Dave Grohl may seem like a typical cursing, screeching, guitar-pounding, rock and roll action figure to some. But look closer. Hiding beneath a very real punk-infused exterior Dave Grohl is a father, husband, businessman, and kid living the life of his dreams. And a damn busy one at that.
“I’m so goddamn busy I can’t spend time thinking about anything outside of what I have to do today,” he told Esquire. “There are times where I will sit down, take a deep breath, drop my shoulders, and I just kind of breathe and deflate. But I’m not kidding—that happens about once a year for three and a half minutes.”
Dave Grohl is the front man for Foo Fighters. Not to diminish the talents and contributions of the rest of the band, but Dave Grohl is the essence of the Foo Fighters. It started off as his own personal demo project, with him playing all the instruments. Bassist Nate Mendel joined with Grohl when he put together a band to embody his “Foo Fighters” name, and has been with him ever since. The rest of the band has certainly been there long enough to not have to suffer “new kid” syndrome. The most recent “addition” is guitarist Pat Smear, who actually was in the original lineup. But Grohl is the soul of the band. It is his project.
Each Foo Fighters album is pretty much a Grohl bucket list item unto itself. Dave brings in who he wants to play with, who he wants to produce it, records it where he wants. The most recent album, Sonic Highways, is paired with a companion series on HBO that takes Dave and the band to eight different cities in the U.S. They record with notable people from the area, behind lyrics inspired by conversations Grohl has with people in the music community in interviews.
The series gives Grohl an opportunity to highlight the music of his past. It is not so much a snapshot of music in America as a snapshot of the music of Grohl’s past. Bands that influenced him, friends he has played with, and people he has idolized are featured.
The album before that, Wasting Light, was made in Grohl’s garage, and has been hailed as their best ever. It featured his heroes like Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü and Fee Waybill of The Tubes.
Grohl’s “Done. Done. On to the next one.” philosophy drives the band. His mantra of giving people good music rather than positioning and “windowing” for highest up-front profits has made the man a multi-millionaire.
“I want people to hear our music, I don’t care if you pay $1 or fucking $20 for it,” he told Digital Spy about the Taylor Swift-fueled debate over music streaming, “just listen to the fucking song.”
That business model is working. With a net worth of $260 million, he is richer than even Gene Simmons, who is known for his business acumen in the music industry.
Foo Fighters are about to launch a world tour, and the HBO series is only five episodes into an eight show run. But you can already see the wheels turning in Grohl’s head, planning hte next conquest, but happy to be where he is at any given moment.
“There’s so much more to look forward to,” he told Esquire. “That’s something I learned after Nirvana was over. When Kurt died, I had this whole new outlook at life, that we’re all so lucky to be here. You can’t take life for granted. It’s short. It’s fragile. And you don’t know when it’s going to be taken away from you. So the short time that you’re here? You just have to kick ass the whole time and not look back. That’s basically what I try to do. I’m not ready to stop, but if it all ended today, I’d be the happiest person in the world.”