The Foo Fighters classic Dave Grohl called “one of my least favourite songs”

Dave Grohl

Someone with as much unwavering enthusiasm for rock ‘n’ roll as Dave Grohl is hard to find. The frontman of Foo Fighters is excited to talk about his early drumming lessons from listening to Beatles records, his hero Prince covering “Best of You” at the Suber Bowl, or his unwavering love for ABBA. He hasn’t always been content to discuss music, though.

Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana before he made a name for himself again as a frontman with a guitar. Kurt Cobain embraced silence after his tragic suicide in 1994, when he started to associate music with tragedy. “I couldn’t even listen to music for a while after Kurt died,” Grohl said to the NME. “I detested turning on the radio because I was always afraid to hear a Nirvana song or anything depressing. Anything gloomy simply made me feel so miserable.

A few weeks later, Dave Grohl started carefully lowering himself back into the musical bathtub, making sure that the music he was listening to was cheerful and, if possible, silly and distracting. He continued, “I would listen to shit like Ace Of Base.” “I became absorbed in that! I was listening to some absolutely absurd garbage.

It was soon clear that music was the solution. At this point, Grohl recalled falling in love with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s Orange and Black Francis’ solo album Teenager Of The Year, which helped shape his vision for his new project, Foo Fighters. Grohl said, “That was a funny time with me musically because I really didn’t want to hear any music.” Then I realised, ‘Oh wait, I’m going to get better thanks to music. How am I acting? I ought to be enjoying some music. I ought to be creating music that uplifts me. And it did.

Grohl’s early experimentation with creative catharsis led to the legendary self-titled album of 1995, which borrowed Black Francis’ well-known loud-quiet-loud formula from grunge to create a grunge sound. The album was a turning point in Grohl’s healing process. However, Grohl’s songwriting made significant progress on the follow-up album, The Colour and the Shape. This proved to be Foo Fighters’ big hit.

After singles like “Everlong” and “Monkey Wrench” became popular, Grohl made the decision to experiment in the studio to produce a more avant-garde album. The band recorded 1999‘s There Is Nothing Left to Lose, their first album with drummer Taylor Hawkins. They utilized sound effects to add subtlety to their signature sound. The album also featured a touch more melody to their grunge sound.

Due to its bold defiance of convention, Grohl stated in a previous interview with Kerrang that his favourite Foo Fighters album was There Is Nothing Left to Lose. He was pleased with how most of the songs turned out and considered the band’s embrace of melody and perceptive vocal recordings to be a breakthrough in their evolution. After three years of crazy antics, Dave Grohl said, “it was all about just settling into the next phase of your life, that place where you can sit back and relax.” Taylor, Nate [Mendel], and I were the only three of us at that time, and we were best friends. I had the most tranquil moments of my life during that period.

Grohl isn’t entirely satisfied with the number of singles, even though he singles out “Ain’t It the Life” as one of his more obscure favourites on the album. In his opinion, the album’s low point was the lead single, “Learn to Fly.” He remarked on the song, “It’s about the search for some sort of inspiration, the search for signs of life that will make you feel alive.” “Actually, it’s among my least favourite tracks on the album.”

Grohl considers the single’s popularity to be unjustified, which contributes to his disdain for it. Grohl’s “moving” line, “Look to the sky to save me / Looking for a sign of life / Looking for something to help me burn out bright,” was praised by host Kelly Clarkson during a 2021 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show. Grohl was grateful but clarified that the meaning of the lyric was actually much less profound. “I achieved my goal of learning to fly! That’s all,” he laughed. “I apologise. That is what I am referring to. I want to become a pilot, which is why I’m singing.

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