Dave Grohl: ‘I remember the day after Kurt died, how strange it felt to wake up knowing he wasn’t with us’
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 26/03/2021
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl joins host Dermot O’Leary for an in-depth look back at his career to date in the latest instalment of BBC Two’s Reel Stories. Dave spoke to Dermot about how his upbringing cemented his work ethic, how he processed the loss of bandmate Kurt Cobain, and how he overcame his own insecurities around performing.
On how he processed the loss of Kurt Cobain:
“I didn’t really have a plan. When everything’s sort of turned upside down, and shaken up like that, you just wake up every day thinking, ‘Who am I, where am I, what am I doing?’ I remember the day after Kurt died, how strange it felt to wake up knowing he wasn’t with us anymore, and that I had another day. Like, okay, so what am I going to do with today? I believe it was then that I started to realise, oh okay, you have to do everything once again. Meaning like, I have to make a pot of coffee and this is my first pot of coffee since Kurt’s gone. I have to go upstairs and get dressed. This is the first thing I’ll wear since Kurt has been gone. It goes like that. I honestly don’t know what I did. It was months and months and months.”
On overcoming his insecurities around performing:
“For years, I was so self-conscious on stage, like ‘I know I don’t sound good, but how do I look? How do I hold my guitar? Do I do it like this? How do I move?” I wasn’t ever in the moment, I was just so afraid. And then something clicked, where I was like ‘You know what? I’m not wasting this moment on being nervous, or scared. I’m gonna walk out there like Julius f****** Caesar.’”
On how he developed his work ethic:
“Being raised by a public school teacher, their pay is like, nothing. It’s a crime. So I would watch my mother just go from paycheck, to paycheck, to paycheck, to paycheck. Our heat would get turned off, the phone would get turned off, the electricity would get turned off. There were some nights when it was like, ‘What’s for dinner?’ And she’s like, ‘Umm, we have two eggs… scrambled egg sandwiches!’ So this work ethic is instilled in you, where you realise that in order to survive, you have to work.”
Watch Reel Stories: Dave Grohl on Saturday 27 March, 10.30pm on BBC Two.
Reel Stories will be followed on BBC Two by by highlights from Foo Fighters’ headline set at Reading Festival 2019.