Dave Grohl details hearing loss and explains why he still won’t wear in-ears

17 February 2022, 11:04 | Updated: 28 February 2022, 18:18

Dave Grohl at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2021
Dave Grohl has detailed his hearing loss. Picture: 1. Kevin Kane/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2. Kevin Kane/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

By Jenny Mensah

The Foo Fighters frontman has revealed the effects decades of touring has had on his hearing and explained why he still won’t wear equipment to protect his ears.

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Dave Grohl has detailed the extent of his hearing loss.

The rocker has played on stages for decades as the drummer of Nirvana and the frontman of the Foo Fighters and has talked about the effects it has had on his hearing.

Speaking to Howard Stern with Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins, he revealed: "I haven't had [my ears] tested in a long time, but I know what they're going to say. 'You have hearing damage, tinnitus, in your left ear more so than your right ear.

"My left ear is kind of worse than my right because my snare drum and my stage monitor when I play the drums [are over on this side],"

Despite this, the Everlong rocker still refuses to wear in-ears because he doesn’t want to look like a “praying mantis”.

READ MORE: Foo Fighters release thrash metal single March of the Insane

Asked why he doesn't use in-ear monitors, he replied: "I've tried the ear monitor thing before, a long time ago, and the problem that I have with it is that it removes you from the natural atmosphere sound".

He added: "I have little fucking earholes and those things, when I put them in, they just pop out. And I don't want to look like a praying mantis with these things all over my head. I wanna go out there and go nuts."

While Grohl thinks he can hear music perfectly on stage and during the recording process, the Best Of You singer admits he can barely hear people who have one to one conversations with him in a restaurant while other people are speaking.

His condition hasn’t been helped by people wearing masks in the pandemic, either as he realises he’s been “lip-reading” for many years.

Watch their interview for the Howard Stern Show below:

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Grohl may be happy with his level of hearing now, but he’d be wise to heed the warnings of his rock'n'roll predecessors.

AC/DC’s Brian Johnson was forced to stop touring with the band in 2016 for fear of risking “total hearing loss”. Luckily for the Highway To Hell rocker, he was able to get back on stage thanks to the pioneering work undertaken by a specialist.

Johnson revealed that he underwent a treatment for three years which "uses the bone structure in the skull as a receiver".

Though he couldn't explain the specific details or the name of the treatment, he told Rolling Stone that a specialist came to his house over the period.

"The first time he came down he brought this thing that looked like a car battery,” Johnson explained. “I went, ‘What in the hell is that?’ He said, ‘We’re going to miniaturise it.’

The Who’s Roger Taylor has also talked about the damage years of touring has done to his hearing.

Offering a word of warning to his fans during a solo gig at the Hard Rock Resort in Las Vegas. While pointing to his in-ears, he said: "The trouble with these ear things that I wear is that I am very, very deaf.

"And I advise you all - all you rock-and-roll fans - take your f***ing ear plugs to the gigs. If only we had known when we were young ... we are lip-reading."

Whether Grohl decides to wear in-ears or not, it’s clear that the Foo Fighters won’t stop touring anytime soon, with the band set for dates throughout 2022.

As part of their schedule, the band will visit this side of the pound in June and July, playing a date at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester, Villa Park in Birmingham and two dates at London Stadium.

See Foo Fighters' full tour dates here.

READ MORE: How did AC/DC's Brian Johnson overcome his hearing loss?