Dave Grohl does not believe in a restricted definition of rock.
The Foo Fighters leader and two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer spoke with The Independent about the health of rock music in an interview published Tuesday. On whether rock is still “relevant,” Grohl agreed that it is difficult to define, but he noted that Foo Fighters gigs still have “thousands of people f***ing going bananas and singing along to our songs.”
However, the former Nirvana drummer appears to be conscious that rock ‘n’ roll music, as it was historically understood for decades, no longer has the cultural clout it once did.
“I can understand how it’s a different game nowadays for younger bands,” Dave Grohl said. “There’s a lot of great young bands that are f***ing killing it and have devoted fan bases. They might not be as popular as Nicki Minaj, but honestly, when I see f***ing Billie Eilish, that’s rock ’n’ roll to me. She started a revolution and took over the world.”
This isn’t Dave Grohl’s first time gushing over Eilish. In 2019, at the Pollstar Live conference, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino lauded Eilish’s honesty and ability to connect with her audience, comparing it to what Nirvana experienced with their followers in 1991.
“My daughters are obsessed with Billie Eilish,” Dave Grohl explained. “And what I’m seeing happening with my daughters is the same revolution that happened to me at their age. My daughters are listening to Billie Eilish and they’re becoming themselves through her music.”
Grohl further stated that, while some may not consider Eilish to be a rock musician, her sound conveys the same rebellious spirit as rock.
“Her music is hard to define,” Grohl said, according to a transcript of his own remarks that he posted on Twitter. “I don’t even know what to call it. But it’s authentic. And I would call that rock ’n’ roll … I don’t care what sort of instruments you use to do it. When I look at someone like Billie Eilish, I’m like… shit man… rock ’n’ roll is not even close to being dead.”
Dave Grohl also told The Independent that he admires the British group Wet Leg, whose sound is more closely aligned with the conventional concept of rock.
“Wet Leg are about to take over America,” Grohl said, noting that he especially likes the group’s hit “Chaise Longue.”
“Sometimes we’ll hang out at a friend’s house and just dance until four o’clock in the morning, and we’ll play ‘Chaise Longue’ on repeat, like over and over and over and over and over again,” Grohl said.