Dave Grohl Admits Ripping Off His Drumming On Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ From Another Band
Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl looked back on his drumming skills during a recent interview with musician Pharrell Williams and revealed that he copied disco bands’ sound such as The Gap Band, Cameo, and Tony Thompson throughout the band’s album, ‘Nevermind,’ especially with the iconic track, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.‘
As many of you know, Nirvana created a number of legendary songs despite having a short-lived music career such as ‘Lithium,’ ‘Heart-Shaped Box,’ and ‘Come As You Are,’ however, most fans of the band would name ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ as their favorite song of the band since it still regarded as one of the greatest songs of all time both by critics and fans to this day.
Being the opening track and lead single from the band’s monumental second album, ‘Nevermind,’ ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was released on September 10, 1991, and became Nirvana’s biggest hit in most countries, charting high on music industry charts around the world when it first released. The song has achieved such success that it was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
The accomplishments of the track is endless as RIAA ranked it at number 80 on their Songs of the Century list in 2001. A year after, NME ranked the song the number two on its list of ‘100 Greatest Singles of All Time’ while Kerrang! ranked it at number one on its list of the ‘100 Greatest Singles of All Time.’ On top of these respectable magazines, Rolling Stone ranked the track ninth on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
When there’s a song that has been receiving constant praise for years, every bit of information coming from its creators are incredibly precious to its fans, therefore, Dave Grohl’s recent statements during an episode of his new Paramount+ series, ‘From Cradle to Stage,’ surprised Nirvana fans very deeply as he revealed that he cannot read music to this day despite being in there music industry for decades.
On top of this, former Nirvana Drummer revealed that he doesn’t deserve to be referred to as a ‘good drummer’ mainly because he’s a basic drummer who copied other disco artists such as The Gap Band, Cameo, and Tony Thompson for the iconic record of the band, ‘Nevermind’ to which every music critics attribute to as the band’s breakthrough and the resemblance between ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and The Gap Band song, ‘Brun Rubber On Me’ when it comes to the drums is uncanny.
During the interview, Dave Grohl’s statement follows:
“Stop saying that I’m a good drummer because I’m the most basic fucking drummer. If you listen to ‘Nevermind,’ the Nirvana record, I pulled so much stuff from The Gap Band and Cameo and Tony Thompson on every one of those songs. It’s all disco, that’s all it is. Nobody makes the connection.
I told Tony Thompson that. He came to my house for a barbecue with somebody. I was like, ‘Man, I just want to thank you because I owe you so much I’ve been ripping you off my whole life.’ He goes, ‘I know.’”
You can listen to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and ‘Burn Rubber On Me’ and watch the interview below.