Dave Grohl discusses playing Joe Biden’s inauguration and other political events, his anxious first performances as a frontman, and the Foo Fighters’ legacy in a new interview with Zane Lowe. The conversation will air in full Tuesday, February 1st, on Apple Music 1 at 1 p.m. ET.
Last month, the Foo Fighters were part of the virtual Celebrating America concert special for Biden’s inauguration, during which they performed “Times Like These.” While Grohl said being asked to play was “an honor,” he noted that the experience was unlike any other since they’d pre-taped the performance about a week prior. “So when it came on TV, I was sitting there with a beer, in a tie-dye shirt, watching this, just thinking, ‘This is so fucking surreal. This is so fucking strange,’” Grohl recalled.
The musician also spoke about how much he’s enjoyed performing at political events in the past, like when he did some acoustic sets at John Kerry campaign stops in 2004. “The bus would stop at the little town square, and the people would come out to listen to the candidate explain their position on certain things, and that was really inspiring because it humanized the democratic process,” Grohl said. “It was like, ‘OK, these people are coming out. They’re not all Democrats. Some of them don’t know who to vote for, but they want to listen to what the person has to say before they make their choice.’ And I wrote ‘In Your Honor’ after that trip. I wrote ‘Best of You.’ I wrote ‘Resolve.’”
Elsewhere in the interview, Grohl spoke about some more nerve-wracking performances that marked the early days of the Foo Fighters as he stepped out from behind the drum kit to assume frontman duties.
“When we first started the band, I’d never really stood in front of an audience with a microphone in my face and a guitar in my hand,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons why I decided to do it. I was like, I’ve never done this before. I might as well do that. I’ve got nothing to lose. Let’s just try it. But I definitely had raging insecurities, whether it was how I looked or what I said or how it moved, and all of these things that I’m sure a lot of artists that have been through the same thing and maybe feel even longer into their career.”
And with the Foo Fighters celebrating their 25th anniversary last year and preparing to release their 10th album, Medicine at Midnight, Grohl reflected — or at least tried to — on the band’s impressive legacy. The musician admitted he’s “not good at thinking” about such things, putting it frankly: “I’m just happy that we’ve survived. I’m happy to be in the place where we are right now, and I know that we’re here because all of the things that have come before, but I don’t necessarily want to spend too much time celebrating all of that shit because… that, to me, is sitting on the couch with your eyes half-closed. I don’t want to do that. I’ve already had nine cups of coffee. I know what I have to do today.”