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Nathan Gregor "Nate" Mendel (born December 2, 1968 in Richland, Washingtonmarker) is an Americanmarker bassist for the bands Foo Fighters and Sunny Day Real Estate.


He began his musical career in the punk band Diddly Squat, then played in the fairly popular punk bands Christ on a Crutch, Brotherhood (Seattle Straight edge), Galleons Lap. He was a member of Sunny Day Real Estate and Juno before joining the Foo Fighters in 1995 (after Sunny Day Real Estate had disbanded). Although Sunny Day Real Estate reunited for two more albums (How It Feels to Be Something On and The Rising Tide), he stayed with the Foo Fighters. After SDRE disbanded once more, he joined with other Sunny Day Real Estate members Jeremy Enigk and William Goldsmith to form The Fire Theft, who released a self-titled album in 2003.

He scored a role in the indie movie Our Burden Is Light, in which he also played a minor role as the main female character's best friend's boyfriend and bassist. In the movie, Mendel plays in a band named Bleeder, consisting of himself, Jessica Ballard, and Taylor Hawkins.

Nate Mendel joined the Foo Fighters as the bassist, alongside former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. The band has since released six studio albums and one live album, Mendel continues to play alongside Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and Chris Shiflett. Mendel and Grohl are the only two original members in the Foo Fighters current line-up, although original guitarist Pat Smear has rejoined the Foos as a touring guitarist.

In June 2009, it was confirmed that Sunny Day Real Estate plans to reunite again, with Mendel back in the fold. Tour dates, starting in 2009, have been scheduled.

Personal life

Nate has one son, Noah, with his wife.Nate attended Hanford Jr./Sr. High School in Richland, WA. He was an avid skateboarder as well as BMX racer in the Washington St. Region. He also regularly contributes to the official Foo Fighters blog.


Nate is known to use a pick almost exclusively, however on the "Long Road to Ruin" video he is seen finger-picking, as well as during "Marigold" on the Skin and Bones live release.

Nate is rarely, if ever, seen singing. However he sang backup with Chris Shiflett on Monkey Wrench at the Tabernaclemarker in Atlanta, Georgia in 2000 while supporting There Is Nothing Left To Lose. He and Shiflett sang the outro backing vocals ("fall in, fall out").


Mendel's main set-up consists of Fender Precision Basses played through Ashdown ABM—and more recently, Classic-Series Bass Amplifiers. He also often uses Lakland Bob Glaub Signature Precision Basses while touring.

He is seen playing the Lakland Bass in the video for "The Pretender". He used a Gibson Ripper bass in the "Best of You" video and in the "Long Road to Ruin" video he is seen playing a Red Fender Jazz Bass with a black pickguard.

His pedalboard is very simple and consists of a Fulltone Bassdrive, Boss GEB-7 Graphic Equalizer, and Boss TU-2 Tuner.

Connection to AIDS denialist movement

In January 2000, Nate Mendel organized a sold-out concert in Los Angelesmarker to benefit Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives, a group which denies that HIV is the cause of AIDS. At the concert, the group's founder, Christine Maggiore, gave a speech attributing AIDS to drug use, stress, and medications, and implying that people should not be tested for HIV, nor should they take antiretroviral treatment if HIV-positive. Maggiore followed her own advice in the case of her daughter, who died of pneumonia as a complication of untreated AIDS at the age of three in 2005. Maggiore herself died at the age of 52 in 2008, under a doctor's care for pneumonia, also a complication of AIDS.

Responding to coverage of the Alive & Well benefit in Mother Jones magazine, Mendel wrote that "...popular ideas about AIDS are based on a hypothesis that does not stand up to scientific scrutiny." He further condemned HIV tests for what he felt was their inaccuracy and HIV medication for its supposed "unproven efficacy and proven toxicity." None of these statements reflects current scientific knowledge. The Foo Fighters no longer list Alive & Well as a supported charity on their website as of 2008.


  5. "Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers", Mother Jones magazine. Published 25 February 2000; Accessed 20 October 2006.
  6. A Mother's Denial, a Daughter's Death: Article from L.A. Times, Sep 24, 2005
  7. Letters to the Editor, Mother Jones magazine, 10 March 2000. Accessed 20 October 2006.
  8. Charities supported by the Foo Fighters Accessed 25 April 2008.

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