The Radio One Rock Show

October 1999

During the UK press tour to promote There Is Nothing Left To Lose, Foo Fighters joined Mary Anne Hobbs on the newly relaunched Radio One Rock Show

Mary Anne Hobbs The track is 'Touch Me I'm Sick' and the guy making all the clattering noise in the corner is Dave Grohl.
Dave Grohl Hi.
MAH And Taylor's with him, and Chris, the new guy in the 'Rookie' shirt.
Chris Shiflett Yup.
Taylor Hawkins New guy.
MAH You don't know how to use a microphone do you? Come closer.
CS I'm sorry, I'm not used to this yet.
MAH We should talk about the state of the band, shouldn't we really?
DG Yeah, Nate.
MAH Is he ok?
DG Yeah, he's got this weird problem with a nerve in his mouth. It's not a tooth thing, it's a nerve that goes back into his brain. He's been on medication for a couple of years and sometimes it acts up... and sometimes it doesn't. But it got so bad that he couldn't speak while we were in New York just before coming here so he decided to go home because he'd be no use on a promotional tour. He's gonna meet us in a couple of days in Australia and were gonna do some shows down there.
MAH And we need to talk about Chris too, the new boy in the band.
DG Ok.
MAH Because it must be a real pressure for you when you read in Kerrang! magazine that Dave was in tears when Franz left, that's gotta be pressure for the new guy.
CS Well actually I didn't read that...
DG Eeeee!
CS ..they were all really cool. We've just been really busy and I've only been in the band for less than a month and its been non-stop, so there hasn't been time to worry about anything. I've just been sitting in on interviews and learning about the Foo Fighters.
Foo Fighters and Mary Anne Hobbs MAH So talk us through the audition, I hear there were like 30 guys trying out. There were a lot of people trying to get that gig.
CS I was lucky enough to get there the second day of auditions so they weren't burnt out yet. It went really well. We played some songs and hung out for a bit and just kinda shot the shit, and I came back a week later and they were just frazzled and dead and sick of auditioning people. We jammed some more and then we started rehearsing a couple of days later.
MAH You're being incredibly modest about this, you're just saying you were the right guy in the right place at the right time. Dave what do you like about this new bloke?
DG He's an excellent guitarist, got a great voice, he's a super nice guy and is the kind of person we'd wanna hang out with. And all of that you have to take into consideration when you're getting a new guitar player. So the auditions were weird, we were just as nervous as anyone else who was coming in to try out. We sat around and talked a lot and played a little bit and he was one of the first people we auditioned and we hoped everyone else was going to be as good and nobody was. I kinda knew from that day that unless anyone was cooler, and I didn't see how that was possible, I sorta knew it was gonna be him. And every day after we'd jam with a couple more people we'd get together to say "what did you think?" and every day I'd say "I think Chris is gonna be the one" so he came back in and jammed some more and he's so good and such a fast learner that his first show was five days after he joined the band.
MAH I tell you what lets play a record and we can talk more about that show. What have you chosen?
DG (clapping) Bad Brains, Bad Brains, Bad Brains, Bad Brains. From Washington D.C make no mistake, they influenced everyone in D.C to join a band including all the members of Scream and they were one of the most influential bands of all time.
TH It was because of Bad Brains we got that wonderful band Living Color.
DG That's right. This song is called 'At The Movies' and it's from the Omega sessions which are demos.

Bad Brains play

MAH Bad Brains, as selected by my very special guests, Foo Fighters. So the new line-up, four days together and then straight into the Troubadour, which is just this rancid, grubby little hovel in Hollywood.
DG Well we were thinking of doing something even smaller than that in somewhere even more rancid.
TH It was cool because it was only half full.
MAH Did you have a pseudonym?
DG 'Stacked Actors'. It was good man, it was fun. We hadn't played since the Reading festival in 98 so I kept telling Chris I was more nervous than him. But it was great, it worked out well.
MAH So what did you make of the experience playing with this mob for the first time Chris?
CS Well our set was so short that it went by so fast. A bunch of my friends were there and some of my family, and they all stood right in front of me and sniggered the whole time.
MAH Bastards!
CS So that made it a little harder than it needed to be, but it was still really fun.
TH That's kinda the beauty of playing a small show close to where you live because you'll just have your brother sitting there going 'You're a dork!' between songs. Kinda hard to be cool.
MAH So not only have you got playing with this lot for the first time to contend with, but your Mom is in the front row too?
DG My Mom was there actually, at the side of the stage. She was like (adopts voice) "That was great, Chris is just great. He's just perfect."
MAH Ok lets play another record, what are we going to play?
DG Frank Black, 'Los Angeles' from his first solo LP.

Frank Black plays

MAH The track is 'Los Angeles' which leads us neatly, albeit in a crass way, to talk about the move from LA back to Virginia. That's kinda full circle for you isn't it Dave?
DG Well I never actually intended to move out of Virginia, I wound up in Seattle by chance. When I was in LA in 1990 with my band Scream our bass player split, and through a mutual friend I wound up in Seattle with the sole reason to join Nirvana. I was there for like 6 years and I thought I'm gonna get out of here. I went down to Los Angeles because Taylor and Pat were there and we were getting ready to tour and I lived there for a year and a half. But we toured so much I was never really there, and after a year and a half I thought I'm just gonna get back to Virginia, so I bought a house and built a studio and that's where we recorded the CD, in the basement.
MAH And it's an interesting record, you must tell us about Mr Kaspers role in all this.
DG He engineered and he'd help us out. Every time we went too far off the deep end he'd reel us back in. He's great man, he's done great work with Soundgarden and REM, he was the last person to record Nirvana and he'd recorded us for the Godzilla soundtrack. He's a good friend, young, mellow, doesn't use any sort of computers, no digital stuff, just these old mics he sets up and just lets you go at it.
MAH It's kind of interesting because obviously having worked with producers in a more traditional manner, I always think a bands own sonic vision of how they should sound is always entirely different.
DG Adam is the best kind of producer I think, because he doesn't spend too much time getting guitar sounds or doing anything. He just says "Ok lets get it to tape before you change your mind or before you manipulate what you originally wanted to do". So it was great, really simple. Having our own studio we had all the time in the world. We didn't have any deadlines and we would record things and re-record them and do them again and again. So Adam was really just like a best friend who lived in the house with us for four months. It was great man, it was perfect.
MAH It's a brilliant record because it still seems to have at its very core, that real kind of primal energy, almost of a demo. Nobody has rounded of the serrated edges, they're sticking out all over the place.
DG Warts and all!
TH You said it.
MAH What do you make of it Taylor? Come on man enter into the conversation, get rid of that gum.
TH It's great. I like it more and more. When we were first done with it I didn't really wanna listen to it, just because! But more and more I love it. There are a lot of songs on the album like 'Stacked Actors' or maybe 'Learn To Fly' that hit you right away, but I like the more subtle songs in a way because they take a little longer to digest.
MAH We've got 'Stacked Actors' coming up, the first play anywhere in the whole of the UK .
DG Eeeeh!
MAH But first one of Chris' selection. This is Kiss.
CS The greatest rock and roll band of all time...
MAH Steady!
CS ...And this song is sung by the greatest rock guitar player of all time, Ace Frehley.
DG I agree.
CS My personal hero.

Kiss & The Obsessed play

DG Yeah man. That is guitar.
MAH What an extraordinary song.
DG That's the Obsessed. They were from Washington DC and they were one of the first hard rock/heavy metal bands in DC, again an inspiration to everyone in town. They'd play at the punk rock shows and my band opened for them in 1984. We were just little kids playing hardcore. Wino the lead singer went on to play in St Vitus and then he started the Obsessed again, and that ended and now he's got a band called Spirit Caravan who we get to see when we're here. I'm totally excited about it, the guys one of my idols.
MAH That is the heaviest record. When was it actually recorded?
DG That right there was actually from their first single, which I think was 1981 or 1982.
MAH Unbelievable. It hits you so low it rattles your ovaries.
DG Well it doesn't rattle my ovaries. I'll take your word for it.
MAH Lets play some music, we've got Queen as selected by Taylor.
TH (in British accent) With Bowie.
DG (Begins singing riff)
TH I think it's one of the best songs ever written.
DG I agree.
TH I heard it was written and recorded in one day. Little shout out to Brian and Roger.
DG Hey guys.
MAH I have to say the last time I saw Dave in the UK it was at the side of the stage looking really, really chuffed that he was standing next to Brian May, watching the Beastie Boys at Reading festival.
DG Oh wow! That was just a freaky scene.
TH Quite a rock and roll moment there, three generations.
DG We went out to dinner with them the other night and we were just sitting there eating food, and I was in the seat you can't get out of without moving the whole table. I just had this weird panic attack like "Oh my god! I'm sitting next to Brian May from Queen and he took some of my curry. Oh my god!"
TH (in British accent) "Can I have some of your curry?" Hey Brian quit eating my naan bread! He's awesome, one of the best guitar players ever.
DG He's a huge, huge,
MAH Was Anita Dobson there?
DG Uh, no. It was him and his son Jimmy.
TH Jimmy's a good kid.
DG I don't even know who that is.
MAH She was a huge soap star, she played a bawdy east-end pub landlady. She's kind of an Icon in this country and they dated for a number of years and....
DG Ah, none of my business.
TH We know nothing.

Queen play

MAH That was melodramatic for this time of night.
TH Such a bitchin' tune.
DG A beautiful song.
MAH So the moment has finally arrived.
DG Performance anxiety, I can't do it.
MAH I have a test pressing of the new Foo Fighters album. If it was up to me I'd just play the entire thing on this show, forget the chat.
TH We love you.
MAH But I think your record company would have a fit.
DG We'll slide you one after the show, you can play it as much as you like.
MAH So 'Stacked Actors'... do we smell the rancid and unmistakable stench of celebrity skin burning?
DG Oh!
TH Somebody's very insightful.
DG Well, y'know? Having lived in Hollywood for like a year and a half, the song is a stab at anyone who pretends to be something they are not. Or anyone who seems to be acting for the sake of making it look like you want it to.
MAH Anyone?
DG Yeah, anyone man.
TH (laughs)
MAH Anyone?
DG Anyone man.
MAH Unspecifically?
DG Those kinda people just make me wanna barf. (laughs)
MAH Courtney Love?
TH Ohhh!
DG Just....just there's a part of me.....It has everything to do with me moving back to Virginia and realising that real life and real people are the most important things. Everything else is kinda irrelevant, so.....
MAH Ok, I think we should hear it. People at home this track is really deceptive, because it starts with the most gorgeous melody and then in comes the burning malice.
DG (laughs) Burning malice!
TH That's what we should of called ourselves.

'Stacked Actors' plays

MAH That's a belter isn't it?
DG (laughs) Yeah, it is a belter.
MAH It's a British term.
TH A belcher!
MAH It's 'Stacked Actors' and it opens the Foo Fighters new album 'There Is Nothing Left To Lose'. But that is a beggar of a tune, all the way from the Beach Boys to Napalm Death.
DG Nice. I like that. You should write record reviews ever done that? (in British accent) "Beach Boys, Napalm Death, A belter." (laughs)
MAH I did used to write. The last time I interviewed you was for the very first NME front cover Nirvana ever had. We went to 'The Word' to interview you.
DG Oh wow.
MAH That's a legendary British TV moment 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' on 'The Word'.
DG Oh. Because then....yeah. That was kinda funny. Who was the host?
MAH It would have been Terry Christian and Dani Behr.
DG They were thoroughly offended. I don't think they were into our shenanigans.
MAH It's funny, this is another British thing that comes into play, there was shandy backstage and you lot just couldn't understand the concept of shandy at all.
DG And what is it?
MAH It's basically over the counter pop with one tiny splash of beer in it.
DG Eww.
MAH When your still at junior school you think it's really hard because your drinking booze.
DG (laughs) We just went straight for the Crown Royal, that's where we were at.
MAH What's that beautiful lyric in 'Stacked Actors' 'Cry when they all dye blonde'.
DG Yeah.
MAH I like that.
DG Thank you.
TH He was very proud of himself when he wrote that.
DG Very proud. It's one of the best ever.
MAH Did you work at that hard, or did it come to you in a moment of clarity?
DG The weird thing about writing lyrics is I always wait till the last minute. I've already come up with the vocal melody and pattern so I have to find something that fits within that. It's a total drag. It's like putting a puzzle together. I just hate writing lyrics. But when I'm done with it I'm usually cool with it, because I never end up singing something I don't wanna sing.
MAH There's all kinds of interesting stuff 'Amazed that I'm still standing' is in there, stuff about therapy leaving you on your back.
DG I went to therapy for like a year when I was married..............And then I got a divorce.
TH (laughs)
DG I can't stand it. There's people that are into it, and I'm not knocking anybody, for me I've always been in the school that if you can't figure out your own problems why would you go pay somebody a hundred dollars an hour, just because they have a certificate on the wall. And who you don't even know. Every individual is different so to generalise, like 'Your human emotion means this' is kinda weird.
MAH That idea that a stranger is going to peel away layers of skin to get to the painful bit underneath.
DG Yeah, It's usually best to talk to someone you really know, or is a friend or knows you as well as you do. Makes more sense than a 'doctor'.
MAH Let's play another record. In the surgery this evening are the Foo Fighters. Chris come and talk to us after this record. you've hardly said a word.
CS No one wants to hear the new guy anyway.
MAH Of course they do. What are we going to play, Minor Threat?
DG DC's finest....hard DCcore. That's what it is.

Minor Threat & The Jam play

MAH That's the Jam as selected by Chris, the new boy. What do you like about the Jam?
CS I like everything about the Jam and Paul Weller, he's one of my favourite artists of all time.
TH Especially his Style Council stuff. (laughs)
CS Well, there's a couple of Style Council tracks I could leave off the list. But I love the Style Council, the late 80's they really started to suck, but he redeemed himself with his solo stuff.
DG (shouts) Totally redeemed himself.
MAH There is this term in Britain called 'Dadrock' and Paul Weller has become the crown prince of 'Dadrock' people just think he sounds like Joe Cocker these days.
CS I'm old, I don't care. I like 'Dadrock'.
MAH Chris you're not old.
CS I'm sorry. I'm a geek.
TH We call him Shitler.
CS He never tours the states any more. He toured a bunch of times when he first started doing his solo stuff, and I saw him like five times, then he just quit coming there.
TH Because no one gives a shit.
DG 'Dadrock' is not that big in America.
CS Whatever. One time I saw him, Mick Talbot was sitting like two rows ahead of me.
MAH I'd imagine you weren't even born when the Jam were formed were you?
CS Was so!
MAH Are you certain?
CS I was born, I didn't like 'em. Back then I was listening to Kiss, had no time for the Jam, got to know them later in life.
TH Kinda like a Jam mid-life crisis.
MAH Did you have all the Kiss paraphernalia? Because I know in the 70's they'd flog just about anything to you kids.
CS I had a lucky break because my Uncle and two of my Aunts worked at Casablanca records. So we would get all the new Kiss stuff before it came out and...
TH (laughs)
CS (laughs)I'm so excited about Kiss. I still have my promo records with the corners cut off, and the tour bio's and stuff.
DG Wow!
TH Let's sell some of that stuff.
CS I still have, like, a satin Kiss tour jacket.
DG Wow!
MAH Do you have the PVC catsuit and stacked heels?
DG Does the jacket still have an ounce of coke in the right pocket?
CS (laughs) No. Did that. Took care of that a couple of years back. Seven years old and (snorts heavily).
TH Whooped that up!
DG (laughs)
MAH Not that we can condone drug use on this program.
TH No.
CS No.
DG Drugs are bad kids, they'll kill you.
TH I've gone out to the clubs here and no one is on drugs.
CS We were at Browns the other night and no one was on coke.
DG (laughs)
MAH They were all to busy drinking shandy that's what it was. Let's terminate this conversation and play a record. Taylor you're a pervert.
TH What?
MAH This record you've chosen.
TH Oh, the Police, one of the best drummers ever, of all time.
MAH You see, secret 'Dadrock' fans a Weller fan and a Sting fan.
DG 'Dadrock' what is up?
TH I'm sorry we don't like Gay Dad.
DG We're not that cool.

The Police play

TH I know, I know 'Dadrock'.
DG I'm sticking up for you Taylor man. I like that song.
TH It's all about Stewart Coupland, sorry Stingy.
DG Stink!
TH The Police were all about Stewart Copeland. He sped up, he was a spazz, he was opinionated, but he was a great drummer. The opposite to the other great rock drummer John Bonham.
MAH It's all about sticks at the end of the day.
TH It really is.
MAH How you smack a snare.
TH Oh I thought you meant Styx.
DG (laughs) The band.
TH It's all about Mr Roboto.
DG (laughs)
MAH When are we going to see you play some gigs in this country?
DG We're coming back in November, we'll be back here the last two weeks in November. And we're doing like four or five shows.
MAH Are you going to come and play for us on the show?
DG I don't know. Would you like us to?
MAH Would we like you to? What do you think kids?
DG I don't know we'll see.
MAH Let's get a commitment out of Dave Grohl right now.
DG No one can get a commitment outta me baby. (laughs) I'm a free bird.
TH We shoulda played some Skynryd!
DG Oh. We didn't bring any Skynryd.
TH (redneck voice) God dammit!
DG (redneck voice) God dammit! We didn't bring any freakin' Skynryd.
MAH We've got Sabbath though.
TH It's like the English version of Skynryd isn't it?
DG Well, y'know what? I always thought what Oasis represented to England...
TH 'Pubrock'.
DG...Lynryd Skynryd represented to the South of America, when they were flying the flag. So I like Skynryd man.
MAH And as revealed a little earlier on this show, Black Sabbath are playing the Astoria in London on December the...
DG I can't believe that man.
TH Do you think they'll sell out?
MAH Rage Against The Machine sold it out in seven minutes.
DG Sabbath will probably do it in about an hour.
MAH (laughs)
DG Man that is insane.
TH I'd be scared to go see them in a place that small. I might go straight to hell.
DG Exactly. Awesome.
MAH So listen, thanks for coming in this evening. It's been fantastic.
DG You're very welcome.
MAH And don't worry kids, they'll be back in November to play for us.
DG We'll be back.
MAH It's been a joy. let's listen to 'Fairies Wear Boots'.
DG They do!

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