Dave Grohl Stunned By Foo Fighters Bandmate Meltdown


Foo Fighters The Colour and the Shape producer Gil Norton revealed how Dave Grohl reacted to former drummer William Goldsmith going ‘AWOL’ and having a ‘meltdown’ while recording the album in a Roland interview. He also reacted to Goldsmith claiming Norton called he and Nate Mendel the ‘rhythmless section’ in the Foo Fighters: Back and Forth documentary.

“(Laughs) I don’t remember saying that, but never mind! – sounds a bit harsh. I definitely worked them! In rhythm sections I find the most common problem is they don’t listen to each other and don’t pay attention to what the others are doing. They’re playing the same stuff but not gelling.

Nate is one of the best bass players in the world – he works so hard man. Even on the Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace record. He would go away and sit with this bass constantly playing to a backing track, and constantly be playing all the time. He’s a great musician.

William [Goldsmith] (the original drummer) was awesome too. He was a great friend, and I felt really bad about what happened. But I’ve only lost two drummers on a session… and he was one of them. We never intended to lose him. He just went into meltdown, that was the problem, he went AWOL for a while. It was Christmas and I went home after the first recording session in Seattle, and said to Dave [Grohl] that I don’t think we’ve got the right parts in all these songs. Dave wasn’t ever going to be the drummer on that session, and I was never going to ask him either, but we talked and he said he would try them.

I suggested we try one or maybe two again. We were going to get William back and redo some of the drums. He did do some of the drums on the album, it wasn’t like he didn’t play anything. The first song we re-did was Monkey Wrench. Dave did a run through to get the sounds, and then did it in one take. That’s the one we used for the album.

I felt sorry for William because he knew how good Dave was at drums, and that was part of the problem. I kept talking to him about the importance of being your own person. You can’t be somebody else, no matter what they did.”

Former Foo Fighters drummer William Goldsmith was in the news last December for heavily criticizing Dave Grohl, and claiming he played a role in Sunny Day Real Estate never releasing their fifth album, though he later clarified his statement with additional reasoning, while still throwing shade at Grohl. This new story has led to Foo Fighters fans resurfacing an interview that Goldsmith did on The Trap Set with Joe Wong in 2016 that was not circulated at all in the press at the time.

Alternative Nation transcribed his comments about working on The Colour and the Shape.

“There was a voice in my head saying, ‘Something’s not right here.’ Gregg Keplinger, he came out to help me with the drums, getting the drum sounds for that session, and he’ll tell you, I was doomed from the start. Because when we were getting the drum sounds, and dude, Gregg Keplinger does not have a hard time getting drum sounds. Every record I’ve ever worked on with any other producer, and Gregg is working on the drum sounds, they’re always very excited and happy about his approach.

This guy Gil Norton, no matter what we did, where we put the microphones, no matter how much we tuned the drums, he was never happy with how the drums sounded. Kep was just like, ‘Dude, I don’t understand what the hell is going on here.’ I think from the get go the producer wanted Dave to play drums on the record, I think Dave wanted to play drums on the record, I think the people at the label wanted Dave to play drums on the record, I think everybody wanted Dave to play drums on the record.

That’s fine, but I wish they had decided that, or told me that, rather than drag me through the coals for three weeks 13 hours a day, working my ass off, and then accomplishing the thing, and then having all that effort completely just raped from you.”