Dave Grohl has given hundreds of interviews throughout the years with stories of his music beginnings (and even made his own documentary), but there’ll now be a more extensive look at his pre-Nirvana days with his debut memoir, The Storyteller. The memoir isn’t out until October 5, but to promote the book, Grohl expanded on his early career memories to Rolling Stone. One of the biggest surprises? Well, it turns out that before joining one of the biggest acts of the ‘90s, Grohl nearly joined a very, very different kind of band.
GWAR were looking for a drummer. And I talked to their guitar player Dewey about it. And he’s like, it’s great, and you get to design your own costume. As drummer, you don’t want something that covers your face fully. You want your arms to be free. So I was like cool. So I started kind of drawing this thing.
Grohl doesn’t describe what his GWAR outfit would’ve looked like, but the band’s drummer Jizmak Da Gusha typically plays with his chest and arms exposed, so the band’s monstrous getup won’t get in the way of his drumming. Grohl’s own design was likely not too far off (though it’s difficult to imagine Grohl wearing Da Gusha’s loincloth).
GWAR had already amassed a sizable fanbase, so that was appealing to Grohl, who’d been in small punk bands but hadn’t gotten his big break yet. “At the time GWAR was a band that would draw like 700 people, right? Which is huge,” he recalls. But the band’s whole gruesome schtick isn’t quite family friendly. “Then the more I thought about it, am I really gonna invite my uncle to see me play when there’s like fake blood and cum shooting all over the place?”
It’s nearly impossible to imagine an alternate timeline where instead of drumming for Nirvana and becoming one of the world’s most renowned rock musicians, Grohl would’ve been hidden behind a mask playing to a vastly different audience. But come to think of it, Grohl would’ve been great at drumming on Scumdogs Of The Universe.