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Why Won’t Foo Fighters Play Nirvana Songs?

Dave Grohl's Sound City Players
(Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has revealed in a new interview with why he chose to never perform songs by his previous band Nirvana with the Foos. Even though he was Nirvana’s drummer for two albums through the most successful stage of their career, Grohl decided to sink or swim with his own songs after Kurt Cobain’s death ended Nirvana in 1994.

Grohl explained, “There’s a reason why the Foo Fighters don’t blast out Nirvana songs every night: because we have a lot of respect for them. You know, that’s hallowed ground. We have to be careful. We have to tread lightly. We have talked about it before, but the opportunity hasn’t really come up, or it just hasn’t felt right.”

Grohl also gave a similar explanation for why Nirvana’s catalog hasn’t been commercially exploited, saying, “There’s a reason why you don’t see Nirvana’s songs in chewing-gum commercials. Krist (Novoselic, bassist) and I do our best to try to keep that sort of thing from happening. The band stood for something; we took pride in our integrity and in our band.”

Grohl and Novoselic have collaborated in recent times after many years without doing so: Novoselic made a guest appearance on the last Foo Fighters album, Wasting Light, while the pair along with Nirvana/Foos guitarist Pat Smear backed Paul McCartney on a new song called “Cut Me Some Slack.”

That track appears on Sound City: Real To Reel, the companion album to Grohl’s new documentary, Sound City, about a legendary Los Angeles studio.

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