Dave Grohl has had one of the wildest journeys in rock — a ride that’s taken him from the D.C. punk scene to the podium at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For the Foo Fighter’s first appearance on the front cover of Rolling Stone since 1995 (on stands Friday), he opened up about his formative years in Virginia, recording with Nirvana and ambitions for Foo Fighters, including what drove him to embark on the band’s recent adventure Sonic Highways — a road trip to U.S. cities with legendary scenes that resulted in a powerful new album and an acclaimed HBO show of the same name. Watch an exclusive clip of Grohl performing Sonic Highways‘ “Something From Nothing” in a dreamy home movie directed by Sam Jones, then check out five revelations from the cover story:
The singer’s mom was supportive of her son from the get-go.
Virginia Grohl, who taught high school English and public speaking was aware of her son’s potential from an early age. “He’s an appreciator,” she told Rolling Stone. “He has a respect for history and roots.” When Grohl asked to tour Europe at age 17 to tour with his first serious band, Scream, she allowed him to drop out of school.
Grohl offered a peek into his life when he’s done with a day of “daddy duty.”
The frontman is the father of three daughters, for whom he wakes up at 5:45 a.m. to make breakfast and snack packs. Grohl likes to unwind in his home studio. “I’ve done three-quarters of a bottle of wine, and I’m in my underwear, totally rockin’ these riffs all night,” he said.
Popular on Rolling Stone
The singer found a unique way to deal with his frustrations as a child.
Grohl’s parents split when he was 6 years old. To cope, he would record himself speaking into a cassette about his problems and fears each day and fall asleep listening to the tape. “I started to find this kind of safe place where I only had to rely on myself to survive emotionally,” he said.
The Foo Fighters frontman knows the limits of his addictions.
Grohl said that his 1965 Ford Falcon van was his latest indulgence, having stopped doing acid, mushrooms and weed when he was 20. “To this day, I have never done cocaine, because I know me,” he said. “Never tried heroin. Pills are lame. I like wine. I’m the fun drunk. You know I’m wasted when I shut up.”
Grohl already has a plan for the next Foo Fighters record.
“I don’t think anyone’s ever done it,” he said. “And it’s fucking cool. It will blow everybody’s mind. Nobody has the balls to do it. And that’s three years away.”
Also in the issue: “Hot List” features on Gigi Hadid, Benjamin Booker, Miles Teller, FKA Twigs, Young Thug and more; Sabrina Rubin Erdely on a brutal rape at UVA and profiles of AC/DC, the Wu-Tang Clan, Alt-J and more.
Look for the issue on stands and in the iTunes App Store this Friday, November 21st.