Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl recently spoke with Mojo, reflecting on artists he listened to throughout his life ranging from The Beatles, Bad Brains, and more. During his conversation, he highlighted Sepultura’s acclaimed album 1996’s Roots. In complete admiration, the frontman went into detail on the production quality and how it became, “the gauge for every studio album Foo Fighters did for ten years.”
“When I was young, my best friend was Jimmy. We were discovering music together, but we split paths around the time I discovered Devo and he discovered Loverboy. That’s not exactly a two-way street. So as I was buying my GBH singles, Jimmy ordered a record by Metallica.
Three weeks later, I get the phone call: ‘Dude, get the fuck up here right now.’ He had just got the cassette of ‘Kill ‘Em All‘. That’s where Jimmy and I met in the middle. At one point he discovered Sepultura— ‘Arise‘ was the first one he got. I loved them. The first time they played Seattle, they were just ferocious. It wasn’t that groomed heavy metal aesthetic; there were dreadlocks everywhere and the guitars were tuned down to Z.
[Krist] Novoselic [Nirvana bassist] started getting into them too, and at one point we entertained the idea of having them open up for Nirvana. It never happened… Then ‘Roots‘ came out, produced by Ross Robinson and mixed by Andy Wallace: sonically the most powerful album I had ever heard. Made everything else sound like a flea fart.
That record became the gauge for every studio album Foo Fighters did for ten years. ‘That sounds pretty good, but see how it stands up to that Sepultura record…’ There’s no way we ever got anywhere close. But it gave you perspective — this is heavy. What you’re doing? It’s okay, but this is heavy.”