When Dave Grohl appeared on the spicy YouTube talk show Hot Ones this week, the Foo Fighters bandleader gave an appetizing piece of advice to new bands. And he said he feels it’s the most important thing about promoting themselves.
Dining with host Sean Evans on the show that interviews entertainers as they eat progressively hotter chicken wings, Grohl, also a bestselling author and former Nirvana drummer, was asked how he feels about the new ways music is discovered and consumed.
Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.
“I still believe that the most important way to promote yourself as an artist is to fucking play live,” Grohl replied. “That’s it. Because when a human being sees another human being onstage ripping, there is this sort of connection. And it’s inspiring because you’re like, Oh my God, human beings can do that.“
He continued, “I think we’ve been so conditioned to everything becoming kind of mechanical in a way. You see it and you’re like, Oh yeah, that’s cool. Yeah, look at the lights and look at all the fuckin’ shit. But if you see someone sitting in front of you with just wood and wires, shredding a guitar. Or someone with an amazing voice and no microphone. Or like the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans — you go sit in that tiny room and there are no microphones, there’s no nothing. It’s just church pews and a jazz band. And it moves your heart. That’s the way to do it. I’m convinced.”
Grohl gave the blues-rock act Alabama Shakes as an example of a band that successfully used his proposed method. For Evans, he charted their ascent from side-stage fest performers to Grammy contenders. (Alabama Shakes are currently on indefinite hiatus while Brittany Howard has released solo music.)
“That’s how you’re supposed to do it,” the Foo Fighters frontman said of the Shakes. “That’s what I think. You gotta get out there, beat the fuckin’ street and play live. And be a badass. If you’re a fucking badass, that shit will happen. But you gotta work it.”
Foo Fighters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after releasing their latest album, last year’s Medicine at Midnight. The band’s horror-comedy film Studio 666 opened on Friday (Feb. 25).
See Dave’s advice at 14:47 in the video below.