Dave Grohl’s expletive-infused advice for aspiring musicians (NSFW)

Dave Growl is asked what advice he’d give to a new band trying to make it today. Dave doesn’t hold back in his answer. Warning: contains colorful language.

What do you think about Dave’s advice? Is he right on the money? Let us know in the comments below.

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18 comments to Dave Grohl’s expletive-infused advice for aspiring musicians (NSFW)

  • Yup.
    Just get out there and play.

  • Chris Doolittle

    He should have added something about the creative process also. There are tons of musicians who “beat the shit” out of their instruments live and that does draw attention to them but if they can’t create their own music then I doubt they will go anywhere. Nirvana’s and the Foo Fighters songs are what mostly attract people to them. Yes, for certain, get out there and play as much as you can but always push yourself as an artist also.

  • Nick Woodman

    Dave just described Chicago band Ockam’s Razor. These 3, 17yr old kids ABSOLUTELY DESTROY!!! Check this out!!!
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ockams-Razor/195605803809502

  • Glenn Coggeshell

    This is why Seattle was the biggest and last mark to the music industry..

  • HKRB

    I’m more insulted by the interviewer’s assertion that it would be “four guys.”

  • Yeah, this is important, of course – but practically speaking, this attitude is not so workable today. Of course one must have integrity as a craftsperson and an artist, but New York (and other major US cities especially) is full of great, tireless, super talented musicians who CAN’T AFFORD to even play live. Clubs don’t pay anymore. We are supposed to be wildly grateful for the “exposure” and two drink tickets when everyone else makes money off of us – the club, the bartender, the waitresses, etc.. Musicians are doing music part time and are unable to live cheaply enough so that they CAN say “fuck it” and just play and get great. In Dave’s Seattle, this was possible, partly because of the times and partly because there was a great community of musicians who supported each other and made things happen. I’m not putting all the blame on the outside, musicians would do well to set aside their competitiveness and form collectives and make “scenes” happen again, but its just super difficult to do what he’s advocating, way more so than when he did it.

    Also, I say this because musicians need to know that they are treated like the “redheaded stepchildren” of the arts and start demanding respect, which the new kids don’t do because they came up at a time when all music is free and fair game for stealing. Thanks Dave, for the encouragement, but let’s hear you say something about how musicians can also be professionals, and even though they may not crave superstardom, they should at least expect to be paid fairly and be able to pursue their dreams without being homeless and starving. Music is important in its own right but its quickly becoming so commodified its too prohibitive for most people to do WITHOUT thinking in terms of going straight to the top. Unless you get a fat 360 deal with a major label, you will have small chance of getting radio play (unlike in the 80s) and have very small chance of having music be a sustainable career, which it should be able to be if you’re good and you work hard, right?

    I have friends in Canada, Europe and UK who do not have problems to the same degree that we have here, they get respect from their governments and are able to form collectives where everyone is able to grow and get heard. And in my opinion, music scenes and culture in general there is thriving and is way more diverse than it is here. They have their corporate-sounding crap but much more diversity on radio and way, way, way better music club scenes than we do here, outside of maybe New Orleans. Its just everywhere and the attitude is that musicians are respected artists, even if they’re not winners of some corporate talent show. Things will never change here unless we demand it does.

    Join Content Creators Coalition – https://www.facebook.com/ContentCreatorsCoalition?ref=br_tf or the Future of Music Coalition – http://www.futureofmusic.org and take action to stop the exploitation of artists. Then go back into the woodshed and play your ass off.

  • Alexa Weber Morales

    Yup.

  • Alexa Weber Morales

    Dave Grohl is hot.

  • Alexa Weber Morales

    Final thought, everyone should read David Byrne’s description of what it takes to make a “scene” like what Talking Heads came up in at CBGB in New York. Basically, being listened to is overrated. It’s not about that, it’s about cross-fertilization, and developing your live gig until you CAN’T be ignored.

  • jeffkain

    I know Dave is generalizing about ‘bands,’ but there are also serious singer-songwriter types like Harry Nilsson (back in the day.) Some people will say, ‘Who?’ Nilsson rarely, if at all, performed publicly. He was a songwriter and recording artist first and foremost – not a performer. I am not sure playing live is the be-all end-all formula or magic solution. I don’t think you have to go over the top by playing loud or raucously when performing live, just for the sake of it; but, your songs should stand on their own and captivate and move your audience, whether there is only one or there are 1,000 listeners. How about Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows?” One of Dave’s friend’s, Sir Paul McCartney’s, favorite songs and recordings, as well as Sir George Martin’s – a gorgeous piece of music perfectly married to lyric. So, it’s not always about volume or thrashing. Sometimes the talent and beauty lay in the subtle eloquence of a solo performer, like that of a small weed in the crack of a sidewalk that catches your eye. I have seen the genius of a singer with a guitar move mountains and been blown away. Perhaps Dave’s interview was edited, but it is and has always been the song…along with the performance – be it recorded or live.

  • Glen Burg

    That might explain how the band to which I’m currently closest has such a strong local following: great songs done live as great (and loud) as we can. That might also explain how I accidentally landed in the band (serious!): by showing up to play without having any idea of what or whom I was about to play with, just wanting to play as if my life depended on it. And in its own special way, it does. Thanks Dave: hopefully one day I can be good enough for someone like you to rave about me like I do at times about you.

  • Darrell G Looney

    This is all VERY, VERY true. Still, all of that product placement etc. is important because for a complete package, the artist must achieve balance between the backend support and the awesome badass on the front end stage presentation.

  • Greenhouse Effect

    If he really gave a shit and cared, he’d be on the internet at Night and looking for the best bands and helping them. He’s full of shit. I don’t listen to anything this guy says or ANYBODY inside the Music industry – They only care about themselves and their bank accounts.

  • Andrew Ferris

    Great words from a great guy. He’s been a hero of mine for a long time and I’m about to get back into playing live and I’m going for it. No excuses. I will be the best kazoo player you’ve ever seen.

  • shill1

    Achieving what you want to achieve with your music is the key; and no one knows what that is better than you.

  • Amen Dave. nevermind all the BS, get up and rock people!

  • I am also strictly a songwriter / recording artist and Harry is the perfect example besides Steely Dan , both two of my biggest influences along with Brian Eno . In all other areas of art real talent is noticed by the powers that be on some level , but play a great song even very well recorded by master pro players for ten clueless music business ” experts ” and the only thing you may ever hear is no this doesn’t sound like the mainstream generic Pop over production style and will never work . To make it even worse I sang an original song I wrote OVER a clip from a Justin Beiber track just to test these fools and a well known industry idiot named Peter Stoller the son or grandson of the Leiber and Stoller / Elvis connection said ” Your production is all WRONG ! REALLY you f-ing moron!
    There is however an answer to fix all this , a new Artists Union concept I have in mind . If all the artists got together we could send these jerks packing and put the music business in the hands of the Artists and cut out all clueless middle men ! I am at danielthemaddash.com if you get a second

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