As anticipation mounts for the November release of their eighth album, Sonic Highways, Foo Fighters have hit the UK, revealing new details of the album and covertly taking to stages using their alter-ego, The Holy Shits.
Speaking in a recent interview, bass player Nate Mendel revealed that guests on the new album include Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard, and described the sound of the album as straightforward Foo Fighters songs that go off on a “psychic odyssey”.
“We wrote the bulk of the songs back in Los Angeles, so it was more of a matter of experiencing each place learning about the studio and then bringing in guest musicians,” Mendel told NME. According to the bassist, the guest musicians influenced the mood and direction that the song took on the new album.
“In Seattle we had Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie; in the desert outside Los Angeles it was Joe Walsh from The Eagles for a classic southern California feel – and, sure enough, suddenly our song has layers of Hotel California in it,” he explained. Other guests include Cheap Trick‘s Rick Nielsen, who’d previously worked with frontman Dave Grohl on the latter’s Sound City documentary soundtrack.
“They’re fairly straightforward Foo Fighters songs and almost every one of them takes a left turn and goes off on some psychic odyssey with guest musicians in the middle,” said Mendel of the new album, which is slated for global release on 10th November. “There are a few elements that are looser than traditional Foo Fighters moments.”
The band has also just kicked off a string of secret UK club shows under their pseudonym The Holy Shits, ahead of their performance at the closing ceremony of London’s Invictus Games this week. According to NME, the show at Concorde 2 in Brighton did not feature any new material, but did see Grohl teasing the crowd with talk of playing “[a] week at Wembley Stadium”.
Speaking to Gigwise, guitarist Chris Shiflett said the band’s upcoming HBO documentary series prohibits them from playing new material at the shows, though they might “play a snippet or two”. The band will play the second of their three UK club gigs at London’s new House of Vans tonight.
Last month, the band confirmed that the first song to be taken from Sonic Highways will debut with the premiere of their documentary series of the same name on 17th October. The HBO series depicts the recording of the band’s new album in legendary studios across the United States.
Watch: Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways Trailer