Speaking about Foo Fighters’ career and music to Rolling Stone, Dave Grohl clarified that their 2011 hit ‘Walk’ was inspired by Kurt Cobain.
Dave Grohl’s time with Nirvana and his association with Kurt Cobain inevitably means that fans have — on multiple occasions — tried to find connections to the latter in Foo Fighters‘ music. While Grohl and the band have acknowledged Cobain’s influence on their lives, they have now also confirmed that their 2011 hit ‘Walk’ was inspired by him.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone — featuring the band as the cover stars — Foo Fighters’ Pat Smear speculated why the band plays ‘Walk’ at nearly every show: “Every night when he sings the line ‘I never want to die,’ I look at him every time and think of Kurt. Every single time. Because Kurt was, ‘I hate myself and I want to die.’ And that’s the opposite-ness of them. And I do so love being with life lovers.”
Later on in the piece, Grohl confirmed that Smear was correct, and added: “It kind of comes from the day after Kurt died. Waking up that morning and realizing, ‘Oh, shit, he’s not here anymore. I am. Like, I get to wake up and he doesn’t. I’m making a cup of coffee. And he can’t. I’m gonna turn on the radio. And he won’t.’ That was a big revelation to me.”
That feeling, Grohl admitted, was the motivation behind ‘Walk’, which talks about picking oneself up and carrying on: “I think also in life, you get trapped in crisis, where you imagine there’s no way out. When really, if you dare to consider that crisis a blip on the radar, it’s easier to push through. And, yeah, I was just like, ‘I don’t want anyone to have that feeling that I had that morning.’ ”
During the interview, Grohl also admitted that he has ‘live-performance anxiety dreams’, usually focused on Nirvana.
“They’re usually Nirvana-related. Like, Kurt’s still alive. And we’re doing a show, and I’m so excited that people get to see this once again. And I walk onstage. And my drumsticks are the size of telephone poles. And then the audience just kind of begins to scatter.” He affects a meek little voice: “No, no, wait!” he said.
Love Classic Rock?
Get the latest Classic Rock news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
Of course, Grohl’s time in Nirvana inadvertently meant that for the first few years of their existence, Foo Fighters were trying to overcome prejudice against the band itself.
“I was thinking, ‘It’s inevitable: People will not want me to do this.’ And there were people, even friends, that were offended. And I just thought, ‘How dare they? This is how I’m going to get through life!’” Grohl said.
“And then, I would sit in an interview, and they’d say, ‘With all the crashing cymbals and distorted guitars and the screaming, did you intentionally want to sound like Nirvana?’” he continued.
Seeing all this ‘shit firsthand’, Grohl said, also motivated him to take a lighter approach to music. The rocker also said that he didn’t care much for the belief that rock & roll should always be dark.
“There’s this idea of rock & roll — that it should come from a place of darkness and there should be some sort of torture, that it should be dangerous. Because I’ve seen all that shit firsthand, I have to disagree.” he said.
“It’s not why I started playing music. Taking the danger out of rock & roll — we get accused of that. And it’s like, ‘Really? Do you want to put it in?’ I’ll take that criticism all day long.” Grohl said.
For more on this topic, follow the Classic Rock Observer.