Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl hasn’t publicly said much about the 2022 death of his mother, Virginia Hanlon Grohl. Now, though, he has opened up about it.

The December 20 episode of the Song Exploder podcast focuses on Foo Fighters’ “The Teacher,” from 2023’s But Here We Are, which Grohl wrote about his mother after she died. He explained:

“Last year, I went through a period of really deep mourning because I lost two very important people in my life. One is Taylor Hawkins, our drummer. The other was my mother. She passed in July of 2022, and I was with her for all of the time leading up to her passing. Every day during that period, I would write something on the guitar, because I felt that if I didn’t have that release, I would explode. So, I would spend the day at the hospital and then come back to my house and try to translate it musically, with no real clear intention of what I was trying to achieve. I was just finding these chords and progressions that mirrored the way that I felt.”

He also reflected on what those last days with her were like, sharing a funny story:

“As I was sitting with my mother in her final days, we’d watch tennis and drink coffee and… I’d strum a guitar and play guitar to her all day long. I was working on a riff the whole time and it was coming into shape each day until… I think it might have been the day before she passed, I said to her, ‘I’ve been writing this. It’s a song on our new record called ‘Show Me How,’ and it’s a really beautiful kind of melancholy riff.’ I played the riff to her and sang the vocal melody and I said, ‘What do you think?’ And she looked at me and she was like, ‘Eh’ [laughs].”

He continued, “But with this song, I don’t know how to explain it other than to say that she was the most important person in my entire life, so I thought this had to be the most important music I’ve ever made, and that’s when ‘The Teacher’ started to take shape.”

Listen to the full episode on your preferred podcast platform or here.