Forever popular: Foo Fighters are coming to South Africa in December. Picture: Steve Gullick.

Johannesburg - Foo Fighters bass player Nate Mendel says it has always been a wish of his to visit South Africa.

“My wife studied in South Africa and had a great experience there,” says Mendel.

“She’s been talking about it since we first met, so I’m excited to see the country for myself.”

Mendel was finally granted his wish when the US rock band announced two weeks ago that they would be touring South Africa.

The band, made up of Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear, will perform two shows in South Africa. One concert will be held in Joburg while the other will be held in Cape Town in December.

Speaking exclusively to the Saturday Star, Mendel said he could not wait to land in the country later this year.

“The band has been playing around the world now for 20 years and we’ve never played on the continent of Africa, either, so it will be really incredible for us to get there finally,” said Mendel.

Foo Fighters have been around since debuting in 1994 and have steadily grown into the last great American arena/stadium rock band.

Their album Wasting Light debuted at No 1 in the US and 11 other countries while their catalogue, which also includes The Colour and The Shape (1997), There Is Nothing Left To Lose (1999), One By One (2002), In Your Honor (2005), Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007), has raked in 11 Grammy Awards, and sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.

So how has the band managed to stay on top of their game for the past 20 years? Mendel said: “Probably remembering that there isn’t much of a music industry any more.”

“You can’t just write a few songs, have someone discover how awesome you are, and then coast. At this time a band needs to create its own reason to exist, and we work to do that as much as possible.

“Also, I think Dave (Grohl) relies on a good motto for the band, which is ‘if it’s not fun, let’s not do it’.”

Aside from performing in South Africa, Mendel said he was looking forward to doing some sight-seeing while in South Africa.

“South Africa has a reputation as a beautiful and interesting place, so when an opportunity to go presented itself we jumped at it.”

Mendel added that the bands South African fans are in for an energetic and unique performance from the Foo Fighters.

Foo Fighters will be joined by UK rock band Kaiser Chiefs as the main acts, while local band BLK JKS (Black Jacks) will be opening for the two international heavyweights.

The South African tour dates for this year are as follows: Cape Town: December 10 at Cape Town Stadium

Joburg: December 3 at FNB Stadium.

Saturday Star