[Interview] Dave Grohl On His New Film, Nirvana, Facing His Demons And Being A Huge Rock Star
Every iconic band has the classic rock ‘n roll archetypes. There is the affable drink-addicted bad boy; the sullen silent musical genius; the goofy, tragically forgettable drummer. Although usually rife with cliché, it becomes easy to label each member of the band according to what character they project to their fans.
Ironically, one of the biggest rock stars of the modern world, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Dave Grohl[/lastfm] of the [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Foo Fighters[/lastfm], doesn’t fit these studied, prototypical stereotypes of what a musician should be.
Grohl is a brilliant, passionate musician but he is also a self-organized business man. He is a carefree, devil-may-care rock star but he is also a loving father. Howling out choruses with a kind of baritone-level rage befitting a wild, angry animal, you could imagine that Grohl is a prime-candidate for anger management. On the flip-side, Dave Grohl is probably one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.
Joining Kevin & Bean in the studio with Oscar-winning director James Moll, Grohl discussed the band’s 3-D documentary and live musical experience, Foo Fighters: Back And Forth, which was in theaters for one night only.
Grohl also elaborated on going back to his garage rock roots while recording the impenetrable rock monster that is Wasting Light, which mysterious member of his past may have trash-talked him in the documentary, and finally divulged some information–after more than a decade of near silence–about [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Nirvana[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Kurt Cobain[/lastfm].
When I walked into Studio R to watch the interview, Grohl immediately greeted me in his warm-hearted way that sets everyone in the room at ease.
Wearing a plaid shirt with rolled up sleeves, Grohl has looked the same for the last sixteen years. Despite the rock star status ever equated with hard-living, Grohl has barely aged. This is no doubt partly because of his laid-back, humble attitude towards life. The rest of it is pure luck, something Grohl seems to have a well-deserved multitude of.
For Grohl, musical success has nothing to do with money or the misleading façade of fame; Success has to do with pure, unadulterated passion for the craft.
[pullquote quote="You make Nazi movies? You'd be perfect for this Foo Fighters thing! You should meet Dave!"]“You know, I’ve never been one for costumes and smoke and mirrors. I like it when bands seems like people…You could be [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]David Bowie [/lastfm]with face paint or you could be [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Neil Young[/lastfm] with a flannel shirt. As long as the music is good, I don’t buy into any of the rock ‘n roll mystery stuff. I guess it’s fun to read those sort of biographies but for me I just want to see a band jam. And if that guy is pumping my gas on Friday afternoon, that’s all good. I’m cool with that.”
This could easily explain why Grohl made such a shockingly disparate artistic choice for the Foo Fighters documentary director. Oscar and Emmy-award winning director, James Moll, is not known for his light, superficially entertaining film fare.
While incredibly talent, Moll says his background is “in historical documentaries” and that he “got a call from a producer–Nigel Sinclair from Spitfire Pictures. He had seen a film I made about the daughter of a Nazi perpetrator. Really heavy, heavy subject. He said, ‘Well, what do you want to do next?’ I said, ‘Something completely different.’ He said, ‘You like the Foo Fighters?‘”
Grohl quipped that “that’s how the big deals are made right there: ‘Really? You make Nazi movies? You’d be perfect for this Foo Fighters thing! You should meet Dave!’”