.

Dave Grohl Drums Up Probot

Foo Fighter unites with metal heroes on side project

February 6, 2004 12:00 AM ET

"Chicks dig drummers," says Dave Grohl. Which may be partly why the man is always looking for another excuse to step back behind the drum kit, from his brief but memorable stint in 2002 with Queens of the Stone Age to the debut this month of his long-awaited metal project, Probot.

The impending February 10th release of Probot's self-titled debut album was enough to deliver Grohl to headbanger paradise recently on a Hollywood soundstage, where he was shooting the band's first video, sitting in with Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister and seventy models from SuicideGirls.com. The song was "Shake Your Blood," a dead-ringer for Motorhead's "Ace of Spades." Grohl pounded the drums on a rotating stage as Lemmy serenaded a crowd of dancing rock chicks in goth, punk and bondage wear with the words, "I love to see the women bathe/I ain't in denial."

Later, Lemmy recognized the scene as "just like a tour in the Sixties, when things were a lot more fun."

Grohl says, "We're dealing with Lemmy here. There's got to be women dancing in the video. I've never done something like that, and it just wouldn't work with 'Learn to Fly.' It's the kind of thing you would reserve for something special."

On guitar was underground metal vet Wino (St. Vitus, the Obsessed), one of many hard rock heroes recruited by Grohl for the album, which began as a series of brutal basement recordings made between Foo Fighters tours. The collaborations were quick and easy.

"I wrote the lyrics in about ten minutes," Lemmy says of "Shake Your Blood." "It's rock & roll, you know. It's not one of those complicated things."

Which at least allowed Grohl to feel like a drummer again. "I'd rather be playing drums in that room with seventy Suicide Girls than standing around with a guitar around my neck," he says.

The Probot project began three and a half years ago as an escape from his Foo Fighters duties performing "Learn to Fly" and other radio hits every night. It was an excuse to rock hard, tapping into his early days obsessively listening to hardcore and underground metal, the kind of music he says he still listens to before going on stage with the Foo Fighters: Corrosion of Conformity, Sepultura, etc.

Grohl initially recorded seven instrumentals with no intention of releasing them or even singing on the tracks. But he slowly farmed out his basic tracks to several metal heroes, who added vocals to the ragged riffs. "I came up with my wish list of all of my favorite singers from this era," he says, "which is '82 to '89 underground metal, and all the bands I listened to at the time: Eric Wagner from Trouble and Snake from Voivod and Cronos [from Venom] and Lemmy and Wino. We started making phone calls trying to find all these people."

Grohl played virtually all the instruments himself, though Lemmy and Cronos play bass on their tracks, Wino adds explosive guitar to "The Emeerald Law," and Kim Thayil of Soundgarden plays guitar on two songs.

And even though Grohl has made the rare transition from drummer to successful frontman, he knows where he belongs. "I'm a drummer," he says. "I taught myself how to play the guitar, I taught myself how to play the drums, and I kind of fake doing both of them. But drumming comes more natural to me, and it just feels better."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com