Dave Grohl on Foo Fighters: ‘We Could’ve Made a Radiohead Record’
'Sound City' maestro details the new LP and HBO series in a new interview
Dave Grohl has shared more details about the forthcoming Foo Fighters album and accompanying HBO series. In an interview with Billboard‘s Shirley Halperin, he laid out his overall M.O. thusly: “As we were coming down from the success of the last record, I thought, ‘Now we have license to get weird. If we wanted, we could make some crazy, bleak Radiohead record and freak everyone out.’ Then I thought, ‘Fuck that.'” Oof — not in front of Mr. Thom, Dave.
Instead, he took a page from the critical success of his Sound City documentary and set out with his band and a camera crew to record in eight different iconic studios in eight different U.S. cities: Seattle, Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and Washington, D.C. It seems that at each location, Grohl interviewed artists associated with the studio/scene, wrote a song inspired by the experience, and then the Foos recorded with said artists.
“After making Sound City, I realized that the pairing of music and documentary works well because the stories give substance and depth to the song, which makes for a stronger emotional connection,” Grohl told Billboard, who tease collaborations with Gary Clark Jr., the Eagles’ Joe Walsh, and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen. “So I thought, ‘I want to do this again, but instead of just walking into a studio and telling its story, I want to travel across America and tell its story.'”
That, of course, spawned the surprise performances we witnessed on a NoLa city-block, in a tiny cafe, and at a historic punk club. Also, that gun-toting session in Joshua Tree. He went on: “It’s basically the history of American music broken down into the cultural roots of each place: Why did country go to Nashville? Why did the first psychedelic band, Thirteenth Floor Elevators, come from Austin? How did the second line rhythm make its way to New Orleans? It’s crazy.”
Still, Grohl promises, “The music is a progression or an evolution, for sure, but it’s a Foo Fighters record,” even if they’re switching it up: “[Instead of] banging out these big choruses, because that’s what we do, we’re banging them out in the middle of instrumental sections that will take you by surprise.”
As reported, Butch Vig is overseeing production. Other names attached to the HBO show include Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye, Kiss’ Paul Stanley, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, and blues legend Buddy Guy. Also: Foo Fighters have a new homepage.