Dave Grohl called former Husker Du frontman Bob Mould as one of the greatest songwriters in American history, equal to Tom Petty in influence.

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The Foo Fighters leader said he made a point of dropping references to Mould’s material in his own songs, including a mention on his band’s latest album, Medicine at Midnight.

“Bob Mould should be placed in the highest ranks of America’s greatest songwriters and lyricists,” Grohl told Classic Rock in a recent interview. “You can argue that he’s just as influential in his own right as Tom Petty – he's a classic American songwriter, only writing from a different place to most.”

He continued: “When I discovered punk rock in the early ’80s, there were bands that stood out because of their heaviness or speed or dissonance. But Husker Du, which was Bob Mould’s original band, had this sense of classic melody – it was almost like a punk rock band playing Byrds songs, which they actually did when they covered ‘Eight Miles High.’”

Grohl hailed Mould’s “entire sense of emotion, with beautiful melody, which could sometimes be countered with this anger and distortion that was really unusual at the time. ... They were the first punk rock band that I listened to that had a double album - the [1984] Zen Arcade record, which went from breakneck thrash buzz-saw guitars to acoustic ballads.”

Explaining that he enjoyed heavy driving music but didn’t want to listen to it constantly, Grohl added that he "can hum a Minor Threat song, but I can sing a Husker Du song.”

He was comfortable with the idea that Mould’s influence was clear in his own music. “I reference Husker Du in a lot of lyrics – there's even one reference on the new record,” Grohl said. “I like to drop little lines here and there.” He noted that he finally got to meet Mould around 10 years ago. “I said, ‘I just have to thank you, because I've really taken a lot from your music.’ And he said, ‘I know.'”

 

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