Other Features:

- More Foo Fighters
- Email Gabriella

- Join our mailing list

- Send this page to
a friend

- City Guide
- NYC Gig Listings
- Gallery
- Contact Us
  Foo Fighters

Interview with the Foo Fighters, by Gabriella

The Foo Fighters recent release, One By One was anything other than an easy birth. In fact, for a while, rumors circulated that the album wouldn't see the light of day. It seems Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, always the mad workaholic, was engaged in so many side projects that little time was left for the band.

From studio time with David Bowie and video shoots with Tenacious D, to his metal project Probot and collaboration with Queens of the Stone Age, in April 2002, Grohl ended up cancelling his studio sessions with the Foo Fighters – a move that cost the band three months of work and over half-a-million dollars.

According to Dave, the effort sounded
"far too clean, too tame and boring" and he decided the band needed some time out....


Dave, for a while, it looked like the end of the band was near and One By One might not happen....


I think the whole last year has helped us along and has showed us how great it is to be in the band, especially in this band. It's really good that we took some time out, because now we are far more euphoric than we ever were before and if we hadn't taken a break, maybe the feeling we all share towards the band wouldn't be the same or wouldn't be as strong as it is. One By One is definitely our best album and we're really proud of it.


Were there ever plans to call it quits?


For a while, I really thought that was it with the Foo Fighters, and that it's only a matter of time until Dave will publicly announce that the Foo Fighters are dead.


Never just for a minute I contemplated of ending the Foo Fighters. We just went through some bad times and I'd rather not release an album than release a shitty album. We needed a break, some time off and we took it and it was for the better.


What did the other guys do when you were away working on various side projects?


Chris worked on his side project. He is in a band with his brother who happens to play bass with Face to Face. Their band is called Viva Death and they recently released their debut album called Vagrant. And he is recording an album with the guys from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction. He's just painfully shy and doesn't like to talk about it. And Taylor used the time to sort himself out in rehab and get off the painkillers. So it wasn't just me fucking off and leaving the guys in the lurch – even if it might look like it a bit.


Your stint drumming for Queens of the Stone Age gathered you a lot of attention. What was it like?


  Foo Fighters
Left to Right: Chris Shiflett (guitar), Dave Grohl
(vocals/guitars), Nate Mendell (bass), Taylor
Hawkins (drums)

For me, it was a great experience and I absolutely loved it. The attention it got was another experience. It was really interesting to see how some people regard the fact that for a while I was the drummer of another band. A lot of them can't accept that as something that is absolutely normal, and I find that sad. I think each musician is an artist and not just part of a product – or a band. In the past, there were times when it wasn't regarded as abnormal or almost illegal, when a musician decided to jam with others for a while. The letters I got, you would have thought that I was committing the worst adultery possible, simply because I decided to drum with the Queens for a while!


I'm absolutely sure that Dave is going to play with other bands outside of the Foo Fighters, because he wants to try out new things. A lot of musicians do want to work with Dave because they all know that he gives his best. There must be a reason why people like Tom Petty, Mike What, David Bowie and Tony Iommi wanted to record with him. I think what he does is great. It inspires him, and in turn he inspires us. So it is quite fruitful for everybody.


But I imagine it is a bit tough for a band, if the boss disappears to play with another band. I bet they were worried that you might become a permanent member of the Queens and forget all about the Foo Fighters.


Queens of the Stone Age is a band where people come and go and they record great albums. It was a chance that I wanted to use and because everything went so well, I said we should just play a few gigs more than planned. In the end, we played an additional ten shows and a couple of festivals in Europe. Then I realized that it was time to return to the Foo Fighters and put my energy and passion into the new album. Come on, I love being a drummer but I love being a musician in general and I love the Foo Fighters.


Some former Nirvana fans [Dave Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana] dislike the pop elements of the Foo Fighters songs, while others love your catchy pop songs with punk undercurrents....


I still love "Learn To Fly" [from 1999's release, There Is Nothing Left to Lose], I think it is a great song but sometimes I really get sick of it. Not because it is a pop song, or a song that has a lot of pop elements, but simply because we were identified with it. It seemed that everybody who heard Foo Fighters automatically thought "Learn To Fly." But somehow I don't think that I'll ever manage to get rid of the pop element. We honestly tried, but it just didn't work. We tried to write an anti-pop song and you know somehow a melody snuck in and turned the whole thing around – it ended up being a song that the girls are going to like as well. We just can't change it and now we don't want to change it anymore. The Foo Fighters write good songs and if there's a pinch of pop in them, I am sure it's not going to make the songs worse.


One thing I've always liked about the Foo Fighters is that you don't seem to take yourselves all that seriously. You seem to take it with a pinch of salt....


It's a lot more fun to look at the bright side of things and to laugh about yourself and the shit that happens. Honestly, do you really believe anybody would believe it if we tried to pose as the bad guys of rock now? Looking miserable and dangerous and holding some ridiculous poses? That's not our thing....

I have a hard time taking videos all that seriously, especially as a medium. Too many bands are trying to look extra pretty, or extra dangerous and tough. I like videos, but that doesn't make me blind. What I don't like about most videos is the simple fact that they are trying to sell the image of a band, not the sound, not the music, but just the image – I don't like that.

Musically, we do take the band seriously, but not as seriously as some guys take themselves. That is so often absolutely ridiculous and comical. So many bands have egos that are so much bigger than their talent and we hope to avoid that.

November 2002

More Foo Fighters

Send this page to a friendMailing listCurrent storiesClassifieds

NY Rock Home Page

The latest NY Rock banter:

Today's News:

NY Rock
Cyndi Lauper,
  Joan Jett, Paybacks,

Patti Smith,
  Johnette Napolitano
  (Concrete Blonde),
  Joey Ramone
  Birthday Bash
  with NY Dolls, etc.

Henry Rollins,
  Janeane Garofalo,
  Marc Maron, Gojira,
  Machine Head,
  Debbie Harry,
  Miss Guy, Pretty
  Boys, Theo and
  the Skyscrapers,
  Glass Hand

Didi's Back:
Miss Lez 2007
Zombies Attack

Dear Dr. Dot:
Sex advice

Jeanne's & Otto's
(Incredibly Awesome)

Soft Porn Central

TRUE! Cartoons


Indie Bible

NY Rock Advertising