In a new Uproxx interview, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl discussed playing Coachella in 2010 with Them Crooked Vultures, and realizing at that festival that the ‘guitars started to go away’ when it came to the mainstream and festivals.
“Well, I remember the first Coachella I went to, the Foo Fighters played one night and Queens Of The Stone Age played the other night. I think it was in 2002. And it was incredibly exciting; the lineup was super diverse, there were great rock bands that were playing — bands I’ve never seen — and it was inspiring to see live musicians on stage really going for it.
Then the last time I was at Coachella, it was when Them Crooked Vultures played there with LCD Soundsystem and it seemed like around that time, there was a sort of shift. It seemed like a lot of those guitars started to go away. I mean, I love bands like Death Grips. I love bands like The Prodigy. I love bands with all different types of instrumentation, but there is something old school about those European rock festivals that I connect to the most. I started playing festivals when I was 21 or 22 in Nirvana, and you’d have these incredible days with The Ramones, The Pogues, Frank Black, and Nirvana, all on the same bill, on the same day. And it was f*cking incredible seeing so many bands blasting it out as noisily as they can make it.
The Cal Jam festival began in the ’70s and the lineups were very diverse. You’d have everyone from the Eagles and Deep Purple to Earth, Wind, And Fire and Seals And Croft, stuff like that. So, when we decided to have our own big festival, originally we thought maybe it would be a one-time thing where we’d invite all our friends and turn it into a big backyard kegger. But as we were putting the lineup together, we decided we wanted the bands to f*cking rock, so we had everyone from Queens Of The Stone Age to Cage The Elephant to Liam Gallagher to Starcrawler to Fireball Ministry. It was a guitar fest for sure, and it was really exciting to see so many rock bands in one place.
Then we had the opportunity to do it again and we thought we should carry on with that tradition. Let’s have Iggy Pop. Let’s have Greta Van Fleet. Let’s have something as cool as Anna Von Hausswolff. We really get to curate the festival ourselves and maybe help turn the audience on to some music they might not ever hear. But it’s hard. It’s tricky coming up with a completely different lineup two years in a row that’s diverse and really f*cking rocks. It becomes an experience more than a concert and you build that experience around the bands that are playing.”