Dave Grohl On How “F*cking Terrifying” It Was To Go From Being A Drummer To A Frontman
With July 4 marking the release of Foo Fighters’ brilliant debut album, Dave Grohl has been reflecting over the early beginnings of his band – and how he made the slow switch from Nirvana’s drummer to the unstoppable frontman he is today.
Speaking on Matt Wilkinson’s show on Apple Music (with the full interview going out at 3pm on Saturday), he remembers how he’d “been sitting on a drum stool for so long” that he found himself asking how his body moved while standing in front of people.
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“‘What do I say in between songs?’” Dave remembers. “These are the things that go through your head, and if you’re not feeling it or you don’t have that connection or confidence, it can be fucking terrifying.”
The frontman says he felt this way “for eight years or 10 years or so” – but these days, he’s absolutely fine with his role within Foos.
“It took a long time for me,” he admits. “I mean, now when I walk out onstage, it’s just like, ‘Hey. Okay, let’s go.’ But a long time ago, even doing interviews, I was shy. I was just insecure, self-aware. I just felt like I wasn’t used to being put in the forefront like that and I can not even watch interviews from those days back then.”
As well as putting himself under enormous pressure, Dave also remembers the scrutiny he faced from both fans and press after Nirvana.
“There’s some journalists that are just like, ‘How dare you played music after Nirvana,’” he says. “I’m like, ‘What am I supposed to do?’
“We tried really hard to do it right,” continues Dave. “Instead of jumping on a tour opening up for some massive arena band at the time, we thought, ‘Okay, well let’s get in the van and let’s do it like we’ve always done it. Let’s start the way we always started,’ and that felt comfortable to us. And in doing any promotion or press, we didn’t make a video right out of the gate, we tried to temper all of that stuff because it was scary in a way. I knew that I was walking the plank on this. I knew that I was going to be scrutinised and I knew that there was going to be comparisons and things like that.
“And yeah, I mean it was tough,” he concludes. “But it wasn’t that tough. I mean it was like if someone gave you shit, you just say, ‘Fuck you, motherfucker.’”
Elsewhere in the interview, Dave details the days that followed Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain’s death, and how that impacted the lyrics on the album Foo Fighters. Watch that clip below:
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