Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl: ‘Billie Eilish is rock’n’roll to me’
Ohen Dave Grohl was growing up in the suburbs of Washington DC, he regularly met friends at a local mythical place. Rather than the legendary tinnie-studded park bench of British teenage tradition, this was an altogether more impressive arrangement. Grohl and his pals used to spend foggy evenings at the house where the greatest horror film of all time – 1973 The Exorcist – was filmed. “I spent a lot of time hanging out on those steps,” Grohl says with a glint in his eye. “There was a liquor store called Dixie Liquor right next door, and they sold beer to teenagers. So when we were little punk rockers, we would just buy big cans of Foster and listen to punk rock, sit on the steps and fuck off on the weekends.
It is therefore not surprising that Grohl’s sympathy for the devil runs deep. The Exorcist remains an all-time favorite and, alongside the rest of the Foo Fighters, Grohl has just fulfilled a lifelong ambition: to make and star in a horror movie of his own.
The schlocky Workshop 666 is a conscious pastiche of satanic slasher films, centered around the sessions of Foo Fighters’ latest album, 2021 medicine at midnight. In it, they set out to record their 10th record since 1994 in a highly haunted house. One by one, the band members get killed off in increasingly bloody ways, as the muso stereotypes – creative differences, a leader desperate to go solo, and the discovery of a whole new guitar chord – are all happily ridiculed. There are also star-studded cameos from Lionel Richie, Slayer’s Kerry King, and Calm your enthusiasmis Jeff Garlin, who plays the long-suffering label boss.
So far, the film has received mixed reviews, but that’s not really the point, Grohl says. “I almost feel like this movie is supposed to entertain us more than you do,” he laughs, though he notes Workshop 666The chances of Oscars are very high. ” No fuss. A shoot-in. A slam dunk,” Grohl says confidently. “Wait, are we talking about the Razzies or the Oscars? I was talking about the Razzies.
According to a story by Grohl, Workshop 666 is inspired not only by the shockers of the 70s, but also by classic band films like the Beatles To help! and the monkeys To manage. There are also plenty of real-life oddities in the mix. Recording music in a scary place is nothing new – in the early 90s Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails decamped to the Los Angeles home where Sharon Tate and four others had been murdered by Charles Cohorts Manson, to complete their second album, The downward spiral.
Grohl — then drummer for iconic grunge band Nirvana — actually found himself at home, 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, during those sessions. “When I was young, I was a little obsessed with the macabre and I knew all about the Manson family and these murders,” he explains. “Then in the summer of 1992 I was staying in California with a friend in this little house with no air conditioning.” Each day, the couple looked for a different pool to cope with the sweltering heat. One day the friend had a particularly odd option for a cooling dip. “My friend called me and said, ‘Guess where we’re swimming today? The house where Sharon Tate was killed by the Manson family.’ That wasn’t the compelling experience Grohl was looking for. “It was dark,” he says, 30 years after the scariest pool party ever, “because it got real, all I knew about it: walking into that house , it was real. And this house had not changed; the front door, the living room. It was fucked. It was legitimately screwed up. It wasn’t cool at all. »
Workshop 666 also relies on less gruesome concerns. There’s a moment where Jeff Garlin’s character comments on the current state of the music. “Rock’n’roll, it’s been a long time since it’s no longer relevant,” he breathes. It’s something we imagine Grohl hears a lot. “Well, I think you have to define ‘relevant’,” he begins. “It’s hard for us to say that rock ‘n’ roll is in bad shape, because we get on stage and there will be thousands of people who will fuck up and sing our songs.” Further down the food chain, however, he is aware that guitar bands may not have the cultural cachet they once did. “I can understand how it’s a different game these days for young bands,” he offers. “There are a lot of great young bands that are killing it and have dedicated fanbases. They may not be as popular as Nicki Minaj, but honestly, when I see fucking Billie Eilish, that’s rock’n’roll to me. She started a revolution and conquered the world.
When it comes to those great young bands, as well as his long-standing and well-documented respect for Eilish, Grohl is currently obsessed with Isle of Wight duo Wet Leg. “Wet Leg is about to take over America,” he smiles, before gushing over last summer’s phenomenally eye-catching “Chaise Longue.” “I really dig them. A friend of mine pitched me about six or seven months ago and I couldn’t get the song out of my head. If you’re invited to party with Dave this year, expect the track to be a regular on the playlist. “Sometimes we hang out at a friend’s house and dance until four in the morning, and we play ‘Chaise Longue’ on repeat, like over and over and over and over and over again,” he reveals. .
Turning 53 in January, Grohl can undoubtedly be described as a former rock statesman. In fact, when watching Peter Jackson’s acclaimed Beatles documentary, Return, he saw a kindred spirit in another musical hero. “I could particularly identify with Ringo,” Grohl smiles, “because for the majority of the movie, you see Ringo just sitting there on the drums, just waiting for something to happen. That’s how it is. to be the drummer of a band!
Despite being the frontman of one of the most successful guitar bands in the world, Grohl regularly takes over the drumsticks. In fact, you’re much more likely to see him behind the drums than sneakily leaving his band for a solo career, like Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder or No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani. “I mean, look: if I had a solo project, do you know what it would be like?” he asks. “The fucking Foo Fighters. And it would be much more difficult to do without.
“Studio 666” is currently in theaters