In an interview with Daily Mail, former FOO FIGHTERS drummer William Goldsmith – who was a member of the band between 1995 and 1997 – spoke about the way Dave Grohl treated him while he was in a band.
“What was done to me – staying in that band would have made me feel like my soul was destroyed and I would have likely ended up dead. That feeling might change if we actually sat down and talked, but that hasn’t happened yet. I worked 13 hours a day for three weeks. I gave everything I could. I couldn’t believe at the end of it everything was done and I had got through it. But I just knew something wasn’t right.”
He said he soon discovered his work was re-recorded by Dave and removed from most of the album:
“Apparently Dave was going to re-record a few of the songs. I don’t know if the producer told him to keep going or what, but the next thing you know all of the work I had done was gone except for one or two of the tracks.
“[I felt creatively] raped. It was a way of describing how it felt – when you put that much of yourself into something, and then without you even knowing, it is completely destroyed from existence.
“I would have been cool if it had been half me and half him, or even if there had been some kind of communication about what they were doing.
“But they basically dragged me through the coals. It was brutal and I think maybe the producer was hoping I would give up but I didn’t.
“The versions Dave did were very similar. I am not saying I am an amazing drummer, but the work that I did was not bad.
“I found out he had redone all the tracks and got rid of everything, and then he still wanted me to be in the band and tour live.
“I was like, ‘Man, there are some people that are hired as session musicians and that’s cool. But that’s not why I set out to play music. That’s not what I did it for.’
“For me, to have that done to you and to continue playing live would have been damaging to my soul. I would have been going against what I believe in. I wanted to create music, not make money.
“[Grohl] was a bit like the kid who is popular but is mean and everyone likes them.
“I was drinking a lot. I would never drink before I went on stage because that would make me sluggish. But afterwards I would.”
Goldsmith said about the leaving the band:
“You spend 17 months on the road with these people, they are your family – and it is suddenly gone.
“But I was not going to sacrifice my family so I could have everyone worship me. The reason I started playing music was because it was a spiritual form of protest.
“I was never looking to get attention or make money.”
He also talked about the potential cause of Dave‘s behavior:
“The impression I had got from people who were flies on the wall when Nirvana was recording was that Kurt had been very definite on what he wanted and Dave had to do it.
“I think his inability to allow people to collaborate with him after that, came from Kurt having things a certain way and him reacting to his frustrations.”
“I remember once Dave said in an interview that touring with me was like touring with a punching bag.
“At the same time at that point in my life, my ability to set boundaries and my own self-confidence was lacking and I made it that much easier for him.
“As time has gone on, I’ve gone through some experiences which turned me into a man – people aren’t allowed to pull bullshit with me any more.
“I am as much at fault for allowing myself to get treated like crap.
“The way I look at it now is if it hadn’t have happened, the records I made afterwards wouldn’t have been made and I wouldn’t have had the children I have.”