4th July marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Foo Fighters self-titled debut album. It was 1995 and it was about a year after the tragic death of Kurt Cobain. Dave Grohl was in one of the biggest bands in the world and it all stopped suddenly after the tragic death of Kurt and Nirvana were no more.
Dave Grohl stopped playing music for a while then he realised that playing music eventually brought him out of the depression over the death of his friend, Kurt Cobain. Grohl tells Mojo “If you have someone that’s close to you, a family member or someone that you love, and they disappear or pass away… Imagine walking into their bedroom full of things every day. That’s exactly how playing music felt to me, because that was my whole world. It was difficult to listen to music, whether it was Ry Cooder’s soundtrack to Paris, Texas, or [Metallica‘s] Ride the Lightning. I had to disconnect. And I couldn’t imagine getting up there and playing the drums with someone, and not thinking about Nirvana. I think about Nirvana every time I sit up to play the drums.”
Grohl had offers offers to join bands like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Danzig but he didn’t take up any. Grohl did some recording with Mike Watt from Minutmen and he started to gain an interest in starting his own project. He was writing songs for years and it was released on a cassette album under the pseudonym Late! back in 1992 the very popular year for grunge. The song ‘Color Pictures of a Marigold” was re-recorded by Nirvana and released on the B-side to ‘Heart Shaped Box’ entitled ‘Marigold’.
Grohl recalls, “After Nirvana, I wasn’t really sure what to do. I was asked to join a couple of other bands as the drummer, but I just couldn’t imagine doing that because it would just remind me of being in Nirvana.” He told Classic Rocm magazine, “When I was young, someone played me the Klark Kent record that Stewart Copeland had done. I thought how cool that he could make a record and people can listen to it objectively because it wasn’t Stewart Copeland from The Police, it was Klark Kent. That’s kind of what I wanted to do. There were some songs I’d recorded in my friend’s studio while Nirvana was still a band and an independent label in Detroit wanted to release something.”
After a bag of ideas and riffs Grohl booked studio time at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle and got working on the first Foo Fighters album.
“A lot of those songs were written while I was still in Nirvana, or just before Nirvana. The idea wasn’t to form a new band and start over; it was to go down to the studio, down the road, and book six days, which is the most time I’d ever spent recording music of my own. To me it seemed so professional. I wanted to start a label on my own, release the album with no names on it, no photos, call it Foo Fighters so people thought it was a band.”
At first Grohl was not so happy about his vocal style “I was insecure about my voice. You know how people double their vocals to make them stronger? That album the vocals are quadrupled. I didn’t want to be a lead singer, I couldn’t fucking sing.”
Grohl tells NME about how he felt at the time the album came out “I learned so many lessons from Kurt, I learned so many lessons from Krist. It was such an honour to be in that band and it was so devastating when it ended. But we have that catalogue of music that we made together and that experience changed not only us, but a lot of the world that we lived in. So I think that that was probably my life’s most formative period.”
Grohl tells NME that the Foo Fighters ‘This Us A Call’ acted as an exorcism of the grief he felt when Kurt Cobain died.