Reply to Dave Grohl’s letter to Cornwall Council sparks backlash

The Foo Fighters frontman had asked the council to lift a ban on a local group playing at home

A new reply to a letter Dave Grohl wrote to Cornwall Council two years ago has sparked a backlash.

The Foo Fighters frontman originally wrote to the council in 2016 after local band Black Leaves Of Envy were banned from playing at home.

The letter, which resurfaced around Grohl’s 50th birthday, saw the singer, guitarist, and drummer explaining the importance for a young to have somewhere to practice. “Like many musicians, I started in a garage in my neighbourhood,” he wrote. “For musicians that lack the resources to rehearse in professional facilities, a garage or basement is the only place they have to develop their talent and passion. I believe that it is crucial that children have a place to explore their creativity and establish a sense of self through song.”

After the letter started doing the rounds again earlier this month, Cornwall Council shared it on Twitter with a series of pun-filled tweets. “We knew it was only A Matter Of Time until Dave Grohl’s letter resurfaced,” the first one read. “We didn’t want throw a Monkey Wrench into a local band’s practice plans, but we’d heard from neighbours that the noise was making them pretty Low.”

Black Leaves Of Envy said they would “not stand for” being mocked by the council. “Posting a mocking reply with misleading information, to a group of young people that are trying to make up for a local government’s shortcomings, is disgraceful,” they said.

“We were given a Statutory Nuisance complaint from the council, indicating a four-figure penalty should our noise levels continue. Cornwall Council removed the local Youth Centre that used to provide a practice room in 2012, giving the workers one week’s notice to leave the property and reneging on a 25-year lease. No real explanation or apology has ever been given, and the promise of another alternative centre never surfaced.”

They added: “We were told that an alternative rehearsal space would have to be funded ourselves, costing several thousands of pounds.”

Cornwall Council confirmed that they had written to the band in 2016 after receiving noise complaints from neighbours but said no formal action was ever taken. “We never told the band to stop playing, or set a prescribed limit for the noise levels,” they said.

“We offered to work with the band and spoke to the owner of the property on several occasions to look at ways of reducing the noise levels and suggested they consider installing some soundproofing in the garage to address the problem or possibly compromise by looking at playing only at certain times of the day. In the end, the owner did not get back in touch with us to seek further advice and we have not received any further complaints about the noise levels.”

Earlier this month, Grohl appeared at a special tribute show in honour of Chris Cornell alongside a number of other famous guests. The Foo Fighters frontman performed with Audioslave as well as doing a short Foo Fighters set. The latter included an acoustic performance of ‘Everlong’, which Grohl dedicated to Cornell.