Rock star Dave Grohl backs teenage band in noise row


London (AFP)

US rock star Dave Grohl weighed in to support an unsigned English teenage band on Wednesday after they were prevented from practising in a family garage due to local noise restrictions.

The Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer penned a letter to the local council in Cornwall, southwest England, after the four members of rock metal band Black Leaves of Envy appealed for his support.

"That's the story of Nirvana basically, young musicians starting off in a garage," 17-year-old Adam Jones, lead guitarist and singer with the group, told AFP.

"It's pretty surreal, we sent the letter off to ask for his support... We were all shocked when we got the reply."

Jones said the band members, all aged between 15 and 17, had been unable to practise for months as letters from the council threatened steep fines if they broke a noise limit of 30-40 decibels -- about the level of a fridge humming.

In his letter, which was published on Foo Fighter social media accounts and quickly shared by thousands, Grohl stressed the importance of allowing young musicians to practise and urged Cornwall Council to reconsider the rules.

"My name is Dave Grohl, and I'm writing on behalf of the local music group Black Leaves of Envy," he wrote.

"It has been brought to my attention that the band is having difficulty functioning within the current noise restrictions placed upon them by the Cornwall Council."

Grohl recalled the importance of music of a creative outlet that helped him through "difficult years" growing up in Springfield, Virginia.

"For musicians that lack the resources to rehearse in professional facilities, a garage or basement is the only place they have to develop their talent and passion," he wrote.

"For the sake of your local band Black Leaves of Envy, and for the generations of young musicians that they may eventually inspire, I ask you reconsider the restrictions put upon the volume of their private rehearsal space."

Cornwall Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman previously told local press that "certain activities are not appropriate for the area in which they occur" but that it would work with all parties to resolve any issues.

Black Leaves of Envy released their first record, an EP of four songs, in late 2015 and have played some small shows around their town of Helston.

"It's amazing to have someone of with Grohl's weight back us," Jones said.

"We wrote our first EP in that garage and without having that rehearsal time and space, we'd be nowhere."