Drummer William Goldsmith was only a part of Foo Fighters from 1995 and 1997, and is barely credited on the one record he worked on, The Colour and the Shape, having had his drum parts stripped and re-recorded by Dave Grohl.
Now, in a revealing interview with The Daily Mail, Goldsmith has slammed Grohl as a bully, “a bit like the kid who is popular but is mean and everyone likes them”, and has even gone so far as to say that he felt “raped” in a creative sense after his experience in the 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,” he says of his relationship with Grohl. “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,” he adds, “But I just knew something wasn’t right.”
This became readily apparent when he realised that Grohl had re-recorded almost all of the drum work on the record, leaving him pretty much a touring drummer.
“Apparently Dave was going to re-record a few of the songs,” Goldsmith says. “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,” he reveals. “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.”
When he realised he wasn’t actually on the album, Goldsmith didn’t exactly feel like carrying on with the band as a live ringer.
“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,” he says. “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.”
In the full interview, Goldsmith does go on to detail his battles to get the royalties he believes he’s entitled too, as well as a single brief meeting with Grohl when they were on the same lineup, but he wishes that there’d been more of an effort on Grohl’s part to make amends.
“I have been given the impression he feels bad about the way things went. If he feels bad about how things went then why hasn’t he tried to get a hold of me?
“All he would have to do is sit down and talk it out with me.”