Foo Fighters Member Describes ‘Cruelty’ Of Dave Grohl: ‘I Wish I Never Met Him’


Former Foo Fighters drummer William Goldsmith has been in the news this week 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. In the interview, Goldsmith detailed while he did not enjoying working with Grohl during their time together in Foo Fighters from 1995 to 1997. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.

He said, “I wish that I just never met him.”

He later said, “To be honest man, I was not happy in that band because at first Dave said, ‘I want this to be fun. I want this to be a band. I don’t want to spend our lives on the road, we’re just going to have fun.’ I was like, ‘Right on, that sounds great because we don’t want to tour to death.’ But that’s what we did man, we toured to death. You are playing these songs that aren’t even yours, we didn’t even really have that long to get to work on this stuff before we had to start touring. Then it was nonstop, it’s like saying the word ‘shut up’ or ‘caterpillar’ a billion times to yourself, and it just stops making sense. You do something so repetitively, especially something that isn’t really from you.”

Wong later asked Goldsmith, “Is Dave a bad person?”

Goldsmith responded, “I don’t know. I think that he mistakes cruelty for humor, maybe sometimes. I think he’s kind of like those kids that were like the bullies that could do every sport better than everybody else. Everybody really liked them, even though they were mean. He’s kind of like that guy, he’s kind of like the playground bully.”

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  • Joseph Mango

    Well maybe it’s me but where is the creulty? OK, I obviously never met Dave, seems like a cool guy. Touring is part of being in a band. That’s how most musicians make their money unless they control most or all of the publishing rights and music sales. Which from my understanding the record labels do in most cases.

    • Albert Flasher

      Generally speaking, public figures rarely display their mean side in public view.
      Behind the scenes… different story, I’m sure.

      • Joseph Obdami

        Right.I can think of two off the top of my head who were legendary a-holes behind the scenes — Buddy Rich, James Brown. It makes sense. Look how many a-holes are everyday bosses. Why should it be any different in music?

        • sharkguitar

          John Mellencamp is a notorius a-hole. If you asked him for a raise you were fired. He loves head games.

    • Kim

      Yeah I don’t get how expecting people to tour when they’re in a band makes someone cruel? I’m not like a huge Dave Grohl fan (I mean I do like a lot of his music for sure) but it seems like Goldsmith is being kind of unreasonable… like what does he expect people in a band to do? Bands tour

      • Anonymous501

        He probably is, but FF does tour comprehensively. They’ll tour relentlessly for 1.5 to 2 years after an album drops.. that’s pretty hard core. On the opposite side of the spectrum you have PJ which feels exhausted if they play 20 shows in a year 🙂

      • Joseph Obdami

        It wasn’t “tour”, it was “tour to death”. You might think that touring is just one big ol party, but it isn’t. I haven’t toured with a band but I’ve spent years traveling in business. Same thing except I got to go home for the weekend. They are in constant motion: Do a show, spend the night, on to the next city the next day. I at least would be in one place for the week. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who enjoys that kind of travel. At best you tolerate it because the money is so good, but you sure as heck don’t like it.

        It’s not fun at all. You live in these hotel rooms, you don’t know anyone, airport check ins, rental cars, checking in and out of hotels, constantly figuring out where you are where you’re supposed to be, it’s exhausting. You’re away from home, from all your stuff, from people you know and things you used to do, away from pets, spouses, girl/boy friends.

        So what he’s talking about is being on the road for probably over a year continuously with just a week here and there back home. No offense, but looking at your picture, I’d give you 12 weeks tops before you cracked.

    • therightclique

      How can you be this naive?

      As if we have any insight into what it was/is like being in a band with Dave Grohl.

      • Joseph Mango

        Who’s being naive? He never said he didn’t get along with Dave. He said he didn’t want to tour so much. Learn to read and stop throwing insults.

        • Madeleine Joiner

          Use your noggin, there is no explanation of what he meant so how can you ask where it is? He doesn’t say that touring was the cruelty, that is an example of things not being how Dave said they would be, surely you are not that naive to think this very small article with a tiny snippet in it is all there was to his claim of cruelty?

  • Mark Sobocienski

    Dude needs thicker skin if he thinks Dave Grohl is a bully. In an industry of egos he’s as down to earth as it gets

    • therightclique

      You don’t know the man at all…

      You have zero idea how down to earth he is.

      All you know about him is what he sold you. Don’t be so naive.

      • And what do you know? You have zero clue as well.

        • Corndog

          I think that was his point; none of us do.

        • mbear

          Yeah, I don’t get your point here. He said he knows as much as we’re led to believe. And that leaves us with about nothing

  • 3goldens

    Clearly this poor bitter guy who has a resentment toward Dave because he ended NOT the drummer in the Foo Fighters and making tons of dough and instead is in some third rate band and not happy and probably broke.

  • David Garrett

    We see Dave as he is now and I believe he’s much more transparent with his personality than before. He is much more upfront to the media than in the early days. We don’t know how he treated people at that time. Maybe he really was a hotheaded prick. People mellow out over time.

  • Mark Loj

    Calling bullshit. Dave is a legend. This guy wants a headline

  • Timmie Anne Archy

    What a whiny bitch
    What was the point of this article?
    He’s the real bully with a victim complex
    Week from now there’ll be an article about Dave’s amends to this guy.
    Cuz he’s fucking awesome.

  • THO’ NOT RABID FF-Fan like close friends I’d definitely pay to see them live AND whenever I come across new a new D interview I’ll listen to it as he never fails to entertain while giving unique perspective on topics AND not to mention his infectious energy/ & charisma is always a welcome respite from the dumdumm Millennial humdrum.

    …….I can see why he would say “Dave confuses cruelty for humor”. Similar to Corey Taylor’s Black Slagging Dave can be underhanded/passive aggressive with his public even. For example at D’s birthday party show at The Forum shortly before he died an obvious ill looking Lemmy joined them along with s slew of other guest musicians on stage and after Lemmy gave Dave a hug Dave went to the mic and made a disparaging/joke at Lemmy’s expense re: a certain “renowned fact” about the late Mr. Mr.Kilmister. Now having gone to the Rainbow Bar N’ Grill in Hollywood (Lemmy’s 2nd home) many x’s and walking past the late Icon myself I can attest to his “unique scent” …however Dave did it in such a way that on surface sounded like a COMPLIMENT…but those “in the know” (and on stage) chuckled under their breath. That Old Sick Rock God who could barely speak let alone sing went to Daves bday show cuz he was his friend…and D returned fav by doing that??…not cool.
    He’ll also slam rockstar’s behind their back but then go play with them if he’s asked (GN’R last year played Paradise City with them but it sound to me Dave was purposely singing it too fast… probably just me I know but still lol)

    And if a musician from a genre he doesn’t like/respect approaches him he IS something like a conceited bully and acts “holier than thou”. Sebastian Bach saw D backstage at another bands show (GN’R maybe circa 2011) and asked D to be on his radio-podcast at the time, now granted “Sebastian is Sebastian” but ultimately one could tell Bach was genuinely happy and maybe even a lil “star struck” at Dave’s presence but the way D was akwardly/obviously making his “exit stage left” because he either didn’t wanna be seen on camera or speak with Sebastian just rubbed me the wrong way; and in typical Sebastian fashion he was ignorant to this fact …which made it all the more cringe worthy when Sebastian asked D to “call him” and D sorta mockingly replied “yup…you got it…I’m gonna call ya” .. when he had no intention of doing so.
    …anyway … tho’ this isn’t just my opinion of him there are/have been far worse celebrities …and when FF come to town I’ll still pay to see them.

  • Pat Barnett

    Sounds like he is complaining about the road dog lifestyle and blaming it on Dave.

  • Joseph Obdami

    I’ve always thought there was a pushy way about Grohl that was more than self confidence, a sort of bravado, superiority thing. So yeah, the accusations ring true to me. That said, Grohl has done a lot of cool stuff that appears to be out of love for the fans and not self interest. That said on that last said, his persona has become larger than life as “the nicest guy in the biz”.

    Groh’s public nice guy behavior and persona is undoubtedly motivated by altruism and by self interest. He was getting as much joy as we all did when he let that 10 year old boy on stage and then sent the kid home with his guitar (his signature guitar model provided for free by Gibson…how much free advertising did Gibson get with that goodwill gesture? A lot. Still it was a good gesture)

    Yet, that particular event wasn’t entirely impromptu, was it? He’s done this so many times it’s practically scripted. Further, he knows it perpetuates and grows his good guy image. So sure, there’s self interest involved, but I don’t have a problem with that. Good guys like being good guys. Are we to believe that a “purposeful” nice guy is any less of a nice guy? I don’t see why. When you think about it, it’s not that hard to be *that* guy or maintain it once established

    Grohl is frickin’ rich with an estimated net worth of $250M.. He doesn’t have to do anything for money at this point in his life. So why the death march tours? What’s the point? Clearly he’s motivated by other things. Maybe one of those is staying in the public consciousness and being the “nicest, coolest, down to earth dude in the biz” because five years from now, it could be Dave who?

    Right after wealth is legacy. It’s not enough to be rich, you want to have an historical legacy and that is eternal (not really but anyone thinking in legacy terms…?) and it’s too precious to leave to others to tell your story, The smart money creates and crafts that legacy while they are still alive. Is that what Grohl is doing? I dunno. Did Elvis do it? McCartney? Elton John? Yes, yes, and yes.

    The other thing that strikes me as odd is it’s always Grohl being interviewed, and it’s always just Grohl in the media. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another Foo Fighter in a media piece until just now. It’s always been Grohl. The Foo Fighters are Grohl. It’s his band and he calls the shots and if you don’t like it…?

    Finally, there’s the element of subjectivity here. I don’t doubt Gopldsmith’s comments, but those are based on his personal experience and by his personal standards of what constitutes acceptable treatment and what doesn’t. That said, you generally have to really push someone’s to buttons to motivate them to “tell the world the truth.” How much would it stick in your craw to be on the receiving end of a colossal a-hole while all the while said a-hole has this saint like public image? There would be plenty of motivation to tell like it is.

    So yeah, this isn’t outlandish by a long shot.

    • sharkguitar

      It wouldn’t surprise me if the rest of the Foo Fighters are salaried sidemen or will be at some point in the future.

  • Sillyblondegirl7

    I would bet if I was given a taste of fame, then told I wasn’t as good as I thought I was, I might have sour grapes about the guy who said it too. He couldn’t hold a candle to Dave or Taylor on the skins. Not many people can. Everything I have ever read or heard about D.G. has been that he is a pretty cool guy. He loves the life, talks to the fans, he encourages kids to get into music…I mean how many rockers do you see doing that?. I don’t think that this guys word alone is going to change my mind about Dave Grohl. I LOVE D.G. and the Foo Fighters, and probably always will. I hope they keep touring long enough for me to see them live at least once before I die.

  • Barry Koechner

    Goldsmith seems to be under the impression that his fame and riches were stolen by Grohl. Is that because he recorded an album at Grohl’s studio that was never released, or was it because he quit after Grohl recorded the drum parts on The Colour and the Shape and the band went on to be one of the most famous modern rock bands in the world?

  • beadbop

    A clue for William Goldsmith: If you don’t dig touring, then don’t become a professional musician.

  • Carl Schreffler

    The big point this guy is fucking bitter because he fucking sucks and he got fired Tylor 100 times better than this fucking asshole!