INTERVIEW: Justin Krol



Photo Credit: Nicole Henzel

As we reported on Friday night, Miller’s “Cheers To Milwaukee” concert, featuring Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins’ cover band Chevy Metal, was accented by the interesting notion that the band was not joined by Dave Grohl, even though many people in the crowd thought that they were. In fact, the band was joined by local musician Justin Krol, who, if you squint, or are located in the balcony of the Riverside Theater, might actually look like Dave Grohl. It didn’t help matters that Justin was announced by Hawkins as “Krol…. with a K”, possibly implying that he was Dave Grohl in disguise. Nevertheless, we talked to Justin about all of the hoopla surrounding the show, and reiterated the fact that while he’s an incredibly skilled drummer, he is definitely not, in fact, Dave Grohl.

B&E: First off introduce yourself! You’re not Dave Grohl, right?

KROL: I’m a 35 year old Milwaukeean, born and raised in the suburbs, current and longtime Walker’s Point resident. Currently, I most regularly perform/tour with Trapper Schoepp, Mike Krol (yes, my brother), and RX Drugs.

B&E: How did the Chevy Metal cameo come about?

KROL: My good friend Josh Adams (who has been in the Foo Fighters’ camp for years) put my name in the hat as a possible sub on the night before when it was learned that their Front of House engineer (who also works with the Foo’s) wasn’t going to make it. Taylor likes to get out from behind the drums for a few songs, and normally the engineer would play some drums on those songs.

Anyway, Josh sent them some links on the next day and mentioned that my brother (Mike Krol) and I had opened for Bob Mould on tour last year, which definitely helped my cause.

I got word a little after 2:30 pm that it was a go and had to make it to the Riverside to sound check by 3:30…and to learn “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love” and “You Really Got Me” on my way down.

B&E: Did you guys get to rehearse at all before the day of the gig?

KROL: I walked into the Riverside around 3:20 pm and was escorted immediately to the drum riser to run through the songs. Taylor and band said hello and counted me into the songs immediately. We played them back to back, talked for a few moments about cues, etc., and that was it until showtime.

B&E: We were upstairs, and people thought that “Justin Krol” was a clever way of introducing Dave Grohl. How do you feel about being mistaken for him?

KROL: Taylor joking mentioned the slight resemblance that I had at soundcheck and totally laughed when I told him my last name was “Krol.”

It was all purely coincidental. Taylor and I had only briefly met once before that day and no one really thought twice about the bizarre chance of people confusing us. I’m about 3″ shorter than the towering presence that is the upright Dave Grohl.

I spent most of the my childhood learning to play drums like Dave Grohl–I never once would have thought that I’d have the honor of being mistaken for him. I’ll take it!

B&E: What were you thinking as the Riverside Theater was chanting your name?

I didn’t even notice it–still hocked on adrenaline. I walked to the wings and then Taylor motioned me to come back on… to which I thought, “oh shit, I have to wing another song now.” Luckily, I just threw some sticks into the crowd and had a moment to calm down.

B&E: Did you get to hang out with the band afterward? We heard them mention there was “an 8-Ball and a hooker ready for you”.

KROL: We had a nice dinner and hang after the show and listened to lots of Cheap Trick–bonding over the fact that we all agreed that “In Color” was our favorite CT record. So we listened to it…possibly twice.

B&E: Lastly, are there any plans to start a Foo Fighters tribute band now?

KROL: Ha! Chevy Metal is the first and only cover band that I think I feel like playing in at this point.

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