This interview was recorded November 2003, but aired just prior to Probot's release.
'Centuries Of Sin' plays
MARY ANNE HOBBS Wow! It's Probot featuring the magnificent voice of Cronos. There is a very specific reason for playing that tonight, namely that my special guest.... My God it's been so long since we've had you here.
DAVE GROHL It's been a while. Hi, how are you?
MAH Dave Grohl - where've you been all my life?
DG Man, I been workin'. I never take a break. I run around the world making music. Foo Fighters finally stopped touring and I got to home for a while. I went home and just set up a studio in the house, worked on getting the Probot stuff together, worked on getting all of the press and the artwork together. This record has been three years in the making.
MAH Tell me about it, you've teased us with this project for years.
DG It's been a long time. Well, it started January 2000 and I'd been on the road with Foo Fighters, we'd just released There Is Nothing Left To Lose, which was a really mellow record for us, it's really subdued. There was a lot of acoustic stuff on the record, we were focusing on song writing and dynamic, but not so much screaming loud - just writing nice songs. We went out and played those songs for a while and I.... I mean, I grew up listening to hardcore and American and English punk rock and a lot of thrash metal. I've always had a love of really aggressive faster, louder, screaming rock music, so it was funny to me that we were running around the world playing these songs that I love and are really beautiful, but at the end of the day I'd go home and put in like a Trouble CD or I'd listen to some Venom or some Motorhead or whatever.
So I went into my basement studio where we make the Foo Fighters records and just recorded six or seven of these instrumentals that were just riffs, just heavy stuff. I didn't intend to make them into Foo Fighters songs. I wasn't thinking about making an album. I just wanted to have some fun and record some stuff. So I spent like three or four days recording this stuff and I didn't know what to do with 'em, then a friend of mine said "Y'know what you should do? It'd be so great if you could get some of your favourite old school singers to sing on these songs." So we sort of came up with this wish list. Couldn't really imagine it happening but I picked all of my favourite vocalists from that time - within a specific era or genre I suppose, just from like 1980 to 1989 all of my favourite vocalists. And we came up with this list....
MAH Isn't that pretty intimidating? These were all your boyhood heroes.
DG Well, we didn't really imagine it happening. We though 'Oh, wouldn't it be great if Eric Wagner sang on this song', 'What if we got Wino from The Obsessed to sing on that.' 'Could you imagine King Diamond singing on that song?'. So we sort of had this list and my friend Matt Sweeney said 'Dude, I'll try and get in touch with these people and see what we can do.' So he started making these calls and Foo Fighters went back out on tour and then he said 'Man I just talked to King Diamond. He's totally cool and he wants to hear the track. He'll do it.' So we just started sending out these tracks. There were only seven songs at that point and they weren't written for vocalists they were written as instrumentals. They weren't arranged so linear that it was verse, chorus, verse. So, we sent out the songs and one by one the people agreed to do and we couldn't believe it. So a couple of months later I went back in the basement and recorded five more songs, this time knowing that I was going to give them to vocalists, and we just started sending the tapes out all over the world. Send it to someone, let them put their vocal on it, then send it back. I wouldn't tell them what to do.... some of 'em I've never even talked to - Tom G Warrior I've never even talked to - we've e-mailed each other but never talked to him.
MAH I bet your fingers were trembling when you first picked the phone up.
DG Y'know 'You gotta call Lemmy tonight'. I'm like; 'Oh, My God I have to call Lemmy. I have Lemmy's phone number' So I'd call him up and he's a great guy, we had a great conversation and just said 'I'll see you in the studio on Sunday' and we did it. The whole thing is a really special collaboration, it's a weird project for me because I've only ever made music with people in bands in studios I've never made music and sent it to Switzerland to someone I've never spoken to before, cross my fingers, hope they put a great vocal track on it and have it come back. These things would come in the mail and I'd open it up and see that I got the new vocal from Max from Sepultura and I'd race to my CD player to put it in. It's from a fans perspective; these are all people that I have immense respect for and I've listened to and loved for years. Some of them 20 years. Kurt from D.R.I.... I haven't seen D.R.I play since '83. I bought their 22 song 7" in '83 from Kurt the singer and that's the only time I met him. I called him on the phone and was like 'Dude I haven't seen you in 20 years'. So really the whole thing for me is just a fantasy camp. It's a dream come true.
MAH Let's go back to the very early days; I'd like you just to describe Dave Grohl as a teenage boy. What did you look like? What were you into at that time?
DG Well, I discovered hardcore when I was about 13 or 14. I had a relative in Chicago who'd started listening to hardcore bands, mostly American hardcore. The first concert I ever saw was this band Naked Raygun and Rites Of The Accused in Chicago at this little club called The Cubby Bear. It was the first time I saw a gig and that became a rock show to me, it wasn't an arena full of people it was 60 maybe 100 people knocking each other around and that was the way I thought it was supposed to be. I was a skateboarder, a pothead, just a typical American teenager.
MAH Was that a real epiphany?
DG Absolutely. It was a few weeks I spent in Chicago that summer and those few weeks were spent discovering this underground network of bands and fanzines and music and people doing it for themselves really inspired me. My cousin had a band and her guitar player was younger than me! He was like 12 years old and up until that point I thought, to be in a band you had to be good enough to be in a band. I didn't really know what that meant but I just imagined Blackmore, Van Halen that kind of guitarist. I didn't realise you could be a simple four chord guitarist and just write songs. So I went home and formed a band. I went home with fanzines, with penpals, with singles and I just realised you can do it for yourself. Anyone can have a record label, anyone can make a 7", anyone can start a fanzine...it's easier now with the internet, but back then it was this massive underground network of people trading tapes and mailing flyers, trading stickers, building their own studios, booking their own tours and buying their own van. It was awesome and it was really a community so that changed me. When I went to that gig it wasn't what I imagined a rock concert to be, it was just this club with people in it and most of them knew each other because it was a local scene. It was so cool and I go to meet the people in the band and I got to jump off the stage into people that I knew and they caught me - it was great. So I went home and I decided to start a band, I wanted a fanzine, I wanted to make a single, I wanted to make my own t-shirts, I made my own stickers. I really changed.
So that was the hardcore thing, then eventually there was some thrash metal that went hand in hand with the punk rock thing, like Motorhead. They were always synonymous with some of the English punk rock stuff. Motorhead was a rock band that it was OK to like if you were a punk. There weren't many! The punk thing was never really supposed to be such a rock'n'roll trip and I never really considered them a metal band they always seemed like a metal band to me.
MAH As a young punk I had to stash a load of records you weren't supposed to have if you wanted to be a legitimate punk.
DG There was rules man! When I first got into hardcore, this is '82 or '83 it was my friend Jimmy and I, and we're still best friends to this day, but I pretty much made him throw away all of his Iron Maiden records, all of his Loverboy records, all of his Def Leppard records. I was like 'That sucks! This is the real deal man, what are you doing?' He did too, but he didn't throw them away he hid them. I remember coming back to his house one day and catching him listening to Iron Maiden....'What are you doing? You're betraying me!' But then he was the one who got me into the metal thing. He loved fast hard music but he loved heavy music as well. So he was the one who turned me on to Venom, Trouble, Mercyful Fate, Voivod that kinda music. In the DC scene you would see all of the same people at a Bad Brains show that would go to a Voivod show because the music had that same spirit, that same energy. It was two separate scenes but it was pretty much the same thing. It was very underground, very much a community, it was that same passion of just playing music that makes you wanna break shit. The Obsessed were a local DC band and they would play with a lot of punk bands, I remember seeing them with 45 Grave and my hardcore band opened up for them in '84 or '85. Although they were a totally different heavy like rock/metal thing it was that same passion that the punk bands had. Everyone was doing it for the same reasons - it was the love of playing music and the love of doing something different, energetic and alive.
MAH Let's play 'Shake Your Bloodí; we've had this track a long time. I think we were the first people in the world to play this.
DG Yeah, you were. It's true.
'Shake Your Blood' plays
MAH He should be prime minister shouldn't he really?
DG Well, I always say that.... Elvis didn't really mean that much to me and everyone says that guy is the King of rock'n'roll and up until I met Lemmy, he was one of the few people on the record that I went into the studio with Lemmy, when I met him I thought I'd met a lot of real rockers in my lifetime. I've met a lot of people. I've met people that are rock heroes; I mean I've met Keith Richards.
MAH Wow, get you!
DG What I'm saying is that guy is supposedly a living breathing rock legend, but you meet Lemmy he makes everyone else seem like a poo-butt junior schoolboy. That guy is the King man. He knows it! There's no question. He walked into the room and I really felt that for the first time I'd met a real rock and roller. I'd never felt like that before. I felt like I'd met a lot of people in bands but never a real rocker. He's the real deal man. He came in sang the song a couple of times, put the bass down then that was it and he was gone - it was that simple. We talked a lot about rock 'n' roll and how he never considered his band a metal band he just thought they were a rock band. That song kinda sums up the whole record to me. No one else could sing those lyrics and be taken seriously, anyone else would be suspect - it's true! Imagine the guys from like, Jet, singing that song, you'd be like 'whatever!', but hearing Lemmy sing that song youíre like 'Hell yeah, man rock out!' that's kinda my favourite because that's the foundation of the whole trip, it's kinda the foundation of what everybody is about. Pretty cool!
MAH Can you envisage a scenario where one day you could stick it all on a stage?
DG I used to joke that the best thing about this record was it was an excuse to have the most raging release party you could ever imagine. Drawing all of these people together for one night in some crappy bar somewhere, just sticking them onstage and having each person sing their tune would be amazing, it'd be really awesome. When I look at the sequence of the record I honestly imagine it being the most kick-ass festival line-up I've ever seen in my life. So, to imagine all of these people together in one place, singing their stuff? I couldn't even imagine. The logistics of just making this album happen were not easy. There were tapes all over the world and I was chasing them down man. When we were mixing I spent a week looking for the tapes that Max sang on - I didn't know where they where! I thought they were in Seattle, they might have been in Phoenix, we we're in LA, they mighta been at my house in Virginia - we were scrambling! All of these people are still touring and making records so to make it really come together and happen it would take a lot of work. I'd love to do it though. It'd be great.
MAH I can see it as kind of a Donnington Park headline slot - a vocalist a track. It'd be beautiful.
DG That's not a bad idea. Let's see what happens. That'd be a fun dressing room!
MAH You are a little bit keen on eloping with people to guest on their album aren't you? You beat the hell out of Queens of the Stone Age's drums for a while just so you could feel it again. I would imagine this inspired you in the same way didn't it?
DG This project is funny though, it's been going on for three years, so there were times I'd put it on the shelf and come back to it five months later when I'd get a track back. The last track that was finished was Kurt from D.R.I and that maybe a month and a half ago, so it was the kind of thing I'd return to. But it took me a long time to figure out how to release it because it was important for me to do it correctly. I could've put it out with a major label or a bigger rock/metal label, but it had to stay kinda fragile. It had to be the right combination of people on the album and it had to be released so that the focus wasn't on me because it's not about me. I'm the fan who couldn't believe that I got to make a track with Snake from Voivod. So the spotlight is on those people because the album is more about those people rather than me.
One of the reasons I like doing things with other people is because as a musician thatís your right y'know? I think people are too stuck in this idea of being 'a band member' just being 'that guy from that band', almost as if you're a character on a sit-com or an ingredient in a cereal box. They can't imagine that you're a musician that can do anything else but what they're used to you always doing. So it's important to me to always take advantage of the amazing opportunities I have. People call me up and ask me to jam with them and if I love 'em of course I'll jam with 'em. If Sean from Cat Power asks me to play drums on her record then of course I will because she's a friend and she's amazing and that's the kind of thing I love to do. It does feel good to get out and play with other people, it's just important and it shouldn't feel strange but just be accepted.
MAH Josh Homme said to me he believes in 'classic moments', and you need to seize every classic moment that comes your way in life because if you stop seizing them, they'll come toward you less and less and you'll position yourself so that a classic moment never hits you again. He genuinely believes that to be true and it sort of sounds like the same thing.
DG Kinda the same thing. I mean... I spend every day looking for something new. I can't sit still. I've had that epiphany before where I decided that you have to make things happen and not just wait for life to fall in your lap. You have to really seize those moments, to search for them and to make them happen. I basically need something to get me off next that has to be better than the last thing and has to be something I haven't done before. So it is the same type of feeling. Just searching for that feeling, looking for that moment. For me there are eleven of them on this record, so to me it's 'Damn! What more could I ask for?'
MAH Let's play the Max Cavalera track.
DG He's a great guy. I like that guy a lot.
MAH He takes his kid on tour....
DG Gotta love it.
MAH .... And his kid is in charge of stage diving.
DG (laughs) Oh really? The one thing I really liked most about Sepultura was the first time I heard them was Arise then I really got into Chaos AD and I remember the last Nirvana tour of Europe, Krist Novoselic and I were on the same bus together and we would listen to Chaos AD over and over again. They had this punk rock element to them, you could tell they weren't your typical death metal band because it was deeper than that and they were really passionate about what they were doing. So we were convinced that on the next Nirvana tour we where taking Seputura out with us.
DG Of course it never happened. But then when Roots came out everything that seemed heavy to me just didn't seem heavy anymore. It was the heaviest thing I'd ever heard. So for Max, besides his accent, his throat, his sinister vocals, that guy is just a vocal hero man. He just breaks microphones to pieces. This track turned out great.
'Red War' plays
MAH Wow, Probot there with vocals from Max Cavalera.
DG I love that track. It's awesome. It really turned out great - I remember talking to him on the phone about that and him saying: (adopts Brazilian accent) 'It's got that old Sepultura vibe; it's about war' and I was just like 'Oh, you're the best'
MAH (laughs) Marry me!
Frequently on this show when we play Nirvana, there are people listening to this show that don't even remember your former band.
DG Yeah. Y'know next year is the Foo Fighters 10th anniversary - isn't that nuts? It's so weird. We play with bands on the road sometimes at festivals and I've had bands who are on the bill come and say to me 'Nirvana was my first gig' and that is funny to me.
MAH In many ways it's a fantastic album for our younger listeners because it brings together so many of the underground legends so it's a great way to discover these bands.
DG There's still so much music heavy music but it's changed a lot. There are still bands that are staying true to that sound that specific time. When you hear the newer heavy bands I think it's important for people to hear the bands that influenced them. So if you hear a song like 'Ice Cold Man' it sorta has that old school Trouble vibe so people can listen to that and maybe relate that to another band they're in to and realise that Eric Wagner from Trouble sings on one song but Lee Dorrian who was totally inspired by Trouble sings on another, then he was in Napalm Death so then everybody's tangled up with everybody else in the influence thing. To me it was such an exciting time for music, they were such amazing bands and such amazing vocalists and they're still making great music so it's important to me for people to have a piece of that too. These people influenced me: I wouldn't be doing whet I do if it wasn't for them. So if anyone can make the connection there make the connection there it's kinda weird because 'learn To Fly' doesn't necessarily sound like a Venom song (laughs) but it's there y'know - so yeah.
MAH The message of these bands is to make an independent stance. To create something unique and not getting not getting caught up in the commercial aspects of the 21st century.
DG Also, I was gonna say this earlier but I lost my train of thought, it took me a while to figure out how to release the record because I could've put it out with some bigger labels but I was afraid that it wouldn't be presented to the public in the right way. Like I said, the spotlight is on the vocalists not on me, but the potential for it to be exploited as 'Dave Grohl's Project' was really there and I didn't really want that to happen. My buddy Greg Anderson has a label called Southern Lord and they release records by bands like Place of Skulls, Goatsnake and Sun0))) and he was in a band with the bass player of Foo Fighters like 12 years ago and I've known him for years and he's in a band with the singer of Scream, Pete Stahl and so we're all sort of mixed up in the same little family tree. He also grew up listening to the same stuff as I did, he grew up listening to hardcore and he grew up listening to metal, so he totally understands where this record is coming from. I didn't wanna release this with someone who'd never listened to 'Welcome To Hell', I don't wanna release it with someone who doesn't know what Celtic Frost is all about, that kinda vibe. It just made sense, it's a small label, and itís not a record company. It releases singles and I don't mean singles like on the singles charts, I mean like 7" singles. It's the way it used to be done and you can still do that. It's important for people to know that you don't need Sony to make a record. You don't need a $5,000 studio. If you've got a friend who is willing to put his balls on the line and help you release a record or if you wanna do it yourself, then just do it yourself! It goes back to that vibe. It is without the commercialism and it is without the careerism. It's just a simple little record man. It was so easy, it took 8 days to make the music, it took a long time to send it around, but then it was made by Fed Ex rather than anyone else. It's not a complicated procedure or at least it shouldn't be. It wouldn't make sense to have this record come out on some fancy record label and just become some big deal.
MAH Well it'd just undermine all your ideals really wouldn't it?
DG Pretty much. With the Foo Fighters we have our own label and we work with BMG to distribute our records and we have a relationship with them and they're great, it's been wonderful for years. But with something like this it's important everything remains in tack and it comes out the right way.
MAH Lets play another track, 'Ice Cold Man'?
DG Yeah, man. Lee Dorrian; Cathedral, Napalm Death...it's funny because I think I was 18, it was the first time I'd been over here, I was with my band Scream and Lee was nice enough to let me sleep on his floor in Coventry. So, big thanks Lee. He was gonna be here today but I think he had a little too much to drink last night
'Ice Cold Man' plays
MAH Dave is sketching as is traditional on this show now.
DG Whaddya do with 'em? You just put 'em on the website?
MAH Yes. There are some wonderful doodles up there, so if you hear a strange scratching sound....
DG That's me!
MAH It's Dave and his little sharpie over there.
DG There ya go....
MAH A couple of questions because we were inundated. from Stella in Toronto; 'How did you come up with the name Probot and does it mean anything?'
DG It really means nothing. I just came up with it off the top of my head when we were recording the first batch of songs. Since it wasn't meant to be an album or anything I just labeled it 'Probot' so not to loose the reel amongst all the other reels of tape in my house. Then I made a CD copy of it and my sister made a little CD cover for it and she made a t-shirt and stuff.
DG So that's it really. Evidently, Probot is some sort of robotic device that they've used maybe in movies. I know if you look up Probot on the internet all of these crazy robot sites come up. I don't know what the hell it is. I'm sure we'll find out when the lawyers start calling.
MAH There's been a lot of interest amongst our listeners in the red tattoo. They think it's very chic.
DG Thank you very much. I haven't done the other arm yet. It's a long painful procedure, just the outline for each arm took six or seven hours at a time and then the shading takes a good five or six hours.
MAH It is an exquisite pain being tattooed isn't it?
DG I don't mind it actually. It feels like being burned by a cigarette for six hours that's what I think. I honestly don't mind it. Some people can't go for more than two or three hours, but the guy who does my tattoos is called Rory and he works in San Diego - he's a great guy and a friend so you just sit and chat for a long time and go home and...
MAH See they're good solid designs too.
DG I have tattoos that are 12 or 14 years old and they just eventually spread out so you gotta get them touched up if you wanna keep 'em.
MAH They look like a bad smudge.
DG Like a bruise.
MAH Mike Ralph says 'What metal gigs have blown you away recently?'
DG I haven't seen any metal bands that I've really, really gotten into recently. It's been a while. That last Slipknot record; I really loved that record man. Joey Jordinson is such a monster drummer. Dave Lombardo is pretty much the king of thrash metal drumming no question. He's an incredible drummer. Then, Max's brother Igor from Sepultura; crazy drummer. Incredible. He's so great. But then Joey on that album? It's just stepped up to another level, that guy is like a magician. Itís insane. I mean I go out and buy bands DVDs and I bought the Slipknot DVD and I went and saw them play, and I listened to that record over and over and over again. It's just phenomonal what that guy can do.
MAH He told us recently that his speed fills for the new record are unlike anything you'll ever hear.
DG I believe it. There are some drummers who are like 'Dude, have you ever heard anything as insane as what I'm doing?' and you kinda listen to it and go, 'Well, yeah!' But that kid; if he's saying he's doing something mind-blowing then he's probably not lying. He is capable of doing stuff that nobody else can do.
MAH The latest on the new Slipknot album from Corey Taylor is that it's somewhere between Slayer and Radiohead.
DG Really? Interesting.
MAH Produced by Rick Rubin at his haunted house in LA.
DG Y'know what? I was at a bar in LA and I went to go see a band and I was sitting drinking with this person for a long time and he finally introduced himself he was like 'Hey man, I think we met before. I'm Paul the bass player in Slipknot'. It's funny I'd sat with a guy for six hours drinking and I wouldn't have known he was the bass player in Slipknot. He told me they were recording and that Rick was doing it and they were up at the same place the Chilli Peppers did BloodSugarSexMagik. Rick Rubin is amazing, I don't know what he does, and apparently he's not there much, but whenever he gets hold of a band he makes them better. Like the new Mars Volta that's insane, totally insane. I can't imagine what he'd do with Slipknot.
MAH Let's play another track. We'll play the Wino track - what a wonderful man Wino is.
DG Wino is great. He's from the DC area, his band back then were The Obsessed, they were an early DC rock band. I saw them play a bunch of times and everyone had respect for hat band because the DC hardcore scene was a real tight-knit community and there wasn't much variation from that hardcore thing so any band, that wasn't a hardcore band, that could come and find their place amongst that - you had a lot of respect for. Beyond being great players they were great people and they made music for all the right reasons. I mean they still do; Wino has Place Of Skulls making great records and putting them out on Southern Lord. He's just a hero that guy, he's an amazing vocalist, his lyrics are awesome, he's a shredding guitar player and he's just a presence. You see that guy onstage and his eyes could burn a hole through you. He's a badass. No question.
MAH Ok, let's hear it.
'The Emerald Law' plays
MAH Probot with the vocals of Wino there.
DG That's right. He was the only other person who I went into the studio with besides Lemmy. We did it in Washington DC and he'd written these lyrics that I hadn't read yet. I got to the studio and I hadn't seen him in a long time and I said 'Well, what did you come up with?' so he showed me the lyrics and he explained it to me, and he's such an intense guy so when he's in your face you're stuck. It's like a tractor beam. He was explaining that the song is basically about, and I hope I get this right because I don't want to do any injustice to Wino's lyrics, apparently there are these emerald tablets that hold the mysteries of the cosmos and evidently they're buried under the feet of the sphinx.
DG That's what the song is about.
MAH I think we should go to Egypt.
DG We should probably figure this one out. Let's go.
MAH Ok; Foo Fighters - are you ready to record yet?
DG Well, usually what happens when we make records is that we'll do some demos but loose demos, I don't usually do vocals on demos, we'll just write songs as instrumentals and I'll have a rough idea what to sing over it. Then we finally get into the studio to make the record, we spend some time on it, record the whole record, listen to it then throw it away and make a new one. That's the way we've done it since the second record. Second record we did that, third record we did that and the last record we did that. So it's probably gonna take a little time. It's nice to have a break too because we've been touring hard for years.
December 2004 is gonna be our 10 year anniversary and we're planning on doing a lot of stuff in 2004. When I came back from the last round of touring the first thing I did was set up a studio in my house in LA and start writing songs. For every six songs you write one of 'em is good enough to make it to the record so you've got 24 songs and a couple of 'em are Ok. I live just down the street from Taylor so I'll go over to his house, have coffee, hang out on the back porch for a while then we'll go make some music, get some food then do it again a couple of days later. It's just an easy process. You should make records when you feel like it's time to make a record rather than feeling like you have to get into the studio and you have to make an album, you should do it when you want to do it and when you're ready to do it and if that's in five years then that's when it is, if that's in five months then that's when it is. We don't sit still for long, we're always doing something so it doesn't really take us long to get it together.
MAH So Chris is off with Jackson and Nate has the Fire Theft so it seems none of you like to sit still. Have you listened to them at all?
DG Absolutely. I've seen 'em both live, I have both the records. It's great - like I said, being a musician is going out and playing with other people. I joke about the Foo Fighters being my day job 'cause I hope it never really comes to that. I love playing with Taylor, Nate and Chris because they're like family. As much as I love going and playing with a total stranger, it's really good that everyone has their own outlet for their own music. Jackson are great. Fire Theft are awesome. Taylor's got a band at home called Chevy Metal.
MAH (laughs) Only Taylor.
DG They're a cover band that goes out and plays these deep cut rock tracks. They'll play Deep Purple songs you've never heard before. They're awesome - people love it. They'll go play at the Malibu Inn, this little restaurant bar and you'll go down on a Saturday night, have a bunch of drinks and sing along to some weird ZZ Top song. Everyone has their own thing. It's great. Then when it's time to get back together everyone puts the other stuff down and we get back to Foo Fighters.
and its fun it's great put the other thing down
MAH Do you think we may possibly be looking at a slightly heavier record this time?
DG Yeah. Well, I think probably what's gonna happen is, things usually change when we go in to make the record, Taylor is an amazing drummer. Taylor's probably one of the best rock drummers in the world - I think he is and I've seen a lot of 'em. He's phenomonal. He and I have a pretty good understanding of drums and time signatures and rhythms and things. I think the next album we're gonna be messing around with different rhythms and time signatures. Taylor is a prog rock freak and I don't like prog rock - I just don't like it. I've never really listened to it. I can understand it, I can play it, it's fine! To me I don't like to hear to somebody flex their muscles because they can work a time signature like a calculator. It's not my idea of music but then it's fun sometimes to make something simple out of something terribly complicated. That's what Taylor and I do with each other, it's kinda like playing chess or something. I come up with a riff, he comes up with a freaky drum thing and we both try and figure out a way to make it not matter that it's complicated. As always there's always going to be melody in our music, even over some dissident weird riff there's always going to be some hook in there. It just happens; it's just what we always end up doing. I think it feels great to go up on stage and play fast, loud, crazy, rock music. We've come to realize that if you're gonna be up onstage for an hour and forty five minutes every night you've gotta keep it interesting, so I think the next record is gonna be very interesting. It's gonna be energetic and maybe a little weirder than anything we've ever done, but it'll make sense. It won't be some contrived, weirdo move that'll seem like 'What the hell were they thinking?', it'll definitely make sense, it'll fit in to the whole idea of the band, but I'm excited about it. The couple of songs I know will make it on to the next record are awesome and I can imagine 40,000 people bouncing around to them so it's gonna be cool.
MAH Good news. One last question before we dispatch you off into the night; I know your Mom is huge Foo Fighters fan....
DG (laughs) Well, she's my Mom!
MAH She's present with you a great deal in this country which is wonderful.
DG Yeah. She travels a lot.
MAH So what does she make of Probot?
DG She doesn't really get it I don't think. She was subjected to Venom blaring through my bedroom walls when I was young and stuff like that but the coolest thing about my Mother, and it's funny because this is the only country in the world that asks about her and I always call her and say 'Man, Mom I get asked about you in interviews' she goes 'You're kidding?', but both of my parents are musicians. My Father was a classically trained flautist and my Mom was in vocal groups and she's a singer so I grew up with music around the house. Both are very creative people, so I think the spirit of creativity they get off on. It doesn't matter if it's black metal or the Pointer Sisters - who cares? They just dig music and people making music. It's not the type of thing I can imagine her listening to on the way to the shop to get some milk and cheese, but I think the fact it was made at home, in my basement in Virginia and it's coming out on a label with friends.... my Mom is just as much a part of my big rock family as Greg or Pete Stahl or Lee Dorrian. If I told my Mother that this nice boy Lee Dorrian let me sleep on his floor when I had nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat, then she'd love Lee. She's just one of us. She's pretty cool.
MAH It's been an absolute delight to see you again. Come visit us again really soon.
DG I will. It's always nice coming here.
MAH We're gonna have to figure out how we can do this live. I'm saying Donnington Park in May for a headline slot.
DG Interesting. Interesting. Could be pretty awesome. If we could do it, I just wanna be the drummer. I just wanna be the drummer who gets to sit behind Lemmy. I just wanna be the drummer who gets to sit behind Mike Dean. When I was a kid my one fantasy was that I'd go to a gig to see my favourite band, something would happen to their drummer and the singer would say into the mic 'Is there anybody out there who knows any of our songs?' That's how I learned to play songs; listening to all these bands and I would raise my hand and be the best drummer they'd ever seen so it'd be nice one day to do that live.
MAH One last track, what's it going to be?
DG I think it's going to have to be King Diamond 'Sweet Dreams', you can't go wrong with the King. This guy is unlike any other, he's really his own thing. I wouldn't know how to explain him; I wouldn't know how to describe him to anyone other than play a track. Heís awesome. The King.
'Sweet Dreams' plays