On this week’s episode of After School Radio, Mark Hoppus talks with Foo Fighters Dave Grohl about the band’s return to touring, the Dee Gees, and the Seattle-area bands that soundtracked his formative years.
He discussed joining Nirvana and listening to Mark Lanegan, “Yeah. So when I first moved up to Seattle, I’d only been there I think once before. I was in this band from Virginia, the Washington DC area, we were called Scream, and we would tour a lot. We would tour Europe and we would tour America, we would tour Canada, always in the van and always playing tiny clubs where there was never really anybody at our shows, but our band fell apart in Los Angeles in 1990, we were stuck there. And I called a friend who was in another band and said, “Hey, we’re stuck in LA.” And he said, “Have you ever heard of Nirvana?” And I said, “Yeah, of course.”
They had the record Bleach. He’s like, “Man, they’re looking for a drummer, and they actually just saw you up in San Francisco and said like, if we could get a guy like that, we’d be super stoked.” He’s like, “You should call them.” And so I called Chris, bass player and I’m like, “Hi, this is Dave from Scream.” We start talking, I’m like, “Hey, I hear you need a drummer.” He’s like, “Actually we have Danny from Mudhoney is now our drummer.” I’m like, “Oh, okay, cool. Whatever. Give me a call. If you come down to Los Angeles.” Then he calls back and says, “Actually, you know what? You should talk to Kurt.” So I called Kurt, we talk about music, we talk about NWA and Neil Young and Public Enemy and Black Flag. And he’s like, “Well, if you can get up here, that’d be rad. Let’s jam.”
So I thought, okay, well, I’ve got nothing in Los Angeles. I’m going to go to Seattle. So I pack up everything and I go up there, never met the guys before. They had a show, I went to see them play. I’d never seen them before. And then the next day we got together and jammed and it was like immediate. So we just knew in five minutes like, “Oh, okay. Now, this is Nirvana.” So I moved in with Kurt and this is fall 1990. Kurt lived in this apartment that was super duper tiny. I slept on the couch. He had this turtle aquarium thing that stunk so bad. It was so gross. There was a hole in the window. So it was freezing inside. It was just squalor. And that Mark Lanegan record, The Winding Sheet had just come out, and it was… We had three records in Kurt’s apartment. One was the Mark Lanegan record, the other one was a Bobcat Goldthwait stand-up album, and the other one was Divine, Singing The Name Game like, (singing).
If anybody knows who Divine is will understand. But, so I wore that Mark Lanegan record out. And I think it’s a good example of how important music can be to you emotionally, because when you find that emotional match, like an album that understands you, or you understand an album in a way that you connect to it emotionally, this album to me, it was being completely on my own with no money, sleeping on a couch in this broken busted apartment in this band where I didn’t know the guys and it’s gray and rainy for months and months and months on end. This album was the one thing that gave me any relief or a sense of… I don’t know. I wore that album like a blanket for months and still to this day, whenever I hear one of those songs, this song in particular, it just takes me right back to sleeping on that tiny couch.”