SAM questionnaire 2000

First Nirvana. Now the Foo Fighters. Is Dave Grohl the luckiest man on the face of the earth - or America's smartest living rocker?

I am most obsessed with: a) Lynyrd Skynyrd, b) UFOs, c) my double-F tattoo, d) the Howard Stern Show.
Answer: (a) I would have to say Lynyrd Skynyrd. I love UFOs and I love Howard Stern and I'm very proud of the tattoo on the back of my neck, but Lynyrd Skynyrd rocks. I mean, (Gary) Rossington and (Allen) Collens, those two guys are some of my favorite guitar players ever. Collens in particular - not only was he sporting a fine Gibson Explorer most of the time, but he was rail thin, with that nice fluffy perm hair, he wrote all of the classic Skynyrd riffs. The guy was one of my heroes, he was awesome. And he always looked like he was drunk.

I prefer playing guitar and singing to playing drums because: a) chicks dig me more, b) my butt hurts less, c) I don't have to hear jokes like, "What do you call a guy who hangs around with musicians? A drummer!"
Answer: (c) Hmmm...that's a tough one to answer. I'd have to say the absence of drummer jokes in my life - although now I've made it my life's purpose to defend all drummers against those jokes. I'm using myself and my direction as an example for all of the other great drummers in the world who can also play guitar and sing.

I didn't go to college because: a) you generally need to complete high school first, b) punk rockers don't do college, c) I knew I'd be a rock star and make millions, d) all of the above.
Answer: (d) I dropped out of high school so I could go on tour when I was seventeen. I was a punk rocker, and they always kind of look funny in college because you're supposed to be antiestablishment, so why go to a university? My mother was a teacher at the high school I was going to, so it didn't go over too well. But she was very supportive. Mother said, "OK, well, you better be good at what you're doing, and start paying rent," which I never did. But now I pay her rent, so it worked out good.

The college I would have most likely fit in at is: a) Harvard, b) University of Virginia, c) Berkeley, d) Julliard.
Answer: (e) Kind of none of the above. Yeah right, I'm gonna end up at UVA, no way! I'm too stupid for that! Or Harvard, none of that Ivy League for me, no way. I wanted to do the Parsons (Art Institute) thing; that was what I really wanted to do. I wanted to be a sensitive art student who stayed in college for at least seven years.

Worldwide fame at 22 is: a) hell, b) heaven, c) all of the above.
Answer: (b) Oh, heaven man, how can it be anything but that? It was great, it was wonderful. Imagine, going from having a $7 per diem to having a credit card - that's the thing that you plug into a wall and spits out as much money as you want whenever you want it! I remember, the first thing I bought was a pair of expensive sunglasses - that I lost. I was in Hawaii when I got my first credit card. It was sent to me by the accountants: "Here, you might want this." I bought sunglasses and went to Benihana. It was great.

My new album has no DJs or dance drum beats because: a) I made it in Virginia, b) I don't really want to sell that many copies, c) dance music reminds me too much of New Wave, d) I'm old school.
Answer: (d) I'm old school. I'm a rock and roll purist. I love hip hop and I love all electronica. Whether it's Aphex Twin, Prodigy, Underworld, The Orb, whatever, I like to listen to that kind of music. But do I think it has a place in guitar-driven rock music? No, not at all. Would I want to start adding musicians to make up for what we did in the studio on record? No. I think that's a cop out. I think bands should be bands and not DAT machines and additional musicians. I think that the identity of the band is the core four members: the bass, the guitar, the drums and the vocals. I think that's all you need to make a great song, as far as rock music goes. Do you think Skynyrd would have had a DJ? No.

In five years, Kid Rock will be: a) working on his third platinum-selling album, b) answering phones for Ad Rock, c) still singing, "I'm a cowboy, baby," d) collaborating with me on a new Foo album.
Answer: (a) (Laughs) I don't think that he's gonna go away anytime soon. No way. The guy's too hot man; chicks dig him.

I like playing college towns because: a) the kids are too young to remember Nirvana, b) I get carded at the bars, c) college kids are the only ones who still seem to care about rock and roll.
Answer:(d) That's tough. Hmmm. I think I'm gonna have to say none of the above. It doesn't make any difference to me whether we're at the University of Virginia or, no, my favorite is State College, Pennsylvania - that's the name of the town, so you know you're in a college town. I don't smoke weed anymore and I used to love playing college towns because you could usually find weed. But now that I quit smoking weed, it doesn't make any difference whether I'm in New York City or State College, Pennsylvania.

I feel most fortunate right now because: a) I have my own record label imprint, Roswell Records, b) I have been in two unbelievably successful bands, c) I was actually able to record my whole new album from my basement couch.
Answer: (d) All of the above. How could you not feel like it's a dream come true? I went to a psychic - which I'd never done before. This person is well respected and very well known within our circle of friends, this psychic in Australia. And one of the first things she told me was, "You're one of the luckiest people I've ever met in my entire life." She had no idea (who I was).

I once said about Nirvana, "I wasn't that involved in the band, really. I was just the drummer" because: a) I am probably too modest, b) I don't want to dwell on the past, c) it gets obnoxious reporters like you to stop asking me about Nirvana.
Answer: (d) All of the above. I mean, c'mon, what's a drummer gonna say? (shouting) "I'm responsible for that 'Teen Spirit' shit! Hey, if it wasn't for that clackety-clack at the beginning of the song, those kids wouldn't have started wearing flannel and quit goin' to high school!"

My advice for college-student musicians is: a) drop out and tour, b) major in music, c) major in anything but music, d) lock yourself in your room and practice.
Answer: (a) I honestly believe that by dropping out of high school and touring the world I learned more than I would have sitting in a fluorescent-lit room with someone pointing at a chalkboard and treating me like a robot. The only reason I learned Italian was I spent so much time in Italy asking, "Hey, where's the bathroom? Hey, can I have a joint? Hey, I'm hungry. Hey, I'm losing my mind and can I have a ticket home please?" There's too much of a world out there to try to see it from a schoolbook or from someone else's point of view.

My favorite music scene is: a) Washington, D.C. punk, b) Seattle grunge, c) right here, right now.
Answer: (a) Oh my God, D.C. hardcore man! Early eighties D.C. hardcore - that was like Haight-Ashbury, baby. That was the real deal. There's something about it, whether it has to do with the cultural mishmosh of Washington, D.C., or the urban nightmare that is three-fourths of the city, or just the amazing community that the scene has always had. The city was like five or six hundred kids who at one point or another had all been in a band with one or another. It was very incestuous and completely vital and everybody knew that D.C. was respected for most of the bands that came out of it, whether it was the Make-Up, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Trouble Funk, the Obsessed, Scream or Bad Brains - that was the real deal, man.
I moved to Seattle after the birth of grunge; I didn't get there until 1990. There were still a lot of amazing bands, but the first time I ever saw Nirvana was when I flew up to audition for them and they were doing a show with another drummer, and there were like 1,500 kids at the show. It didn't seem like a punk-rock scene to me, and that's all I had ever really known. The kids weren't punk rockers, they were dirty, little burnouts. And I'd never seen anything like that before. I thought it was pretty hilarious. I wish that I could have seen Tad and Nirvana and Mudhoney when there were only 75 or 80 people there with me, but I sort of missed out.

'Grunge' is: a) a word I never want to hear again, b) a musical genre I'm proud to have helped define, c) the stuff under my fingernails.
Answer: (c) I'd probably have to say the stuff under my fingernails. I mean, shit, the Zombies were a grunge band, so how come no one called it that then?

When I think of Foo Fighters music, I consider it to be most like: a) Nirvana, b) R.E.M., c) Beatles, d) Alan Parsons Project.
Answer: (d) I'm not really sure what the 'Allison' Parsons Project sounds like, but I'll go for that, since the others are, you know, a little too weighty. We haven't even tapped into our Prague leanings yet. The next album is gonna be like Spyro Gyra dude. It's gonna be insane.

My parents: a) hated my constant drumming on everything in the house, b) didn't get punk rock, c) supported my dropping out of high school, d) are my biggest fans.
Answer: (c and d) I never had a drum set in my house when I was growing up. I grew up in a house that was too small to put a drum set anywhere. We didn't even have a garage, so I started on guitar. I drove my mother insane for about six months with the old guitar that was in the house, playing "Smoke on the Water" over and over. But the drumming never really made its way into the house - unless Mom was out of town, then I'd invite everyone over to the house for a jam session in the living room.

When I look out into the crowd and see a lot of college students, I typically think: a) Oh my God, if they only knew that I'm 30, b) they should be home studying, c) she's awfully cute.
Answer: (d) None of the above. When I look out into the audience and see a bunch of college students, I worry that they wish I was Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray, or the dude from the Goo Goo Dolls.

The best band of the nineties was: a) Nirvana, b) Foo Fighters, c) Pearl Jam, d) Wu Tang Clan.
Answer: (d) I'll have to go with Wu Tang - they have the most members. It would be so great to be in a band where it doesn't really matter if everyone shows up! I like Pearl Jam's last record a lot. I thought it sounded great, I thought a lot of the riffs were cool. I have a lot of respect for them, man. I mean, they've put out a lot of records in the last nine years. A lot of bands wouldn't do that, and they've kind of stuck to their guns, so I happen to think that they're pretty cool.