“I've always played with a pick, but up until the fifth Foo Fighters record, I never played downstrokes”: How Nate Mendel changed the way he played bass to “support Dave’s songs as best as possible”

Nate Mendel of Foo Fighters performs on stage during day one of Radio 1's Big Weekend at Carlisle Airport on May 14, 2011 in Carlisle, England.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re familiar with the Foo Fighters’ big hits – Everlong, The Pretender, Times Like These, Waiting On A War and so on – you’ll know that they specialise in Rock with a capital R, designed for stadiums and beloved of crowds worldwide. It’s all a long way from bassist Nate Mendel’s youth as a punk kid from Washington. 

“I just wanted to be in a band,” he told BP. “I was listening to the Ghost In The Machine album by The Police, and I was hugely into Sting, so when my friend suggested I should play bass guitar I thought it sounded like an awesome idea.”

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