Dave Grohl Clarifies His Grammys Speech

Categories: WTF
"Rather than go to the best studio in the world down the street in Hollywood and rather than use all of the fanciest computers that money can buy, we made this one in my garage with some microphones and a tape machine...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."
Remember that statement? That's what Dave Grohl said at the Grammys last Sunday, which had people dissing him for being anti-digital, anti-DJ and anti-technology--and sounding quite hypocritical given that he performed with Deadmau5 later that night as well. He backpedals ferociously in this statement released today...read it after the jump and talk amongst yourselves if you think he's making too big a deal out of it.

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 fucking 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 fucking love it) but I do know that the reason he is so loved is because he sounds like Skrillex, and that's badass. 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.


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My Voice Nation Help

I think he's spot on, and anyone who misinterpreted must be minions of the recording industry...


Just do what you do and try to do it well...I've known a lot of musicians, from knob-twisters and violin virtuosos to ham-fisted drummers, guitar shredders and guys that sit in front of a Mac all day and night mixing midi clips. It's incredibly rare to make it mainstream and if you need to compare yourself to Dave Grohl to validate your existence and your art, you're missing the point. Good job, Dave, and keep sticking to your guns.


He didnt even need to apologize... If you cant play an instrument you shouldnt call yourself a musician.  Just because a dude with a fucked up hair cut is really good a t DJ hero doesn't make him a musician... The people who made the music that he is remixing are musicians... 

Rayann Castro
Rayann Castro

I don't think he's making a big deal out of it. I think a lot of others are making a big deal out of his speech though. He said what he said, so be it. I personally didn't associate what he said at the Grammy's directly to DJs or Deadmau5 or Steve Jobs or any other computer driven entity. I do agree that a lot of music now relies heavily on auto tune and creates relentless monotony among many artists. I understood his speech as "see? You can still do something great in an effing garage. Lay off the auto tune." But I don't think he dissed every DJ in this great land...but hey, that just my take on it :)

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