Dave Grohl on how the pandemic has isolated people with hearing loss

Publish Date
Friday, 18 February 2022, 9:00AM

Dave Grohl echoed the the feelings of millions of hearing-impaired people this week when he voiced his frustration with the necessity for face coverings and masks due to the COVID pandemic.

Grohl, who has suffered significant hearing loss over decades of playing in hard rock bands, told Howard Stern this week that he has no issues hearing his band onstage or in the studio; it's hearing people in conversation that is a constant struggle.

"In the mix, I can f---ing hear the minutia of everything that we had done to that song," Grohl explained. "That being said, if you were sitting, like, next to me, right here [on my left side] at dinner, I wouldn't understand a f---ing word you were saying to me the whole f---ing time. There's no way. In a crowded restaurant — that's the worst.

"That's the worst thing about this pandemic s--t is, like, people wearing masks. I've been reading lips for 20 years. So when someone comes up to me, they're like, [muffled speech], I'm like, 'I'm a rock musician. I'm f---ing deaf. I can't hear what you're saying."

The Foo Fighters frontman blames the tinnitus in his left ear on his time with Nirvana. As a drummer, his stage monitor was usually placed on his left side, so that's the ear that took the brunt of the damage.

Stern asked Grohl why he has resisted going to a doctor to have his hearing issues diagnosed.

"I haven't had a hearing test in a long time," Grohl said. "I mean, I know what they're going to say. 'You have hearing damage, tinnitus, in your left ear more so than your right ear."

Grohl added that he doesn't enjoy playing with in-ear monitors; he finds them too isolating from the sound of a room with an audience. And he admitted his own stubbornness is a factor.

"We've been playing shows like this for so long, there's not much I want to change."

This article was first published on iheart.com and is republished here with permission