Violet Grohl & Dave Grohl – “Nausea” (X Cover)
The LA band X’s 1980 debut album Los Angeles remains one of the greatest things ever to come out of that very specific era of American punk rock, and one of its best songs is “Nausea,” the wiry and merciless riff-trudge that the band played during the opening credits of the 1981 movie The Decline Of Western Civilization. “Nausea” is a grimy song, so it’s a little surprising to wake up and see the news that a stadium-rock star and his 15-year-old daughter have just released a cover of the track, but that’s just the Dave Grohl experience for you.
On his website Dave’s True Stories, Dave Grohl has shared a new story about learning from his grandmother that he might be related to X drummer DJ Bonebrake. As it turns out, “DJ Bonebrake” wasn’t just a cool punk moniker; it’s the man’s government name. Bonebrake was also Grohl’s grandmother’s maiden name. Grohl also writes that he met DJ Bonebrake after being introduced by Foo Fighters guitarist and former Germ Pat Smear, a mutual friend, and that he’s still not sure whether they’re related or not. But that’s why Grohl and his young daughter Violet took it upon themselves to bash out their own version of “Nausea,” with Dave playing all the instruments and Violet doing her version of Exene Cervenka’s fearsome and guttural lead vocal:
I picked one of my favorite X songs “Nausea” from their 1980 debut album Los Angeles and forwarded it to Violet, hoping that she would agree to my most impulsive idea. Anyone who has ever heard Violet sing knows that she was certainly capable of doing it, but it was just a matter of getting her in front of the microphone to record, something that the two of us had never done together before. It felt so meaningful to have the first song Violet and I record together be a tribute to our Bonebrake heritage. I crossed my fingers and awaited her response.
Around 9 pm she answered with an excited “Yes!” so I ran upstairs to my little demo studio and recorded the instrumental tracks as fast as I could. After about half an hour, I was done, and I brought her into the vocal booth to sing her part. As nervous as she was, she stepped up to the microphone and sang with the power and confidence of a seasoned pro as I engineered the session like a proud father, encouraging her to let it all out. I then sang my harmonies over her vocal in the chorus, our two voices blending perfectly in the mix, and we smiled upon listening to playback at full volume. It was a moment that superseded anything musical. A life moment that I will cherish forever. A family moment.
Gotta say: Violet Grohl kills this thing. Kid’s got a future. Listen to the Grohl family version of “Nausea” and the X original below.
Next week the Grohls will perform the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with Krist Novoselic, Dave Lombardo, and Greg Kurstin.