"Foo Fighters" bassist Nate Mendel is celebrating his birthday today, here are some facts about him:
1. He was born on December 2, 1968, in Richland, Washington. His name at birth was Nathan Gregor Mendel.
2. The first instrument he played as a child was the violin.
3. At the age of 13 he became interested in rock music and really wanted to join a band. One of his friends who played the guitar suggested he play the bass. At that time he listened to "Police" and really liked Sting's playing, especially in the album "Ghost In The Machine", so the idea fascinated him.
4. The first bass guitar he purchased was an imitation of "Steinberger". He noted that these were the 80s and that is what a 13-year-old boy could afford.
5. He very quickly switched to Punk-Rock and adapted himself to the style with the "Ibanez" guitar "Roadstar" series.
6. One of the first bands he played with was "Christ On A Crutch".
7. Nate noted that he mainly taught himself to play and it was not particularly complex, because it was Punk-Rock after all.
8. Nate later joined the hardcore punk band "Diddly Squat" which even managed to release one single in 1988. Surprisingly there is a video of one of their shows from 1988, so you can see 19-year-old Nate playing the bass, here:
9. After the breakup of "Diddly Squat" Nate moved to Seattle where the Grunge scene arose. He joined the band "Brotherhood" which played mostly "straight edge", a subgenre of Hardcore Punk. Also in this case there is historical documentation, here:
10. Later Nate moved to the band "Christ on a Crutch" which went a bit beyond the boundaries of hardcore punk.
11. During Nate's studies at the University of Washington, he joined another band called "Sunny Day Real Estate". It was one of the first Emo bands in the western United States.
12. The band released their debut album "Diary" in 1994 through the well-known Seattle label "Sub Pop". Two singles were released from the album: "Seven" and "In Circles".
13. Shortly after the recording of their second album "LP2" in 1995, "Sunny Day Real Estate" disbanded, with Nate and drummer William Goldsmith responding to Dave Grohl's request and joining "Foo Fighters".
14. Nate is the only permanent member of the band that has been in since its inception to this day. To date, he has released 10 albums with the band (Dave Grohl formed the band only after recording the debut album "Foo Fighters").
16. In 2001 Nate played with the indie band "Juno", but it did not last long.
17. In the same year he formed "The Fire Theft" with his drummer friend William Goldsmith. It was three-quarters of the original lineup of "Sunny Day Real Estate", with guitarist Dan Hoerner the only one missing.
16. The band released their only album "The Fire Theft" in 2003.
17. He starred in the movie "Our Burden Is Light". He played as a member of a band called "Bleeder", consisting of him, Jessica Ballard, and drummer Taylor Hawkins.
18. In 2015 he released the album "If I Kill This Thing We're All Going To Eat For A Week", his first solo album under the name "Lieutenant". He wrote and composed all the songs on the album.
19. As of today, the future of the "Foo Fighters" is unknown since they drummer Taylor Hawkins died on March 2022.
Listen to Nate's solo album: Spotify, Apple Music