Dave Grohl, a multi instrumentalist played every instrument on the demo recordings of the first Foo Fighter’s album as the only official member. Grohl drafted bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith, as well as fellow Nirvana touring band mate Pat Smear as guitarist to complete the line up. Foo Fighters made their live debut on March 3rd, 1995, during a show at the Satyricon in Portland. The band’s debut album Foo Fighters was released in July 1995. The band incorporated melodic elements with harder sounds.
In 1996, Foo Fighters recorded their second album. While Grohl wrote all the songs, the rest of the band collaborated on the arrangements. Goldsmith quit during the recording of the second album, when Grohl himself rerecorded most of the drum parts. In need of a replacement, Grohl contacted Alanis Morissette’s touring drummer Taylor Hawkins who would make his debut with the group in time for the release of its second album, The Colour and the Shape, in May 1997. The album included the singles “Monkey Wrench,” “My Hero,” and “Everlong.”
Foo Fighters traveled to Grohl’s home state of Virginia to write music for their third album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose, The album spawned several singles, including “Learn to Fly,” the band’s first single to reach the U.S. Hot 100. The next album titled “One by One” was released in October 2002; Singles from the album included “All My Life and “Times Like These,”
To record their fifth album, the band shifted to Los Angeles and built a recording studio, dubbed Studio 606 West. Grohl insisted that the album be divided into two discs—one full of rock songs, the other featuring acoustic tracks. In Your Honour was released in June 2005. The album’s singles included “Best of You,” “DOA,” and “Resolve” In support of In Your Honour, the band decided to organise a short acoustic tour for the summer of 2006.
The follow-up album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace was released on September 25th, 2007, the album’s first single, ‘the pretender’ topped Billboard’s Modern Rock chart for a record nineteen weeks. The second single, “Long Road to Ruin,” was released in December 2007, supported by a music video directed by longtime collaborator Jesse Peretz.
‘Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace’ won Grammy awards in 2008 for Best Rock Album and Best Hard Rock Performance while “The Pretender” was also nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rock Song. The band’s seventh studio album; Wasting Light was recorded in Dave Grohl’s garage using only analog equipment and was released in February 2011. It debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and was the first Foo Fighters album to do so.
Watch FIB’s 5 minute web-doco on the Foo Fighters above!
Film by Michael Pisciuneri
Read more about the Foo Fighters at FIB’s Masters of Music Vol. 15 “Rock” available now at Amazon and all good book stores!