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Dave Grohl dreams that Nirvana are still a band, but won’t sing Kurt Cobain’s songs

Nirvana
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

Ahead of next month’s release of their tenth studio album, Medicine At Midnight, the Foo Fighters are moonlighting as the guest editors of the new issue of Classic Rock magazine. And in a wide-raging interview in the new issue, frontman Dave Grohl reveals that while he’s totally focussed on the road ahead for the Foos, he still has dreams about his late friend Kurt Cobain, dreams in which Nirvana are still a band.

Reminiscing about his time in the Aberdeen, Washington grunge trio, Grohl tells Classic Rock: “When I first joined the band it was so much fun. I lived on the couch in Kurt’s living room, we rehearsed in a barn, we set up our gear and played those songs and people bounced around and got hot and sweaty. I really loved the connection and the appreciation that Nirvana’s audience had with the band.”

When Nirvana were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2014, Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear (part of Nirvana’s In Utero touring band, now playing alongside Grohl once more in Foo Fighters) performed onstage together again, with Joan Jett, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, St. Vincent and Lorde fronting the group. Grohl’s teenage daughter, Violet, has also performed with the trio, singing Heart-Shaped Box with her father, Novoselic and Smear in January last year. But Grohl senior says that he himself will never sing Cobain’s lyrics in public. 

“I wouldn’t feel comfortable singing a song that Kurt sang,” he admits. “I feel perfectly  at home playing those songs on the drums. And I love playing them with Krist and Pat and another vocalist. I still have dreams that we’re in Nirvana, that we’re still a band. I still dream there’s any empty arena waiting for us to play. But I don’t sit down at home and run through Smells Like Teen Spirit by myself. It’s just a reminder that the person who is responsible for those beautiful songs is no longer with us. It’s bittersweet.”

In a new (paywalled) interview with the Sunday Times Culture magazine, Grohl talks about the possibility of his daughter Violet following a career in music, revealing that she’s currently excited about shoegaze music, specifically My Bloody Valentine

“She was born with perfect pitch and a soulful voice and a musical memory that is photographic,” says Grohl. “She has all the tools she needs. She writes, I see her notebooks and the lyrics she’s written. Part of the thing about becoming a musician is the drive that gives you the desire to do it. In that sense I may be her biggest handicap. Like, she’s got to be my fucking daughter? So I try to stay away.”

For more words of wisdom from Dave Grohl, and his colleagues in Foo Fighters, check out the new issue of Classic Rock, which is on sale now.