Music Is Like A Garden

Good Times, January 2021

MEDICINE AT MIDNIGHT the tenth Foo Fighters album is about to be released. "In a way, it turned out to be a party album in those dark times," says Grohl. We spoke to him via Zoom.

The article in it's original language was run through Google Translate, so this text will not be 100% accurate

Hi Dave! MEDICINE AT MIDNIGHT is the new, tenth Foo Fighters album. What do you mean by this title?
First of all: all songs were composed in 2019, well before the corona pandemic, before the lockdowns. Otherwise I would like to call the album VACCINE AT MIDNIGHT (laughs). But it's funny, because some of the texts can be related to the current situation. They sound as if they are brand new and written for the current situation.
And what kind of "medicine" is it?
The title MEDICINE AT MIDNIGHT is not directly about medicine, but about the feeling that something is missing, that one is simply not satisfied. This feeling that one needs something, before going to sleep, the song fell on me when I went to bed one evening. I just couldn't sleep and wondered why. What am I missing? A drink? A book? Do I have to go out again and run around the block? I'm an insomniac, a restless person, a terribly bad sleeper. I just have too much energy - always. So the question is, what is the medicine that makes me sleep?
You have experienced and achieved so much in your career. How can you not be satisfied?
I am satisfied in many different ways, I am happy and grateful for so many things. But I wake up every day and wonder what this day has in store for me, what experiences I will have today, how I can make the day special. Every single day is a challenge for me. A struggle for survival, so stark. This setting keeps my engine running. It's not just about passing a day, it's making it a good one. I've always been in that mood, but after the end of Nirvana it only got worse. That's when I realized that life is damn short. You have to use every single day. 24 hours is not enough for me, I just want too much. This is also one of the reasons why I don't like to sleep. For me this is a complete waste of time. Who knows how much time you have left?
Would you then call yourself a workaholic?
I am definitely a workaholic, but I am very lucky that I enjoy my job. I can work with all sorts of musicians, I can play different instruments, and I always have projects going on: new music, films, documentaries, TV reports. Even as a child, I always wanted to create something, to feel productive in some way.
You live that out today - as a guitarist, drummer, singer, songwriter, music producer, film producer, author, documentary maker. Sounds almost a bit overambitious.
I don't think I'm over-ambitious. I spoke to Queen's Brian May once. Before that, I had sent him a demo song and asked him if he found it too pretentious, too pompous? He just said: 'There's no such thing as "too pompous" in rock'. I mean, he plays for Queen (laughs). But the same goes for ambition. In my opinion, you can't be too ambitious. I also firmly believe in that you can achieve something if you can imagine it. You just have to approach it with drive, confidence and passion and pursue the goal. You definitely have to try, even if you may not know how. Just do it The rest then often happens. Being very ambitious isn't bad because it pushes you.
You have long been playing in the superstar league, but you also seem to have remained a fan yourself. You call June 7th, 2008 the "greatest day of your life"
At that time, my greatest youth heroes came on stage to jam with us: Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin at a sold out Wembley Stadium in London ! In front of over 80,000 fans! We played their classics "Rock'n'Roll" - and "Ramble On", where I sat on the drums and had our drummer Taylor Hawkins sing. I really thought I was dreaming.
How did this insane action come about?
I had Jimmy Page's number and I called him and hesitantly told him about our show in London. where he generally lives. Jimmv just asked. what I exactly plan. I was really hesitant to come up with my idea. After a little pause I said: How about "Rock'n'Roll"? And he said very coolly: Ok, what else? I thought I was in a movie. How about "Ramble On"? I said. And he just said: I'll see you at the sound check. I could hardly believe it. When I sat behind my drum kit at the gig, with a magnificent view of the stadium area and two of the greatest living legends of rock on stage right in front of me - I really thought I was in a dream, in a Led Zeppelin film.
With Nirvana you made history in the early 90s, grunge changed the music world colossally. The very last Nirvana concert took place in Munich on March 1, 1994. What do you remember?
The tour did not go well. We were drained. And Kurt had health problems, including his voice. He fought his way from gig to gig. It was tedious. We now had superstar status, which we never really wanted. I remember that we opened the concert in Munich with a cover version, "My Girl's Best Friend" by The Cars, and the last encore was "Heart Shaped Box". Nobody would have guessed at the time that Kurt would soon no longer be with us.
This year your NEVERMIND album will be 30 years old. Do you and Krist Novoselic have something planned?
No, I don't know anything at the moment - yet. But that doesn't mean anything. I am still in regular contact with Krist. I have to call him sometime.
Back to the Foo Fighters: In contrast to other rock greats like AC / DC or Metallica, your fans seem to respect and accept all of your sound experiments!
That's the way it is. Our fans are very open. For me, music is like a garden: you have to look after it and look after it, and you are often surprised at what is sprouting there. We also have Americana influences in our music and can even play something extreme in the direction of Death Metal. We are really, really grateful that the fans give us this freedom!

Words: Alex Gemandt

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