Foo Fighters‘ as-yet-untitled eighth studio album is set to drop later this year, and the band’s frontman Dave Grohl has opened up about the album’s genesis, its home-grown musical inspirations, and why it won’t be a “bleak Radiohead record”.
The Foo’s next album will likely be released in November alongside the release of his very own television show on HBO, according to a source close to Billboard. In a recent interview with the publication, Grohl divulged details of guest artists, explained how the album will sound in comparison to the band’s previous studio efforts, and also discussed how its recording process will be mapped by his HBO program.
In the interview, Grohl discusses the reasoning behind returning to the documentary format after his 2013 documentary Sound City. “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,” he says.
“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’.”
Grohl reveals that his HBO program is being shot in tandem with the production of the album in various cities around the United States. What’s more, the band have been lucky enough to work with some hometown musical idols along the way.
The Foos hit up eight American cities with deep musical histories – Seattle, Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Washington D.C. and New York. At each and every stop Grohl took some time to interview some of the musicians who have influenced him and his band. He then used these interviews as inspiration to write and record songs for album number eight.
Rick Nielsen, the guitarist in Cheap Trick who previously worked with Grohl on his ‘Sound City’ documentary, was interviewed during the band’s Chicago stop. Fellow guitarist Gary Clark Jr. kindly helped out with some riffs during the stop-off in Austin, Texas. Country musician Zac Brown, whose album Dave Grohl recently produced, joined the band in Nashville.
Former Eagles member Joe Walsh also sat in on a recording session in Joshua Tree, California. As previously reported, Trombone Shorty and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band recently played with the band during their stopover in New Orleans. Foo Fighters are once again working with producer Butch Vig, who produced the band’s 2011 Grammy-winning album Wasting Light. And yes, they’re recording it all using analog techniques.
Grohl also notes that the band knew they could experiment more after the success of their last album, but have decided to remain true to their anthemic rock sound. “As we were coming down from the success of the last record, I thought, ‘Now we have a license to get weird. If we wanted, we could make some crazy, bleak Radiohead record and freak everyone out’,” he says.
“Then I thought, ‘F— that.’ … [We just started] 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. The music is a progression or an evolution, for sure, but it’s a Foo Fighters record,” Grohl explains.