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Foo Fighter with Washington roots reveals the band's secret to success

Nate Mendel grew up in Richland and played in Seattle's 'Sunny Day Real Estate' before joining Dave Grohl and company.

LOS ANGELES — From Richland, Washington to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Foo Fighters bass player Nate Mendel is at the very pinnacle of musical stardom. 

His Foo journey started back in 1994 when he left the Seattle power-pop/emo band, 'Sunny Day Real Estate' to join Nirvana's Dave Grohl for the first Foo Fighters concert tour.

Mendel recalled, "It's like, how about we just start a band that has a different way of doing things, where we just put a premium on being fun and low drama. And that's just kind of been our motto through the years. I'm in roller skates and short shorts in a video and it's like, yeah, of course. That's gonna happen."

The Foo Fighters' fun has continued for more than 25 years, even at the height of the pandemic, when Grohl took on the Bee Gee's classic, 'You Should Be Dancing.'  

"Dave's voice in the falsetto just, we were dying," Mendel said, "It was great to cover such a great song, and then to hear his voice in that range, it was just, it was too much. So, we just went all-in and did like 6 of them."

Recently Mendel and his bandmates brought their show to the newly refurbished Climate Pledge Arena.

"I went to shows there when I was younger," he said, "I was a Sonics fan in the '90s and went to basketball games there. We've played it a bunch of times."

After more than a quarter of a century, is there anything we don't know about the Foo Fighters' founder?

"He doesn't have poor eyesight. And he was always trying my glasses, like, 'I've always wanted to have glasses.' If you look at the cover of his book," Mendel said, "he's got glasses on. He doesn't really need them."

Mendel's vision for the future includes plenty more rockin' right here in his home state.

"I can't wait to get back," he said. "I love it up there."