|Sept. 2002 - Interview with Dave Grohl
by Samantha and Michele
Q. How would you describe the Queens music?
It's rock & roll.
Q. Can you be a little bit more specific?
Nope. [Laughs] But rock & roll is real broad you know, and it allowed us to move in and out of any kind of style that we wanted to and I think rock is where it's at you know, 'cause, rock & roll could be hard, can be soft, can be uptempo, midtempo, short, long, could be all things. I would hate to put a label on it and say, put this in a little box, you know what I mean?
Q. So why this choose this band to drum again?
Why not? I love this band. I've known them for years and they invited me to play on this record, because I love this band. [Puts on a robot like voice]. I've decided to tour with them because I love this band. Well, seriously, they're one of my favourite bands and I haven't played drums in a long time and it's great music to play drums to. We've been friends for awhile, they came out on tour with Foo Fighters once and we had a blast on the road and they're amazing live and they needed a drummer, so I thought I'd do it. It's a nice change of pace.
Q. So is it kind of like holiday for you? You don't have the responsibility that you do of being up front in your own band.
Yes, in that sense. Not being in the spotlight is kinda nice. It's really just more about playing the drums, which I haven't done for a long time, and it's the instrument that I feel most comfortable playing, so I feel much more comfortable and confident doing this than trying to sing every night.
Q. Where do you see this band in terms of where music is at today?
Fortunately I see them differently. Way above everybody else [laughs]. We're far more interesting and talented than most bands. I can say that because I'm not really in the band [laughs]. If I were an actual member, there'd be trouble.
Q. Not comparing to Nirvana musically to QOTSA, but in terms of Nirvana having come out during a pretty boring period of music, this band is a breath of fresh air in light of Creed.
Well these guys have been making great music for years and I was a big fan of Kyuss. In the early nineties, even then, the music they made was far more satisfying than most everything you hear in mainstream, so you know, though they've always been somewhat below the radar. They've always been making great music but now people are actually starting to listen and notice, and they've had a pretty strong fan base all over the world for years. It just takes time for something like that to build and have people actually listen and know that there's something really satisfying about music that's interesting or challenging or just different, it's refreshing, and also refreshing to play another instrument for a while. It's kind of the same feeling.
Q. Do you feel like a bit of a veteran? You've been in the spotlight for a long time.
Well, I think the thing that makes. I consider veterans people that have been touring in bands for ten years and people that have been making music for the sake of making music, you know? You wouldn't consider someone a veteran if they'd started a band and blew up overnight, so I mean, yeah, I guess I'm older than everybody too, so yeah in a weird way I'm like the old fart.
Q. Do you think the music industry has got more uptight in recent years?
The Queens don't care. I don't think so, I'm not sure that anybody really cares so much about that. I know that I don't and I'm just making music, but I love to listen to it as well. And another thing about this band is everything musically is taken quite seriously. It's also a lot of fun and that's important. To me it's always been important: to make sure that you're happy doing what you do, and you're doing it for the sake of just having fun and having a good time, sharing experiences like this with other people.
Q. They've got this sort of party image kinda vibe about them.
I know, that's kinda where I don't fit into everything, I haven't even smoked pot since I was 21 years old! But you know, give me a bottle of whiskey, I'll be fine.
Q. So how do you think you'll deal with that?
I think I've done pretty well so far. [Laughs] I'll manage, I'll bring a bottle.
Q. How are your legal battles going with Courtney?
About the Nirvana stuff? Can't talk about it.
Q. Apparently Courtney is trying to do an Ozzy Osbourne reality show of her own?
No! [laughs] That would be something to see. Talk about ratings!
Q. At least it might help your case because it would confirm that she really is crazy.
[Laughs] I can't talk about it.
Q. Okay, what are your memories of Australia?
Yeah, I got arrested for drunk driving there. I was on a scooter, and I was barely above the limit, so. Yeah, I was on the Gold Coast. I was on a scooter that I rented when I was coming back from the show, and I think the limit was .05 and I think I blew like a .07 or something like that, and I got thrown in jail.
Q. Was that the first time you've been in jail?
Q. How are Australian jails different?
Uhm, they don't have bars, they have these plexi-glass doors which makes you feel like you're in a fish tank. I'm slightly claustrophobic so it was a little weird. I was really cold too, 'cause it was raining, they took my shoelaces off my shoes so I wouldn't hang myself and stuff.
Q. Did they know who you were?
No, I don't think they did.
Q. So no autographs or special treatment?
Well no, but I actually got pulled over on the road that was coming out of the festival, so as I was being interrogated by the police, cars are driving by going, 'Beep, beep, good show Dave! [laughs].
Q. So what music are you listening to at the moment?
I do love the White Stripes record as does everybody else, and The Hives, I love the Hives very much, I think they're a great band. There's a great band called My Morning Jacket, that I think are fucking cool, they have sort of a sleepy, country, Neil Young vibe, they're really great. Oh God, what else, I love Cat Power and the list goes on, there's a lot of stuff out there I still listen to lot's of different kinds of music.
Q. You're a successful, accomplished musician do you think your celebrity gets in the way?
No. I don't really think that. I mean it's always, very flattering that anyone would be so complimentary as to consider me an accomplished musician. I'm not the best drummer in the world and I'm not the best guitar player in the world. I'm not the best singer in the world, but I have fun doing it, and with this band it's more of a combination of the players that make the sound so great. It's not really any one person so I know that going out and playing drums again, first band I've been in since Nirvana that people are gonna take notice of me more, so than if it were someone else, but it doesn't really get in the way. If anything it's kind of exciting to me, to have people be interested in what I do, so.
Q. What's the funniest rumour you've heard about yourself?
Oooh, that I was dating Christina Aguileria.
Q. I was just gonna ask you about that. (Laughs) It's not true?
No, that was a good one. I woke up and my phone is ringing off the hook and I came in the living room and my girlfriend said. I was like, 'Why has the phone been ringing off the hook?,' and she said, 'Because the radio announced that you're dating Christina Aguilera'. I said, 'You're kidding,' so I called the radio station, I was like, 'You're fucking kidding right?' [Laughs] She was actually in the studio next to the studio that Queens were making the record in, and I guess somehow it came out of that.
Q. Have you met her at least?
Yeah, we all met her, we all hung out with her but give me a break! [Laughs] Can you imagine?
Q. Next you'll be reading that you're dating Britney.
Shit I wouldn't mind that. Bring it on!
Q. Okay. By the way, do you watch the Osbournes?
I do, I've watched every single one of them. Hey listen to this shit, this is kind of funny so my father, I'm from Washington D.C, I'm actually from Virginia right outside of DC, my father's a former journalist, and so every year he goes to the White House national press convention and club dinner thing. So he goes to the dinner, and Ozzy and Sharon were there, and he goes up and introduces himself, like, 'Hi, I'm Dave Grohl's dad,' and Ozzy was so fucking cool to my dad. Ozzy and Sharon were both really cool. Ozzy said, 'Look that's Dave Grohl's dad!' She said [imitating Sharon] 'Oh David!' and then Ozzy says, he goes [imitates Ozzy], 'You know your son doesn't do drugs, right?' [Laughs] Like, how the fuck would he know that?
[Josh Homme walks in the room]
Josh: Because I told them. I was the Oreo in the Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne sandwich.
Q. So Dave, you must be like the designated driver in the band?
Well, I wouldn't say that.
Josh: He doesn't do drugs but he drinks which is a drug, so it's a bit of an argument.
Dave: That's true. I do drink, excessively.
Josh [turns to Dave]: That's why this is actually an intervention.
Q. How's the intervention going?
Dave [pretends to freak out]: Everyone's against me! I'm getting out of here!
Q. Have you got any new tattoos?
I have these new tattoos.
Q. Any significance?
They're large and painful when you get them.
Q. Do they mean anything?
They mean I'm into large things that give me pain.
Q. What kinds of things do you do in your spare time?
Shit, play in bands.
Q. Josh was saying earlier that he collects wine corks from wherever he goes. Do you do anything as interesting as that?
Dave [Laughs]: Are you kidding me?
Josh: Yeah, I've got 6000.
Dave: Really? Geez, what do I do? Nothing, I guess I just play in bands and stuff. Oh, I pick fly shit out of pepper.
Q. What's the best and worst thing about being in this group?
Um, best thing about this band is Nick, being funny all the time, and the worst thing is Josh because he's so serious. I think the best thing about the band is playing. And the worst thing about the band is that it won't last forever.