Today (Feb. 5) is the release of Medicine at Midnight, the landmark 10th album by the legendary Foo Fighters. But does Dave Grohl ever wonder what his late Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain would think of his new album, or his band in general? That answer is a firm no, but he’s really not concerned with what almost anyone thinks of his music.
In a wide-ranging interview with NME, that also features Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins, Grohl touched upon the idea of not writing to impress anyone but a select handful of people, all of whom are directly involved with the latest record.
When pressed if he ever ponders Cobain’s would-be impression of the Foo Fighters, Grohl emphatically stated,”No, I don’t – and I’ll tell you why! For 25 fucking years, that’s been something I’ve been judged by and from the get-go, you have to realize that it’s a dangerous place to be. You can’t create or judge anything by someone else’s standards.”
He also relayed that he was concerned about receiving negative feedback when he first started writing music for what eventually became the band’s first record, which was released in 1995 and recorded in October of 1994.
“It’s funny because I kept this little project a secret for so long before it became a band, and one of the reasons was for fear that people would judge it,” said Grohl.
“That’s all of the weird little demo tapes I’d done, I just didn’t feel comfortable sharing because they were mine. There was some safety and security in just keeping them to myself, so one of the reasons I started this band was to move on from the past,” he added. “The band truly represents this continuation of life because I didn’t want to remain in that place forever and I just couldn’t. I would have suffocated.”
As for those whose opinion on his music Grohl values, that would be his bandmates and producer Greg Kurstin, who also commanded the Foos’ previous effort, 2017’s Concrete and Gold.
“That’s it. That’s fucking it,” Grohl asserted of that short-list of people. “If someone comes out and says, ‘This is fucking shit,’ whether it’s a little YouTube guy or even Noel Gallagher [of Oasis], that really doesn’t ruffle my feathers because I’m not doing it for [them].”
Earlier this year, the Foo Fighters performed their new song “Times Like These” at the “Celebrating America” television special as part of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration.
“It just hasn’t quite set in,” said Grohl of the performance in that same interview.
“We had to record it virtually, and I’d much rather have been there,” the rocker lamented before he explained, “Look, my father was a Republican speech writer in Washington D.C. and he took my sister to Reagan’s second term inauguration. If my father was alive and he saw my band was performing at any kind of inauguration ceremony, he’d probably wouldn’t have believed it either!”