Your campus, Your story
After 20 years and seven albums, Foo Fighters decided to spice up the recording process for their eighth studio album, and once again, they didn’t disappoint.
“Sonic Highways” is their most ambitious project yet. The band celebrated its milestone anniversary by releasing this eight-track LP and an HBO series with the same name.
Foo’s front man Dave Grohl came up with the concept of a “musical map of America” after directing the documentary, “Sound City.” Grohl and company visited eight different cities in the United States and interviewed prominent musicians of all different genres.
The band then came up with lyrics based on sound bites from the interviews. Although all five members (Grohl, on-again guitarist Pat Smear, drummer Taylor Hawkins, bassist Nate Mendel and guitarist Chris Shiflett) took part in the musical aspect of the songs, Grohl primarily wrote the lyrics.
Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Pharrell Williams, Zac Brown, Gary Clark, Jr. and Paul Stanley are just a few of the musicians interviewed for the series. They all offer a unique perspective on the music scene of their city, and their individual stories shape the lyrics of each song. Grohl also explored the underground scenes of Chicago and Washington DC, showcasing the musical diversity between the two cities.
Every song is clearly influenced by the city it was recorded in, but the album still maintains the Fighters’ signature style: heavy guitars and commercial punk rock.
The first single, “Something From Nothing” has an almost Pixies loud/quiet vibe. The band’s guitar parts could easily be background noise on the track, but the different dynamics between the three guitarists play off of each other – and it works.
“What Did I Do?/God As My Witness” and “Congregation” both have southern rock elements, recorded in Nashville and Austin, respectively. Zac Brown lends his vocals to the latter.
He’s not the only famous name on the album, as Joe Walsh of The Eagles offers his guitar skills to “Outside” and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick slays on “Something From Nothing.”
Grohl called the project “a love letter to the history of American music,” and there is no better way to describe it. Grohl’s love for music shines throughout the entirety of this album. The series would be uninspiring without his genuine appreciation for each and every artist and their respective style of music. Every song is an excellent musical tribute to its city.
Even after two decades together, the Foo’s are showing no signs of slowing down. They will embark on a whopping 53-stop world tour starting in December, which includes two dates at Wembley Stadium in London with special guest, Iggy Pop.
A sure sign you’ve made it? When the legendary Iggy Pop is your special guest at a stadium that seats 90,000 people.
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