Dave Grohl on Depression and Introspection

Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters playing at the 2011 NME Awards

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As the sensitive nature of mental health continue to make its rounds, a beloved musician just recently opened up about his own struggle—Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl brought out the skeletons in his closet regarding his post-tour depression two years ago.

 

Broken Leg Tour

 

The band’s “Sonic Highways World Tour” began on December 2014 and unexpected ended on November 2015 following the Paris attacks. During their show in Gothenburg, Sweden, Grohl took a hard fall off the stage and into the security pit after a miscalculated a jump onto a ramp. As he lied on the ground, he announced the possibility of a broken leg followed by the confirmation of “I think I really broke my leg!”

 

Normally, a broken leg means the end of a show. You’re just a terrible person if you force your favorite musician to continue on an injury. However, because of Grohls’ dedication to their fans, he took a quick trip to the hospital for some bandages and went right back on stage. The Foos played the rest of their two and a half hour show with Grohl on a chair. They continued touring for another four months with their singer on a “Game of Thrones”-esque chair, but had to cancel five of the following shows including Glastonbury.

Falling Into Bad Patterns

 

Grohl narrated his post-tour life on Kerrang!’s latest issue and touched on the misery he felt. He explains the exhaustion everyone involved in the tour felt and how his crutches became a bigger burden.

 

“…Usually, at the end of a couple of years of being on the road, you blame the music and the band for all of your problems, so you want to get away from it. And I didn’t want to pick up a guitar. I wasn’t feeling creative, or prolific, or inspired. So I just went back to normal, quiet domestic life.”

 

He didn’t leave the house for weeks, staying in his unwashed pyjamas and growing out his Jesus beard. While all this played out, he was in talks of making his directorial debut. This meant the possibility of a Foo Fighters hiatus and Grohl couldn’t live with that idea.

 

“That was at the point that I realised the music wasn’t the thing that was making my life worse – it was actually the thing that always made my life better.”

 

Learning to Walk Again

 

Months passed and Grohl locked himself on the second floor studio of his California home. 15 minutes of his day were spent banging on his original instrument, the drums, to help with the physical therapy. A few months after, he reunited with his guitar and the floodgates burst wide open.

 

“Once you wake that back up, it’s like the dam bursts and you start getting more and more ideas. I did it on my own for a little while, and got really excited that my heart was still in it, so then I started sending the guys these ideas, riffs, melodies.”

 

With a guitar, microphone, and a case of wine, he retired to an olive tree farm Airbnb for a week. He honed his improvisational lyric-writing technique by singing things off of the top of his head, but he additionally came to a realization: “This one came out pretty clear: I’m a father now, I have to consider a lot more than I used to, and I think I’ve realised we’re not all as free as we were before…”

 

America’s heated political scene triggered Grohl’s “freakish punk rock feelings” from his teen days and gave birth to “Run,” the first single from their newly-released album “Concrete and Gold.” He explains, “It’s basically that need to escape when you feel like everything is coming down around you, that you just want to find a perfect place, or another perfect life, where you’re free to run.”

 

Dave Grohl’s beautiful story of depression and introspection reflects on “Concrete and Gold,” an album we’ll be jamming to for the next few months. It’s never easy to talk about your struggles with mental health, but we hope his openness sends the message that it’s never something to be ashamed about. Now run along (no pun intended) and listen to the album. We promise you’ll love it.

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Along with being U DO U's Editor-in-Chief, Sophie enjoys lugging her analogue cameras around to capture unalterable moments. When away from the office you can find her either stuck in a near-death situation on the Central Cordillera Mountains, vibing with the waves of Liwliwa, or on a flight back home to Hong Kong. Find out what she's up to on Instagram @sophiecaraan_ and say hello!

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