Dave Grohl: "I’m trying to express frustration at how everyone is so divided"
Dave Grohl was supposed to spend 2017 licking his wounds. Instead he retreated into the wilderness, loaded up on wine and wrote a new Foo Fighters album exploring his darkest thoughts
Even a steaming hangover can’t slow Dave Grohl down. It’s a summer’s day in Los Angeles, and although the frazzled Foo Fighter rolls into the band’s Studio 606 clad entirely in black, his conversation is the usual kaleidoscope of themes. His kids. Metallica. Animal from The Muppets. And, above all these, the fiercely ambitious ninth album, Concrete And Gold, that will scotch any lingering notion of the Foos as Nirvana-lite. “This is something,” he tells us, “I’ve always wanted to do.”
By rights, Grohl shouldn’t be on duty. Recent times have been sufficiently tough for this human dynamo to breathe that dirtiest of words: hiatus. To recap, there was the tumble from a Gothenburg stage back in June 2015, the broken leg and the makeshift set-up that saw him installed on a guitar-bedecked throne.
“Well, it’s strange,” he reflects, “because I remember right after surgery, having the phone call with my production crew. We had to cancel four or five shows, but we wanted to finish [the tour]. I knew I couldn’t walk for months, so I thought, ‘OK, I’ll sit down.’ And we drew this diagram and made that crazy throne.
“The first show sitting in that throne was so fucking weird. I’d never sat down and played a rock show in a stadium. And I was nervous, but by the end of the show, I thought, ‘That was weird, and I like things that are weird, so let’s do it more.’”
Grohl’s throne carved out its own small slice of rock’n’roll folklore – especially when it was lent to fellow hobbler Axl Rose. “I went to see Guns N’ Roses and it was a fucking great show, but I was sitting there watching them, like, ‘That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in my life.’ It’s like watching a king on a throne just sort of conduct an audience.”