Dave Grohl Explains How He Ripped Off The Gap Band On Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Dave Grohl Explains How He Ripped Off The Gap Band On Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

In a new interview Dave Grohl conducted with Pharrell for his Paramount+ show From Cradle To Stage, the current Foo Fighters leader/former Nirvana drummer talks about some of the disco inspirations behind his music and his (to him) exaggerated drumming expertise.

“I’m the most basic fucking drummer,” Grohl told Pharrell. “If you listen to Nevermind … the Nirvana record … I pulled so much stuff from the Gap Band and Cameo and [Chic]’s Tony Thompson on every one of those songs. All that … that’s old disco!” The show helpfully plays a bit of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” followed by a bit of the Gap Band’s “Burn Rubber.”

“Nobody makes the connection,” Grohl continued. “I told Tony Thompson that. He came to my house for a barbecue with somebody and I was like, ‘Man, I just want to thank you because I owe you so much. I’ve been ripping you off my whole life.’ He goes: ‘I know.'”

Watch a clip below.

In the past, Grohl has also shouted out Bad Brains for influencing him on Nevermind:

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