"THE COLOUR AND THE SHAPE" DO YOU CALL THAT AN ALBUM TITLE?
"We had this tour manager who spent his afternoons in junk shops collecting things that would only clutter up his apartment.So one day he would come on the bus with a velvet lamp with jesus on it,and the next he'd come on with two candles that were made in Oklahoma in 1939. One day he came in with a red bowling ball with two white stripes around it. We all said, 'Peter what the fuck are you going to do with this thing?' And he said, 'I just liked the colour and the shape of it.' But I do think it's an appropriate title. This album was the first time the band had recorded together, so it represents the colour and the shape of the Foo Fighters, as ridiculous as that might sound."
THE VOCALS ARE MORE UPFRONT ON THIS ALBUM-DO YOU HAVE SINATRA-ESQUE CROONING AMBITIONS?
"On the first Foo Fighters record I had never been the 'vocalist' in a band before, and I've always had this fear of my own voice. So I would record lots of vocal tracks and try to bury them in the mix. I still dont really like the way my voice sounds. But this time Gil (Norton, producer) wanted to really focous on the vocals and get a strong performance out of me. I'd go for Sammy before Frank, though."
DO YOUR TATTOOS REPRESENT ANYTHING?
"Tattoos all represent their own moment in time, and the sentiment and the phase your going through when you get them are more significant than the design. Actually I recently got a little black heart tattooed on my middle finger."
DO YOU THINK IT'S POSSIBLE TO HAVE A RADICAL GOVERNMENT IN A WESTERN CAPITALIST SOCIETY?
"Maybe in a post-millennial era, but not at this point in time. There's too much emphasis on control at the moment. When faced with something so threatening as contemporary society, the government's first reaction is to become conservative, to return to pre-World War Two values."
IS AMERICA MAD FOR TECHNO?
"It's strange because white America loves rock music, but there's also the whole R&B and dance scene, and bands like The Chemical Brothers and Prodigy are bringing together all of these elements. All of a sudden these bands are making rock music you can dance to and it's fucking awesome. I've always been a huge fan of The Prodigy when they finally make their way to America they're gonna fucking rule. It would be great if someone like The Chemical Brothers remixed a Foo Fighters track as well."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SPICE GIRLS?
"I try not to think about them too much and if you ask me who my favourite one is I'm gonna fucking hang up! They're a marketing managers wet dream come true. The Beatles were so easy to market because everyone had their favourite one- some had the Ringo doll,some the George doll... I had the John Lennon toothbrush. It was the same with Kiss. They get a group of individuals and exploit each one's identity to make it easier for people to relate to the band, just like they're doing now with the Spice Girls. The thing is, I can't get their fucking songs out of my head, even though I've only heard them a couple of times."
THE FOO FIGHTERS AT READING 1995: LEGENDARILY CHAOTIC AND OVERCROWDED. WAS IT A GOOD OR BAD EXPERIENCE?
"It was bad for those people being crushed and trampled,to say the least. I couldnt believe it was happening, that the security guards were passing out, or that there were so many people who wanted to squeeze into this little tent to see the big mess we were making onstage. It's actually one of my fondest memories. If that had happend at Lollapalooza, it would have been shut down. There would have been police freaking out, beating people with sticks. I like playing festivals, but i prefer to play in the tent rather than on the main stage."
WHAT WOULD YOU PUT IN YOUR FESTIVAL SURVIVAL KIT?
"Important things are two or three film canisters filled with high-quality cannabis, two bottles of water,a tape recorder to make bootlegs, an anti-diuretic, a little bit of money to get some chips, sun-tan lotion-I wouldn't bother with that if i was in England. Toilet paper maybe... It's a little like entering a disaster area. You've gotta be something of a survivalist."
WHAT WAS THE LAST FILM YOU SAW?
"We've been in the studio since fucking November, so I only really watch videos. I watched Independance Day on video- it wasn't that great. The disaster movie is making a comeback, though, and I'm fucking psyched because i love them. There's one now called Volcano, which has Los Angeles being swallowed by a tidal wave of lava. As if we'd be so lucky."
HAVE YOU HAD ANY FILM OFFERS?
"To act in? Noooooo! It's a very, very,very dangerous thing for rock stars to try to act- they always fail miserably. There's only a few that have pulled it off- David Bowie did a good job, Mick Jagger almost got close, and Elvis... No,fuck Elvis. I hate Elvis anyway. I would love to be a voice on the Simpsons though. could you hook that up for me?"
SUPERTRAMP OR SUPERGRASS?
"Supergrass, 'cos I love that new album with a passion that breaks all fucking barriers. Good question!"
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SINGER TURNED DRUMMER?
"There fucking aren't any, 'cos once you've started singing you'd have to be really stupid to go back to the drums. There are a lot of great drummers turned singers though, like Chris Cornell from Soundgarden. Steve Tyler from Aerosmith is my favourite- he sets a much better an example than Phil Collins."
DO YOU STILL LIKE SCI-FI?
"I still lurve sci-fi, though there's not too much of it on the new album. I love watching The X Files. I was never a trekkie though."
HAVE YOU HEARD SWEET 75, KRIST NOVOSELIC'S NEW BAND?
"Yeah and I love them- they're like a hardcore version of the Yardbirds. You'll freak out when you hear them, they're pretty wild."
WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING ON DECEMBER 31 1999?
"I'm going to Prince's house. He's having a party- well, he's been singing about it for the past ten years so he'd better be having one. It's going to be so disappointing- it'll just be like any other night. Everyone's so excited about it, and then they'll just get pissed, puke, pass out and forget what the date is when they wake up in the morning."