“My Foo Fighters setup is the kind of beast you have when somebody carries your s**t around for you!” Chris Shiflett on his double-life as a jobbing solo artist and lead guitarist in the world’s biggest rock band

Chris Shiflett
(Image credit: Future / Adam Gasson)

Chris Shiflett has the best kind of identity crisis. Back in 1999, when the 28-year-old Californian won out at auditions to become lead guitarist for the Foo Fighters – a triumph he succinctly put down to “learning the fucking songs” – it seemed this one-time punk rabble-rouser had forever traded the sticky-floored basements and roiling circle pits for corporate-sponsored stadiums and catering. 

But since then – and with the exception of the band’s Duracell Bunny-ish leader, Dave Grohl – Shiflett has been the busiest Foo in the firmament, juggling the day job with de facto solo projects The Dead Peasants and Jackson United, a fistful of albums under his own name, plus shifts in larky covers outfit Me First And The Gimme Gimmes. “There’s nothing better than those big Foos shows,” he once told this writer. “But equally, Dingwalls is fun, too.” 

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Henry Yates

Henry Yates is a freelance journalist who has written about music for titles including The Guardian, Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a talking head on Times Radio and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl and many more. As a guitarist with three decades' experience, he mostly plays a Fender Telecaster and Gibson Les Paul.

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