Star Playlist


Dave Grohl on Metal; 20 songs the Foo Fighter cranks up to 11

Iron Butterfly
What I consider to be one of the first metal songs. The riff and the groove are dirgy and sinister. The whole track is so spooky and haunting. I heard it as a young kid and it freaked me out. It reminded me of bad things and still does.
Available On: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (Rhino)

Wake Up Dead
Dave Mustaine was an original member of Metallica, then he split in the early '80s. This track was amazing and the video was killer-the band playing in a cage in stretch pants, hi-tops and mullets. Doh, I'm tellin' ya, it was a headbanger's fantasy.
Available On: Peace Sells... But Who's Buying (Capitol)

Breakin' The Law
Judas Priest
Priest are a lot deeper than most people give them credit for. I wasn't a Priest fanatic, but certain songs I loved. Early Priest is great... They were a kick-ass metal band in a Deep Purple vein. This is mid-era Priest. And it rocks.
Available On: British Steel (Columbia)

I discovered them from a video tape called The Ultimate Revenge, a live show in NYC with Venom and Slayer. The singer introduces this by saying, "It ain't about no trout! It's called Piranha!" And that's the kind of "out there" stagecraft that I still aspire to.
Available On: Bonded By Blood (Century Media)

Highway Star
Deep Purple
Their drummer Ian Paice was amazing and a big influence on me. Beyond that, any band that can rock an organ like a monster Marshall cabinet gets a shout-out from me.
Available On: Deep Purple In Rock (EMI)

Stand Up & Shout
I'll never forget seeing this on [long-running US TV show] Don Kirschner's Rock Concert for the first time. For a little guy he had a commanding stage presence. Vinnie Appice is a great drummer on this, too. And, er, well, Dio is my neighbour now...
Available On: Holy Diver (Polydor)

Psychotic Reaction
Trouble made some amazing albums - dark and slow like Sabbath. But they're actually a Christian band. They had lyrics which nudged the listener towards the path of righteousness. I was in Catholic school when I heard this - they never swayed me and the school didn't either.
Available On: Trouble (Warner Brothers)

Way She Fly
The Obsessed
They were a Washington DC band - the godfathers of doom or stoner rock. My band opened for The Obsessed, they were loved by everyone from goths to punks. Wino the guitarist is on the Probot album. I think what works here is the relentless kinda darkness... It's uplifting in a suicidal kind of way.
Available On: Obsessed (Tolotta)

Hog Leg
The Melvins
They would be horrified to be called a metal band, but they're definitely heavy. Buzz Osborne sings in this higher register which sounds like he's mocking heavy metal vocals. As you know I prefer a more gruff vocal style for the Foos but one day I'll take a crack at a squeal like this.
Available On: Egg Nog (Tupelo)

Black Dog
Led Zeppelin
This is what Led Zeppelin were all about in their most rocking moments, a perfect example of their true might. John Bonham played the drums like someone who didn't know what was going to happen next - like he was teetering on the edge of a cliff.
Available On: Led Zeppelin IV (Atlantic)

I'm Broken
They were part of the second wave of American thrash metal. Dimebag Darrell is an amazing guitarist. The Pantera home videos are the best. It's all vomiting and drinking and titty bars and blood and guts. They're my favourite movies of all time.
Available On: Reinventing Hell- The Best Of Pantera (WSM)

Metal Church
Metal Church
They were thrash metal kings from Washington state. With this track it just comes down to the riff. It reminds me of taking acid when I was young. I dropped out of high school and as much as I make light of that shit I did apply myself. I lernt to play the drums to this and the others...
Available On: Metal Church (SPY)

We Gotta Know
The Cro-Mags
They started as a hardcore band in NewYork - scary-looking skinheads who were actually all Krishna devotees. Their album Age Of Quarrel was one of those crossover albums: in the mid-'80s bands were getting heavier, playing more riffs.
Available On: Age Of Quarrel (Loud Fast Recordings)

Thrashing Rage
Very weird French Canadians. This is from their second album and it sounds like a fucking train-wreck. I was 15 or 16 when I first heard this. I always had a soft spot for bands who sang in English but with an accent. The singer Snake's accent is the coolest, nastiest, most sinister thing.
Available On: Rrroooaaarrr! (Noise)

Roots Bloody Roots
The album Roots is the best recording of a metal band I've heard in my life. Produced by Ross Robinson, mixed by Andy Wallace, it's incredible. Roots... incorporated Brazilian rhythms and drums and it's so powerful. It's a fucking metal track with a carnival passing through the middle of it.
Available On: Roots (Roadrunner)

A Corpse Without Soul
Mercyful Fate
King Diamond, the singer, is a nut. He sang about black masses and ritualistic sacrifice like others sing about going to the prom. But I love the part in the song where in a really high octave he screams, "Sataaaan!" and holds it. That's a big moment in the heavy metal timeline.
Available On: The Beginning (Roadrunner)

Master Of Puppets
I bought this mail order from some catalogue based purely on the description of the album. It said "thrash metal" which I'd never heard before. It came and I couldn't believe it. I'd heard Motorhead and some punk but not a band as fast and tight and as metal.
Available On: Master Of Puppets (Polydor)

Symptom Of The Universe
Black Sabbath
One of the first fast heavy metal riffs. Everyone would know that riff if you played it on any set-list anywhere in the world. I don't put Sabbath on much these days, but when you hear this you realise that this is the swamp from whence much metal crawled.
Available On: Best Of Black Sabbath (Raw Power)

Raining Blood
An amazing piece of work, produced by Rick Rubin. I saw them on this tour at an old opera theatre in Washington DC. The lights went down, these two upside-down crosses with smoke billowing were illuminated and the whole audience rushed the stage and destroyed the first two rows of beautiful velvet seats - amazing!
Available On: Reign In Blood (American)

Ace Of Spade
You could delete all the other 19 records but still retain the blueprint for metal from this. This is metal DNA! Beyond the speed, the riff, and Lemmy... it's the attitude. I first heard this on Don Kirschner's Rock Concert before I'd listened to punk rock. There was nothing glamorous about it - it was dark and mean and intense as fuck.
Available On: The Best Of Motorhead (Metal-Is)