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Dave Grohl Says He Lifted Drumming Techniques From Early Disco Pioneers During Nirvana Years

| July 3, 2021

Grohl revealed the mind-blowing connection in an interview with Pharrell Williams while discussing his early career influences.

Foo Fighters surprised the music world last week after revealing they were working on covering several Bee Gees hits under a new disco alias they’re calling the Dee Gees.

As the dust continues to settle, frontman Dave Grohl—who spent four years as the drummer for legendary rock band Nirvana—has added some additional context to the forthcoming music, revealing that he derived inspiration from disco since the early days of his career.

As NME notes, Grohl’s illuminating comments came in a new interview with Pharrell Williams. “I can’t read music. I couldn’t then, and I still can’t now. All I wanted to do was be in a line of drummers all playing drums,” Grohl said. “If you listen to Nevermind, the Nirvana record, I pulled so much stuff from The Gap Band, and Cameo, and Tony Thompson on every one of those songs. It’s all disco, that’s all it is. Nobody makes the connection.”

Although as it turns out, at least one of Grohl’s inspirations, Chic drummer Tony Thompson, had in fact made the connection. “He came to my house for a barbecue with somebody,” Grohl recalled. “I was like, ‘Man, I just want to thank you because I owe you so much I’ve been ripping you off my whole life.’ He goes, ‘I know.’”

Looking back at the tape, Grohl’s story checks out. The revelation leads to a reaction of genuine surprise even from Williams, who admits he’d never registered the connection. Listen to Grohl and Williams talk shop below and stay tuned for the Dee Gees’ debut record on July 17th. 

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