Dave Grohl says Kurt Cobain once considered replacing him in Nirvana

Nirvana
Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain, and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards. Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage
  • Dave Grohl recently discussed his time as Nirvana’s drummer in an interview with Vulture.
  • He revealed that Kurt Cobain once considered replacing him with someone “more rudimental.”
  • The Foo Fighters frontman also opened up about his reaction to Cobain’s death.

Dave Grohl opened up about his relationship with Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain in a recent interview with Vulture.

Despite their close bond, the Foo Fighters frontman revealed that Cobain once considered replacing him with a different drummer in the legendary punk-rock band.

Grohl said they were on the road to Los Angeles with bassist Krist Novoselic to start rehearsals for the “In Utero” tour, the band’s third and final album, released on September 13, 1993.

“I was sitting a few rows ahead of Kurt and Krist. I could hear Kurt saying, ‘I think we need a drummer that’s more rudimental, along the lines of Dan Peters,’ who was the guy they almost hired when I joined the band,” Grohl said.

Peters had originally been recruited by Cobain and Novoselic to drum for Nirvana, but he was already a member of the Seattle band Mudhoney, so Grohl got the gig instead.

“I was really upset because I thought things were OK,” Grohl continued. “I talked to Krist, and I said, ‘Is that really what you guys want to do? Because if that’s what you want, maybe just let me know, and we can call it a day.’ I eventually talked to Kurt about it, and he said, ‘No. That’s not what we want to do.'”

“I just felt like, ‘It’s up to you guys what kind of drummer you really want,’ and they decided I should stay,” he added.

Nirvana
Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana perform in December 1993. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

At the time, Grohl said the band was “on shaky ground for a lot of reasons.”

Cobain suffered two overdoses before he ultimately died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1994. In Nirvana’s final year, Grohl said he would “wake up every day not knowing what was going to happen next.”

“The sudden rise to fame in that band was traumatic,” he explained. “I can’t speak for Kurt, and I don’t usually because he’s not around to speak for himself. Each of us dealt with it in different ways, but ultimately that’s a hard thing to navigate.”

Shortly after Cobain’s death, Grohl founded Foo Fighters as a one-man project, later recruiting Nirvana’s touring guitarist Pat Smear and two members of the former Seattle band Sunny Day Real Estate, bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith.

Although the lineup has since been shuffled, Foo Fighters remains one of the most beloved American rock bands in history and will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this weekend.

Asked how he’s managed to avoid “major scandals” in his long career, Grohl reflected on the lasting impact of Cobain’s death.

“I’ll go back to when Kurt died,” he explained. “The next morning, I woke up and I realized he wasn’t coming back and I was lucky to have another day. I sat and made a cup of coffee. ‘I can have a cup of coffee today. But he can’t.’ I got in my car to take a drive. ‘Beautiful day. Sun’s out. I’m experiencing this. He can’t.'”

“It was then I realized no matter how good or bad a day, I wanted to be alive to experience it,” Grohl continued. “That becomes your divining rod. I just want to get to tomorrow. I just want to fucking make it one more day.”