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Hi, my name is Dave Grohl and I feel somewhat conflicted about being Conan O'Brien's friend.
And we are going to be friends. Shakuntala. Hey there, welcome to Conan O'Brien, needs a friend. We have a lovely show. I'm in a good mood. I wouldn't say I'm hitting on all cylinders if I'm a six cylinder engine, I think four are working OK.
But for what I'm saying is for me, that's pretty good.
I think you're six all the time. Sorry. Yeah. So now before we get into the show, I understand you have a bit of news you'd like to share with us about my dad's birthday. Oh, is it your dad's birthday? Yeah, today's my dad's birthday. That's great. I love your dad. Your dad is Gil. I'm nervous. No, don't be nervous. I love your dad. And I do a great impression of your dad.
Yes, your dad has a big mustache. And my impression of your dad is I just put my finger under my nose. Yeah, that is it. That's all I do. I take my finger and I put it under my nose and I say I'm guilty. I'm guilty of session. How are you? And there's no attempt to match his voice. It's just a finger under my nose. It's childish and it's silly. But I do wish him a happy birthday.
Oh, that's neat. You know, and it's actually I hate I can't believe I'm going to tell you this right now, but it is one of two of his birthdays, because my dad did grow up in a village that was very poor. And so when they were born, the guy who did the birth now, which country was he living in at the time he was in? He was in a village in Turkey and in a village called Syverson.
Apostates, both within the village has I'm sorry to cut you off, but I need to get the facts straight. The village names two names, Sivas or Sebastian, and he has two birthdays. He has two. So he was born in November. But the birth certificate guy doesn't come by all the time. And then he quits. He put the birthday down for the day. He came to the village, which was in February. So we lived our whole lives.
And I think, well, my brother and I were in our 20s. My dad's like, you know, this isn't my real birthday, really.
Wait, wait a minute. Wait a minute. In November. And we're like, what? Wait a minute. Not even work. Wait a minute. Does he know what date he was born in November? No. Well, no one recorded that.
No, because the birth certificate guy didn't come until February. I know. I know. And he's like his birthday's today. But he was like a four month old baby.
Right. But the birth certificate guy, there's one guy and he gets around. What's his mode of transportation? Do we know? I mean, come on. I don't know what. That's a weird question. And what do you want me to set you up for? Like the dog? Like, I don't know. That's insensitive.
Why wouldn't do that? That's terrible, I'm sure. No, I would not. I'm sure he was not writing some beast, and I. That's ridiculous. I'm sure he is in a Hyundai, you know, I don't know. It doesn't matter to me what he was on. I think you're the one you are so afraid that I'll say something insensitive about your culture, that you're the one creating all these insensitive stereotypes. Oh, I know. And now I'm picturing the birth certificate guy who's got, you know, a bunch of birth certificates in his burlap sack on a donkey because of you.
That's you that did that. So shame on you, my aunt. Hold on. This one's an even better story. Well, it's not a better story because it's that my aunt had a brother who passed away. So then they took his old birth certificate and just erased his information and put her information when she was born. But they didn't change the gender. So she was a boy on her birth certificate.
And then she came to this country and they were like, you're all right, I think because you have to like it's mandatory military service at eighteen in Turkey. And so they were like, you have to serve in the military. And she's like, I'm a woman. And they're like, your birth certificate says you're a guy. And she's like, that's a mistake. I'm a woman. But this isn't. Wait a minute, what year are we talking about here?
You're not talking about you're not talking about this didn't happen in the nineteenth century. Right? This happened in the modern era. Yes. Is that right?
So my aunt is a much older woman. She's in her 80s.
You mean he's in her 80s? Yeah. Let's get let's get the pronouns straight here. They all came into this world. They made a much better life for themselves in this country. And, you know, first of all, we've all had people.
Yes, it's amazing people. And you know that I've been to Armenia with you. I think the Armenian people are a beautiful, resilient people. And I have great respect for their culture. You shouldn't be nervous. Those things are all true. And then you come with these stories about a man on a donkey with a burlap sack. What passports? You are the one that said that. I didn't say that.
You say that I floated to this country in a basket because my dad survived a goat attack. You did that? That's a joke I made ten years ago that just happened to find its way into a major cover story on the Rolling Stone magazine. God knows, these are the things that happen when you're at my level and things are happening fast and furious. Occasionally you say that you're you know, and look, we're living in an era of alternate truths, all kinds of crazy conspiracy.
See theory, so maybe my idea of how you came to this country is just as legitimate as your your idea.
Who's to say what's the real idea? You know, reality? It actually is. Who's to say what that is, man? Hey, it's for 20. Let's blaze up. Maybe maybe we're in the cages and the animals are looking at us, dude. So my point is, that's an incredible story. I identify with your dad. I feel for him. I was listed. My gender was on.
My passport was indeterminate because of still forming. Well, to be on it, to be fair, when I got my passport, which is later in life, I was a slow I was a slow bloomer.
Everything worked out. But for the first 18, 19 years of my life, it was still forming.
It would it was still for the present, the the primitive penis that I was born with God.
But you know what? Thank God for those surgeries, duck and a shout out to Dr. Bootmen. You know, that was nine surgeries, but we figured it out. Just foolishness, just random foolishness.
I just trying to take the attention off if I can't believe your dad has two birthdays. But you know what he does and came from a village that has two names and probably no one can agree on what names one is the Armenian name and the other one, if you look up sevice, that's what you'll see from like an English speaking map. But the only question that I have for you, you say, OK, well, we don't know when my dad was born because the passport man wasn't there, you'd think someone would have written down on something.
Hey, Gil was born today and then the passport people may get it wrong, but they can still know. Yeah, it was November eight. Remember, that was the day Gil was born. Well, my dad was one of six. I can't relate to that. At one point they're just like it's another one. Like whatever. There is another one here.
And then the you know, I know that's feeling I was meeting siblings in the bathroom in eighth grade that I hadn't met before. It's like if you serve on an aircraft carrier in the Gulf, you sometimes don't meet other you never meet the other person on the ship. You can. And that's what it was like in my family. My sister Jane, we met when she was fourteen and I was eighteen. And she's lovely. I love Jane. I just didn't wear rattling around.
There's a lot going on. Potatoes are flying. I didn't know a quick handshake, a hello. She seemed lovely. I haven't seen her since. There was a lot of confusion. There was a lot going on. This reminds me of my favorite story about my mom.
There was a lot of chaos growing up just because, you know, my mom was working. My dad's working as a bunch of kids and my mother is very proud person. And I remembered her once telling me, I'm going to tell you something. I worked very hard to teach each one of you everything you need to know in life. I taught both your sisters. I taught them how to sew, how to cook, how to clean, how to do all the things they'll need to know.
And I said to her mom, I honestly don't remember you teaching them any of that. And she went because there wasn't time. And that's my fault. Well, which is it? She wanted this whole thing. I worked so hard, I taught them everything. I don't think their lesson time.
That is the perfect Irish Conan O'Brien story because it mixes grandiosity with defensiveness. Yeah. Mom, I love you. You know that.
But you taught us nothing. Did you did you introduce Matt?
Oh, it's OK. They had it by now.
Yeah, I'm having a slow day anyway. You know, I actually think I took a Tylenol today, but I think I took a Tylenol PM, so I think I think I'm asleep.
You didn't really pipe up much. And I noticed in the interview I didn't hear you at all. So I think and at one point I looked over because we're on Zoom, you're we're wearing a Dickensian nightcap.
Do you know because you've mentioned that twice on this podcast. My wife got me one for Chris.
Great. I love that it's packed away with the Christmas stuff, but it's red plaid. Have you ever in the night heard a sound and you're wearing your night cap and you light a small candle, a nub of a candle, and it's got a little holder and you go down and you and you see a little mouse in the corner of the kitchen and you guys share a wink. Has that ever happened?
I'm wearing just a nightgown and my knees start knocking.
All right. Well, I. I'm very excited today. My guest is one of the most accomplished voices in Rock. He is the lead singer and guitarist for the 11 time Grammy Award winning band Foo Fighters. Their tenth studio album, Medicine at Midnight is now available. And it's fantastic. I'm honored to talk to this gentleman today. I'm stunned. By what this guy has accomplished in his career. Dave Grohl, welcome. OK, Dave, what's the conflict?
I think we could be great friends and see no barrier, actually there is no conflict because we do have a mutual friend in our tour manager, Gus Brandt.
That's why your tour manager as well. Yes, 10 years ago, I had a tour manager, Gus Brant and Gus, his claim to fame, he made it very clear early on was that he was also a Foo Fighters tour manager. He would throw that at me constantly.
So we had these big shows in big venues. Not by your standards, Dave, but by my standards. These were massive venues, big crowds, big finales, encores, hard rock ending and crowds going crazy. And every night I would go up to Gus, this is our running joke and say and Grohl can call top that. You think Grohl can top that. And every night Brant would be like, oh, yeah, no, no. They get that every night and more so.
And I'd be like, yeah, well let's see about tomorrow night. We'll see tomorrow night. And then we'd have you know, if we had a particularly big show, I'd be like, Grohl has Grohl do that? And you go like, yeah, yeah. They do that every single night. And it's much bigger and better than what you're doing. I can't imagine that. Oh, come on, come. Oh no. It was it was fun.
It was really it was a fun running joke that to this day if I see him, he knows that within ten minutes because we still see each other, I will bring up how I am your nemesis. I gave you a run for your money and you were sweating me the whole time we were out on the road. Always watching, always watching, always watching somewhere. Grohl is sweating because O'Brien's out there playing his three chord rock.
That was this old on. Was this your first tour? Was this the first time you ever tour? It was the first.
It was the yeah. It was the first time.
And I remembered Gus one time. I was kidding. And Gus thought I was serious, but I told Gus that I wanted I need I said I need drugs and women. You've got to bring them to me. And Gus was like, I don't do that.
I don't do drugs. Or we I don't I don't get drugs or women for people that I that I manage.
Well, OK, so you're lucky that he didn't bring you either of those things, because whatever you request from Gus, he not only gets it for you, he'll bring a map. Here's an example. There was once when we were in Australia, this is ten years ago, we were on the way to the gig and we pass a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Right. I hadn't had a bucket of KFC since I was like nine at soccer practice. I had been so long.
I love fried chicken. So I look at him and I say, hey, Goose, is there any way that we could get a bucket of chicken for after the show? Is it. Yeah, sure. What do you want? You want original recipe because I like just get a show.
We rock a place for two and a half hours and I'm walking off stage. I got a towel around my neck and I could smell that stuff from one hundred yards away. Like I could smell it coming down the hall.
Yeah. Like, oh KFC. This is amazing.
And I walk in, I plop down in a chair in my sweaty clothes and there's the bucket, I rip open the bucket and I mean, I just sweat like five pounds out on stage for two and a half hour. So I just want salt. So I'm picking up a piece of chicken now.
I'm eating it like a raccoon in a dumpster because I close my eyes and there's nothing to drink.
And I'm like and I look and to my left was a bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice. And so I just pop the champagne, start drinking it, and then I take about a chicken and then I have some champagne. And then I take the back and I look at everyone like you guys, you have to try this.
This is a game.
So then within two minutes, everyone's got a piece of chicken and a glass of champagne and it became our thing. I could go into a long description of, like the juxtaposition, that mouthfeel of when I was this course. Of course, it's fantastic.
I can imagine that Tang, that almost tart tang of a really good champagne. Yes, it was amazing.
So we started doing it every night and within three weeks I was like trying to go to sleep in my hotel.
My heart's just like, oh, and I thought we should cool it with.
But that's the best thing. When we would go on like these fancy planes, private planes to go to a show, they would always ask, like catering, would like to know what you like for lunch. And we're like, yeah, we need some KFC and shit.
That's great. Does it have to be a good champagne or can be a kind of a low rent champagne? I mean, you know, we usually go with roof.
I'll be honest. There was once on tour when we were in Paris, so we had a day off.
So I ride motorcycles. Me and a couple of people rented motorcycles. We decided to go to the champagne region just outside of Paris. And somewhat the guy at the Harley dealership knew the people at the Moet Shandon estate. He's like, Oh, I'll get you tour. So we ride up there like zipping through traffic and we go we get there.
We get this amazing tour of the Moet Shandon estate. And like Winston Churchill St.. In this room and here's the caves and like these bottles are 200 years old, bottles from World War Two and stuff, and then the end of the tour, we wind up in this garden for a tasting. There's this guy in a tuxedo, white gloves. And it's like me and our keyboard player, you know, it's like they're not entertaining royalty.
We're just like her. And we just got off a Harley Davidson. So the guy, like, pops a bottle of champagne and he says he goes, this is good with salmon and fish and, you know, so we can get rid of that.
He like that one and he goes he opens another bottle and he goes, this is good with pasta and scallops and things. And I said I said, excuse me, you know what's really good with champagne?
And he said, well, I was like fried chicken, man. It was like, that's like I kill you. I kill you. Dave Grohl, you insult me. That is fantastic because I absolutely love that. Brings the Gus Brandt and Gus Brandt, by the way, one of the biggest fights I've had in my show business career, practically a screaming match, was we're playing some really big venue and it's like and they're playing up my my music that I come out to.
I'm ready to go on. And we're chatting backstage. And he's a comic book fan and he mentioned something about the Hulk. And he goes, yeah, you know, Dave Banner becomes the Hulk. And I'm literally headed out on stage. And I turned and I said, Bruce Banner becomes the hole. And he was like, he's like, no, no, no. He said, Oh, Brian, I know you think you're smart, but it's Dave Banner.
And I was like, No, no, no. And they're saying, Conan, you got to go, Dave, like they're introducing you. And I'm like, no, fuck you, it's Bruce Banner. And we start screaming at each other. I am very delighted to speak to you.
This is one of my most memorable experiences and I've had many in almost 30 years of doing television. You came on the show, you were going to play, I think, one, maybe two songs. You played an entire long set for our live audience that no one ever saw. It was just for them. And I thought, this is what differentiates and I'll put you in their category. This is what differentiates a Springsteen from other people. This is what differentiates the greats, is they they want that pure copper to copper connection with an audience.
And I could see it didn't matter to you if it was going out on television or not. You wanted to make those people see the best fucking thing they've ever seen in a studio audience. And they did. And it was a beautiful thing to see.
I mean, we actually like doing this. We do. We do. And it doesn't it doesn't really matter if people are watching. We still enjoy it. You know, we rehearse at our own studio and most rehearsals are just spent. Everyone just like talking shit, making each other laugh. It was like, oh, wait, we need to play Everlong and then we play Everlong. Get that over with. And then we talk for like fifteen, twenty minutes.
Oh, wait. We need to play better than we play things like that, but we really do. I mean there are times when I'm worried that we're too into it. You know, we're like we're three hours in to a stadium show. I'm watching these people that have been standing there crushed against the barrier, just waiting for Everlong. I'm like, OK, we'll get there. But I don't want to like I don't get warmed up until, like, two hours into the show.
So there are times where I walk off the stage. I'm like, damn, man, I want to do that again. We love doing what we do. You know, I've been do I started touring when I was 18 years old, so I've been touring for thirty four years. So when everything shut down last March, I kind of freaked out. I mean, right out of the gate. I'm like, oh my God, I have to learn how to make lasagna.
Like, what am I doing this?
But one of the one of the first things that Dave Krall's three hour lasagna last month.
So I don't need I don't necessarily need some sort of, like, tangible face to face audience, like a connection like that.
I just need to know that every day I'm waking up and making someone feel happiness or joy, and my kids are like, Daddy, will you call your booking agent and have him get you on the road?
Like, you know, why are your children very old man?
Yeah, maybe that's not what they sound like. How far you will go on the road, I mean, I have people coming up to me, strangers will come up and they'll say, Hey, Dave, when are we going to have concerts again? Like I'm the CEO of Live Nation.
I'm just like, OK, I'm not. Well, as you know, as soon as they send me the ticket, I'll get on the plane and complain.
But I you know, nobody really has that answer. But I wrote this article for The Atlantic last year, probably in April. It was called The Return, The Return of Live Music.
And it was not so much just about like the logistics of when it's going to happen or how it's going to happen, but more why it will happen, because as human beings, we need to experience that communal musical connection so that we we remind ourselves that we're not alone. And so when we go out and play these shows for big audiences, you know, I'll play a song like My Hero. Everyone's singing along to my hero. But when it when they all come together in that chorus, that's something that doesn't just happen in life, you know, and it's incredibly powerful.
It's really moving. And ultimately, it's reassuring because you realize like, oh, I'm not alone. I'm a hopeful person. I'm I would consider myself an optimist. So even in the most difficult times, I don't let the light at the end of the tunnel go out. I cannot imagine never getting on a stage again.
I just can't imagine it for me personally. I've always looked at you as someone who what appeared to most of us is that you were a drummer who then magically revealed all these other skills. But that is not the case. You were always this person, even as a young kid. You were someone who was making, you know, tape loops and different songs and playing different instruments on cassettes.
This was part of you all along. It didn't look that way to the rest of us. We just knew you as the iconic drummer from one of the most iconic bands of all time.
Well, you know, it's funny the way I play and the way I write, I look at the strings on a guitar as pieces of a drum set. So I look at the low e string almost as a kick drum. And then I look at the A and the D string as like a snare. And then the high strings are like make chords. First of all, I can't read music and I don't really know what I'm doing and I don't know the names of the chords.
I'm playing stuff like that. But I do know that a song Everlong is a good example. That song, the riff, that dude. And then and then that's basically a kick snare pattern. It's almost like heard it all right. The way it's drum. And then in the chorus when everything starts ringing out, I let all the high strings sort of ring or chime and those become my symbols. So it's like you can you could build the dynamic of a song with the guitar the same way you would with the drum set.
But I started playing guitar for I fell into drumming because I was in a punk rock band and the drummer wasn't good.
And so I, I basically said, like, I have an idea, what if you play bass and I'll play the drums because I had already like, figured it out in my head.
I just didn't have a drum set. And then once I started doing that, I just stuck with the drums until the Foo Fighters.
Well, it's so interesting because the whole time that you're in Nirvana, you possess these other abilities, but you kind of kept it to yourself. Is that is that true? Yeah.
I mean, you know, the famous drummer joke. What was the last thing the drummer said before he got kicked out of the band? Hey, guys, I got a song.
I think we should play like, you know, and listen.
I mean, I got to be Kurt Cobain's drummer, you know? And so when Kurt comes in with Kurt songs, you don't bring out any of the Dave demos. You know, it's like you're like, I think we're good. I think we've got this, you know, team spirit. It's pretty cool. I'm going to forget about that thing I wrote in my basement yesterday, you know, so as a drummer, what an awesome band to be a drummer for.
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It's a really good idea.
Nirvana was such an amazing band to be a drummer because it was basically like I looked at it like I get to be in AC DC and a disco drummer all at the same time and just pound the fuck out of my drums as hard as I can.
And I was inspired by the band, inspired by the music. And it was it was awesome. It was so cool. And then I would go back to my home and I had like an eight track studio and I was just like record stuff for fun. You know, it really was just an experiment for myself out of Seattle, of all places.
My wife is I married into Seattle, my wife's from Seattle and but out of Seattle, of all places, comes completely unexpectedly the way no one expected the big British band to be from Liverpool. That was the last place in the world that anyone thought. No one thought a northern band was going to come into London Circus and take over the world.
But in that way, I think you guys, you were the exact right band at the exact right time at that very rarely happens almost more than anything musical.
Those little revolutions happen. They start at in an emotional place. Right. So, of course, we left, like, turning shit up and like banging the fuck out of the drums and smashing the guitars and stuff and would be fine and people stage diving and stuff like that. But there was some for whatever reason at the time, people needed to feel that that generation needed to feel that. I mean, it's not unlike what happened when Billy Eilish became hugely popular.
You know, that was like, of course, she's an amazing singer and she's she makes brilliant songs. But there's the connection to the audience that has it has to do with identity. Right. So I have three daughters and my daughters love Billy. I took them to a Billy Eilis show at the Wiltern in Los Angeles before Billy Ray, like, really blew up. Huge. And when I got there, I'm looking around. And honestly, before any music was played, I'm like, whoa, this looks like a Nirvana show in 1991.
It's like these are the same type of people. It's different. It's a different time, different, different instruments, whatever. But I'm looking around and I'm like, that's that's how these revolutions start. You know, they don't start with, like, the kick in the snare. They start with that emotional connection to the identity of the artist. And and that resonates. And then it becomes like this revolution. But yeah, I mean, at the time, you have to remember, too, like, did we think about it this much then.
Absolute fucking Luly not it was we were kids at 21, 22 years old. Looking back on it now and being a father and watching my kids go through these revolutions with like Billy English and stuff like that, it makes sense to me. It does like now it does make sense because you have to remember, like, what was that?
What was the top ten at the time?
I mean, it was Wilson fucking Phillips, you know, I mean, like that that was that was music. And then so we were I mean, we didn't expect we were going to like edge in on the top five of you know, we're just not like, all right, let's go break stuff for a while.
And then I think I think people needed that.
And yes, that was the correction that needed to happen. I famously, you guys knocked Michael Jackson off the top and that was just wait a minute, who are these guys?
I remembered as sort of a guitar nerd looking at Kurt's guitar and thinking, what the fuck is that like?
You know, like he was. And I think in the same way, I mean, in the same way that bands like The Clash are the Sex Pistols. I mean, you can listen to that. I don't read a note of music either, but I know what moves me and I can still listen to, you know, never mind the bollocks. I can still listen to God save the Queen. And a snob would say, as they did in 1976, 77, these guys can't play.
And you'd think, oh, no, no, no. They they're playing exactly what they need to play. And they're playing it with an intensity and an emotion that defies anything else that yes. Is doing, you know, or whatever or air supply or whatever you want to come up, you know.
So when I was a kid, like I had kids posters, I had Rush records and I loved the Beatles and stuff like that. But I had never seen a rock concert. And we used to go my family. I grew up outside of DC and Virginia. We would take these family trips and my mom's Ford Fiesta, we would drive up to Youngstown, Ohio, and visit our grandparents there, and then we would drive from there up to Chicago because my mother's best friend lived in Evanston.
So this one year we would go every year. This one year we go up. And my Aunt Sherry, she's like Tracey, cousin Tracey, Tracey, they're here is maybe like a year older than me or two years older than me. And I could hear coming down the stairs, I guess.
And I look up and she's a punk rocker.
I think I was I think I was 30 years old. Engineer Bruce and like bondage pants, it was like chains swinging coming down the steps.
And I'm just like, I don't. We've seen that, unlike Chipps or Quincy, and this is my car, and I'm just like, oh my gosh, I shaved her head. And I mean, I was I get the chills still thinking about it. I was like, Amazon guy. Hold on.
That's your cousin. Mad at you, but you mentioned her. OK, can you just drop it in the gate?
See, we're all dealing with Amazon right now.
I love you guys. I love this. No, wait a minute. What is it? That was then we're going to use this. That was Amazon. Now FedEx. Oh, OK.
So Goose. Goose, just until I see her like. Oh, and of course it's treacy's.
She's my cousin. I love her. She's crazy, I tell you. I mean, she didn't like to spit in my face, punch me. It was like high that night.
She was going to see this punk rock band called Naked Raygun. They were playing at a bar across the street from Wrigley Field. This place is called the Cubby Bear. And I mean, it's like a Chicago corner bar. And I had already started playing guitar at this point. And I think my Aunt Sherry was like, Tracy, would you please take David to the punk rock show? I mean, I looked like, what's his face from Sixteen Candles, Michael?
But I was such an asshole.
Yes, that was me. I was a punk rock. I don't see how I was such let me get my respirator. Such a dork. So she's like, oh, God. OK, so we go to this corner bar and I'm like, I'm terrified. We take the L train downtown, whatever. I'm so scared because I've only seen this on Quincy and Chips and on those shows. The punk rockers are the bad guys. The guys that like burned down houses and start riots is there's a famous episode of Quincy.
And if you don't know what Quincy is, go look it up on YouTube. But he's a coroner and it was a he was out to solve crimes. And there's a famous episode where the bad guys are this. What are they? They're like a they're a band of lamb dancers.
I can't remember his ships because there's a band called Payne. I remember this Quincy.
I need paid crazy thing. Just, you know, the crazy thing. Our guitar player pap smear. Yeah. Yeah. Is in those episodes. No, he's not. Yes, he is. He was a punk rock.
There was there was a lady that would go round up pap smear also was was with you and he's from the legendary punk rock band The Germs.
Anyway, we got off on a side thing, but please look that up because that's what people thought about punk music in 1977.
So we walk into this club and it's like mohawks and spikes, leather and denim.
And I'm just like, oh, my God, this is awesome. I'm just like, this is the most amazing.
And then this band goes on and, you know, I'd only seen rock concert stuff like on television.
Right. There's like great pyrotechnics and lasers and dragons and shit. And like that to me was like, oh, a concert. So now I'm in this place. It smells like bleach and puke and broken glass everywhere.
And this band, Naked Raygun goes on and it's like one to date for like right in my face.
I mean, the singer was like three feet from me. People are stage diving all over me and stuff. That was my introduction to live music. And to this day, even if we're playing Wembley fucking Stadium, I try as hard as I can to summon that same energy that they could Reagan had on stage that day. It changed my life forever. I mean, like, honestly, that was that was like take me to the river. That was like a baptism by bar.
And Mohawk's you know, I was just like, this is the coolest thing that's ever happened to me in my life and I will never forget it. And. Right. And one of the great things about it, like you said, is that it seemed available to me. It's like, right. I was going to become Eddie Van Halen, you know, I was going to become Freddie Mercury. But I knew three chords and I could scream my fucking balls off.
So I guess what, I'm starting a band because evidently that's all you have to do. So it was I was incredibly inspired. Like that was the first day of the rest of my life. This must get otherworldly for you.
I'm a Beatles fanatic and I've had the pleasure of meeting Sir Paul McCartney on a handful of occasions. But you have worked with the guy. Now, here's someone who when you look at what he's experienced and what he's achieved at the age he's at now, there are people that say, well, you don't have to go out there anymore. And it's clear he's doing it because he needs it. He loves it. You have that same thing I think McCartney has, which is you.
I think when you're 90, you're going to want to be doing this if you can physically do it.
Yeah, I mean, I think that so that experience that I just explained to you how that changed my life, I'm sure Paul had that same experience when he saw Little Richard on the BBC or he saw Elvis on the BBC. Like everyone has that just as everyone has their Beatles moment. You know, I'm sure that he had the same moment with someone. And so that becomes this foundation that everything is built upon for the rest of your life.
So, like, if you the few times that I've jammed with Paul, it's like he doesn't just pick up a bass and go where you want to just you know, he's like he puts on the basis of that and he'll, like, count in without even telling you what the song is, what to do.
But you just go like there was once where I played with him on the Grammys. He was we played I saw her standing there. So I was playing drums and oh my God, I was so terrified. And that was the first time I jammed with him, I think. And so I was like, oh, my popcorn. And we get to the rehearsal space. And I know his band and they're amazing. They're all the sweetest guys in the world and they're great.
But we we're only going to play one song. So like we just rehearsed one song, you know, he comes and he's like, all right. It was like, Hey, Paul. And he puts on, I think, put on the guitar first maybe. And he just turned to the guys is like ready in a one, two, three, four. And I'm just like that. And like I had no idea. I don't even know the song.
I never heard it before. I was just doing this. And everyone's like bopping around that @ @ @ @ @ by like, all right, cool. Yeah. That we did like some other things. Just try to warm up then we did.
I saw her standing there and which is the most iconic kotin I think of all time. Yeah. You know, I saw her standing there on the track. It's one of the most iconic I want to drink. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And so we do that and then it's like, all right, cool. Well, let's take a break. So we take a break. He's going to try the song again. Right. All right. And we do it again.
And it sounds great. He's like, cool if everybody's good, Dave, are you good? And I'm like, could we play let me roll it really quick, I think.
And he's like, yeah, sure. You guys. I was like, yeah. So we play let me roll it. He's like, OK, you feel good. I'm like, can we do back in the USSR really quick.
I mean it got to the point where he was like day like, are you done? And I'm like, no, but we can go home. I want to do this for the rest of my life. It was amazing. But the thing that that's most the thing that inspires me the most about him is when he does put on an instrument like he played drums on our last record.
I know he played drums for you. And I'm thinking, first of all, you've got to step outside your body and look at yourself in that moment and say, I got Paul McCartney to play drums for me. That's that's you got to have moments like that where you just say, OK, all the time. That's it. That's it. That rings the bell.
Well, I'd like to I mean, I honestly, I wrote about this recently. You know, you always hear about your life flashing before your eyes on your deathbed, just before you die. And there's some moments in life that you think, oh, I'm going to see that one. Like it could be a beautiful child sitting in your lap as the sun goes down, you know, getting to meet your idol or whatever. And you think that's I'm going to see that one.
That's what's going to flash before my eyes. I feel like that every fucking day. Every fucking day. I'm like, I wonder if I see this before. So it's almost like my life is flashing before my eyes as it's happening all the time. Right. I'm just like collecting these moments were like, I can't fucking believe that just happened. I can't fucking believe this is real. I on and you know, and of course I'm very grateful.
Like I just I can't it's fucking crazy.
I think if your life is constantly flashing before your eyes, Dave, it means that you're constantly dying.
Maybe that's the way to look at it. Maybe it's all the LSD I took in high school.
I don't know. Also, just like to point out, I, I know you mentioned LSD, but drugs have never been a big thing for you. Not you were never that interested in it. No. Your drug your drug of choice is probably caffeine more than anything else.
Absolutely. Dude, I had to go to hospital once for drinking too much coffee. There was a time. I really.
Yes, I was. That's so embarrassing. I hate to tell you that's so embarrassing for a rock star and everyone. So I gathered around what happened. Well, he has three lattes. It was it was a very busy month.
And so I just had another child. I was doing a Foo Fighters record. I was working with this other band that them crooked vultures that I was playing with. And so I was like, I'd wake up in the morning after two hours of sleep and I drink a pot of coffee and then I go to the studio and drink a pot of coffee. Then I'm probably drinking another pot of coffee. Then I go back to the next studio and a drink, a pot of coffee, and then I come home and I'm like, God, why can't I sleep?
And it's like, oh, right. I had eight pots of coffee today and it was like that for two weeks. And then finally I was like, yeah, I got the chest pains. I'm like, oh my God.
And actually it was right. We were about to go play the White House.
It was. It was. Is it possible. Is it. Possible that subconsciously that was playing a part in your article. It could have been, but I thought like, OK, so of course, what do I do? I Googled chest pains, like chest pains, what to do. And I'm putting like Excedrin in my wallet just in case.
And I'm, you know, but I thought I thought, OK, well, I'm not going to call my doctor because he's going to say, don't go to the White House.
I really wanted to go to the White House. It was like Obama's first 4th of July party and we were playing in the backyard. That was like, I'm not not going to this game. So I'm like, think I'm going to die. But I thought, like, OK, well, there's got to be a good doctor at the White House. Come on. Like, if I were to, like, drop dead having a heart attack right there, pretty sure someone would be on me.
And like, they have very they have very good equipment that I would imagine. So anyway, so I come back from that trip and I finally call my doctor. I'm like, Mel, I'm having chest pains. He's like, you are. So, yeah, he is having the now. Oh, yes, he was getting here. So I go down there and he's got me the EKG and I'm on the treadmill. It's like sonograms, all this crap.
He's like, well I don't really see anything wrong, but just to be safe, go to Cedars and get like a CAT scan or something. I was like, all right. So I got to get this CAT scan to come out of the CAT scan and they're like, the doctor will be with you in a moment. And there's this readout screen guy comes in, he's like home instructor, but he takes one look and he goes, How old are you?
I was 40 at the time. I said, at 40, he goes, OK, why are you here?
And I was like, I'm going to fucking die, man. Like, what's going on? He's like, Your heart's fine. Everything's fine. Are you under any stress? I was a little bit because you get enough sleep nights, sleep like two hours a night.
It's like, OK, he has to drink coffee. I was like, dude, you have no fucking idea.
Like I am like the Tony Montana of me. It's just like ridiculous.
And he goes, OK, here's what you need to do, because first of all, decaffeinated. I was like, yes, there's absolutely.
And then he's he said, you know, just play drums three or four times a week and have a glass of red wine before bed. Favorite fucking doctor of all time.
I was like, what a great doctor. I mean, it's forty seven thousand dollars, but I got it right. At least he told me I could go home and get hammered, which I did.
It'd be great if that was his advice, even to alcoholics. I'm a recovering alcoholic. Yeah. Just have some red wine and go to bed. Are you sure? I said I told you, but that was my advice. I was never into the drug thing when I was young. Like, I had smoked weed and I took mushrooms, I took acid and stuff like that.
But I was done with it by the time I was nineteen, something like that. So when I went up to when I lived in Seattle, I just I had nothing to do with any of that. And recently, within the last few years, I tried smoking pot again.
I'm like, man, I used to be so good at it, you know, I was such a fun pothead that was like that was fun.
And now every time I do it, I just wind up on YouTube watching like Miles Davis interviews for four hours. I'm like, this is bad for my life.
I don't know this. Check out that Quincy again the next time. Hear you can't sleep. Check out that Quincy episode. Yeah. What is your wait before you go on stage. What's your everyone's got. I don't know why. Because I'm a comedian. I do all these stretches and I've had people make fun of me backstage. Sony, you've seen me backstage. I'm constantly stretching. Yeah. And and that's just and that's just to talk. And I'm stretching.
And people will be like, what the fuck he's stretching for? You're not going to run a marathon. You're going to go out there and be a wise ass. And I'll be like, I don't know. I don't know. This is just what I do.
I don't do vocal warm ups. Clearly, I don't do t I don't need space, I don't have a steamer. And basically I open up the dressing room to as many friends as can fit in the dressing room. I have a Coors Light and a shot of Crown Royal. I've probably taken some Advil at this point because I'm an old man and it hurts to run around. And now I'm I'm delivering shots to everyone in the room. But you got to a shot with everyone.
You go. So now it's like Coors Light in. There's a shot of whiskey. All right. Now two shots of whiskey beers gone. Now I'm on the second beer and on my third shot of crown. Gus Brent is like twenty minutes and we're all laughing. Now, this is the most important thing to me before walking on stage. Even if Gus says ready to go, come on, they're waiting for you. I will not walk on stage until everyone in the band is laughing hysterically like we walk on stage smiling.
It's it just happens. I mean, it's, you know, it's not something we have to force, first of all. But it's like if I've had three Coors lights, three Crown Royals and Pap smear just said something that almost made me piss my pants. Houselights, let's set the stage like, let's go. And then the next two and a half hours is like it's a dream. It's great. But I don't do you know, we used to call it banter, banter, prayer, because, you know, some people like to God, please give me the strength to rock this house tonight.
I mean, whatever I'm not I'm not a religious person, but I do find that to be kind of funny, like you could ask God for anything like hunger, world peace, like the pandemic, and said there's someone like God gave me the strength to pop some of that booty tonight.
I want to hear that. I think I'm just like, OK, so we call the Crown Royal in the shot. It's like, that's bad. I love that. Those same people, it's like I think it's in Madonna's Truth or Dare movie where there's a lot of like gathering around and give us the strength tonight to get through this show where I pretend to masturbate on a four poster bed and sing, sing a song, whatever.
And I always thought this whole idea, it's exactly what you're saying, that there could be a tsunami headed towards Indonesia and they're like, should God stop the tsunami or should he help you rock tonight? I think it's what rock I think is more important. Yeah, I get it.
And of course, you know, it's not my thing. I understand why people do it. But now, I mean, it's I don't there's I like to make everything seem as informal as possible at all times.
KFC on the G5 banned prayers of Coors Light with a little bit of Cranwell. It's like things like that. You don't go on stage until you guys feel like you're, you know, having your own little six person cake party. That's kind of the way I like to to do shit with the Foo Fighters.
I do have to ask you, it's this is very indulgent of me. But as a guitar geek, I know that you have reached the highest height of all heights. When you have your own signature guitar, there's a Dave Grohl. It's like a Trini Lopez, right?
It's a Trini. Yeah. It's basically a dumbed down Trini. Comedians don't get their own signature line of guitars, but I never cared what a guitar sounded like. I cared what it looked like.
Pat Smear, our guitar player, used to go guitar shopping with the Polaroid and he would walk into a guitar store with his girlfriend and he'd pick a guitar up off the wall and he'd go, all right, take a picture. And it would even plug it in, take a picture. And then he'd, like, sit there, like shaking the Polaroid and he'd look at it like, now I don't like it.
And then you go and go. And he would sit there like a fit and oh, I like this is like he's buying shoes or something like.
Yes, that's how I've always felt about it. That is how I've always felt about it. Well, you know, God love you. You are the Swiss Army knife of rock drummer, guitarist, singer, songwriter, front man. You also have a wine opener that comes out of your side.
I do remember the toothpick. There's a little to the little is a little cake that comes out of your forehead. And you've got this new album, Medicine at Midnight, which I really love. I really love waiting on a war. I love that song. And I'm thinking I don't envy anybody being Dave Grohl drummer. But you know what? I'm going to tell you exactly. Your Hocking's is absolutely amazing. He's amazing. I'll tell you exactly what it is.
It's two things now. First of all, I have always wanted to be a tap dancer. My entire life, I've always wanted to learn.
You're kidding. Now I'm not. That is what I studied as a kid. I told my parents I want to be in show business someday and I insist on being a tap dancer and God bless my parents who know nothing about show business. They found me. This guy who had been the protege to Bill Bojangles Robinson is very old black man in downtown Boston. I was the only white kid. They went and saw this guy and he taught me to be a tap dancer.
You are a testament to that is my life.
So I had the shoes, but I haven't taken the lessons one of these days anyway. But there's this overdub that I did where I was like, oh, wait, wait, let me try this.
And I go. I go, that's it. That's it.
So if you put that thing that's exactly like on a wood floor, just like if you put that over the drum beat, that's where you got that weird rolling loop. So there was part of me and Taylor were like, it kind of sounds like tap dancing, sort of.
I'm like, let's put some guitars about it.
Let's load it up with guitars and I'll sing about something really depressing. It'll be great.
It freaks me out that you're in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, obviously for Nirvana and now like you're eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Foo Fighters in a year, I think, which is insane to me. It's actually this year. Yeah, but I pushed it off till next year.
Sorry, Dave. It just wasn't good timing for me to watch you get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But I remember very clearly, I'm sure a lot of your fans don't. But I remember very clearly when you started Foo Fighters that there was almost a hostility towards someone, a member of Nirvana going and starting something else.
So that hasn't really gone away yet. You know, that's just something that you kind of, you know. Yeah.
So when Nirvana ended, it was like I didn't starting this. And wasn't so much a musical decision as it was just like a very emotional one, feeling like in the time between Foo Fighters and Nirvana, I was like I was pretty lost because I was young. I was twenty five. And I was getting asked by people, well, hey, do you want to play drums with us? Do you want to come and join the band. And I was like just sitting behind the drum set.
It was just I was kind of traumatized. I didn't, it just made me sad, you know. And even just listening to music, turning on the radio, it just made me sad. And I eventually realized that, like, music had been saving my life my whole life. And so now it was going to have to do it again. And when I went and recorded that first record thing, that was more just like some sort of like emotional exercise or some sort of purge or just to me, it was all it was like a continuation of life because I was not ready to stop and I was not ready to be stuck in that place for the rest of my life.
I was not ready to just, like, hang it up.
I'm like, no, no, no, no. Music has always represented life to me. I'm going to do this. I don't know, like for who or why or for how long.
But I just need to to do it. And then when we started the Foo Fighters, it was like, you know, we got in the van, we went out and we opened up for a friend's band. We played in clubs and theaters and stuff. And and it reminded me of it reminded me of of why I why I love life and why I love music. And so to me, our band represents something like way more than just like T-shirts and downloads and, you know, stuff like that.
To me, it really is a group of friends that chose life and a continuation of life. And I still feel that way every day.
I think you pulled off a near impossible feat and creating this career, this second career and then doing so much with it. So and on top of it all, you're a class act and a a very fine gentleman. So just thank you so much today. I was so looking forward to this chance to talk to you today and geek out a little bit that I was sort of revving all day long. So thank you. Thanks for coming in. I cast.
Yeah, that means thank you. And any time you want to Gretsch. I have like nine hundred.
You know what, how about this all. You want to trade a treaty for a great big congrats. I'll pick a treaty and then we'll do a swap.
I would do that in a heartbeat. We do. But hey, I don't want to keep you any longer.
I know you've got packages waiting for you at the door, Amazon or FedEx, and they have the cat hotel. It's been a busy day. Yeah. Thank you so much. Thanks, everybody. That was super fun.
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That's Boambee as dotcom slash going for twenty percent off your first purchase. Bumpus Dotcom slash Konan. This is exciting because, Seona, I think maybe there's something you're OK with talking about, I guess you are. Would you want to? All of America is listening and by that I literally mean we're a very successful podcast. OK, so in my mind, everyone in America is listening. Won't you tell us what you have to say? I'm pregnant.
Hey, Sanjay, thank you very much. That is so exciting. It is so exciting. I know. Thank you. I have known I've known for a while. But of course. And I was proud of myself because I know you can't tell people I and you know what I love? I'm making this about me instantly.
You know, you were you were, I think, the first person besides me. And to know. Yeah. Because I came to your house to help you with something and you offered me wine and I said, no, I'm not drinking. And you're like, are you pregnant? You just immediately asked me. And we had found out the day before that we were and you know, it was you know, it was weird.
It was nine o'clock in the morning and I was drinking out of a bottle of wine.
I wasn't even putting it into a glass. And I was like, so to have some. And she said, well, I don't think we pregnant.
What's the due date and when is the birth certificate man coming around?
That's right. It's six months after you give birth that you have to get the same guy who was four months late for your dad birth certificate. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to track that guy down and I'm going to fly him to the United States so that he can handle your birth certificate.
Well, I don't I don't think he came because of my dad. He came to the village and he's like, OK, well, babies were born. And then people were like, my baby was born and my baby like, OK, all of you have a February 5th birthday.
Oh, my God. Do you think he did other things, too? I get the sense that he he didn't. He sounds like a guy who came to the village to deliver mail. Yeah. Give you your birth certificate. He probably had a soft serve machine.
You know, if anyone wanted ice cream, he sounds like a guy who did a bunch of things. Yeah, well, we are also we're having twins. Oh, my God. I know. I know. As tears rolled down my. For birth certificates and. Oh, man. Good. Wyangala, you just hit it. That was the natural. You hit it out of the park, it hit the lights and the lights exploded. And I was going on Tylenol p.m. every day were so funny when you're jacked on Tylenol p.m. and so Seona you're having you're having twins.
Can I ask one more question? Do we know the sex? Yes, they're both. They're both boys. Oh, my God.
Oh, my God. So great. It's a lot. It's a lot all at once. So we'll never we'll never talk to you again in a couple of months. No, I don't think so. I don't think he will. Well, sometime do do mid-July. But they'll probably come early because twins come early and yeah. You know, we spend a lot of our time just kind of sitting here in silence, just being like, what did what did we do?
And Jack keeps asking if he has time to do his karate, which he does.
Yes. Well, guess what? Let me explain something to you, Seona. There's a call. The hierarchy of needs. Yeah. And and priorities. And so what's going to happen is tax karate. And I promise you, this is going to go away.
I hope he has a sensei that's going to change a diaper and he teaches him back to the fence. But his baby stuff.
Yeah, it's funny if his if his karate style is all based, like the way Mr. Miyagi was on wax on wax off, it's all based on changing to diapers at once with each hand. And that becomes like the most impossible fantastic defense attack in karate. Oh my God, this is insane.
Oh, I'm so happy for you and for and for Tak. Yeah, I know. It's very exciting. Yeah. We wanted it for a while. So this is exciting.
It's a lot I'm through. Are you guys.
Wow. And of course I knew about this and then you, you showed me a video of your mom and your dad being told and you did a really cute thing. You had your nieces tell her. Uh huh, yeah. And they're really young. I couldn't believe that they kept a secret because, yeah, they're seven and five and they were bursting to tell them. And, you know, my mom has to grant two granddaughters. So she so badly wanted a boy.
And then we told them we were having twins and then we were like, OK, I guess the gender.
And my mom was just like, boy, like she didn't build it. And she also I'm going to back Sona up. I've seen the video. Your mother does it with no joy. She's, like, really happy that you're having the baby. She's really happy. You say and then you say it's twins and she's like, oh, my God, and she's crying and she sits down and she can't stand up. And then you just say, guess the gender.
And she just leans forward and she goes, boy, like, that's I'm not asking. I'm telling you it is.
Boy, I don't care what the other one is. As long as one is a boy who cares. Oh, man. Yeah. And then, you know, my group has ninety eight and he was in the video and he's just eating and he has no idea what everyone's like.
Chaotic. That is incredible.
Yeah. That's before I made my day. Oh yeah. It's fantastic. It's very exciting.
You know, I remember just to give everyone a sense of your mom. You remember the first thing your mom said to me when I met her, which is now 11 years ago when your mom came to the set of what was then The Tonight Show. And we hadn't even started The Tonight Show yet. And you brought your mother up to say hello to me.
She said to you, Rock the USA. She said, I said, Oh, hi, how are you? This is my sister. And she went, and you rocked the USA. USA? Well, no, I don't. But I never have and I never will. But that's a very sweet thing for her to have said.
She doesn't like it when I call you a dick on TV. That's something she brings up all the time. Don't cause she doesn't like that you disrespect me. Yes, she hates.
How does she like that? You're regularly doing a segment called Big Dick History.
She does not listen to the public good. Oh my God. I think she'd be horrified.
Well, this is exciting. This is really exciting. So I'm just so and I checked with you beforehand because I know I come across as an insensitive brute, but I do want to make sure that I'm not revealing or making you say anything about your life that you don't want to. But this is you were cool with talking about this. It's really exciting. Yeah.
I mean, we're you know, we're attacked. Doesn't like when we like post things on Instagram. So we're not going to have, like, photo shoot and post anything. So this is pretty much my only way of, like, telling people I forgot to tell. So that's that's it's like killing two birds with one stone, I guess. Good.
Well, so we found a use for this podcast baby announcement. That's terrific. So it's very convenient for me. Yeah.
Thank you. Anything else? You know, if you want to tell TAC what time is karate class starts, you can make that announcement too. Well, I just wanted to get. I'm so glad. So glad that's out there.
What what do they say in in Armenia? I mean, I know that, like, the Jewish people would say, like, oh, mazel tov. Or is there any way of saying what? What do you say? Good. Lewis.
It means like, let's cut to your I like to your I would it looks like your your I like light in your eye.
What is going on over there. Yeah. I mean birth certificates are coming months late and then the way you and then the way you, you know, in this country applying like to someone's eye is a neurological exam. It's a way of telling if you've been injured.
So if you want to congratulate someone, you could theoretically just shine a flashlight in their face.
I guess. I don't know. How do you. I got loose. It's good, actually. Good. That's good news. Yeah, that's good. Lewis That's good. Lewis, you don't you said lice. That was bad.
I speak fluent Armenian we talking about. Oh yeah.
But it's about Pasek in basic Ivankov work for forgot you just said.
Yeah. And you guys repeated the same thing over and over. Yeah. I share Arpey affection.
I went to high school with her. Yeah. It's Cher.
You know, it's funny since goit since knowing Seona and famously knowing Seona everywhere I go, Armenian people like Gordon and I and then I go, I go but Prosek and they go, I love him.
And now I can say, what is it.
Light in your eye. Light in your eye. I just got Lewis. I got Lewis. And then I can say, Cher, you don't have to say Cher mean she's Armenian. You're just going to yell out Armenian people. Well, I'm not going to mention the Kardashians.
Oh, it's for the best. I think so. I think she was the better way to go.
All right. Well, congratulations. Very happy. Thanks, guys. That's really happy. Really happy. If that's not a segment, I don't know what is.
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