Dave Grohl on the Foo Fighters' Grammy Success and Going Analog

'I would rather bands sound like bands'

February 15, 2012 4:10 PM ET

foo fighters
Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Nate Mendel of The Foo Fighters backstage at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy

The Foo Fighters took home five Grammy awards Sunday night, including Best Rock Album, and delivered two memorable performances, one of them rocking with Deadmau5 on the first-ever EDM segment on the show. But their biggest triumph of the night may have been Grohl's Best Rock Performance acceptance speech, which has taken the web by storm. "Dave Grohl Grammy Speech" is the second subject that comes up when you type his name into Google.

Accepting the award, Grohl said, "To me, this award means a lot, because it shows the human element of music is what's important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that's the most impotant thing for people to do . . . It's not about being perfect, it's not about sounding absolutely correct, it's not about what goes on in a computer. It's about what goes on in here [your heart] and what goes on in here [your head]."

When Rolling Stone spent some time with Grohl at various Grammy events over the weekend, he echoed those sentiments as he talked about the bare-bones recording of Wasting Light, which was recorded on analog equipment in a garage. "To me, the biggest advantage of going analog is the restrictions that it implies, which gets you to perform in a way that you’re actually being a human being," Grohl said. "We thought about heart and performance. And I would rather people not tune their vocals, I would rather people not grid their drums."

Will their success Sunday night inspire other bands to pick up that challenge? Emily Lazar, who became the first woman ever nominated for mastering a Best Album nominee, hopes so. "I think that would be a phenomenal response, because there’s nothing like real organic old-school rock & roll," she told us. "I think part of the charm and integrity of this record and the reason it rocks so hard is because it’s real and there are moments that are not perfect. They’re absolutely fantastic musicians, each and every one of them, but there are still human moments. And that’s what makes it so wonderful, to me, anyway."

When we first discussed this on Wednesday night, we joked that the one problem is that most rock bands can't play like the Foo Fighters. But Lazar doesn't think that should stop other bands from at least trying the approach. "I think a lot of bands can do it," she said. "They might not be able to achieve the mass appeal that Foo Fighters did, but I think there are a lot of bands that can do it. I’d love to hear them try."

Grohl, for one, definitely agrees that analog brings back the raw sound: "I would rather that bands sound like bands, and when you go analog, that’s kind of what you get."

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