Dave Grohl is a man who loves his job. After joining Nirvana in 1990, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do, playing loud music with a punk edge.
"It's tough to go to sleep at night, and I wake up after five hours because I feel like I'm wasting time. I just sit up at night and think about what I can do next."
When Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain brought that ride to an end, Dave Grohl went into the studio by himself and recorded some more songs. Grohl is a UFO fanatic. He called his upstart record label Roswell Records, and called his little solo side project Foo Fighters, named after a term used by World War II pilots to describe any unexplained aircraft or phenomena they saw in the air.
"When there’s so much left to do, why spend your time focusing on things you’ve already done, counting trophies or telling stories about the good old days?"
Grohl handed a demo tape around to some people. Some labels got interested. He put a band together to tour the songs and push an album.
"I was born in front of an audience. It's true actually. When my mother was giving birth there was a class of doctors there watching the birth. So when I came out they all applauded!"
That was back in 1994. For twenty years Foo Fighters has been carrying the rock and roll flag when almost all others have fallen by the wayside. With each successive album, the band matures. Last time they went in the studio, they took with them the man who crafted Nirvana's breakout album, Nevermind, producer Butch Vig. The result was Wasting Light, an album recorded in Grohl's garage. Wasting Light featured appearances by Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, former Hüsker Dü frontman Bob Mould, and an officially full lineup of the band with Pat Smear back on board.
"Dave has shown the world it's possible to be a success and a nice guy at the same time." - Lemmy Kilmister
Now Grohl and company are about to release an album that has a corresponding HBO series and tour. The concept, if that is the right word for it, is that the band visited multiple places in the United States where music plays a significant role in the local culture. They recorded in each place, with Vig once again producing, often featuring musicians from those areas.
Grohl has become known as a font of rock and roll wisdom, with quotable quips that are often punctuated with colorful metaphors. He talks about his life in music, the state of music today, and how lucky he knows he is to have had all this.
"You know who I always wanted to [play me in a biopic]? Shelley Duvall. You know that horror movie The Shining? Shelley Duvall played the wife. I want her for this role."
Image via YouTube