This interview took place over the phone as the Foo Fighters were on a promo tour of Canada.
Steve Lamacq So the last time we talked to you was at somewhere like Reading festival...
Dave Grohl Yeah it was over a year ago.
SL ...you were desperate for time off at that point.
DG Well we'd been touring for over a year, and after a year and a half of playing the same 20 songs you're anxious to get into the studio to make more so you don't completely lose your mind. So we were anxious to take time off and go into the studio.
SL So what did you do? Did you take a bit of a break and then sort of re-group?
DG Yeah, well not really. Time off was nice just because we didn't have to travel we got to stay in one place, but we were definitely working for the new record in the studio together and rehearsing and writing.
SL And it's a slightly different line up isn't it?
DG Well we have a new guitarist named Chris, who has been in the band for about a month now. But we recorded the album as a three piece, just Nate, Taylor and I.
SL You're just trying to do it in different versions aren't you? One on your own, one with a band, one as a threesome. All the different alternatives.
DG Exactly. I think maybe the next one we'll do with a gospel choir, possibly an orchestra or it will be no-one we'll get machines to do it for us.
SL So listen, 'Learn To Fly' on first listen sounds like another one of your great searching records.
DG Well the lyrics on this album were probably influenced most by moving from Seattle to Los Angeles, spending a year trying to learn how to live on your own again, finding that comfortable space somewhere. So moving back to Virginia was just that, and going from Los Angeles, which is Hollywood, which is everything fake, plastic and phoney with people who want to be something else, and getting back to Virginia and finding something real.
SL So you're still looking for something?
DG (sings) "I'm looking for love in all the wrong places" (laughs)
DG Well I'm always looking for something.
SL And would you say 'Learn To Fly' is representative of the album?
DG No, it's really hard picking singles from an album. Because the songs are so diverse from this album, it's kind of hard to find a song that's representative of the whole album. 'Learn To Fly' is like the sort of middle of the road, pop, guitar rock song, but if we were to choose a song like 'Stacked Actors' to be the first single which sounds like Black Sabbath meets calypso music or something, that would throw everyone off. Or a song like 'Ain't It The Life' which sounds like The Beach Boys or whatever so it's hard to find one that sums up the whole record.
SL The mind boggles with those descriptions.
DG (laughs) I know.
SL So what are your plans are you going to come over here and do any dates or anything?
DG Yeah, I'm not exactly sure but I think it might be the end of October or beginning of November. The album is released either November 1st or 2nd and we'll come over and start touring right after that.
SL Listen, thank you very much for talking to us tonight and this is the new Foo Fighters single, would you like to introduce it? DG Ladies and gentlemen I'd like to introduce you to our new single, this song is called 'Learn To Fly'.