Masters Of Rock
Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson looked back on 10 years of Foo Fighters with Dave
Bruce Dickinson: The hardest working man in rock, supposedly the nicest & the ultimate session guy; Dave Grohl.
Dave Grohl: There's a lot of people I'd love to play with. It's just fun to jam with people. I was playing drums with Tenacious D in the studio the other day, that was great, it's always fun to play with them. I have my fantasy bands, I'm just waiting for Metallica to call. [laughs] I love being a drummer, cos to me I'm a drummer who's pretending to be a singer songwriter. That's honestly the way I feel. I love doing what I do and I love Foo Fighters and standing at the front of the stage at Reading festival and making 60,000 people sing along - it's awesome. I love drumming more than anything else and when I sit down at a drumkit I know that it was the thing I was put on this planet to do and I plan on doing it for the rest of my life. The Queens Of The Stone Age gig, when it was Nick, Josh and I, we were badass man. That's the best band I've ever been in in my life. It was great but at the same time Foo Fighters is like a family, the three guys in the band are like my brothers and thats a feeling I don't get with anybody else.
'All My Life' plays
DG: I had the greatest job in the world, I got to play drums in a band that made great, simple rock songs. We had a great singer-songwriter, a great bass player and it was a dream to be the drummer in Nirvana because the drumming was just simple, rock drumming. It was like dancing you could sit behind the drums and just play. I din't think we needed any of my songs in the setlist, I thought we were perfectly OK with the stuff we had.
When you're in a band with someone like Kurt you don't want to pollute the process by offering up some of your own crappy little demos that you made in your basement. And I was new at writing songs and recording by myself and I thought Kurt was great - he wrote beautiful songs. I was a little shy, a little insecure about my stuff so I just kinda kept it to myself.
'I'll Stick Around' plays
DG: The first record wasn't supposed to be an album really. It was kind of a demo tape I'd recorded down the street from my house and then it became the album and it became the band. I was suprised people were so interested, I mean I was and I wasn't. I knew people would be curious because Pat and I had been in Nirvana. I guess I was suprised people really enjoyed it and the shows got bigger and people really started following the band. I'd never really done that, been a frontperson in a band before, so the whole thing really took me by suprise. the way the whole thing played out was pretty unbelievable. There were some people who were like; "Who the hell does he think he is. He can't be a singer and guitar player he's a drummer." But I didn't really pay attention to it, just because I had nothing to lose really. It was fun, discovering this new 'thing' and becoming a band. It was great.
'The Colour And The Shape' was really the band trying to make an album since the first was such a fluke. It was probably the most intense recording process I've ever had in my entire life bceause up until that point the only other producers I'd worked with were Butch Vig and Steve Albini. When Nirvana went in to record 'Nevermind' those songs were already written so there wasn't much pre-production, and when we recorded 'In Utero' with Albini, well, he just hits record and lets you do whatever you want to do. With 'The Colour And The Shape' we got Gil Norton to produce the record and he really whipped us into shape. He sat us down in a rehersal studio for 2 or 3 weeks and we worked on the arrangements, we worked on the lyrics, we worked on the melodies and we did serious pre-production. Then tracking with Gil was like a lesson in your craft, it was nuts. He had everyone doing take after take after take, he wanted it tight, he wanted it to be perfect. It was intense. The making of that record was really intense.
'Monkey Wrench' plays
DG: I'm really proud of that record because the first one was recorded in 5 or 6 days and the lyrics were just thrown together and the arrangements were so simple. With the songwriting Gil really pushed us to a whole new level. We wanted people to know we'd be around for a while, that the first record wasn't just a one off. We had to prove ourselves with something really strong and I think we did that.
We'd all grown up listening to screaming punk rock. I started listening to punk rock when I was 12 or 13 in '82 or '83 so I'd spent a long time listening to loud, dissident, noisy, screaming, distorted rock music and after a while that's easy to do. It's easy to turn it up to 10 and scream your balls off. It's easy to make something noisy. And around that time, '98 or '99, music started going in the direction of dissident noise with Nu Metal or whatever the hell you called it. To me the most important thing was to work on music so that record, 'there Is Nothing Left To Lose' was an exercise in songwriting. That album was really pretty mellow for us, and for a reason, we wanted it to be different than all the other shit that was out there.
'Learn To Fly' plays
DG: I've always wanted to make an album like the acoustic record. I love making rock music, writing rock songs, playing rock shows, rock audiences singing along to my rock lyrics - it's great. There were times I considered doing the acoustic record by myself, just because I didn't consider it a Foo Fighters record -I considered it something else. So I came up with the double album idea, splitting the 2 CDs, making one rock one acoustic,a nd it seemed to work. I think the rock album is some of the best stuff we've ever done. It's strong, it's quick, it's tight, it's 10 songs. That coupled with the acoustic record? I'm really proud of us for pulling it off. I mean, I told everyone I want this album to be the one people remember the band for and I think it might be. I hope it will be.