Dave Grohl Compares Songwriting Philosophy To Rivers Cuomo’s, Recalls Almost Joining Gwar
You’re never going to believe this, but Dave Grohl is on the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone. Grohl is getting ready to publish his memoir The Storyteller, and by way of promoting the book, he told Rolling Stone a few stories. Some of those stories involve other famous musicians, and Rolling Stone has published some of the highlights.
In his interview with Brian Hiatt, for instance, Grohl talks a bit about how the Foo Fighters write songs, which is apparently quite different from how fellow ’90s alt-rock survivors Weezer write songs. Grohl describes a backstage conversation that he had with Weezer leader Rivers Cuomo when the Foos and Weezer toured Australia a few years ago:
[Cuomo] goes, “Hey, so when you write songs, how do you do it?” I started explaining how we do it, which is pretty simple. I make some demos. I show them to the guys. And then we get together and play them. He says, “Do you listen to top 40 radio?” I said, “Now? Not really. I mean, unless I’m in the car with my kids, I guess.” He said, “So you don’t write songs to try to get on top 40 radio?” And I said, “No. I don’t think we’re allowed there! Do I expect to knock Cardi B off the fucking charts? Absolutely not.” I said, “No, I kind of write songs for the stage or a setlist, and I write them for Foo Fighters fans.” And he said, “Wow. So you write for the show?” And I said, “Yeah, don’t you?” And I don’t think that he does. I think that we’re sort of on opposite ends of that spectrum. Which is funny.
A few years ago, the Foo Fighters played a show at the Richmond, Virginia venue the National, and Dave Grohl rhapsodized from the stage about hometown thrash heroes Gwar. (Gwar graciously spared Grohl’s life in response.) Talking to Rolling Stone, Grohl claims that he briefly considered joining Gwar when he was a young drummer in the DC suburbs:
Gwar were looking for a drummer, and I talked to their guitar player Dewey [Rowell] about it. And he’s like, “It’s great, and you get to design your own costume. As drummer, you don’t want something that covers your face fully. You want your arms to be free.”…
So I started kind of drawing this thing. At the time, Gwar was a band that would draw like 700 people, right? Which is huge. And then the more I thought about it, am I really gonna invite my uncle to see me play when there’s, like, fake blood and cum shooting all over the place?
Dave Grohl’s uncle must feel so uncool now. There are more anecdotes in the Rolling Stone piece, including bits about Rick Astley and Kurt Cobain, and you can read it here. The Storyteller is out 10/5 via Dey Street.