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.
Foo Fighters: 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.
Foo Fighters: 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 and `A320' 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.