In the midst of their residency on the Late Show with David Letterman, the debut episode of Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, and preparing for tonight’s performance at the Cubby Bear, Dave Grohl took some time out to chat with Marty Lennartz.
He discussed all things Sonic Highways from the initial inception of the album to the idea of making a documentary about the recording process. He said, “We started this project almost two years ago & we didn’t tell anybody for a really long time.” Although they were silent, that didn’t exempt the band from standing still. Grohl said, “This is probably the most work I’ve put into anything in my life. Not only were we trying to make the best Foo Fighters record we could possibly make, but we were making eight movies.”
All of the effort was worth it to Grohl as he said it was the most creatively inspired he’s been than at any other point of his life. He stated the band had about 30-40 instrumentals they’ve been working on over the past few years that they could choose from. “We picked eight instrumentals and assigned them to a city. We didn’t have any lyrics, just instrumentals and the idea was we’d spend a week in each city” Grohl said.
While the song structures may have been in place, Grohl said the inspiration for the lyrics came from interviews he would do with musicians of the city the Foo Fighters were recording in. He says, “I’d take all of my transcripts from the interviews, go back to my hotel room and pick out words/phrases/sentences… I’d arrange all of those ideas into a song that was about the episode.” From the get go, a unique concept became even more personalized as the Foo Fighters aimed to lyrically connect with the cities they were recording in.
With Chicago being the focus of the first episode, it comes as no surprise the city holds a deep connection to Grohl. He said, “Chicago was the first place I ever saw a live band on stage play. It was at the Cubby Bear and it was Naked Raygun. That night changed my life forever… It changed my life and it was like I was born again.” These sentiments are part of the meaning behind “Something From Nothing”, the track the band recorded in Chicago. According to Grohl, “It’s all about that spark of inspiration that sets you in the direction your life eventually takes, and that was that night for me at the Cubby Bear.”
Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters are set to take the Cubby Bear stage tonight following the conclusion of the debut episode of Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways. As part of the celebration, XRT is featuring the music of the Foo Fighters all day long as part of our Friday Feature. When Marty told Grohl their music was being featured alongside Muddy Waters, he said “Right on man! You gotta play “Manish Boy”!”