Rolling Stone, July 2018

The Foo frontman on face tattoos, the end of the classic-rock era, and the genius of Meg White.

Dave Grohl had a day off in Memphis yesterday, so he paid a visit to Graceland, which got him thinking about how Elvis Presley was once just another kid with a guitar trying to deal with "the effect that young stardom can have." But unlike Presley and certain other tortured souls, Grohl seems somehow built for the long haul, in part because he simply enjoys the journey so much. He's currently on a world tour with Foo Fighters, who released the strong, Greg Kurstin-pro-duced Concrete and Gold in September. Twenty-three years into the band's career, Grohl talks about the shows like he's just getting started. "It's probably uncool to say: he says, "but honestly, I'm just scanning the audience all night trying to get each and every one of them out of their seats. And if I get a whole audience standing for three hours, then I walk offstage like, `That was a good show. We had them fucking jamming.'"

Dave Grohl, Rolling Stone 2018 So how much coffee have you had today?
Maybe six cups. A reasonable amount to get my day started.

You were having caffeine-induced chest pains. Any plans to cut back?
You realize you're talking to someone that's never done cocaine in his life. You can only imagine what would happen if I got my face in a pile of that shit. We wouldn't be on the phone right now. But after I got my diagnosis that I should decaffeinate, I tried decaf for, like, a week, and I came to the conclusion that decaf blows.

How do you feel about seeing classic-rock acts retire?
I started thinking about it at the 12/12/12 concert, where you had all the greats - McCartney, the Stones, the Who, Roger Waters. And most of those people came from a specific time frame. I was thinking, "Well, God. Does that mean at some point there's going to be that window closing, and it's gonna dissipate really quickly?"

And have you grappled with the idea that you guys - and bands like Pearl Jam and Guns N' Roses - will be stepping into their shoes to an extent?
I would never put ourselves in that category or that echelon. But it's weird. First of all, I can't believe we're still a band [after] 20-whatever years. And I can't believe we're playing arenas and stadiums. And that it's gotten to this point where I look out at the audience and I don't just see Foo Fighters T-shirts anymore. I see people in their sixties and seventies. I see kids that are 10 years old, teenagers, and it seems to me that when we come to town, people hear there's a rock show and they just come on out. So we've gotten to the point where I think that we represent something... um ...general [laughs]. You know?

You called Lil Pump the new punk rock. What do you actually like about "Gucci Gang"?
Pat Smear and I had this conversation as we both be-came huge fans of Lil Pump, because imagine playing a Germs record for your father who was a classically trained musician. What do you think he would think? When I was a kid listening to punk rock, all I wanted was noise and rebellion, whether it was satanic death metal or industrial noise. If anybody dug into my record collection then, it's like, "This is noise!" I love a good trap beat and a nice 808. And one of the things I love the most about "Gucci Gang" is it's two minutes long. Look, I'm not going out and getting face tattoos anytime soon, but if [Lil Pump's] "D Rose" comes on, I am down.

What's going on with a second season of Sonic Highways?
Well, we've been working on it for six years now, and ... I'm kidding. That door is always open. And a lot of great things have stemmed from that series. There are now kids in schools across the country making their own Sonic Highways about the little towns where they live. I still have the concept for the second season, so, someday.

When you play, say, "Everlong," are you still connecting with the original emotion behind it?
Oh, yeah. There are nights where you're thinking about what toppings are on the pizza on the bus and whether you need to do laundry tomorrow, but when you launch into a song like that, it immediately brings you back. We're not robots. What chokes me up is when I see people singing lyrics back to me with the same emotion. So if you hear me kind of giggling in the middle of a song, it's because I'm trying not to just fucking totally break down in front of everybody like a fool [laughs].

What would you do if Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson asked you to play drums for Rush on a tour?
I would say, "I'm not physically or musically capable, but thanks for the offer." Neil Peart, that's a whole other animal, another species of drummer. I know the arrangements, but I'm like Meg White to Neil Peart. And she's one of my favorite drummers! She's my daughter's favorite drummer, too. My daughter plays drums to two types of music: White Stripes and AC/DC. I'm like, "That's exactly what you need to be doing".

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