Dave Grohl doesn’t subscribe to a narrow concept of rock.
In an interview published Tuesday, the Foo Fighters frontman and two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer chatted with The Independent about the state of rock music. On the question of whether rock is still “relevant,” Grohl acknowledged that relevance can be tricky to define ― though he pointed out that Foo Fighters shows still have “thousands of people f***ing going bananas and singing along to our songs.”
Yet the former Nirvana drummer seems aware that rock ’n’ roll music, as it was traditionally defined for decades, doesn’t have the same cultural luster now that it once did.
“I can understand how it’s a different game nowadays for younger bands,” 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 the first time Grohl has gushed about Eilish. In 2019, speaking with Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino at the Pollstar Live conference, he praised Eilish’s authenticity and her ability to connect with her audience, saying it reminded him of what Nirvana experienced with their fans in 1991.
“My daughters are obsessed with Billie Eilish,” 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 also noted that although some people might not consider Eilish a rock musician per se, her sound carries the same rebellious essence 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.”
Grohl also told The Independent that he’s a big fan of an up-and-coming band whose sound more neatly aligns with the traditional idea of rock — the British duo Wet Leg.
“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.
Read Grohl’s full interview — which includes a story about swimming at the house where Sharon Tate was killed by the Manson Family — at The Independent.