Dave Grohl on Foo Fighters' setlist: "I know that we have to play Everlong – that's it"

Dave Grohl tells blink-182's Mark Hoppus about putting together Foo Fighters' setlist, and the band's pre-show ritual (or lack of…).

Dave Grohl on Foo Fighters' setlist: "I know that we have to play Everlong – that's it"
Emily Carter

Following last week's awesome After School Radio episode in which host Mark Hoppus chatted with his former blink-182 bandmate Tom DeLonge, this week the pop-punk bass legend has interviewed the one and only Dave Grohl.

In the wide-ranging conversation, Mark quizzes the Foo Fighters frontman about the band's return to the road this year, and how they put together a setlist – especially following the addition of another new album in 2021, Medicine At Midnight.

"It's just hard to write a setlist because…" Dave begins (via After School Radio on Apple Music Hits). "Actually, when we were rehearsing, we had these dry erase boards and charts and like, 'Here's these songs, these are the singles, and these are the deep cuts, and these are the new ones, and these are the covers.' It was hard to put it all together. You want to represent every era of the band, because there's more than a few, but you want to make a setlist that's like a rollercoaster, goes up and down. And it's hard."

But, he adds, there's always one song that'll make the cut no matter what: "I know that we have to play Everlong, that's it. Everything else is like, 'Whatever.'"

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Elsewhere in the interview, the pair discuss any pre-gig rituals, with Mark joking that, "I would ask you about pre-show rituals, but I don't think that you have any because, one time you were playing at Wrigley Field, and I happen to be in Chicago at the same time…

"…Literally the three of us are sitting there talking and Gus comes up and was like, 'Okay, Dave. Time to go to the show.' And I'm thinking, like, 'Okay, that means he's going to go back and start his vocal warm-ups or stretch or whatever else.' And you're like, 'Oh, hang on. Okay. I'll see you guys in a little bit. You guys just walk straight to the stage.' Do you not have a pre-show ritual?"

"I do," replies Dave. "But it mostly involves everything that you just talked about. It's like one hour before the show, I open a Coors Light, and I'm like, 'Oh, hello darkness, my old friend.' But our dressing rooms are always filled with friends. And so that's the thing that I love the most. I'm going to miss it. We're not allowed to really have people backstage right now. But one of the things I love before going on is just being happy. You're surrounded by all your friends. You haven't seen everyone in a long time, and you're doing shots of Crown Royal, and you're like, 'Yay!' And everyone's, like, taking pictures with each other. And it's like a reunion every night. And then Gus is like, 'We got five minutes. Let's go.' And so that basically means I need to open another beer, and then let's go."

The frontman continues of this method and how it's the "best way to walk onstage every night": "I just wait until the entire band is laughing about something. And I'm like, 'Alright, let's go.' So you walk onstage laughing. You feel happy when you walk onstage. To me, that's the best way to do it.

"Because then once you hit the stage, not only are you supercharged to kick everyone's, but you're in a good mood. I like it when it feels more like a cake party than a stadium show. That has to do with the vibe between the band and everyone."

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