Dave Grohl on Lorde: 'She's a badass'

  • Breaking
  • 19/02/2015

We'll get back to that headline soon.

The Foo Fighters have always sort of drifted in and out of my career here at TV3.

While I was an intern I held a boom over Dave Grohl for another reporter. In 2008, I got to interview half the band when they played in Auckland.

Then, yesterday, I sat down with all five Foo Fighters: Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins and Chris Shiflett. They proved what they always prove, and what's often said of Dave Grohl directly. They're the nicest men in rock n'roll.

The interview happened backstage in Christchurch at about 5.15pm. We were in the band's dressing room.

All the windows were shut to block out the noise of the opening act. There were five band members, two camera operators, someone from the record label, and me. I'll tell you what - nine bodies in unventilated container heat things up real quick. By the end of the chat I was sweating more than I've ever sweated before.

I thought it would be worth uploading our whole sweaty chat, as the Foo Fighters are just a delight to listen to. I barely needed to be there - they practically interview themselves, whether they're talking about their love of cycling through Christchurch, or how they appreciate what they get to do every day (i.e. being rock stars).

Last night's Christchurch show was a stunner. Tomorrow night (Friday) they play a sold out benefit show at Auckland's Town Hall, then their final show happens at Mt Smart on Saturday. There is a smattering of tickets left for that one.

Hope you enjoy this uncut chat. It's loose and a bit of a mess, but I think it proves why this band is so great. They're enjoying themselves, and they're aware of what's going on in the world of music around them.

I mean, just look at their take on picking Lorde to perform as Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Me: I wanted to talk to you guys about performing with Ella, with Nirvana. That was a surreal experience watching that.

Taylor Hawkins to Dave Grohl: You played with Ellen?

Dave Grohl: No, Lorde! Her name is Ella. Well, when we were coming up with ideas for people to sing with us at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thing, eventually it started to turn into this bigger idea that we would have women sing with us, and try to find people that represented the Nirvana aesthetic.

Some of them were friends, Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, Annie Clark of St Vincent - we had never met her before - she is a really powerful progressive awesome artist.

But I thought of Lorde because when that song 'Royals' came out, it really did sort of stand apart from everything else on modern top 40 or pop radio.

And it was such a huge hit! I remember sitting in the car and hearing it for the first time, and my kids were singing it, and I hadn’t even heard the song yet but they knew every word. And I was so happy that they were singing those words.

And for a song that I considered to be that meaningful and strong on popular radio, to me that was as much of a revolution as what happened in 1991 with all of these bands that started to break through all over the polished, pop shit.

And so I thought of her. She represents that next generation of revolution, maybe. She's definitely a brilliant, powerful, really big presence or personality.

Although she's so shy! It's so crazy, man. She flew from I don't even know where, Mexico City, she landed that morning, she got no sleep, we didn't rehearse we just sound checked, we did it once, we did the show, I kinda said 'Hello', she sort of looked at us as we went down the hall, she sang it, and that was it.

Like, 'Elvis has left the f**king building!' It was crazy. And there were people we asked who didn't want to do it, because they were just scared.

Pat Smear: Most of them!

Dave Grohl: People didn't want to touch it. But she did it. She's a badass.


Watch the full, uncut interview with the Foo Fighters on Lorde, Nirvana, cycling, fans and the band's legacy.

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