Dave Grohl discussed Foo Fighters bandmate Pat Smear quitting in 1997 in a new Apple Music interview with Zane Lowe.
“That was a tough one. That was really tough. And it was really early on. It was before the second record even came out that he decided he didn’t want to do it anymore. And when we started the band, we didn’t really have a plan. We just knew that we wanted to play. And we played as many shows as we could, we put thousands of miles on our band.
It was a solid year and a half of just constant touring, and it really took a lot out of us. As much as it inspired us, I think that we had sort of waded in so deep, we realized like, ‘Oh, man. This is not just doing gigs on the weekend. This is something else.’
And that was something Pat had never really experienced. Even when Pat joined Nirvana, by the time he joined Nirvana, we were on a tour where we were on buses and doing three shows a week, so as to save Kurt’s voice, and things like that. So we dove in head first with the Foos, and I think at the end of it, it seemed like, ‘Okay, we’re doing this again. This is serious.’ And he basically said, ‘I’m just not really into it anymore.’ And to be perfectly honest, I was on my knees, literally on my knees, begging him to stay. I cried.
I begged him to stay, because I didn’t know if I could do it without him. And he very kindly said, ‘I’m just not into it, dude. I’m just not into it.’ You can’t make someone love you. You can’t change someone’s mind really. And so I realized, ‘Okay,’ but the beginning of this band represented something more than musical to me. It was a continuation of life after losing everything. And I thought, ‘I can’t stop here. I have to keep going. I started this band to keep going, and now I have to keep going.’ And when he left the band, there was a void there.
There was a big hole that we couldn’t necessarily fill, but we just kept going. We just kept going. And then years later, we reunited, and we hugged and cried, and said, “That was stupid.”