Dave Grohl speaks out on how Marilyn Manson helped kill the ’90s grunge scene

"It's really moving and powerful"

Dave Grohl has spoken out on how he believes the rise of artists such as Marilyn Manson led to a decline in the popularity of grunge in the ’90s.

The Foo Fighters frontman and Nirvana drummer was speaking to Alt 98.7 when he discussed the changing trends in rock music form the mid-80s through to the late-90s, including his own time riding the Seattle grunge wave and what came to change public opinion.

“In the 80’s you had all these rock bands that got huge,” said Grohl of the era of Motley Crue. “There was so much glamour, all the dudes had crazy hair, limos, they were shooting their videos at Crazy Girls, riding Harleys…it kind of went its course or whatever.”


Speaking of the rise of grunge, Grohl went on: “Then there were a lot of bands that loved playing rock music, but didn’t have anything to do with that. It was more about we’re just dirty kids who play in garages and write these songs. That was sort of born out of the punk rock thing. Then all of a sudden that becomes huge, and that becomes huge for a while, and after that you are sort of like damn man, I sort of want a rock star.”

Nirvana in 1992
Nirvana in 1992

Grohl said that the shock-rock tactics, goth-glamour and sense of spectacle that came with ‘The God Of Fuck’ proved to be the antithesis of grunge’s ‘DIY punk’ approach and saw a sea change in rock tastes, while hip-hop also absorbed a lot of rock’s prior desire for wealth and hedonism.

“Then Marilyn Manson gets big, and you’re like oh cool, now you’ve got something that is really fantastic to look at, it’s really moving, and really powerful,” Grohl continued.

“The imagery and the music too, you are like, wow that’s cool man! Then the hip hop scene sort of took over all of the glamour that the rock and roll thing sort of had in the 80’s. It’s kind of cyclical in this weird way, eventually you’ll get to a place where you’ll have a hip hop artist who doesn’t go that route, or a rock band that does go the glam route.

“Things kind of roll in this cycle.”


While a previously unheard Nirvana interview from 1989 before Grohl had joined the band surfaced online last week, Grohl and former bandmate Krist Novoselic have teased that there could be future Nirvana reunion shows with guest vocalists.

Foo Fighters are currently set to ‘take a break‘ before going to work on their next album, while Marilyn Manson recently made headlines by selling a dildo with his face on as official merchandise, just in time for Halloween.

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