The upcoming Foo Fighters effort, Medicine at Midnight, features a special guest vocalist on one song. That would be the 14-year-old Violet Grohl, frontman Dave Grohl’s eldest daughter, who contributes backing vocals to “Making a Fire,” the album’s opening number.
The family collaboration came about naturally. To make Medicine at Midnight, Dave forewent his usual recording digs, the purpose-built Studio 606 in Los Angeles. Instead, to help focus the creation, he “rented a funky old house down the street” from his own in Encino, Calif., the musician recently revealed. There, the band ended up capturing the entire album, and Violet got her shot on the mic one day after class.
“At around two or three o’clock [every day], I would take a break and go pick her up from school,” the former Nirvana drummer explained in a BBC interview from Tuesday (Jan. 26). “Sometimes she’d want to come back to the house, and she’d sit on the couch and do her homework.”
That led to the kid’s singing contribution when, “One day, [producer] Greg Kurstin said, ‘Hey Violet, would you like to do a back-up vocal?'” Dave continued. “And she got behind the microphone, she did a few takes, and on the chorus of ‘Making a Fire,’ that’s Violet’s high vocal in there.”
Once the album’s released, Violet gets to reap the benefits of her Foo Fighters singing debut. Just like the other performers, she’ll collect payment for her Medicine at Midnight guest spot.
“It didn’t seem official until my accountant called a few months ago and asked where she should deposit Violet’s check,” Dave marveled. “And I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ She said, ‘Well, she sang on the album, so she has to be paid for playing on the record.’ And I said, ‘You can take that money and give it to me, and I’ll put it in an account for Violet that she can open when she’s 18 years old!'”
That’s only four years away, and, who knows, maybe Violet will be well on her way to her own entertainment career by then. After all, Dave touted her abilities as a performer, even going so far as to label her the finest singer among his clan. Perhaps we’ll hear much more of Violet in the future.
“[She’s] an incredibly talented musician,” the Foo Fighters bandleader added. “She can pick up an instrument and learn it within a week; she has perfect pitch. … And she’s well aware that she’s the best vocalist in the Grohl family. To be her drummer is one of my life dreams.”
Dave has three daughters with his wife, Jordyn Blum, who he married in 2003 — Violet (pictured above at age 4 alongside her dad), Harper (now 11) and Ophelia (who turned 6 last August).
Medicine at Midnight arrives Feb. 5. Foo Fighters have so far shared the album’s singles “Waiting on a War,” “No Son of Mine” and “Shame Shame.” Last week, the group performed “Times Like These” on a TV special celebrating the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden.