Before Nirvana Took Off, Dave Grohl’s Long-Term Plans Didn’t Involve Music

Dave Grohl turned 52 years old today, and he recently spent some time reflecting on his past: In a new interview with The Guardian, the Foo Fighters leader spoke about his biggest interests during his teenage years. Over the course of the conversation, he revealed that before Nirvana started to gain traction, his career plan wasn’t focused on music, but on becoming a graphic designer.

Grohl said:

“Like most musicians playing punk and underground music in the ’80s, I didn’t have aspirations to make a career of it. When I was in my later teens, the reward was just some sort of appreciation from the audience. At the most, I hoped that some day I wouldn’t still have to work in the furniture warehouse that I was working in back then, and would have my own apartment. […] I had a five-year plan: to learn music and become a studio drummer, then with the money I made go to college and become a graphic-design artist. When Nirvana got popular, all that sh*t went out of the window. I still can’t read music.”

He also spoke about his first brushes with live music, saying, “My introduction to live music came when my brother took me to a punk show in a small bar in Chicago. I didn’t have that festival/stadium/arena rock experience; I just saw four punk rock dudes on the stage, playing this fast three-chord music, with about 75 people in the audience climbing all over each other. It changed my life. […] By the time I was 14, I was cutting and dyeing my hair and wearing leather jackets. All I wanted to do was leave school, jump in a van and tour sh*tty basement clubs with my punk band.”

Read the full interview here.