Dave Grohl Hints at ‘Insane Prog-Rock’ Foo Fighters Record, Reveals Which Song Was Inspired by Kurt Cobain in ‘Rolling Stone’


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With the Foo Fighters set to be enshrined into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame coming up on Oct. 30 — the second induction of band leader Dave Grohl, following his first as a member of NirvanaRolling Stone this week published a big feature with Grohl and the band, conducted by veteran journalist Brian Hiatt.

The depth of this piece is somewhat unique, given that Grohl rarely speaks in such length about key topics from throughout his iconic career in rock and roll, which makes it a must-read for fans of his, the Foo Fighters, Nirvana or, generally, rock music of the past three decades.

In February, for example, the Foo Fighters released Medicine at Midnight, a contextually ambitious album with some stylistic curve balls that was a stark departure from their tried-and-true alt/rock sound, which Grohl maintains is consistent with his band’s creative process. As for what may be next:

There are vague ideas about the Foo Fighters’ next album, though Grohl hasn’t written anything yet. “Every album that we’ve made is a response to the one we made before,” he says. “So now there are whispers of making an insane prog-rock record.”

For years, the Foo Fighters have been derided in some circles as playing it “safe,” or willfully adhering to a mainstream sound, as one way of putting it. Grohl discusses that in Rolling Stone, too, and is transparent and unapologetic about it:

“Of course, I get cursed for considering music to be light and fun sometimes,” he says. “There’s this idea of rock & roll — that it should come from a place of darkness and there should be some sort of torture, that it should be dangerous. Because I’ve seen all that shit firsthand, I have to disagree. It’s not why I started playing music. Taking the danger out of rock & roll — we get accused of that. And it’s like, ‘Really? Do you want to put it in?’ I’ll take that criticism all day long.”

Grohl’s unshakeable past has followed him over the years — specifically, the fact that the Foo Fighters were borne out of the premature end of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain’s 1994 suicide abruptly capping the group’s existence and directly allowing Cobain to become a near-mythical figure in music history. As such, being “the former drummer of Nirvana” is a title he will always have, and he’s accepted that.

One of the Foo Fighters’ more recent hits, “Walk” (from 2011’s Wasting Light), Grohl explains in the feature, was actually inspired by Cobain. In a particularly emotional passage in the Rolling Stone piece, he explains:

“It kind of comes from the day after Kurt died,” Grohl says, his voice a little softer than usual. “Waking up that morning and realizing, ‘Oh, shit, he’s not here anymore. I am. Like, I get to wake up and he doesn’t. I’m making a cup of coffee. And he can’t. I’m gonna turn on the radio. And he won’t.’ That was a big revelation to me.

“I think also in life, you get trapped in crisis, where you imagine there’s no way out. When really, if you dare to consider that crisis a blip on the radar, it’s easier to push through. And, yeah, I was just like, ‘I don’t want anyone to have that feeling that I had that morning.’ ”

Grohl’s Foo Fighters band mate (and former Nirvana band mate) Pat Smear is quoted as saying the following:

“Every night when he sings the line ‘I never want to die,’ ” says Smear, “I look at him every time and think of Kurt. Every single time. Because Kurt was, ‘I hate myself and I want to die.’ And that’s the opposite-ness of them. And I do so love being with life lovers.”

The above are just a few examples of the remarkable depth of the Rolling Stone piece, a look at the Foo Fighters’ triumphant career and resilience on the path to where they are now, an unshakeable force in rock and roll history.

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