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Saturday 1 October 2016

Teenage rock band hail support from Foo Fighters' Grohl over council noise curbs

Published 24/03/2016 | 09:46

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters wrote an open letter to Cornwall Council
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters wrote an open letter to Cornwall Council

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl's letter to Cornwall Council in support of a local teenage heavy metal band was "pretty phenomenal", a member has said.

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The US rocker leapt to the defence of Black Leaves Of Envy after their local council put in place strict noise restrictions following complaints from neighbours.

The 30-40 decibel restriction, which Grohl compared to "the level of a dishwasher at 15 meters distance", means the band will have to stop practising in a family garage.

The former Nirvana drummer penned an open letter to Cornwall Council after the father of two of the band members contacted him, urging the authority to "reconsider the restrictions".

In the letter, shared with the band's 2.35 million Twitter followers, he wrote: "Like many musicians, I started in a garage in my neighbourhood. Together with my friends, my adolescent years were made better by playing music with others.

"Music is not only a healthy pastime, it is a wonderful, creative outlet for kids, and fosters a sense of community necessary to the emotional and social development of any child."

Appearing on BBC Radio Cornwall, Black Leaves Of Envy member Cerys Plenty said: "We were all pretty overwhelmed and so grateful. We never expected a response from them, let alone on such a scale, in so much of our defence. It's pretty phenomenal".

Her father, Andrew Plenty, said: "It's one of those dad things, that you kind of have an idea ... I was sat there after I'd spoken to the council, very frustrated, composed the letter, emailed it through a contact and sent on via mail.

"I didn't think I'd hear anything of it, but, lo and behold, a week later a representative of the Foo Fighters contacted me."

In a statement read out over the radio, the council said it was investigating the complaint.

"The law regarding statutory noise nuisance is based on what is reasonable, and it may be that certain activities such as the regular playing of loud music are not appropriate in a residential area," the local authority said.

"The council is legally required to investigate once it has received a complaint about noise. We have not told the band to stop playing but have, however, advised that the sound levels are currently too high."

It suggested installing sound-proofing and restricting practice times.

Grohl also wrote to the band with advice about sound-proofing a practice area, suggesting the use of sand, gym mats and drywall.

The band, which also includes Dylan Plenty, Adam Jones and Lewis Cunningham, said they had been warned they could be fined £5,000 if they breached the noise restriction.

One Black Leaves Of Envy member said he was upset that neighbours had not spoken to the band in person.

"We aren't really scary people," he said.

"I mean, the music is obviously quite heavy, but we're all just normal people."

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