Rolling Stone posed six questions to Foo Fighters frontman/proud papa/punk aficionado Dave Grohl. He bowed down to Bad Brains, revealed that Neil Young has a teepee and admitted a weakness for private jets and cigarettes.
What’s the most rock star thing you’ve ever done?
Well, I stopped doing drugs when I was twenty, so I don’t get fucked up anymore. I do love the odd Learjet every now and then. Like, surprising the wife for her birthday and saying, “Hey, I’m going to take you out to dinner, and all of your friends are going to meet us there.” And then we go to Vegas for the night and come back.
What was your favorite record when you were fourteen?
Once I discovered punk rock, I dove headfirst into underground hardcore and American hardcore. But the one album that I listened to the most was Bad Brains’Rock for Light. I grew up outside of D.C., so we had amazing hardcore bands like Minor Threat and Void. But none of the bands could measure up to what the Bad Brains were doing musically and in concert. As a live band, they were the best in the world. Still to this day, they’re the best band I’ve ever seen live.
What’s on your current playlist?
“Keep the Car Running” by Arcade Fire. That’s a fucking great song. At this point, though, it’s whatever my daughter can dance to. And she has kickass taste in music. She doesn’t go for Wiggles or Barney bullshit. She digs Amy Winehouse and she loves the Cars. I put on a Mastodon record the other day and she started dancing to that. I immediately turned it off, thinking, “I don’t know if I like the fact that you’re sixteen months and into thrash metal. You’re growing up a little too quick for me, honey.”
Who’s the coolest person you’ve ever met?
Neil Young. You don’t get much cooler than him. I remember the first time we played at his Bridge School benefit. On the Friday night we had a cookout over at his house. I remember thinking, “It’s going to be some massive Hollywood catered event.” But we got to his property, which is out in the Redwoods, and it’s this house with a bonfire and a teepee in the back. We walked in the front door and his wife Peg says, “Are you guys cold? There are some jackets in the mudroom. But watch out. There are mice in the closets.” Neil leads a wonderful life with a beautiful family.
When do you think you’ll know it’s time to retire?
Retirement is relative. I’m never going to stop making music. It’s hard for a musician who loves what they do to stop. But there’s more to life than just music. The big picture’s a lot wider than something you can put on a CD.
Are cigarettes still your primary vice?
If I’m in the studio, I smoke about a pack and a half a day. If I’m at home, with the wife and the fam, I smoke about five cigarettes a day. And if I’m at a Sabbath concert, I just fucking eat ’em.