Dave Grohl Reflects on ‘Rubik’s Cube’ of Songwriting Success
Dave Grohl described his “Rubik’s Cube” approach to songwriting as the Foo Fighters were named the most successful act on Billboard’s Alternative Song Chart since it was launched 30 years ago.
The band is named eight times in the all-time Top 300 alternative list, putting them ahead of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Linkin Park and U2.
“You have to write great songs. That's it," Grohl said in a new Billboard podcast. “To me, the challenge was always trying to craft a song that was simple in a way that people would connect to it emotionally. Even just a melody … that's a funny thing. A lyric is one thing, but there's something that a melody can do … just the sound of a minor scale, or a major scale rising in a chorus. The notes will twist your heart.”
He compared it to a "Rubik's Cube, trying to find a melody and lyric will braid together and create four minutes of memory that you'll have for the rest of your life.” Asked about the Foo Fighters’ chart success, he replied, “We've been lucky. We have this divining rod that we've followed for 24 years, and it takes us where we think we should go.”
The all-time Alternative chart included the Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” at No. 5 followed by “All My LIfe” (No. 46), “Best of You” (No. 81), “Walk” (No. 99), “Rope” (No. 138), “DOA” (No. 162), “Let It Die” (No. 232) and “Learn to Fly” (No. 267). Grohl’s previous band Nirvana had five entries in the top 300, the highest being “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at No. 21.