Dave Grohl Salutes the Classic Songwriter Who Continues To Influence Foo Fighters
There's a particular veteran musician who still influences Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters. And the revered songwriter's impact can be felt throughout the past 25 years' worth of Foo albums. Not to mention, the rocker in question is considered a beloved elder statesman of punk rock. Can you guess who it is?
Grohl recently paid tribute to the musician in an interview surrounding the release of Medicine at Midnight, Foo Fighters' 10th studio album that arrived earlier this month. Are you still wondering who it is?
Well, without delaying the revelation any further, the influential music-maker Grohl talked about is Husker Du guitarist-vocalist Bob Mould. Ranking the entertainer's significance way up there, the Foo Fighters frontman explained his admiration and respect for the Husker Du icon.
"Bob Mould should be placed in the highest ranks of America's greatest songwriters and lyricists," Grohl told Classic Rock this week. "You can argue that he's just as influential in his own right as Tom Petty — he's a classic American songwriter, only writing from a different place to most."
The Foo Fighters bandleader continued, "When I discovered punk rock in the early '80s, there were bands that stood out because of their heaviness or speed or dissonance. But Husker Du, which was Bob Mould's original band, had this sense of classic melody — it was almost like a punk rock band playing Byrds songs, which they actually did when they covered 'Eight Miles High.' But there was an entire sense of emotion, with beautiful melody, which could sometimes be countered with this anger and distortion that was really unusual at the time."
Husker Du were also "the first punk rock band that I listened to that had a double album," Grohl said. "The Zen Arcade record, which went from breakneck thrash buzzsaw guitars to acoustic ballads. And having been raised on the Beatles and loving the 'White Album' and the two greatest hits records, The Early Years and The Later Years, there was something about that dynamic that I loved."
Husker Du's widely influential run was short-lived, the band existing only from 1979 to 1988. Mould went on to perform solo and with the group Sugar, in addition to contributing guest spots on other's albums — he even makes an appearance on the Foos' 2011 set, Wasting Light.
"If you go back and listen, you'll hear his influence in the stuff I've done," Grohl unabashedly admitted. "So much that I reference Husker Du in a lot of lyrics — there's even one reference on the new record. I like to drop little lines here and there."
The Foo Fighter added that he "finally got to meet [Mould] maybe 10 years ago. I said, 'I just have to thank you, because I've really taken a lot from your music.' And he said, 'I know.'"
Medicine at Midnight is now available everywhere albums are heard. Its Feb. 5 release was preceded by the singles "Waiting on War," "No Son of Mine" and "Shame Shame." On Feb. 10, the band was included among the 2021 nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.