fighters played a concert in the famous rock club "Troubadour" in West Hollywood in October.
That was our only show in 2020, and there are only six songs. Nevertheless it feels like we're getting our life back. I hadn't seen the guys in months which is an unimaginably long time because we are like brothers. I was not sure at first if this gig to raise money for small independent live clubs, would be fun. But then it was really enough for me, to play the six or seven roadies who were still there besides us.
You even have a band with your daughters, The Grohlettes.
(Laughs) A great future stands before us! Together, we have recorded a song for Nandi Bushell, this fantastic ten year old girl from England, with who I did a little drum battle online. Of course, Nandi won. But even my girls are not without talent. Violet in particular has an incredible voice and can already play different instruments.
Playboy Germany "Medicine At Midnight" is an amazing album: a danceable rock record. What was the plan?
It's our tenth album, and the band turns 25. So we wanted to make something extraordinary - a really rousing party album.
Do you have a connection to Disco music?
I love disco! I remember as a child with my Mum sat in the car, in the mid-seventies, and how the songs sounded, all were very danceable. Also in rock music was shaped by disco, especially when playing drums. If you listen, how I play drums on "Nevermind": That was inspired and, sorry, a bit of a couple of my favorite disco bands. The Gap Band or Cameo. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" or "Come As You Are", which is classic disco drumming.
Are you not in the punk scene from Washington D.C. musical been socialized?
Yes, but even those funk punks like Chuck Brown that I hung out with as a teenager have made dance music. In the Foo Fighters we never had the right conditions for this. Now I am all the happier that we really pulled through. People need encouraging music now.
Justin Timberlake and the guy from Boyz II Men sang on the last Foo Fighters album Have you also saught support on "Medicine At Midnight"?
About two years ago our tour manager was with Pharrell Williams in Los Angeles, and I went there to say hello. I love Pharrell. He went to me: "Dude, I want to do a dance song with you." I thought: "Funny idea, but he's crazy." But he planted this idea in my head. And at some point I heard Bowie's "Let's Dance" again. That came out when I was 14 and I decided: Come on, it is time. Do it Dave!
Most of the pieces sound uplifting and powerful. But why the gloomy video for "Shame Shame" with digging your own grave?
The clip is a nightmare I had when I was 14 and I never forgot it.
Would you like to talk about it?
I was standing at the foot of a small Mountain. At the top of the summit was a coffin on fire. I ran up to the coffin to see who lies in it. When I touched him, I burned my hands. To this day I can still picture it and wonder what it meant. Any shame, some guilty conscience must have plagued me. When we recorded "Shame Shame" I realized: Damn, the lyrics are like this dream!
Was shame a defining feeling for 14 year old Dave Grohl?
No, not necessarily.
Which emotions were more formative?
I was often afraid that there would be a World War III. This was the time of Ronald Reagan, Cold War, nuclear weapons. Every time if you turned on the news, it was about international conflict. And I, as a boy in the suburbs of Washington D.C. feared that the bombs would fall directly on our house. "Waiting On A War" is about the fact history repeated itself.
What do you mean by that?
I wrote the lyrics, after my daughter Harper saw the news about the conflict between the US and North Korea and asked me, "Dad, will there be a war?" I think it's horrible and outrageous that my daughter feels that way. Young people need more hope and less fear.
Playboy Germany How are the four Trump years going to effect the USA?
Phew! Difficult question. We have been dealt a slightly different card by the pandemic. Crucially for me: compassion, empathy, and simple humanity - those values disappeared from The White House for four years, and you can see that. We have to now urgently return to mutual consideration, forbearance, and warmth.
On "Medicine At Midnight" there is the less motivating: love dies young...
Do you know who I am trying to be on "Love Dies Young" thought? ABBA! All of my life I loved and adored Abba. I mean who doesn't. It's not about shame and death, but everything about that energy of adolescent love.
How was that 'Puppy Love' for you?
As a teenager, I thought love was a stupid construct. I couldnt understand the fascination. I was so cynical and stupid. Until I myself fell in love. To experience love and heartbreak so quickly screwed me up - and very enriched. When you love in youth you understand why everyone makes such a fuss about it.
Even in old age? Or don't you feel old at all?
I have survived 52 years now. That's not nothing. Simply not to have died, that feels very good. When I see a grey hair in my beard, then each one is a memory to me. I am convinced of one thing; one day I'll be like a ruffled old Magician.
Your hair is still full!
We'll talk when I'm 80. But you know I can find it super cool to get older. I am in love with the grey hair and the wrinkles and find it very confident when someone simply accepts their age.
Also, for a stadium-filling rock band 50 is okay - right?
You're right. I am proud on the Foo Fighters. Nevertheless, it is actually the case that no one thinks of Rock 'n' Rollers at 50 or even 70-year-old, instead they think of young, impetuous, radical bands.
It's been almost 30 years since you released "Nevermind" with Nirvana.
My god we had so much Energy, we were hungry, we got into fights, we wanted everything - we were 19, 20, 21! Man, and now I'm sitting telling you how I hang out in the mountains of Utah.
Is that old Dave from before? with you?
19 year old Dave is still there. Clearly, he's still here.

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