Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl on the new album, Bowie, Nirvana and loving ABBA

Virgin Radio

5 Feb 2021, 10:45

The godfather of grunge shared the advice he’d tell his younger self, working with the coolest person he’s ever met (Bowie) and Nirvana's surprise Swedish music inspiration.

The legendary rocker joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky and told him about the long-awaited album: “The idea was originally to come out on July 4 2020 because that was the 25th anniversary, to the day, of the very first album.

"So we had this big plan, a 25th anniversary tour and stuff like that but then obviously we decided to wait.”

What would his advice to his younger self be? “It would probably be to relax a little, to take a deep breath, stop running. Just walk from point A to point B.

"The past 25 years for me has been a steady jog, just non stop, but that's the way I've always been. Just take a little time to sit down, take a deep breath and appreciate what's going on.”

With echoes of the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and ABBA on the new album, he admitted: “Who doesn't love ABBA? I'm serious. I'll tell you a funny story. There was one time that Nirvana went to Australia. Our promoter was a friend of ours and we were just playing to pubs and small theatres and things like that, the band hadn't really blown up yet. 

“So one day in Sydney on a day off, he says ‘Hey, do you want to go see this ABBA tribute band, they're playing a hotel bar?' and Nirvana had put them into our bio ‘we're a mix between the Sex Pistols and ABBA’.

“So we go to this hotel bar and there's this band called Bjorn Again. They looked like them, they sounded like them. After the show we met them and we said ‘you have to come on tour with us, we want you guys to be the opening band’. 

“Something happened where someone couldn't get a visa or work permit and it never happened until we headlined Reading Festival in 1992 and we asked them to play.

“They were halfway down the bill and we got to hand pick people on the bill. 

“So I'm thinking 'okay, here's all these kids that love all the grunge bands and here comes ABBA. I thought 'they're either going to get bottled offstage or this is going to be the best concert these kids have ever seen'. 

“They went out on stage and every single one of those kids with their long hair and the goatees and the Doc Martins all sang every word to every ABBA song. Who doesn’t love ABBA?

“They even had the guts to play Smells Like Teen Spirit before we went on.”

On being the friendliest man in rock n roll, he said: “When I meet a fan on the street, when I meet other musicians, when I'm at a festival and I'm meeting all the other bands, I'm the guy that knocks on everybody's dressing room door and says 'who wants whiskey?'.

“I go from door to door and it pulls back the curtain and it makes me feel like 'oh, we're just all people here that are lucky enough to pay the rent getting up on stage with a guitar.'”

Working with Bowie he said: “I mean, there's just nobody cooler than Bowie, he was whether he was on stage, off stage… in the studio.

“I got to record with him one time. Even his emails were cool. There's nobody cooler.”

On feeling whether he’s finally made it, the king of grunge said: “Well, I made it to the end of yesterday. Let's see if I can make it to the end of today.”

Foo Fighters 10th album Medicine At Midnight is out now