A few weeks ago, Foo Fighters revealed that their eighth album – due this fall on Roswell/RCA – will be accompanied by an HBO series documenting the making of the record, which was recorded in eight different cities. Dave Grohl directed the show, which finds the band tapping into the musical heritage of eight towns – Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, DC and New York – basing themselves at a legendary studio in each location. One song was recorded in each city, and every song features local legends sitting in with the Foos. Grohl's inspiration for making the album in this way really came from his experience directing the documentary film, 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," Grohl told Billboard. "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.'... It's basically the history of American music broken down to the cultural roots of each place: Why did Chicago become a Blues capital? 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."
The idea for the recording process also makes for a more diverse and experimental record than fans are used to hearing from the Foos. For example, there are tracks infused with Country Rock as well as one that features horns and Jazz tones. But after being a band for two decades, the Foos have earned their right for some artistic freedom.
"As we were coming down from the success of the last record, I thought, 'Now we have license to get weird,'" Grohl explained. "If we wanted, we could make some crazy, bleak Radiohead record and freak everyone out. Then I thought, 'F- that.'" Instead of just "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," Grohl added. "The music is a progression or an evolution, for sure, but it's a Foo Fighters record."