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Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl believes his band’s success has been bolstered by music pirates the world over, who have shared Foo Fighters recordings and thus led to the band selling out stadiums across the globe.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Grohl discussed the return of the cassette as part of an article about Record Store Day, which is, in fact, tomorrow — Saturday, 18th April. Grohl is RSD 2015’s official ambassador, you see?
Grohl compared the introduction of cassettes to the rise of digital downloads, before suggesting that wider access to downloadable music has led to an increase in people heading out to Foo Fighters gigs, no matter if those downloads are paid for or not.
“The funny thing about cassettes is that they were such a threat to the music industry back then,” Grohl said. “When cassettes became popular there were these bumper stickers everywhere that said ‘Home taping is killing the record industry’.
“When digital downloading became the industry’s next biggest threat, it just totally echoed what happened when cassettes became popular. Like, ‘Wait a minute, the listener is in control? No!’ And to me, I was like, ‘F— yeah, man!’”
“When I was a punk-rock kid growing up outside of Washington, D.C., we were swapping cassettes of band’s demos. Whenever someone got the Fugazi demos, we’d all dub it for each other. But then we’d go see Fugazi play, and we’d sing every f—ing word to every one of those songs. We might not have bought the record, but we went to every one of those shows.
“I think that’s what’s happening with the Foo Fighters now. With the Foo Fighters, we’re not selling as many records as we used to, but we’re selling out stadiums, because the people are getting the music somehow and they’re coming to the shows, and they’re singing every word. For me, that live interaction is what made me fall in love with music.”
Grohl’s words echo a similar statement he made late last year, in which he said he didn’t mind how much people pay (or don’t pay) for his music, as long as they “just listen to the f**king song”.
Foo Fighters toured Australia in February, playing to huge crows of
pirates fans across the country. The group might be back sooner than expected, though — they’ve suggested that a new series of Sonic Highways might eventually end up on Aussie shores.
Image: Foo Fighters Live In Sydney 26/02/15 / Photo: Paul Cush