Dave Grohl Vs. Skrillex: Dumbest Music Feud Ever?

Skrillex at Verizon Wireless Theater, September 2011
Skrillex at Verizon Wireless Theater, September 2011
Photo by Matthew Keever

Sometimes it's very easy for Rocks Off's brain to go on autopilot while checking our email in the morning. If we're not weeding out actual spam to delete, we're wincing at messages hyping music whose wretchedness practically leaps off the screen. (Someone you've never heard of touted as a "legend" is one red flag, for example.)

But this morning one such email made us raise an eyebrow. Titled "DAVE GROHL CLARIFIES HIS GRAMMY ACCEPTANCE SPEECH," it brought about two immediate reactions:

  • "I hate emails with all-cap headlines."
  • "I watched the Grammys. Why did Dave Grohl have to clarify his speech?"

It turns out that some supporters of Grohl's fellow Grammy winner, dubstep DJ Skrillex, are upset with the main Foo Fighter for saying, in short, that music made with guitars in a garage is superior to music composed using a laptop. Or something like that. Here's part of his actual speech Sunday:

To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of music is what's important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that's the most important thing for people to do... It's not about being perfect, it's not about sounding absolutely correct, it's not about what goes on in a computer.

I know. Who cares, right? They're all winners. They all make way more money than Rocks Off, I tell you that much.

However, a few quick keystrokes led us to this delightful summary via, headlined "Dave Grohl Trying To Shit On The Whole Laptop Based Music Industry."

That seems a little harsh to us, especially the part about "no one wants to hear your dad give his 'When I was your age' speech."

Skrillex, for his part, doesn't seem nearly as upset as some of his supporters. His only comments about the Grammys seem to be limited to this handful of tweets:

Dave Grohl Vs. Skrillex: Dumbest Music Feud Ever?

And the whole thing wasn't even that big of a deal until Grohl's publicists sent out his "clarification" email this morning. Now his "controversial" comments are all over the Internet today.


This whole thing sounds remarkably silly to Rocks Off, but it does illustrate something that seems like it's becoming a big issue within the music business these days: Whether or not electronic dance music is "real" music.

Of course it is. Long before the days of electricity, composers like Mozart, Haydn and Strauss wrote piece after piece of "dance music," in the form of gavottes, tarantellas, waltzes, and other imaginings of European folk dances. And when synthesizers started taking over in the '70s and '80s, a lot of rock musicians started shitting their pants and saying that artists like Kraftwerk Gary Numan, Soft Cell and Depeche Mode weren't playing "real" music either.

Some of Rocks Off's sister blogs have more of a bone to pick with the Foo Fighter than we do, true. But we didn't see his comments as vindictive, or even especially clueless.

To us, he sounds like a guy who prefers making music with guitars - as well a multiple Grammy-winning lifelong rock musician should - and is happy to leave the laptop music to people like Skrillex and his band's collaborator/remixer Deadmau5.

For someone who more or less doesn't have a dog in this fight either way, to us a move like Grohl reaching out to Deadmau5 to remix "Rope," obviously means he is at least interested in reaching a younger and different audience. Even if it was just his record company who made the phone call, he still had to approve it.

Grohl, meanwhile, appears to be one of the few people with a since of humor about the situation.

"So, don't give me two Crown Royals and then ask me to make a speech at your wedding, because I might just bust into the advantages of recording to 2 inch tape," he says, signing off this morning's email "Davemau5."

"Now, I think I have to go scream at some kids to get off my lawn."

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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