Dave Grohl sounds hoarse. On a day off from the Foo Fighters‘ current North American tour, the frontman comes off as typically amiable, but he blew out his vocal cords during a marathon, career-spanning gig the previous night. “My voice is the least of my worries at this moment,” he rasps jovially.
The band made that show, though, thanks in part to a Medieval-looking throne of rock, adorned with flashing lights, guitar necks and a cradle for the frontman’s leg — a vision Grohl says he dreamt up while heavily medicated on OxyContin. Earlier this month, Grohl told Rolling Stone just how bad the injury was. Although he’d gotten his cast off by that point, he said his ankle felt like it “got its ass kicked by Ronda Rousey.” But nevertheless, he’s been slowly recovering. At recent gigs, he’s been able to walk down a catwalk with crutches to play acoustic songs and even stand up for brief periods, demonstrating that he’s still not able to dance.
As Grohl explains his current state to Rolling Stone, and just how well he’s adjusting to life on a throne, he proudly points out that he’s also doing exercises to regain his kick-drum muscles.
When do you think you’ll be able to run around again?
It just depends on the recovery. If things go well and I’m a good boy and do what the doctors tell me to do, that’s the best-case scenario. I’m trying to be a good boy, so we’ll see.
You came up with the throne during your recovery. Was getting ready to return to the stage a difficult process?
After I had the surgery, I just imagined I’d be onstage a week later in a chair. My doctor said, “You’re not going to want to do anything for a couple weeks at least.” So we canceled a couple festivals, and after those first five days, my doctor was right. I couldn’t even get up yet, dude. It was so incredibly painful. If I sat up and put my foot down to the ground, I could maybe leave it down for a minute before it started hurting so bad that I had to lie back down. But that was the first four, five days.
And then there was a day where there was no pain. And then. . . no pills. I’m like, “I’ll let the pills run out. I’ll let the pain run out, and I’ll see what happens.” I hate those fucking pills, dude. I think the last time I took a painkiller was for a fucking wisdom tooth 10 years ago. They just made me feel like shit. I hated it.