Dave Grohl discussed the incident that helped him begin to recover from the death of Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain, calling it a “huge moment” in his life.

The drummer found himself emotionally paralyzed in the aftermath of the 1994 tragedy, feeling that the only thing he could do was escape to a secluded location in Ireland. An encounter with a hitchhiker led him to go home and focus on a project that would become the Foo Fighters.

“After Kurt died, I really couldn't even turn on the radio, and I put the instruments away - even hearing music hurt,” Grohl told BBC Radio 4 in a recent interview. “And it was that way for a few months. I was still in Seattle, and I just felt, ‘I gotta get out.’ I [had to] go somewhere where I could just disappear and sort through my life, and try to figure out what to do next.”

He decided to explore the 111-mile Ring of Kerry tourist route in southwest Ireland. “I was winding around these country roads – so beautiful – and I was finding peace,” he said. “And I come upon this hitchhiker, and I was considering picking him up, and I saw that he had a Kurt Cobain T-shirt. And to me that meant: ‘You can't outrun this thing, so it's time … to push through and find some sort of continuation.’ So I flew home and I immediately started recording those Foo Fighter songs.”

He’d started writing songs a while earlier, and Cobain had voiced approval after hearing some basic demos. “But I still didn't know what they were for, because I wasn't in a band, and I was recording home stuff by myself, with the intention of just giving cassettes out for my friends,” Grohl said. “But I had to do it to survive, to get on with life. And I'm glad I did."

Grunge Pre-Nirvana: 20 Things That Set the Stage For ‘Nevermind’

The bands, people, places and trends that paved the way for grunge's landmark album.

More From 99.1 The Whale