Yes. It's interesting, in hindsight. Like I've said elsewhere when this was discussed, at the time Grohl felt like the perfect man for the job in some way, given his attack and at least somewhat Stan like temper and approach. A man worthy the task. At the same time it felt too late. See, already in the aftermath of the Lynne era, there was this certain feeling that Tom was really looking for something else, something new. Both in his rhythm section and his line of songs, him/them entering a new phase, at least in terms of said drums.
As discussed, this may be overly obvious seen from the vista of here and now, but already then, I remember, it seemed Tom's experience with Lynne, or just his general outlook, where he was in life had turned him suddenly (well..) more favorable towards a time keeping boom-smack-boom-smack sonic ideal.* Some of us did probably wonder, at least slightly, how the magical sound of ITGWO album really left any room for Stan's personal magic and what that meant for the future. All in all of course, back then, at least to me, most things seemed to suggest that Stan leaving the band really was musical rather than personal, when in fact it probably was both.** The release of YDKHIF then, from the first smack, really seemed to close the case.
Given that background, it was obviously as puzzling as it was exciting to tune in for SNL and find no other than Dave Grohl behind the kit, reading that at least for a short moment he was considered for the job. "What?! Man, didn't they just spend the better part of a decade slowly working themselves out of that line of aeastitics anyway..??" Well, some of us simply thought that TP had decided on a new path with his rhytm section, production style.. Cutting Stan some slack even, in a way, since then it was not personal anyway.. (relief to some of us, not yet familiar with Stan's frosty relationship with Mike and all that..) And then, there at SNL, for a short moment it seemed like they were not about to abandon the "wild child", integral drumming after all... Very confusing that was. Of course in hindsight, with Bisquera sitting in also and Steve fairly soon finding his place and the years passing.. it seems obvious that whatever change in sonic/drums preferenses that hit TP around the time for his TW/JL experience, was to become more or less the "new deal". Dave would not have made it, stylistically, any further (or happier?) than Stan would've, for the better parts of what was to come (all the way up to Hypnotic Eye, where again a slight door seems to open..).
For a moment there, excited as I was for the energy of it all, given the feeling at the time, it almost felt like a slap in Stan's face. I mean, just moments after he let go, after some 6 years of haning on despite next to nothing new to do or to work with, the guys go on national television, cranking it up and signaling they were still lean and mean positively rocking with the drums as a fellow instrument. I remember feeling very odd at the time. Again, hindsight does make everything easier.
* The drums as more of a steady hanger than an integral piece of apparel in it's own right, to paraphrase myself. A sturdy fixed skeleton on which to hang the ensambles on, rather than a working with an outfit that kept itself in suitable swagger. Geeze.. the methaphors of it all...
**If anything, maybe Stan gradually gravitating away from TPATH orbit - on a personal level, what with his relation to Tom and Mike and what have you - may actually have helped strengthening and specify what may be viewed as Tom's new approach to the drums. On the other hand, Tom doing what he did with Jeff, working with that newfound inspiration and method, that style, if you like, at the same time excluding Stan, may again turn the instigating momentum over on Tom anyway... So it certainly feels fair to say that the split happened for both musical and personal reasons and from both sides to a degree. No surprises there.