Dave Grohl Hits Out at Reality Television Talent Shows

"That's not what music's about" according to Foos frontman.

Ultimate Guitar

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has publicly criticized television talent shows and the way that they treat aspiring musicians, NME reports.

Grohl was speaking at an event put on by the TV Critics Association in Los Angeles and had the following to say:

"I don't want my kid to think that the only way you can be a musician is to stand in line at a song contest audition, and then wind up having a bazillionaire tell you you're not a good singer. Don't get me started. To me, that's not what music's about."

The Foos frontman's television debut, titled "Sonic Highways," is set to broadcast later this year HBO. The programme will be accompanied by a new Foo Fighters album of the same name, which was recorded in eight different studios in eight different states across America.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Grohl noted that the band had to step up to the plate for this project, which pushed them beyond what they had achieved previously:

"Like, I couldn't just write a three-and-a-half-minute long KROQ jingle and film it for the finale of an episode about the history of music in New Orleans, ya know? We really had to step up what we do. The music is a progression or an evolution for sure, but it's a Foo Fighters record."

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    What he's saying is what we all already know: Reality Singing Shows = Karaoke Contests
    I'm probably the only one here, but I've never much had a problem with the Idol shows. I never personally cared to watch, but to each his own. In all fairness to the contestants, they are all very talented (by the time you get to the later rounds). The 'only covers' policy is the lamest aspect. I get that it's good for ratings, but the lack of any emphasis on originality and songwriting is probably the reason the singers usually quickly fade into obscurity. From the few times I have watched, I will note that the backing band is incredible. Never flashy, but as solid as can be. Living in Nashville and getting to spend time around studios has given me a huge appreciation for session players. My biggest gripe is the part where that show owns your soul and first born child if you make it to the top few, and then they invariably tell you put out the most neutered, vanilla album in existence. And the key changes. God... those stupid, predictable key changes in the final round...
    And music is not a hardship competition either. If the people singing/playing have talent why should it matter if they were in a talent show or not? It should be about the music and that's it. A lot of the kids in those shows can sing and have been singing for quite a while and may have seen the competition as another medium to get their name out there. Back in the 70's/80s/90's radio stations would have the same competitions to get local artists heard.
    If they made a "reality show" that featured more then just pop music, like, jazz bands, swing bands, metal bands, NOT put together by the production of the show. Like, send people out to find already existing bands, put them on the show strictly playing their own material, and the "reward" would be to tour with some big name band. No record deals, no big cash prizes. Real musicians playing their own material. This would provide an outlet to all those bands nobody knows about that makes music as good as the musicians we bitch about on here. Even the bands that dont win, they get an episode of exposure of their music. Its a win/win.
    I know you said something not put together by the production, but didn't they already try this with Battle for Ozzfest I think it was?