Whilst he is famous for being one of the most influential musicians of all time, before all else, Dave Groh is one of the most prominent music nerds out there. Whether it be The Beatles, hardcore punk, or disco, the Foo Fighters frontman has an expansive knowledge of music and a palette that has allowed him to perform in a plethora of groups, exploring a wide range of genres.
In a way, you could argue that this is the most vital feature of Grohl‘s career as it has instilled his work with a dynamic essence, making it appeal to different generations, which has meant that whatever outfit he performs in, from Nirvana to Queens of the Stone Age, he fills enormous venues in the blink of an eye.
However, when all said and done, the one area in which Grohl really specialises is rock. From niche acts to icons such as Tom Petty and Queen, Grohl is something of a scholar when it comes to rock ‘n’ roll, and as a child, his brain soaked it all up, something he credits with changing his life. By the time his late teenage years rolled around, he was already touring the world with D.C. hardcore punks Scream.
One figure he’s always been keen to discuss is former Black Sabbath frontman and titan of metal, Ronnie James Dio. Speaking to Eric Blair at 2019’s ‘Bowl for Ronnie’ event, Grohl was asked how the late rocker’s music impacted his craft. He revealed that Dio’s iconic 1983 album, Holy Diver, had a transformative effect on his drumming, labelling it “perfect”.
Grohl said: “Well, Holy Diver is one of the best fucking albums of all time… When I listen to records, I don’t just listen to the vocals, I don’t just listen to the drums, I listen to it as a whole.”
He added: “An album like that, that’s kind of the perfect record. [Drummer] Vinny Appice’s playing on that fucking album is insane. As a drummer, I listen to that record and it’s, like, I don’t know if it’s composition or if that shit was just coming off the top of his head.”
“But as a drummer, that album is incredibly inspiring and influential. The simplicity of something like that – that’s one of the things I’ve always loved about Dio’s music: it’s not overly complicated or orchestrated, it’s a sum of a few very simple parts. And it’s powerful, and I fucking grew up with that shit.”
The former Nirvana man concluded: “I remember being 13 or 14 years old and seeing ‘Stand Up and Shout’ live on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert on Friday night. It makes you want to become a musician; you see something like that and it’s so moving and inspiring that you’re, like, ‘Oh my god, That’s what I wanna do for the rest of my life!’ It did that to me.”