Friday, February 17, 2012

Dave Grohl releases follow-up "clarification" of Grammy speech

A lot of us applauded Dave Grohl's Grammy acceptance speech Sunday, which singled out the Autotuning of America (and the rest of the world), but some viewers and fellow musicians weren't so happy. So the Foo Fighters' (pictured) released a letter Grohl drafted  further explaining his position and his appreciation for electronic music. See below:

Oh, what a night we had last Sunday at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. The glitz! The Glamour! SEACREST! Where do I begin?? Chillin' with Lil' Wayne...meeting Cyndi Lauper's adorable mother...the complimentary blinking Coldplay bracelet.....much too much to recap. It's really is still a bit of a blur. But, if there's one thing that I remember VERY clearly, it was accepting the Grammy for Best Rock Performance...and then saying this:

"To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of music is what's important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that's the most important thing for people to do... It's not about being perfect, it's not about sounding absolutely correct, it's not about what goes on in a computer. It's about what goes on in here [your heart] and what goes on in here [your head]."

       Not the Gettysburg Address, but hey......I'm a drummer, remember?

      Well, me and my big mouth. Never has a 33 second acceptance rant evoked such caps-lock postboard rage as my lil' ode to analog recording has. OK....maybe Kanye has me on this one, but....Imma let you finish....just wanted to clarify something...

      I love music. I love ALL kinds of music. From Kyuss to Kraftwerk, Pinetop Perkins to Prodigy, Dead Kennedys to Deadmau5.....I love music. Electronic or acoustic, it doesn't matter to me. The simple act of creating music is a beautiful gift that ALL human beings are blessed with. And the diversity of one musician's personality to the next is what makes music so exciting and.....human. 

      That's exactly what I was referring to. The "human element". That thing that happens when a song speeds up slightly, or a vocal goes a little sharp. That thing that makes people sound like PEOPLE. Somewhere along the line those things became "bad" things, and with the great advances in digital recording technology over the years they became easily "fixed". The end result? I my humble opinion.....a lot of music that sounds perfect, but lacks personality. The one thing that makes music so exciting in the first place.

     And, unfortunately,  some of these great advances have taken the focus off of the actual craft of performance. Look, I am not Yngwie Malmsteen. I am not John Bonham. Hell...I'm not even Josh Groban, for that matter. But I try really ******* hard so that I don't have to rely on anything but my hands and my heart to play a song. I do the best that I possibly can within my limitations, and accept that it sounds like me. Because that's what I think is most important. It should be real, right? Everybody wants something real.

     I don't know how to do what Skrillex does (though I ******* love it) but I do know that the reason he is so loved is because he sounds like Skrillex, and that's bad***. We have a different process and a different set of tools, but the "craft" is equally as important, I'm sure. I mean.....if it were that easy, anyone could do it, right? (See what I did there?)

    So, don't give me two Crown Royals and then ask me to make a speech at your wedding, because I might just bust into the advantages of recording to 2 inch tape. 

      Now, I think I have to go scream at some kids to get off my lawn. 

      Stay frosty.     



  1. This is what I got out of it the first time. People got so up-in-arms about the first statement ("It's not about what goes on in a computer") that they missed the second: "it's aboutWhat what goes on in [your heart]". It didn't seem like an attack against Deadmau5 or Skrillex at all. I took it more as a statement against acts like against Rhianna (next time try at least keeping the mic near your mouth if you're going to lip synch babe...). There's great music coming from the electronic community, and guess what! Those notes didn't put themselves together to sound good.

  2. He didn't need to rehash what he said, I got it and loved it. That was the best moment on the show. Grohl is treasure, yet seems so down to earth.

    He is being too kind, a lot of the electronic stuff is overdone and the corrections in the studio. Long live live music and the foo fighters.

    If you haven't seen the foo fighters documentary "Back and Forth' I highly recommend it. You should check that out Courtney if you haven't seen it.

  3. the end of the documentary Back and Forth is the band making the album that won so many Grammy's in Dave's house(he referenced in one of his talks). It is a good watch.

    1. That to me is the essence of his speech... Once upon a time kids used to actually learn how to play - nowadays, they learn to sample and cut up and "enhance"... Not saying they're not talented, just in a different way.

  4. So much of music has become about an image. Like as long as you fit the image, producers can make you sound the part. Take a look at Ke$ha and LMFAO. They fit an image but have minimal musical talent. So they go into a studio, someone gives them some nice beats and autotune and ta-da pop hits.

    Dave Grohl was spot on, the human element is what really matters. It was a refreshing reminder, and its good to see the Grammy voters still appreciate it by nominating/awarding talented musicians like the Foos, Adele, Bon Iver, etc.

  5. I know, always late to the party...Not sure why anyone wold take offense to that speech & wish I could have seen it. Appreciate your letter too. Keep on rockin'.
    A fellow Aberdeenite (Aberdeenonian?)