In this new series, Foo Fighters commemorate their 20th anniversary by documenting the eight-city recording odyssey that produced their latest, and eighth, studio album. Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl directs the series, which taps into the musical heritage and cultural fabric of eight cities: Chicago IL, Austin TX, Nashville TN, Los Angeles CA, Seattle WA, New Orleans LA, Washington D.C. and New York NY. The band based itself at a legendary recording studio integral to the unique history and character of each location. One song was recorded in each city, and every track features local legends. The documentary series now has a title since we reported on this project last –FOO FIGHTER’S SONIC HIGHWAY. The series now offers a quick tease as it moves forward. Unfortunately there is no hard premiere date attached beyond – “Coming Soon”, but if we are lucky we can hope for September.
Also, as of late, Dave Grohl has been talking up the forthcoming series. One such source has been the Hollywood Reporter and HBOWatch shares a snippet from their interview with the Foo’s founder.
Hollywood Reporter: You’re really in bed with HBO these days, having recently announced the docuseries Sonic Highways. Tell us about the genesis of that idea.
Dave Grohl: I’ve been working on this for a year and a half. After making the Sound City movie, I realized that the pairing of music and documentary worked so well because the stories give substance and depth to the song, which makes a stronger emotional connection to it. If you know the story behind the artist, or the story behind the studio, or the song, it widens your appreciation for the music. The four-minute long video is a blessed thing but sometimes it can be just an image. And these stories and these people give so much more depth to the music.
So on the last day of the Sound City tour, my producers, handed me a present: it was a journal with a pen and said, “Congratulations on the success of Sound City, now get to work.” I had a blast on Sound City and a wonderful team that worked on the movie with me and I thought, I wanna do this again. I love music, I know music, I understand music, so I wanna stay in this world. But instead of just walking into a studio and telling its story, I want to travel across America and tell its story.
So it became a deeper project. And I thought OK, this is going to be the story that will influence the next Foo Fighters record. We’re coming up on our 20th anniversary, we’re an American band. Each one of these cities have had artists and music that have influenced us directly, so let’s go there. Yeah, and that was the idea. And that was just a matter of actually making it happen.
HR: What were the criteria to pick the cities or the studios?
D G: At first, we wanted to go all over the world. But that seemed logistically impossible so we zeroed in on eight cities. Some of them we have personal connections with — the studio in Washington, D.C., a studio in Seattle, a studio in Los Angeles — these are all places that are part of our band’s history. Then there are some we’ve never been to. Preservation Hall in New Orleans is a great example. It’s one of the great things about this project — that we get to spend a week in each city, and by the time we leave each place, I feel like I know the people, I know the food, the music. Seven days is enough to get a little bit of each city under your skin. And New Orleans is just so deep — there’s not only a musical community but it’s a community of families where generations of musicians have been playing music in the city for hundreds of years. … It was just f—in’ magical.