Dave Grohl: I’m as important to Nirvana as Kurt Cobain

Drummer turned Foo Fighter is tired of people dismissing him

Dave Grohl has defended his and bassist Krist Novoselic’s contribution to Nirvana against continual claims they were merely Kurt Cobain’s backing band.

Now frontman with Foo Fighters, Grohl insists that all of them had a big impact on how Nirvana sounded.

“I was actually Nirvana’s fifth drummer and if you listen to the recordings with the previous guys you will notice it sounds different,” he told the Daily Mirror. “Krist Novoselic and I have been called sidemen to Kurt for fucking years – that lawsuit is done with, y’know?

“We’ve been called hired guns and I just laugh. Anyone who has ever been in a band, hell… anyone who has ever even listened to a band, understands what happens when one of those elements is removed from the combination. It just falls apart.”

However, Grohl insisted that despite the band being serious about their efforts, Cobain, Novoselic and himself never expected the impact the group caused.

“We were just three guys trying to make our way playing music. I think the effect the band had was more to do with everyone else than the band,” he suggested. “When we went to rehearsals in Tacoma, Washington, to write music, there wasn’t a whole lot of world domination in mind. We’d begin with an impromptu freeform noise jam and a lot of songs came out of that – from ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ to ‘Come As You Are’. All those dynamic quiet/loud songs came out of those jams.

“I started playing in bands as a teenager, not a career option, but as a way to find weed and not have to work. When Nirvana became popular it was unexpected – no one thought that would happen to our band.”

He added: “I’ve always considered myself a lucky musician. It’s funny when somebody calls me the grunge Ringo, but really I’m just a pothead from suburban Virginia who wound up finding his way into a band who became really popular in the early 1990s.”

Check out NME.COM’s best of Foo Fighters’ videos online now.