To promote their new album, Medicine At Midnight, each member of the Foo Fighters has been hosting an episode of Medicine At Midnight Radio on Apple Music. For his edition, frontman Dave Grohl took some time to reflect on the origins of this band, the end of his old band Nirvana, and why he believes the grunge icons would still be making music today if Kurt Cobain was still alive.
For those who need a quick brush-up on their rock history, Grohl has been fronting Foo Fighters since 1994, but before then he was the drummer in a little-known rock band called Nirvana who would quickly take over the planet in the early ’90s. Sadly, they came to a screeching halt after just a few years of monumental fame when Cobain, their iconic leader, died tragically on April 5th, 1994.
Today, Grohl is mostly known for the Foo Fighters and for being a universally beloved fixture of rock and roll culture, but his start in Nirvana is still an essential part of his story. In his episode, the 52-year-old Grohl dredged up some stories from the old days that still have a significant amount of sentimental value to him. To start, he thought back to Nirvana’s explosive success after their 1991 album, Nevermind.
“The shows were getting bigger,” he said (via Altpress). “The crowds were getting bigger. The crowds outside of the shows were bigger than the crowds inside the shows. We could see that something was happening, but we really never expected that it would turn out to be as big as it was. I don’t think any of us expected that.”
They were only able to release one more proper album, 1993’s In Utero, before Cobain’s untimely passing, but Grohl believes that if he were still alive today then Nirvana would still exist in some fashion.
“Of course, it was an incredibly challenging experience [Cobain’s death],” Grohl said. “And ultimately one of the greatest heartbreaks of my life is that Nirvana isn’t still here today making music. Whether it would be called Nirvana or something else.”
He continued, “It is one of my life’s greatest heartbreaks that Kurt isn’t still here to write more amazing songs because it’s pretty clear that he was blessed with a gift. I think it’s safe to say that he was the greatest songwriter of our generation. I’m very proud to say that I got to be his drummer and play those songs every night.”
After waxing nostalgic about the bittersweet Nirvana days, Grohl opened up about what it was like to start the Foo Fighters in the aftermath of such a life-shattering tragedy.
“I didn’t necessarily want to just go join another band,” he said. “I was in mourning and just the thought of sitting down at a drum set or playing music, it just made me very sad.
“It was even difficult just to turn on the radio,” he continued. “I kind of blocked it all out for a while, but my whole life I’d been recording songs on my own, by myself, where I play all of the instruments and I kept it a secret.”
He added, “[I] was so insecure that I didn’t want anyone to hear it, I didn’t like the songs. I didn’t like the lyrics [and] I didn’t like my voice, but I felt like it was necessary as some sort of creative exercise or outlet.”
Now, 27 years later, Foo Fighters have been nominated to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Foo Fighters’ new album Medicine At Midnight just arrived on February 5th, and in his review for Consequence of Sound, writer Taylor Clark called it, “a tight, focused record calibrated to show off their strengths and reconfirm their pep.”
Outside of releasing music, Grohl recently threw his support behid Phoebe Bridgers smashing her guitar. Hell yeah.
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