OPINION: Dave Grohl puts Foo Fighters on hiatus

News about Dave Grohl announcing a time-out for the Foo Fighters went live this morning, leading to immediate reaction, and speculation about the future of Grohl and the band. Reading Grohl’s own statement, it seems that for him and everyone else in the group, the time is right to do this:

Hey everyone…

Dave here. Just wanted to write and thank you all again from the bottom of my heart for another incredible year. (Our 18th, to be exact!) We truly never could have done any of this without you…

Never in my wildest dreams did I think Foo Fighters would make it this far. I never thought we COULD make it this far, to be honest. There were times when I didn’t think the band would survive. There were times when I wanted to give up. But… I can’t give up this band. And I never will. Because it’s not just a band to me. It’s my life. It’s my family. It’s my world.

Yes… I was serious. I’m not sure when the Foo Fighters are going to play again. It feels strange to say that, but it’s a good thing for all of us to go away for a while. It’s one of the reasons we’re still here. Make sense? I never want to NOT be in this band. So, sometimes it’s good to just… put it back in the garage for a while…

But, no gold watches or vacations just yet… I’ll be focusing all of my energy on finishing up my Sound City documentary film and album for worldwide release in the very near future. A year in the making, it could be the biggest, most important project I’ve ever worked on. Get ready… it’s coming.

Me, Taylor, Nate, Pat, Chris, and Rami… I’m sure we’ll all see you out there… somewhere…

Thank you, thank you, thank you…


The news and letter from Grohl is perhaps leading many to wonder why. For any musician, health is important. I’m not just talking physical health, but mental and creative health. That’s not to say that the Foo Fighters have lost their creative edge or they gave up on pushing themselves, but look at Grohl’s rise in success not only for himself, but for the Foo. Up until he joined Nirvana, it was only punk, hardcore, and alternative kids who knew who this drummer from Scream was. He had moved to Washington, D.C. and became the band’s drummer in his teens, and their fanbase was small but loyal. People loved his contribution to their sound, and they toured like crazy. With the alternative music boom of the late 80’s and early 90’s, Grohl would become a focus, but things went crazy when it was announced he would become a member of a band from “the other Washington” known as Nirvana. Kurt Cobain’s death left a void after incredible success with their second and third albums, but Grohl didn’t stop. He was already making tapes at home of his own material, multi-tracking everything, and that would be the Foo Fighters, where the only Foo on the album was him. While attention towards the Foo was focused on “the former Nirvana drummer”, he proved that he could do a lot more. Most drummers don’t get attention from the background unless they push themselves. He not only stepped up to the microphone, but he played the guitar. He was not afraid to play the fool in his videos, and the live band he had chosen would become the Foo Fighters group proper. Since the mid-1990’s, Grohl has been one of the more in-demand drummers out there, and he has always satisfied his muse by getting involved in many projects, including those of his childhood and adult musical heroes.

The new century also showed a change and shift in the music industry, with some wondering how some popular forms of music were not as popular, while there were artists who seemed to dominate the charts. It got to a point where some critics felt that the Foo Fighters were one of the few mainstream hard rock acts to not only release successful albums, but also go on tours that would also become successes. They weren’t so much role models for those who may have admired them, but they were the lone cubs. The Foo Fighters were still making new and vibrant music, they are not a nostalgia act and yet they were up there with the ranks of Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Celine Dion. That’s not to take away anything from heavy music, because there’s a wealth of great and new music coming out on a regular basis. For a generation, the Foo Fighters were not only one of the few, but sometimes it felt like they were the only ones out there. While that may be good to be the sole group, sometimes creativity, passion, and drive comes from having competition out there, even through the true competitor is yourself.

Fortunately, Grohl has always found other projects to do, but with the word “hiatus” being thrown around for the Foo Fighters, is that just a calmer way to say break-up? If so, do we ask why or do we say “who cares?” That’s not to say that no one cares, but I think the issue of a band’s status comes from those who want more from their favorite bands, which only leads to a debate over fading out of the spotlight at the right moment vs. “we want you to rock forever”. Would it be different if Grohl didn’t make a statement? Perhaps, he could have easily remained quiet and come back in 2014 or 2015 and boom: new album and tour. Again, Grohl has been involved in many projects. Maybe he wants to show his Foo Fighters fan base that he has always been more than Foo, and if you like him for his work with that band, then follow his path wherever he chooses to go. The diehard fans will do that. I loved the Foo Fighters documentary where they all talked about their roots and origins, and how surprised they are to be where they are today. One can argue that perhaps Grohl is comfortable and wants to live a more sane life. He has been performing, recording, writing, and singing for 26 years. Maybe he wants to go fishing, head to Goodwill and by ceramic owls. Go to Wal-Mart at 2am and buy Preparation H. He might want to become a nurse, or become a part of the 2016 Olympic archery team. Or maybe this will be the moment when Grohl will be replaced in his own band by Alanis Morissette and truly freak people out.

Either way, whether it is a time out, a hiatus, a thinly guised break-up, or just his way of saying “my feet are sore”, be thankful for the music Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters have created. Even if you hate them, this only means your hate will/should end for the time being. Focus it on someone else you don’t care about. Grohl probably wouldn’t mind.

I’d welcome the return of Dale Nixon for a few projects, though. Now I’m being greedy.


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