Virtual Festivals: Hey Dave, how are you doing?
Dave Grohl: I’m doing really well, I’ve had a nice day, sat on the bus, told stories with friends and laughed for five hours, I play in an hour and 45 minutes, which means I can start drinking in 45 minutes.
VF: So you usually get a bit pissed before you go onstage then?
DG: No, no, no. Yeah. A little. The pre-show ritual is usually, like, two little shots of Crown Royal whiskey and maybe a beer, just to get loosened up a little bit. But when we go home from tours, I barely ever drink at home. I only drink when I’m working. Which is one of the great things about my job! It’s one of the few jobs you can have and be pissed all the time.
VF: You’re coming to the end of some English dates. How have they gone, do you reckon?
DG: They were great! Well, this tour was pretty short, I mean we started in Portugal about two weeks ago, we had a great festival there, and then we played through Austria, Germany and Holland, and then came over here, so the whole trip’s been great. And I’ve been looking forward to playing the Reading and Leeds festival for a long time, ‘cos the Reading festival really is my favourite festival of them all. So it was great.
VF: Why is Reading your favourite?
DG: It was one of the first I ever did, and I remember the first time I ever heard about the Reading festival was right when I joined Nirvana, and we were having a barbecue in Kris Novoselic’s backyard, and Danny Peters, the drummer of Mudhoney, was at the barbecue, and we were talking and I said, ‘What’s the biggest crowd Mudhoney’s ever played to?’ and he said: ‘Well, about 35,000.’ And I was like, ‘WHAT?! Where the fuck did Mudhoney play to 35,000 people?’ And he said, ‘Oh, there’s this festival in England called the Reading Festival.’ And I couldn’t imagine that 35,000 people would listen to the same kind of music that we do, you know? So the first time I went there I was blown away that the bill was like Dinosaur Jr, The Melvins, Mudhoney and Babes in Toyland, Iggy Pop, Sonic Youth, it was nuts. And there were so many people, I didn’t know if that could happen in America. Because that was right before any of the alternative stuff blew up, so it just seemed to me that it was so cool that it was a big rock festival for good music rather than the kind that you used to get where you hear Bon Jovi and shit like that.
VF: So who have you caught this weekend?
DG: I got to see some Dinosaur Jr, didn’t see any of the Kings of Leon yesterday, but I’m about to. Watched Dwarves, watched Mondo Generator, that was really it yesterday.
VF: Was it good to catch up with Nick Oliveri?
DG: Yeah, I love Nick. He’s a good old friend. He’s a crazy motherfucker, but he’s the best bass player in the world. That guy can stay up for six days, drink more than anyone you know, take more drugs than anyone you’ve ever seen, and still have fuckin’ better time than most drummers. He’d become my metronome. He’s been up for, like, a week!
VF: How does it feel to have five albums out with the same band?
DG: It feels good. Technically kinda six ‘cos it’s double! But it’s nice, I love makin’ records. It’s fun touring and it’s fun to come out on the road, but I’m 36 now, so… I love playing shows and it’s awesome to headline these festivals, but god man, we’ve got this beautiful studio that’s right down the street from my house. If I could just go make albums in there for the rest of my life, I would. But I love playing too much, so I gotta play too.
VF: Are you planning to do any more side projects like Probot?
DG: Yeah, I love doing side projects. I love recording with other people. Friday when I get home, I’m recording with Tenacious D for the new Tenacious D record doing drums on that.
VF: Yeah, they’ve been quite quiet for a while, haven’t they?
DG: Makin’ a movie. And it’s fuckin’ insane!
VF: Have you even thought about going into acting?
DG: No, not really! When I was young I used to do, like, theatre when I was like ten years old, I was a ‘Thespian’, but err.. no, I fuckin’ hate it when you’re like watching a movie, and you’re really into the movie and you’re in that world, and then like, Jon Bon Jovi walks across the screen, and you’re just like, ‘Wait, that was Jon Bon Jovi, what the fuck?!’ No, I like it when people in bands like to just play in bands, instead of being ‘multi-media personalities’.
VF: What, like Juliette Lewis?
DG: She is the one exception, actually. Have you seen her play live? If anyone has a front person charisma, she’s got Iggy Pop, man. She’s got something else, you know? She should be the front person of a band. And I respect her, ‘cos that’s a tough position to be in. For some reason it’s more acceptable for musicians to act than it is for actors to make music. Which I kind of understand, because most musicians spend their career trying to establish themselves as individuals, trying to do their own thing, whereas actors a lot of the time spend their careers being other people, y’know? So it’s difficult to believe an actor when they’re making music. But man, I think she’s got more heart and soul than most of the fuckin’ people onstage tonight. I think she’s in it to win it, y’know? She’s a badass. Plus she’s fuckin’ hot!