Dave Grohl is one of the most well-known drummers, playing for Nirvana since 1990 and for the Foo Fighters when Nirvana disbanded in ‘94. What isn’t widely known, though, is that the drummer almost joined metal band GWAR instead of one of the most iconic grunge bands of all time.
According to an article on Loudwire, after Grohl’s band Scream disbanded, he considered joining Gwar. He recalls talking to guitarist Dewey Rowell (also known as Flattus Maximus) about the freedom of designing his own costume for shows, but the gore of the band made Grohl change his mind.
There are a few discrepancies, however, regarding his potential spot in the band. While Mike Bishop confirmed Grohl’s story with Rolling Stone, his alter ego, The Berserker Blóthar claimed that the drummer was hired and fired in a matter of minutes: “He was holding us back.”
Though Gwar went through a series of drummers after this possibility, Jizmak Da Gusha has stayed with the band since 1989 — longer than any other drummer has been with the same band.
But what would have happened if Grohl was in his place? In addition to the success of Nirvana and Foo Fighters, the drummer has worked with a variety of other artists: he was featured in Mark Ronson’s “Watching the Sound” docuseries, worked with St. Vincent on her cover of “Piggy,” and with Mick Jagger on a sarcastic pandemic anthem. This fall, he is going on a limited tour to promote his new book, The Storyteller — Tales of Life and Music.
Gwar is likewise going on tour this fall, performing across America to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their biggest album, Scumdogs of the Universe. Still as vulgar as 30 years ago, their bassist/vocalist Berserker Blóthar stated, “We’ve been saving it up, and we are ready to explode all over the face of this nation with a dazzling flood of chaotic shock rock load.”
Although the musicians took different paths decades ago — with Grohl defining grunge and Gwar being mascots of heavy metal — both continue to carry the musical and personal traditions of ‘90s rock.
Photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz