Foo Fighters

  • 09 June 2004

Band form


Foo Fighters (formed 1995)

Foo Fighters are a band that began as a solo project for Dave Grohl, the former drummer for Nirvana. They are now an internationally renowned band and three of their albums have won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album.

The early years: During his time as Nirvana's drummer, Dave Grohl occasionally booked studio time to record his own demos, not wanting to ruin the chemistry of Nirvana by introducing his own songs to the band. Grohl released a cassette entitled Pocketwatch in 1992, under the pseudonym `Late!'

The demo tapes that eventually became the debut Foo Fighters album were recorded in Seattle. Grohl played all the instruments and sang all the vocals on the recordings, apart from one guitar line, which was played by Greg Dulli of the band Afghan Whigs.

Ex-Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic was the initial candidate to play bass in Foo Fighters but both Novoselic and Grohl were concerned that people may think the pair were trying to reincarnate Nirvana. However, Grohl was keen to avoid Foo Fighters being a one-man studio project. He drafted ex-Sunny Day Real Estate bass player Nate Mendel and their drummer, William Goldsmith. To complete the line-up, Grohl invited Nirvana's occasional touring guitarist, Pat Smear to play second guitar. Smear also used to be a member of the punk band The Germs.

The first single, `This Is A Call' was released in 1995, followed by the self-titled album. That same year, they made their first appearance at the Reading Festival.

Mainstream Success: The second album was recorded with producer Gil Norton but Grohl was unhappy with the mixes of the tracks. He headed to a studio in Washington DC and began recording some of the songs again by himself. The newer version of `Walking After You', with Grohl playing all the instruments, was the one used for the album.

When the band re-grouped in LA to re-record the album, with Grohl playing drums, Goldsmith was not informed about the session. Eventually, he found out from Mendel. Feeling betrayed, he left the band. The album, The Colour and The Shape was released in 1997.

Alanis Morrisette's touring drummer, Taylor Hawkins volunteered for the role of drummer in the band and was playing live with the band in time for the release of The Colour and The Shape. In September of 1997, outside the MTV Video Music Awards, Pat Smear also announced that he was leaving the band, and introduced the crowd to his replacement, Franz Stahl. Stahl appeared on two soundtrack recordings (a re-recorded Walking After You' for The X-Files andA320' for Godzilla) but left the band before they recorded their third album.

There is Nothing Left To Lose was recorded in Virginia, as a three-piece. The single `Learn To Fly' was the band's first single to hit the Billboard Hot 100. Chris Shiflett successfully auditioned as a touring guitarist and eventually became a permanent member of the band.

When Queen were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, Grohl and Hawkins performed with them, with Dave Grohl taking on the vocals of the late Freddie Mercury. Grohl also took time out to help Queens of the Stone Age record their Songs for the Deaf album, after spending four months recording the Foo Fighters' fourth album.

Having finished the QotSA album, however, Grohl was inspired to get Foo Fighters to re-record their own album. The resulting record was entitled One By One. The single, `Times Like These' was used as part of George W. Bush's presidential campaign, much to the band's distaste.

The fifth Foo Fighters studio album was In Your Honour, a double CD. One disc was acoustic numbers, the other contained rock songs. Grohl stated that it was the perfect way to celebrate the band's 10th anniversary.

The follow up, produced by Gil Norton again, was released in 2007, entitled Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace. Soon after the album's completion, the band played at the huge `Live Earth' event at Wembley Stadium.

They also performed their song `The Pretender' at the Grammy awards, with John Paul Jones conducting the orchestra.

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl Announces New Documentary 'Play'

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 02 August 2018

Dave Grohl Foo Fighters

'Play' will show the process behind the creation of a new 23-minute instrumental track from Grohl, in which he plays every instrument.

Foo Fighters’ lead singer Dave Grohl has revealed details of a new two-part mini-documentary film called Play, which builds up to the unveiling of a brand new solo song on which he plays every instrument.

Trailers for the immersive Play project appeared on Wednesday night ahead of a release date of August 10th, and according to Grohl, it serves to show fans “the rewards and challenges of dedicating ones life to playing and mastering a musical instrument.”

Play was conceived with the help of Mark Monroe, the director of Foo Fighters’ 2014 series ‘Sonic Highways’. In the new project, fans will see Grohl play a brand new solo song, a 23-minute instrumental, on one instrument at a time from guitar to bass and drums, before all seven tracks are merged to form the complete song.

Continue reading: Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl Announces New Documentary 'Play'

Foo Fighters Win Double At 2018 Kerrang! Awards

By Holly Williams in Music / Festivals on 22 June 2018

Foo Fighters

They were joined by Biffy Clyro, Enter Shikari and Architects.

The 2018 Kerrang! Awards finally hit Islington Town Hall in London last night for a ceremony fuelled by some of the best rock 'n' roll acts the world has to offer. Foo Fighters, Joe Perry and Enter Shikari were among the winners this year, while stars the likes of Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper were also in attendance.

Image caption Foo Fighters perform at Glastonbury

The winners have been voted for by Kerrang! readers and rock fans rather than a judging panel, and because of them Foo Fighters were the big winners of Thursday night (June 21st 2018), taking home the awards for both Best International Live Act and Best International Band, with their rookie counterparts Code Orange winning Best International Breakthrough.

Continue reading: Foo Fighters Win Double At 2018 Kerrang! Awards

Dave Grohl Did Not Get Away With His Carpool Karaoke 'Slating'

By Holly Mosley in Music / Festivals on 21 June 2018

Foo Fighters Dave Grohl James Corden

James Corden forced him to explain himself after calling the episode 'uncomfortable'.

Fans may have loved to have seen Foo Fighters on Carpool Karaoke last year, but the ensuing controversy just wasn't worth it. Dave Grohl has just been forced to clarify what he meant by the experience being 'uncomfortable', after host James Corden sent him an angry text message.

Image caption Dave Grohl performing live with Foo Fighters

Following their appearance on 'The Late Late Show with James Corden', Dave Grohl and his bandmates had few positive things to say about the legendary Carpool Karaoke segment in which they appeared. He described it as 'a little uncomfortable', and admitted that he felt 'embarrassed' singing his own songs.

Continue reading: Dave Grohl Did Not Get Away With His Carpool Karaoke 'Slating'

Foo Fighters Show Their Support For Female Artists

By Holly Williams in Music / Festivals on 18 June 2018

Foo Fighters

They invite strong female acts on their world tour.

While the music industry is much easier for women to navigate than it ever used to be, that doesn't mean that there aren't huge gender barriers for up and coming female artists. Foo Fighters have made deliberate moves to include more female acts on the support roster for their current tour.

Image caption Foo Fighters perform at Glastonbury
Image caption Foo Fighters at Glastonbury Festival
Image caption Foo Fighters at Glastonbury 2017
Image caption Foo Fighters live at Glastonbury