Viewers watching the 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony this weekend on HBO were treated to a surprise teaser preview of the new HBO series Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways. The sneak peek features an exclusive Dave Grohl mission statement accompanied by the first passage of music to be unveiled from the as-yet-untitled eighth FF album — out November on Roswell/RCA — and a fleeting glimpse of the HBO series documenting the eight-city odyssey of the record’s creation.
“I’ve pulled up the family tree of American music and exposed its roots to find inspiration for the next Foo Fighters album,” says Grohl of the band’s most ambitious effort to date. Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear tapped into the musical heritage and cultural fabric of each of these cities — Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington DC — basing themselves at a legendary studio integral to the unique history and character of each location. One song was recorded in each city, all featuring local legends sitting in, with every lyric written in an unprecedented experimental style: Dave held off on putting down words until the last day of each session, so as to be inspired by the experiences, interviews for the HBO series, and other local personalities who became part of the process.
If Grohl’s 2013 feature film directorial debut, the universally acclaimed Grammy-winning Sound City, was a celebration of the human element in the creation and recording of music, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways is, in its director’s words, “a chronicling of a journey to unravel the fabric of our musical identity… not only the making of our most ambitious album… this is Sound City on steroids.” Each episode delves into the singular regional identity of each city, how each region shaped these musicians in their formative years, and in turn the impact those people had on the cultural fabric of their hometowns. Dave’s unequaled passion for both the music he creates and the music that inspires its creation once again fuels the type of honest and trusting musician-to-musician exchange that made Sound City a critical and commercial smash.
Premiering on the eve of Foo Fighters 20th anniversary, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways aims to “give back” to the next generation of young musicians. As interviewee Buddy Guy puts it, “Everything comes from what’s come before.”
Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways premieres this fall on HBO. For further information and updates, including where and when the series will be broadcast outside the U.S., sign up at http://foofighters.com.
Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways is directed by Dave Grohl for Roswell Films, a division of Roswell Records, the label that releases Foo Fighters’ music; written by Mark Monroe and Dave Grohl. Executive produced by Dave Grohl, James A. Rota, John Ramsay. The series is produced for HBO by Roswell Films and Therapy Content, in association with Worldwide Pants.