Steve Lamacq interviewed Dave and Nate while the band where in the BBC studios recording their 1997 covers session.
STEVE LAMACQ We're talking to the Foo Fighters. It's Dave and Nate talking about the new Foo Fighters album which is rather splendid. It's got more soul this new record.
DAVE GROHL Yeah, I spent a lot of time with my old James Brown records...
SL I don't mean in a Godfather sense.
DG Yeah, I know what you mean.
SL There's something about the depth, the sound.
DG I think it may have something to do with the fact that there were four people involved this time, were as the last time it was done in five days by one person.
SL Do you count this as the first Foo Fighters album.
DG I do.
NM It's certainly the first one for me.
SL You could just carry on making first Foo Fighters albums.
DG (laughs) Probably!
SL You'd never have to make the difficult second album.
DG That's true.
SL But it seems to have extra everything. You know when you have a packet of washing liquid or something and it has '15% EXTRA FREE'? There's 15% extra everything this album.
DG That's a fine analogy my friend.
SL Did you enjoy making it? It sounds like you were very confident when you were doing it.
DG Yeah, it was a long, tedious process but I loved it man. I love being in the studio. It was unlike any other recording session I've ever had anything to do with.
SL Did it just click?
NM Pretty much. Although we did lose a member during the process.
SL When you recorded 'Monkey Wrench', was it a case of 'Yes, that's the single'?
DG The song didn't have that guitar riff at the beginning (sings riff) and it used to be kind of a cool song. But then that came in and we thought 'Wow, that's more like it', It sounds like the Go-Gos. This is pop music right?
SL Then the album builds up and it has those amazing three songs at the end which starts with Evergone?
SL That's really good.
DG Thank you.
SL Did you have in your mind 'this is how the record should finish'?
DG I think that sequencing is one of the most important things about putting a record together because albums with two or three nice songs and a bunch of filler aren't really that fun because it gives you a lot of time to get up off your couch and turn it off.
SL I dunno whether it's just the cassette version I've got but there's a huge gap between 'Walking After You' and 'New Way Home'.
DG I think once you get the CD version you'll hear that while I was recording 'Walking After You' I got up off the drums and walked out of the room through this door and there were room mics and so I walk past in stereo. I didn't know the tape was rolling and afterwards I heard that at the end of the song and I thought it was corny but it works!
SL Tell us about the session you recorded for us because it's not any of the songs we just talked about it's four covers.
DG We sorta thought it'd be fun to do four songs that people would probably hate and never expect us to do.
SL But are classics in their own right.
DG I consider the Killing Joke song a classic.
SL Which Killing Joke song is it?
SL Why 'Requiem'?
DG Requiem was the first Killing Joke record I bought.
SL Big drums Killing Joke had.
DG Big everything. That guy's one of my vocal heroes, it sounds like he drank a bottle of sulphuric acid and decided to get onstage and belt it out.
SL What about 'Baker Street'?
NM Well y'know, it's like a classic 70s song and a few people need to be reminded just how weird that decade could be.
DG I think it's sort of funny though that this album we've been tagged as this 'rock band' and everyone seems to think there's this big 70s influence to the band, so we might be taking the piss.
SL You could've done 'More Than A Feeling' by Boston.
DG It's funny everyone used to always say 'Teen Spirit' sounded like 'More Than A Feeling'.
DG Yeah, the guitar riff. And that 'Come As You Are' sounded just like Killing Joke's 'Eighties'.
SL Now, there you go.
DG You should check it out.
SL We'll play a track of the album next. What's your favourite riff?
DG I would say the riff from 'Everlong'
NM That would be mine too.
SL Here it is
SL That was 'Everlong' from the new Foo Fighters album 'The Colour And The Shape'. You've been over in the UK for how long at this moment in time?
DG 24 hours. Not even. 18 hours.
SL Are you the kind of people who get homesick?
SL Where is home?
SL It's not supposed to be a deep question.
DG I don't really have one at all. I'm not really in Seattle, I'm in the midst of a relocation.
SL So as your relocating America is turned upside down.
DG (adopts European journalist voice) Do you think rock is dead, it's the electronic revolution.
SL And this is the question you get asked by every journalist I guess is it?
DG Y'know it hasn't yet. It might, if the Prodigy come over and do it right - going on tour for ages, playing everywhere from Whicita to Washington DC then sure. But the hype is a little grand right now, I don't think the world has really caught on yet, America is a really big country you can't just expect put out a video and expect to be the biggest band in the world, you've gotta work.
SL You are a long standing fan of the Prodigy for quite a few years.
DG Oh my god, yeah. I've always been really impressed with at first their rhythms, but I think this guy Liam is just great, amazing. He knows how to build songs, he knows how to make rock songs with a computer and that's what's cool about the Prodigy is that they're a rock band and their kinda a punk band in a way but they're a dance thing but they also sound heavy metal at times so you can't lose.
SL Have you all started moving forward and writing different things and seeing where it's going next?
DG I have like, maybe three new songs and that's kinda sad to me because it's usually a few a month but I look at going on tour as a vacation, that's when I get to relax and sit in a hotel room for five hours with a guitar.
SL Have you evolved much as a live band?
DG I think so but it was strange when we were doing all that touring for a year and half because we were touring on a record that had twelve songs on it so we started stretching things out like 'we're gonna play these b-sides' or 'we'll do this Gary Numan song, an Angry Samoans song' Then the next tour the venues were bigger like three or four thousand people and people expect to see a show so in a weird way the audience was growing faster than the band.
SL Have you found yourself turning into a performer yet?
DG I've always sort of fancied myself as a performer (laughs) No, it's stage fright, it's not 'I am on stage, YES' it's 'I'm on stage, how long is it before I can get to walk off. By the time we come over to do these shows in a couple of weeks it's going to be like diving into a cold pool, I mean it's really going to be 'Ok, it's time to be this live band again'. I don't know what's better, to come see these first shows or to come see the shows in a year, because in a year we'll be all comfortable, like 'How you doing tonight? Alright!'.
SL Really Casual and laid back.
DG And the shows coming up will just be like: 'Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh!'
SL What about plans for the summer and things are you doing any festivals?
DG Oh yeah.
SL One of your first gigs I suppose would have been Reading Festival appearance, that was one of the wildest festival shows the UK has seen for quite some time.
DG That was pretty crazy. That was probably my fondest memory because I've never had to make an attempt at crowd control and trying to keep a riot from happening or something. And it's always fun when your playing and the security guards are passing out, like that's something else. (laughs)
SL What are you looking forward to, Nate, in the coming year?
DG Time off.
NM (laughs) Yeah, time off, next snowboard season. Just getting the live thing together really and there are some cool shows coming up, like we're going to be playing at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan...
SL That's alright
NM ..It's going to be an amazing show, it's like their first rock festival over there.
DG Weezer, Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chilli Peppers are playing and they've never had a rock festival before
SL That's a night!
DG It's going to be awesome.
SL Ok, we'll play another track from the album, any particular track you'd like to play?
DG 'New Way Home'.
NM It's a goody.
SL Yeah it is.
DG Last track on the album.
SL This is from....
DG It's our own 'Bohemian Rhapsody', this is our 'Baba O'Reilly'
SL (laughs) Can you see the video to go with it, revolving heads and things?
DG We might be able to work that out.
SL Plots are being hatched. It's the Foo Fighters and thank you very much for talking to us.
DG Thanks a lot.