"America Would Rather Have A War Than A Rock Festival!"


No-one loves the Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds more than Foo Fighters do

Hitching a ride When King Dave of Planet Rock set out to claim his empire, the conquest began at the Reading Festival, with two incendiary Nirvana shows in 1991 and 1992. It was also the scene of the first British Foo Fighters show in 1995; and now, with the band in the throes of world domination with their 'In Your Honor' epic, they're on their way back to shake the Carling Weekend once again. Here, The GroW explains why this is the show he's been waiting all his life to play.

Hello Dave, where are you?
"We just got into Munich - we played a Portuguese festival last night in the middle of nowhere. We got here at five, so I only got, like, two hours' sleep last night."

So are you looldng forward to playing Reading and Leeds?
"Yeah, I've been there a few times. I just love being on that stage, I know exactly what it looks like to stand at the lip of that stage in front of 60,000 people. I know exactly what it looks like, from the vending booths to the fuckin' train tracks to the sound desk to... whenever I think of Reading. I close my eyes and see it because I've been staring out at that audience since 1991."

What do you remember about the two Nirvana shows at Reading?
"The first time I was horrified because I was 21 years old and I'd never played to more than 750 people in my life or something. so it was a shock. I was horrified, I was so fuckin' scared, and we had a great show in '91. And then in '92, when we came back to headline, that was the show that wasn't supposed to happen, that was a show that was supposed to be a fuckin' Babyshambles train wreck, but it turned out to be one of the best shows we've ever played. And it was at a really disconnected time for the band. Some sort of magic brought it all together that night and I blamed it on Reading. I didn't blame it on the band. I thought that was a great show because of the Reading Festival and not because of the three people playing the music."

So better than '92 with Nirvana?
"Oh my God yeah, it's a totally different experience, but this feels sweeter."

What makes Reading so special?
"Reading just does it for me because it was my first experience of a festival. I spend my life telling people in America about the Reading Festival, because we don't have them in America and they always wonder why. I spend my life wondering why we don't have rock festivals in America. But there'd be fighting. there'd be bottles thrown everywhere, there'd be a fucking war. That's the thing about America; they'd rather have a war than a rock festival."

Who do you want to watch?
"I think Kings Of Leon are playing on the same day as us. They're good guys. Obviously I would love to see Pixies and Queens Of The Stone Age, but I think that we're on opposing days. But you know what else? I would really like to see Iron Maiden at the Reading Festival. Because I understand that this is a bit of a return to the spirit of the festival in the '70s and '80S, is that right? So for Iron Maiden to headline this year, I think that's fuckin' awesome!"

What's your festival survival secret?
The main thing I would just say is to bring Guinness. I'm telling you man, Guinness works."

Where is the best place to have sex?
"Under the stage, definitely! When we're on? Yeah, under the stage during Foo Fighters! But it's just the darkest, most private place you can find. Under the stage."