One of the best things about Marc Maron's new interview with Dave Grohl (which was posted on Thursday) is the fact that it really doesn't feel like an interview at all. As is the style with a lot of Maron's interviews, his conversation is just that - a very off-the-cuff conversation that finds two music fans spending about an hour and ten minutes discussing the artists, singles and albums that make them tick.
It is Grohl's new Sound City documentary that puts the two of them in the same room at Grohl's garage studio where the Neve board from the legendary studio now lives, but discussion of the film, while it is certainly present, resides in the background as Maron and Grohl discuss the musical elements that were so important to Dave as a music fan, which in part, would eventually give Grohl the fuel to make the Sound City film. But at the same time, they do spend a lot of time discussing the craft of recording and the way it was compared to the way it is these days and what has been lost.
Recording, as Grohl notes, is something that anybody can do now:
"Now a kid can get a recording program and a computer and a couple of microphones and record his band in his living room. But what I'm trying to explain in Sound City is that the magic moments that are made musically, happen when a performer embraces and accepts their human element, which I consider to be the imperfections and that's the personality of playing."
"You know what happens now? People walk in the studio and they do two takes and they go 'yeah, just throw it in the Tools.' The second Foo Fighters record, which was made when Pro Tools was available, we did it with this producer named Gil Norton, [an] English dude who made all of the Pixies records. He's great.
He had me doing f--king guitar takes, like 40 f--king takes in a row, to get it perfect. I played drums on that record too and I'm like "oh, this will be a cinch." From f--king noon til midnight on one song...I looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger by the end of that [day] and I told him like "what are you f--king hearing, that I'm not hearing, dude?"
Marc Maron: What did he say?
[Laughs] I don't remember! Something that I didn't agree with, probably!
Whether you're a Foo Fighters/Dave Grohl fan or not, you'll enjoy listening to Maron's conversation with Grohl. There's a lot of F-bombs flying back and forth in the very spirited dialogue between the pair, but in between all of that, there's discussion of the expected topics (Nirvana's experiences recording Nevermind at Sound City) and some things that might surprise you, if you're less familiar with Grohl as a music fan -- such as his love of AM Gold. Maron and Grohl spend a decent piece of the conversation paying tribute to the genius of Andrew Gold.
(And hearing Grohl enthuse about his love for the new David Bowie single, you're struck again by how much of a music fan he really is....and why wouldn't he be? But hearing his enthusiasm when talking about things like that -- that's something that you can't fake.)
As is usually the case, Maron left me with some musical homework in the form of a BBC documentary on former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green. As soon as I have 90 minutes to spare, I'll be giving that a watch, for sure.
Check out Marc Maron's interview with Dave Grohl here -- it's the latest episode of Maron's great WTF with Marc Maron podcast, which if you're unfamiliar with that, I might have just sent you plummeting down a big rabbit hole that is approximately 353 episodes deep. You'll enjoy yourself, so don't worry about that.
I could spend a lot of time transcribing some of my favorite moments from this interview, but it's really 70 minutes that you should enjoy for yourself, as it was originally created.
(Although I will note that Grohl does address the possibility of bonus footage on a DVD release, which I was wondering about. It sounds like it will happen, but even the bonus material won't begin to scratch the surface, because as Grohl shares, he shot over 1500 hours of footage for the new film -- let me in THAT vault to spend a few weeks watching video!)
Here are some Youtube clips from the debut of Grohl's Sound City Players, from the official premiere of the Sound City movie at Sundance. (Kudos to RTMorasonMDNew for his awesome footage....this is one of those rare moments where I support some guy in the crowd filming every single moment onstage!)