Dave Grohl criticises ‘presumptious and lazy’ bands who play old albums in full

Grohl admits he did want to re-record 1995 debut 'Foo Fighters' ahead of its 20th anniversary

Dave Grohl has said that he does not approve of bands revisiting old albums on their anniversary, while admitting that he considered re-recording Foo Fighters’ debut album to “piss people off”.

‘Foo Fighters’ was released in July 1995, the year after Nirvana split following Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Recorded almost entirely by Grohl himself, the frontman has revealed that he considered re-recording the album with his bandmates to mark its 20th birthday – only to be talked out of the idea.

Speaking to NME for a major feature in this week’s issue, which is on newsstands and available digitally from today (November 5), Grohl said drummer Taylor Hawkins told him it was “the worst idea ever”.

“At one point I thought, ‘You know what would be really funny? To re-record the first Foo Fighters record as the band we are now’ – ‘cos the first record isn’t the Foo Fighters, it’s just me. So what if, for the 20th anniversary, we went in and re-recorded the first record – same songs, same arrangements, in sequence – but as the Foo Fighters 2014? Taylor was like, ‘Are you out of your fucking mind?! That’s the worst idea ever! People would fucking hate it!’ And Pat [Smear, guitar] said, ‘That’s exactly why we should do it!'”

Grohl’s initial interest in revisiting the past belies a lack of interest in the nostalgia circuit many bands find themselves on. In the interview he is adamant that there will be no gigs in which the band play ‘Foo Fighters’ in its entirety.

“Fuck, man! I don’t like it when a band’s tour is just to play one past record. I fucking hate that. I don’t like it when bands do that. It’s presumptuous. It’s lazy. But going in and re-recording an album, just to piss everyone off? I think that’s a shitty idea! I don’t get why people do that. We’ve already written that one off. I mean, I don’t mind playing a lot of those old songs just to revisit. But the best way to celebrate our 20th anniversary isn’t to focus on 20 years ago, but to focus on the last 20 years, meaning two years ago and six years ago and eight years ago.”

Foo Fighters’ eighth album, ‘Sonic Highways’, will be released on November 10. As previously revealed to NME, Eagles’ Joe Walsh, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen are among the guests who feature on the record.

Sonic Highways, the documentary which takes viewers behind the scenes as Foo Fighters record their new album in different studios around America, began airing in the UK on October 26. The eight-episode series is being split between BBC Four and BBC iPlayer, with episodes three to six available exclusively online. The final two episodes will be shown on BBC Four.

Meanwhile, drummer Taylor Hawkins has revealed that he thinks new album ‘Sonic Highways’ is as close to being perfect as the band could have possibly made it.

Speaking to NME about the album, which is released on November 10, in the video below, Hawkins says: “We like the way our band sounds, naturally. I want drums to sound like drums, as opposed to a drum machine. We kept it as humanly perfect as possible but nothing more. It’s as perfect as we can be, which is not perfect.”

See below to watch now.