Dave Grohl has spoken about the origins of the rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, as well as his desire to reunite the trio.
The band formed and released their first, and so far only, record in 2009, consisting of Grohl on drums alongside Queens Of The Stone Age‘s Josh Homme on guitar and Led Zeppelin‘s John Paul Jones on bass.
Speaking on a new episode of Medicine At Midnight Radio on Apple Music Hits, Grohl explained how the project first came about following him handing an award to Led Zeppelin at a ceremony in London, and discussing it with John Paul Jones.
“For years Josh and I had talked about doing some side-project. Something that wasn’t Queens Of The Stone Age, something that wasn’t Foo Fighters. Maybe it was just Josh [Homme] and I. Maybe he plays drums, I play guitar. Maybe he plays guitar, I play drums. Just something that was just an experimental project.”
“I was invited to go to London to give an award to the members of Led Zeppelin,” he added. “I had met John Paul Jones before because he had performed on a Foo Fighters record and he had performed with us on the Grammys once. John Paul Jones is one of the most wonderful, generous, kind people you’ve ever met. He’s just a great guy.
“He’s obviously brilliant, but he’s just cool. He’s fun to hang out with. I said to Josh, I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m about to go give the Zeppelin guys this award. Do you want me to ask John Paul Jones if he’ll play bass?’ Josh was like, ‘You know John Paul Jones?’ I’m like, ‘Well, not really, kind of. I’ve jammed with them before.’ Josh said, ‘Yeah, let me know how it goes.’”
Grohl then got the affirmative response from Jones via email, as he explained: “I just thought, ‘OK, well, there you go. I just asked the guy from Zeppelin to start a band.’ Anyway, he emailed me not long after that and said, ‘Yeah, I’d be into it. Let’s do it.’ I said to Josh: ‘Oh my God, Josh, John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin, he wants to come over and jam.’ We set up a time for him to come over and jam with us. I mean, the best part was that it was right around my birthday that he flew over. My 40th birthday.”
He then again expressed enthusiasm for the project, and his hope that it would be able to return, saying: “Them Crooked Vultures is a dream band for any drummer because I got to be a part of this three-piece rhythm section because Josh isn’t just a soloist.
“Josh plays the drums. He plays the guitar like a drummer and John Paul Jones is the greatest rock ’n’ roll bass player in the history of music. When we sat down to start playing, it was about 30 seconds to a minute and we realised this is a real band.”
Grohl added: “This is the real deal. We would walk into the studio every day with no ideas. We would sit down, we’d have tea, we’d have coffee, we’d start jamming. By the end of that night, we’d have an eight-minute-long opus. Just a rock masterpiece. It was incredibly inspiring. It was a really incredible time. I hope that someday we do it again.”
Grohl’s enthusiasm for the group was shared by the music world in general – Them Crooked Vultures’ first single won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance, and their album arrived to critical praise.
In 2019, Homme also noted that “we all want to do another Vultures record… I’m always ready to be in Them Crooked Vultures again.’” There’s been no official word of a new release from the band, but Grohl and Homme’s joint enthusiasm could see them return to the studio for a post-pandemic release.
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