The Foo Fighters’ frontman offers six tips to a good life.
1. Dress for the life you want.
It shouldn’t be about career and ambitions. It’s not rocket science. I manage this organization with no shoes on and a Mr. Bubble T-shirt with chili all over it. There’s more to life than work. Your heart has to work to do what we do — to write songs and to jump onstage after you’ve been on the road for two years. It’ll kill you if you don’t.
2. Love your family like you love your guitar.
I had a revelation after meeting Neil Young and his family that you can make music forever so long as you have something outside of it to keep you inspired. The time I spend with the band is amazing and so much fun that it makes me want to puke. But the love I get from my family keeps me energized and alive enough to keep up with the music. I’d be fucked without one or the other.
3. Moderation in all things.
I’m nearly 40. The last thing I want to do is wake up with a raging hangover and have to listen to Elmo songs with my daughter. I might be able to drink longer now; I just don’t drink as often. If I get a night out with some friends and Jägermeister, it’s going to be a long night, and somebody’s going home with cracked ribs.
4. An audience is an audience.
To me, music was an escape from working in a furniture warehouse. It still feels like that. And at the end of the day, does it matter how many people are standing in front of you when you play a song? You’re still going to play music. I’d be just as happy as I am now if I was at the shithole down the street playing Creedence covers for six people.
5. Try to be in two incredibly successful bands. If not, that’s okay.
When I think of Nirvana, I think of Krist, Kurt, and me. I think about us driving through Canadian snowstorms in a van leaking fuel. We reek like guys working in a gas station. I think about us selling equipment for food. I don’t think about number-one records. I think of it like any other band I’ve been in, although that was the one that touched the most people. But I don’t wear it like a badge. For starters, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. And beyond that, it starts sitting like a chip on your shoulder. I was in a huge band at one point of my life and I can’t believe that happened to me, but I’m not looking back.
6. Man up.
Anybody who has to focus on being real has a problem. It’s like having a panic attack over how you’re prone to panic attacks. Be a guy. Play music.