While everyone knows Dave Grohl as the frontman (and, on the first album, only man) in Foo Fighters and powerhouse drummer from Nirvana, his rock ‘n’ roll resume is actually a whole lot longer and more diverse than you might reallize. He’s collaborated with everyone from Ghost and Mike Watt to Tom Petty and the Zac Brown Band, bringing his versatility and trademark enthusiasm to every project he can get his hands on.
While we could probably write a novel about his different collaborations over the years, we’re focusing on his work with ten artists who have played Riot Fest before. You probably already know about some of these, but we’re pretty confident there are at least a couple that will surprise you…
Dave’s been a supporter of The D since day one! Since their self-titled debut back in 2001, Dave has played drums on every Tenacious D studio album. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also painted himself red to play Satan in the “Tribute” music video and their 2006 cult classic, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny.
Nine Inch Nails
Dave once called Trent Reznor his generation’s “most talented musician-producer-songwriter,” and it sounds like the admiration is mutual. He was brought in to play drums on nearly half of 2005’s With Teeth, including highlights like “Every Day Is Exactly The Same” and “The Line Begins to Blur.” More than a decade later, they would join forces again for “The Idea of You” on NIN’s Not the Actual Events EP.
Queens of the Stone Age
Come on, you knew this one was coming. Dave had wanted to play on Rated R, but he and Josh Homme wouldn’t actually work together until 2002’s Songs for the Deaf. To achieve the perfect drum sound, they recorded each of his parts twice – once with drums and once with only cymbals.
Dave became a fan of Chan Marshall’s songwriting after hearing songs from 1998’s Moon Pix on a mixtape. Five years later, he’d be joining her in to the studio for the You Are Free sessions. His work on songs like “He War” and “Speak For Me” are surprisingly loose and understated compared to most of his work, and he even contributes a rare bass part on “Shaking Paper.”
Now, this one might be a little surprising. Dave had been an outspoken fan of British big beat stars The Prodigy since 1997, when The Fat of the Land was dominating the world. His powerful drumming was the perfect addition to their hard-hitting sound, and their work together on “Run With The Wolves” was an undeniable highlight on 2009’s Invaders Must Die.
Lee Ving (Fear)
While most of these artists are his peers, Dave got to work with some heroes on the soundtrack to his Sound City documentary. While his songs with Paul McCartney and Stevie Nicks got more mainstream attention, “Your Wife Is Calling” with Lee Ving of Fear is a throwback punk barnburner that sounds like something Dave would’ve loved when he was in high school.
Corey Taylor (Slipknot) and Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick)
This time he worked with two Riot Fest artists in one song! Another standout from the Sound City album, “From Can to Can’t” is a brooding, devastating ballad that unfurls over the course of five minutes. Most people wouldn’t think to combine an intense metal singer with the ultimate power pop guitarist, but this experiment works.
For her seventh album, The Knife Shift, Kristeen Young enlisted the help of Morrissey collaborator Boz Boorer, Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear and – you guessed it – Dave Grohl on drums and guitar. He even joined her backing band for a one-off performance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in support of the record.
Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead)
Few musicians made an impact on Dave quite like Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead. They would work together on the “White Limo” video and performed live together a few times, but the first time these two rock gods joined forces was on Dave’s metal side project, Probot. “Shake Your Blood” is heavy, high-octane and loaded with the dangerous swagger you’d expect from Lemmy.
Check out our playlist featuring even more collaborations with Garbage, Halsey and Liam Gallagher, and be there when Dave makes his Riot Fest debut with Foo Fighters on Friday, September 15!