Has Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl ever sung a Nirvana song?

3 January 2022, 13:00

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl at Reading Festival 2019 - Day  Three
Why Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl won't sing Nirvana songs. Picture: Simone Joyner/Getty Images

By Jenny Mensah

The Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer has talked about the grunge band and revealed why you won't be hearing him perform the vocals.

Dave Grohl is one of the few lucky people to have experienced being in one of the biggest bands in the world TWICE.

Not only is he the frontman of the mighty Foo Fighters, but he also drummed for Nirvana until the tragic death of their frontman Kurt Cobain in 1994.

While Grohl has gotten back behind the drum kit to perform the iconic grunge band's biggest tracks from time to time, would he ever step up to the mic to sing a Nirvana song?

Find out if Dave Grohl has ever performed Nirvana vocals and if not, why not?

READ MORE: What Foo Fighters song is about Kurt Cobain?

Nirvana in 1991
Nirvana disbanded after the tragic death of Kurt Cobain in 1994. Picture: Paul Bergen/Redferns/Getty

Has Dave Grohl ever sung a Nirvana song?

Dave Grohl revealed why he would never perform the vocals on a Nirvana track. Speaking in a recent interview with Classic Rock magazine, he said: "I wouldn't feel comfortable singing a song that Kurt sang. I feel perfectly at home playing those songs on the drums. And I love playing them with Krist and Pat and another vocalist."

He added: "I still have dreams that we're in Nirvana, that we're still a band. I still dream there's an empty arena waiting for us to play.

"But I don't sit down at home and run through Smells Like Teen Spirit by myself. It's just a reminder that the person who is responsible for those beautiful songs is no longer with us. It's bittersweet."

READ MORE: Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl still dreams that he's in Nirvana

Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain in 1990
Kurt Cobain is believed to have been impressed by Grohl's singing voice. Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty

What did Kurt Cobain think Dave Grohl's singing?

It's been reported that Cobain thought his bandmate was a good singer and even felt a touch envious about it.

2019 saw the band's former manager Danny Goldberg release his book, Serving The Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain, in which he discusses his memories of the late grunge icon.

Speaking to The Washington Post, he said: "Kurt just said to me, ‘I don’t think you realise how good a singer Dave is, but I hear him singing harmonies every night.’"

Goldberg added: "It was like he was really doing it so I would know this because there was this very fraternal side of him and a sweet side of him, but also it had a touch of envy in it. I mean he was competitive".

Photo of Kurt Cobain in 1991
The Kurt Cobain-penned You Know You're Right was the last song the band recorded before his death. Picture: Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty

Which Nirvana song does Dave Grohl find it most hard to listen to?

Dave Grohl said that he finds You Know You're Right, the first song on the band's eponymous greatest hits album, is "heartbreaking" to listen to.

Speaking to The Guardian about the track, he revealed: "I listened to it for the first time in 10 years [recently]. Oh God, it’s hard to listen to."

Talking about the track, which was the last song the band recorded before Cobain's death in April 1994, he continued: "It was not a pleasant time for the band. Kurt was unwell. Then he was well. Then he was unwell. The last year of the band was tough…By the time we got to Europe I remember it being cold. It was the first time I felt depression. There was one day where I couldn’t get out of bed. I started to question why we were even there."

Speaking about that time and the fact that Cobain took his life soon after recording it, Grohl added: "You look back on [the song] and you read it through a different lens".

"Lyrically, it’s heartbreaking," he mused.

"He was in a place we may not have recognised. Musically, there’s something cathartic…You know, I miss his voice. I miss him…“I don’t think he was comfortable in the place that he was at the time…I don’t know if anybody was. But his experience was much different. I used to think it sounded like he was singing the chorus. Now I listen to it and it’s like he’s wailing."

This is what Nirvana's Kurt Cobain thought of Dave Grohl's singing...

Dave Grohl in 1997
Dave Grohl admitted he found it hard to talk about his friend Kurt after he passed away. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

READ MORE: Dave Grohl: "I wasn’t going to pick up where Nirvana left off"

How did Dave Grohl cope with the death of Kurt Cobain?

Kurt Cobain tragically lost his life to suicide on 5 April 1994, aged just 27, and Dave Grohl has talked about the effects of his passing in recent years.

In Rolling Stone's Musicians on Musicians interview with Grohl and The Beatles legend Ringo Starr, the pair talked about losing the shared experience of losing their bandmates suddenly and unexpectedly.

On Cobain, mused: "Well, I realized when Kurt died that there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. It takes funny turns. You’ll be numb. You’ll remember the good things, then you’ll turn and remember some dark times."

The Learn To Fly singer added: "And it’s also difficult when one of your friends or someone that you’re very close to, in real life, has become something more than a human being to others. So you sit in an interview and someone asks you these questions that are really emotional, that you’d never ask another stranger."He added: "'How’d you feel when your brother died?' 'How’d you feel when your family member died?' It’s just not something that you’d meet someone and say. So it was tough for a while, but I realized that it was important for me to continue with life, and the thing that saved my life was music. More than a few times before that, my life was saved by playing music."

READ MORE: Kurt Cobain was an Abba fan

Nirvana Reunion Smells Like Teen Spirit Live at Cal Jam 2018

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