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Dave Grohl confesses he's been 'reading lips for like 20 YEARS' due to hearing loss


Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl recently spoke about his hearing loss and the impact it’s had on him after four decades of rocking.

In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, the Everlong star confessed he was ‘f***ing deaf’ and that he’s been relying on reading lips for the past 20 years.

‘I haven’t had them tested in a long time — I mean, I know what they’re gonna say,’ he told Stern after being asked why he doesn’t use in-ear monitors. ‘”You have hearing damage tinnitus in your left ear, more so than your right ear.”‘

Confession: Dave Grohl, 53, revealed he suffers from hearing loss and that he's been 'reading lips for like 20 years,' during an interview on The Howard Stern Show

Confession: Dave Grohl, 53, revealed he suffers from hearing loss and that he’s been ‘reading lips for like 20 years,’ during an interview on The Howard Stern Show

The two-time Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee went on to add that his ‘left ear is kind of worse than my right’ from all the years playing drums and having his snare drum and audio monitor just to his left.

Many performers have turned to in-ear monitors to help level out the volume and frequencies, but Grohl insists it ‘removes [him] from the natural atmosphere sound’ while playing a gig. 

‘I wanna hear the audience like, in front of me and I want to turn around be able to hear [drummer] Taylor [Hawkins] right there and go over here and hear [guitarist] Pat [Smear], and go over here and hear [guitarist] Chris [Shiflett] and stuff like that,’ he explained of his experience with his Foo Fighters bandmates, adding, ‘It just messes with your spatial understanding of where you are on stage.’

Damage done: The Foo Fighters frontman believes he has tinnitus, more so in his left ear than his right, from all his years playing drums and having his snare drum and audio monitor just to his left without ear plugs, dating back to his time with Nirvana in the early 1990s

Damage done: The Foo Fighters frontman believes he has tinnitus, more so in his left ear than his right, from all his years playing drums and having his snare drum and audio monitor just to his left without ear plugs, dating back to his time with Nirvana in the early 1990s

Mask issue: During the interview alongside his Foo Fighters bandmate Taylor Hawkins, Grohl said reading lips has proven to become more difficult to do since mask-wearing became a norm in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

Mask issue: During the interview alongside his Foo Fighters bandmate Taylor Hawkins, Grohl said reading lips has proven to become more difficult to do since mask-wearing became a norm in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

While the 53-year-old admitted he’s resorted to reading lips for the better part of two decades, it has proven to become more difficult to do since mask-wearing became a norm in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘If you were sitting next to me right here at dinner, I wouldn’t understand a f***ing word you were saying to me, the whole f***ing time. There’s no way,’ he told Stern. 

‘In a crowded restaurant, that’s worse. That’s the worst thing about this pandemic s**t, it’s like, people wearing masks. I’ve been reading lips for like, 20 years… I’m a rock musician. I’m f***ing deaf, I can’t hear what you’re saying.’  

Prefers natural stage sound: Grohl confessed he has never liked playing with in-ear monitors, even when he was the drummer of Nirvana; he is seen with the grunge legends in 1993

Prefers natural stage sound: Grohl confessed he has never liked playing with in-ear monitors, even when he was the drummer of Nirvana; he is seen with the grunge legends in 1993

Tinnitus, which Grohl believes he has in his left ear, is most often described as a ringing in one or both ears, even though no external sound is present, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is usually caused by an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, an ear injury or a problem with the circulatory system.     

Despite Grohl’s struggles to understand people during normal conversations, he did maintain he’s still able to hear ‘the slightest little things’ while recording music in the studio and mixing albums. 

‘My ears are still tuned in to certain frequencies, and if I hear something that’s slightly out of tune, or a cymbal that’s not bright enough or something like that, in the mix, I can f***ing hear the minutiae of everything that we have done to that song, I really can,’ he confessed. 

Medical definition: Tinnitus, which Grohl believes he has in his left ear, is most often described as a ringing in one or both ears, even though no external sound is present, according to the Mayo Clinic . It is usually caused by an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, an ear injury or a problem with the circulatory system

Medical definition: Tinnitus, which Grohl believes he has in his left ear, is most often described as a ringing in one or both ears, even though no external sound is present, according to the Mayo Clinic . It is usually caused by an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, an ear injury or a problem with the circulatory system

Still has the ear for music: Despite Grohl's struggles to understand people during normal conversations, he did maintain he's still able to hear 'the slightest little things' while recording music in the studio and mixing albums

Still has the ear for music: Despite Grohl’s struggles to understand people during normal conversations, he did maintain he’s still able to hear ‘the slightest little things’ while recording music in the studio and mixing albums

He also downplayed the extent of the damage being done to his ears by having the same audio mixer for his stage performances since his days with Nirvana in the early 1990s.   

‘I’ve had the same monitor guy that mixes my monitors for 31 years. I mean the guy; he’s in my head,’ Grohl said. ‘And even though I’m not using in-ear monitors, the sound on stage for me is f***ing perfect because it’s been the same guy.’

The Learn To Fly star went on to reveal that ‘it’s not like I’m up on stage getting my a** kicked by some loud stuff. It sounds great. And I just don’t like the in-ear things.’

Foo Fighters released their tenth studio album, Medicine At Midnight, on February 5.

The band is also starring in the supernatural comedy horror film, Studio 666, which drops on February 25.       

Still rocking: Foo Fighters released their tenth studio album, Medicine At Midnight, February 5

Still rocking: Foo Fighters released their tenth studio album, Medicine At Midnight, February 5

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