Dave Grohl

Mastodon frontman Brent Hinds recently posted on his Instagram a photo of Dave Grohl, with the meme caption, “Making rock n roll safer with every red carpet all star jam.” (Hinds has since deleted the image from his own feed, but that’s it above.) Coming from Hinds, the jab feels slightly pot-kettle-black-ish, as Mastodon are among the safer bands in “extreme metal” today, largely due to the fact that they’ve sanded down their prog/epic tendencies on recent releases in favor of an accessible sound that bears a distinct resemblance to that of former tourmates Queens Of The Stone Age (for whom Grohl plays drums on occasion). Even so, Hinds’ snark is not without substance: Grohl might be the nicest guy in music, and he’s obviously one of the best drummers of his generation, but the choices he’s made over the last decade-plus suggest he’s more interested in using his reputation to cross items off his bucket list and bridge the gap between the Boomers and Generation X than he is in making exciting, innovative music. I mean, guy played on Nevermind, In Utero, and Songs For The Deaf, so he has a lifetime pass, but the newest of those albums is now 12 years old.

Anyway, there are two brand-new pieces of evidence further supporting Hinds’ diss:

1. HBO has announced that Grohl will produce his own series for the network, and it will serve as an extension of his Sound City documentary, in which he told the story of the legendary now-shuttered studio where Nevermind (among countless other albums) was recorded. In the new series, Grohl will reportedly visit studios across the country, and interview the artists and engineers who have worked there, including Steve Albini, Ian MacKaye, Paul Stanley, and Nancy Wilson.

2. The next Foo Fighters LP will reportedly include a collaboration with Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh. As Walsh told Billboard, “I joined the Foo Fighters for two days and I played on a track of theirs that’s gonna come out … my drummer when I play solo, Drew Hester, is a great friend of all of those guys, so I hooked up through him.”

Is collaborating with Joe Walsh in 2014 “safer” than collaborating with John Fogerty and Rick Springfield in 2013, or with Paul McCartney in 2012? Eh, it’s probably like six of one, half dozen of the other, square root of 36 of the other-other (or 6-6-6, ironically). But Grohl has done all that stuff and more. Of course, he’s also done collaborations with weirdos like Ghost B.C. and Teenage Time Killer, which isn’t safe so much as … random? In any case, it seems safe (har har) to say he won’t be working with Mastodon in the near future (which is totally OK, as that band’s drummer, Brann Dailor, might be one of the few guys in the game on whom Grohl wouldn’t be a clear improvement). UNLESS — maybe? — Grohl’s new HBO series does a segment on Rock Falcon Studios, where Mastodon recorded their upcoming LP, Once More Round The Sun, with producer Nick Raskulinecz … aka the guy who produced the Foo Fighters albums One By One and In Your Honor.

Comments (24)
  1. That HBO show sounds pretty awesome.

  2. By all means say what you want about the Eagles, however Joe Walsh is great.

  3. The HBO show will be cool, it will be an excuse for people to flashback to classic albums and show tons of out-takes etc, that shit is always awesome and interesting. BUT as far as Grohl and cred goes, i wouldn’t worry an ounce about all of the collab stuff, i’d just worry about Foo Fighter music. Those last few albums have just been…disappointing. Specially the last one with all the garage rock/going back to our roots hype it didn’t even come close to delivering.

    • Like…. what? Did you listen to the same album everyone else listened to? Wasting Light was the best thing they’d done in, like, forever. It was an album you could listen to from beginning to end with no desire to skip songs, which is a rarity these days.

      • Dave also played on the last QOTSA record, which from what I can telll was pretty much universally considered the best mainstream rock and roll record of last year.

  4. It doesn’t feel right to exist in a world where somebody has beef with Dave Grohl.

  5. I really don’t think it was an insult, Mastodon were recording their newest album in Grohl’s studio so it was probably just a joke that people (the media) exaggerated.

  6. The Beatles and Creedence were awesome, groundbreaking rock bands (and both were bands Kurt Cobain loved as well), so Paul McCartney and John Fogerty were fine choices, but the Eagles were always painfully boring, the very definition of “safe.” Even the Dude hated them. .

  7. None of this makes sense. Joe Walsh is playing on 1 track, who cares? Plus the show sounds very entertaining, especially for any music fan. I doubt he was really commenting on those 2 things, had to be a joke.

    • He was commenting on those things — they were announced today, a week after his Instagram. They just support his gripe.

      • I don’t really see how either one “supports his gripe.” What exactly should Dave Grohl be doing in his spare time? The show sounds like a fun show for music nerds, and there are hundreds of reasons why Grohl may have wanted to work with Walsh, most likely of which is that he just likes the Eagles. There are so many instances of pointless collaborations and remixes that exist for no other reason than to generate buzz, I have no idea why this is so uniquely offensive to anyone.

        And if Mike Nelson wants to slag Dave Grohl, or argue that Brent Hinds was right to slag Dave Grohl, jesus fuck don’t cop out and also try to insinuate that Hinds is a hypocrite and then spend the better part of a paragraph hand-wringing over whether or not Grohl has a “pass” for this kind of stuff. What the fuck did I even just read?

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  9. whoever said we needed dave grohl, of all people, to reinvent the wheel? i admit he often toes the line between rock credibility and blandness, but he’s created more hits than misses in his lifetime, for me at least.

    he has more ties to mastodon than just the hbo thing, btw. google image search “dave grohl mastodon.”

  10. What are you talking about, though? Are you really trying to stir up Dave Grohl hate? Like, what the fuck? lol I mean, how do you (or Hinds) figure doing all the things he does are “safe”? The way I see it, each one of them is a risk. But instead of falling on his face he continues to succeed brilliantly. He does so because he’s a talented, intelligent and by all accounts a genuinely kind human being. Really, so weird that you would take the time to do a Dave Grohl hate piece. A small amount of respect for you and Stereogum was lost today.

    Also, regarding this…

    “but the choices he’s made over the last decade-plus suggest he’s more interested in using his reputation to cross items off his bucket list and bridge the gap between the Boomers and Generation X than he is in making exciting, innovative music.”

    … I guess you missed Wasting Light completely. You should check it out, because its only one of the best things he’s ever done (I’m aware you’ve checked it out, but you deserved the sarcasm).

  11. Mastodon is busy keeping it real, playing it dangerous on arena tours with Deftones and Alice in Chains. I love all these bands but AIC has gone Full Retard Corporate Rock since their comeback and if you’re going to take their money and open for them let’s make any accusations.

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