Foo Fighters Overview
Foo Fighters is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 1995. Singer and guitarist Dave Grohl formed the group as a one-man project after the dissolution of his previous band, Nirvana Nirvana (band) , in 1994. Prior to the release of the band's eponymous debut album Foo Fighters (album) in 1995, Grohl drafted Nate Mendel as bassist, William Goldsmith as drummer, and Pat Smear as guitarist to complete the group. The band was small, young, and they began with performances in Portland, Oregon before gaining po***rity. Goldsmith left during the recording of the group's second album, The Colour and the Shape (1997), and Smear's departure followed soon afterward. They were replaced by Taylor Hawkins and Franz Stahl, respectively, although Stahl left prior to the recording of the group's third album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999).
Chris Shiflett joined as the band's second guitarist after the completion of There Is Nothing Left to Lose. The band released its fourth album, One by One, in 2002. The group followed that release with the two-disc In Your Honor (2005), which was split between acoustic Acoustic music songs and harder-rocking material. Foo Fighters released its sixth album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, in 2007. Over the course of the band's existence, three of its albums have won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album, and all six have been nominated for Grammys.
Formation and debut album (1994–1995)
Dave Grohl joined the grunge group Nirvana Nirvana (band) as its drummer in 1990 after the break up of his previous band, Scream. In order to occupy himself during tours, he took a guitar with him and wrote songs. Grohl held back these songs from the rest of the band; he said in 1997, "I was in awe of frontman Kurt Cobain's songs. And intimidated. I thought it was best that I keep my songs to myself." Grohl occasionally booked studio time to record demos, and even issued a cassette of some of those songs called Pocketwatch Pocketwatch (album) under the pseudonym "Late!" in 1992.
Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home on April 8, 1994, and Nirvana subsequently disbanded. Grohl received offers to work with various artists; he almost accepted a permanent position as the drummer in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Ultimately Grohl declined and instead entered Robert Lang Studios in October 1994 to record twelve of the forty songs he had written. "I was supposed to just join another band and be a drummer the rest of my life," Grohl later said. "I thought that I would rather do what no one expected me to do. I enjoy writing music and I enjoy trying to sing, and there's nothing anyone can really do to discourage me." Grohl completed an album's worth of material in five days and handed out cassette copies of the sessions to his friends for feedback. Grohl formed a band to support the album. Initially, he talked to former Nirvana band mate Krist Novoselic about joining the group, but both decided against it. "For Krist and I, it would have felt really natural and really great", Grohl explained. "But for everyone else, it would have been weird, and it would have left me in a really bad position. Then I really would have been under the microscope." Having heard about the disbanding of Seattle-based rock band Sunny Day Real Estate, Grohl drafted the group's bass player, Nate Mendel, and drummer, William Goldsmith. Grohl asked Pat Smear, who served as a touring guitarist for Nirvana after the release of its 1993 album, In Utero, to join as the group's second guitarist. Grohl ultimately licensed the album to Capitol Records, releasing it on his new record label, Roswell Records.
In need of a replacement for Goldsmith, Grohl contacted Alanis Morissette's touring drummer Taylor Hawkins to see if he could recommend anybody. Grohl was surprised when Hawkins volunteered his own services as drummer. Stahl toured with the band for the next few months, and appeared on two tracks that the band recorded for movie soundtracks, a re-recording of "Walking After You" for The X-Files The X-Files (film) and "A320 A320 (song) " for Godzilla Godzilla (1998 film) . A B-side of the album, "Dear Lover", appeared in the horror film Scream 2.
There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1998–2001)
In 1998, Foo Fighters traveled to Grohl's home state of Virginia to write music for its third album. However, Grohl and Stahl were unable to co-operate as songwriters; Grohl told Kerrang! in 1999, "in those few weeks it just seemed like the three of us were moving in one direction and Franz wasn't". Grohl was distraught about the decision to fire Stahl, as the two had been friends since childhood. The remaining trio of Grohl, Mendel, and Hawkins spent the next several months recording the band's third album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose, in Grohl's Virginia home studio. The album spawned several singles, including "Learn to Fly", the band's first single to reach the US Hot 100.
Before the release of the album, Capitol president Gary Gersh was forced out of the label. Given Grohl's history with Gersh, Foo Fighters' contract had included a "key man clause" that allowed them to leave the label upon Gersh's departure. They subsequently left Capitol and signed to RCA RCA Records , who later acquired the rights to the band's Capitol albums.
One by One (2001–2004)
Near the end of 2001, the band reconvened to record their fourth album One by One . After spending four months in a Los Angeles studio completing the album, Grohl spent some time helping Queens of the Stone Age complete their 2002 album Songs for the Deaf. Once the Queens of the Stone Age album was finished, Grohl, inspired by the sessions, decided to reconvene Foo Fighters to rework a few songs on their album. Instead, they re-recorded nearly all of the album (save "Tired of You") in a ten-day stretch at Grohl's studio in Virginia. The final album was released in October 2002 under the title One by One. Singles from the album included "All My Life All My Life (Foo Fighters song) ", "Times Like These Times Like These (song) ", "Low Low (Foo Fighters song) ", and "Have It All Have It All (single) ". The band later expressed displeasure with the album. Grohl told Rolling Stone in 2005, "Four of the songs were good, and the other seven I never played again in my life. We rushed into it, and we rushed out of it."
For most of its history, the band chose to stay away from the political realm. However, in 2004, upon learning that George W. Bush's presidential campaign was using "Times Like These" at rallies, Grohl decided to lend his public support to John Kerry's campaign.
In Your Honor, Foozer Tour, and acoustic tour (2005–2006)
Having spent a year and a half touring behind One By One, Grohl did not want to rush into recording another Foo Fighters record. Initially Grohl intended to write acoustic material by himself, but eventually the project involved the entire band. To record its 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. On June 17, 2006, Foo Fighters performed their largest non-festival headlining concert to date at London's Hyde Park Hyde Park, London . The band was supported by Juliette and the Licks, Angels & Airwaves, Queens of the Stone Age, and Motörhead.
In further support of In Your Honor, the band decided to organize a short acoustic tour for the summer of 2006. The tour included former member Pat Smear, who rejoined the band as an extra guitarist, Petra Haden on violin and backup vocals, Drew Hester on percussion, and Rami Jaffee of The Wallflowers on keyboards/piano. While much of the setlist focused on In Your Honor's acoustic half, the band also used the opportunity to play lesser-known songs such as "Ain't It The Life", "Floaty", and "See You". The band also performed "Marigold", a Pocketwatch-era song that was best-known as a Nirvana B-side.
In November 2006, the band released their first ever live CD, Skin and Bones, featuring fifteen performances captured over a three-night stand in Los Angeles. An accompanying DVD was released, and featured tracks not available on the CD.
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace and Greatest Hits (2007–2009)
For the follow-up to In Your Honor, the band decided to call in The Colour and the Shape producer Gil Norton. Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace was released on September 25, 2007. The album's first single, "The Pretender The Pretender (song) ", was issued to radio in early August. In mid-to-late 2007 "The Pretender" topped Billboard Billboard (magazine) 's Modern Rock chart for a record 18 weeks; it also gave the band their third consecutive year at the top (a record). The second single, "Long Road to Ruin", was released in December 2007, supported by a music video directed by longtime collaborator Jesse Peretz (formerly of the Lemonheads).
In October 2007, Foo Fighters started their world tour in support of Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. The band performed shows throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia, including headlining the Virgin Mobile Festival in Baltimore on August 9. The band finished its world tour in September 2008 at the Virgin Festival at Toronto Island Park in Canada.
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace was nominated for five Grammy Awards in 2008. The Foo Fighters went home with Best Rock Album and Best Hard Rock Performance (for "The Pretender"). The album was also nominated for Album of the Year, while "The Pretender" was also nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rock Song.
On November 3, 2009, the band released a compilation album, Greatest Hits Greatest Hits (Foo Fighters album) , which features two new songs, "Word Forward" and the single "Wheels Wheels (song) ".
Next album and the future (2010–present)
The band is slated to begin recording their seventh studio album in September 2010. Grohl said in a Rolling Stone interview that the album would be recorded in his garage and would be less polished than other Foo Fighters albums.When Grohl first started the band, its music was often compared to that of his previous group, Nirvana. Grohl acknowledged that Nirvana singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain was a major influence on his songwriting. Grohl said, "Through Kurt, I saw the beauty of minimalism and the importance of music that's stripped down." Foo Fighters also utilize the Pixies' technique of shifting between quiet verses and loud chorus, which Grohl said was influenced by the members of Nirvana "liking the Knack The Knack , Bay City Rollers, Beatles The Beatles , and ABBA as much as we liked Flipper Flipper (band) and Black Flag Black Flag (band) , I suppose".In 2000, the band generated controversy through their public support of Alive & Well Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives , an organization that denies AIDS denialism the link between HIV and AIDS, questions the validity of HIV tests, and advises against taking medication to counter the disease. Foo Fighter bassist Nate Mendel learned of Alive & Well through What If Everything You Thought You Knew about AIDS Was Wrong?, a self-published book written by Christine Maggiore, the organization's founder. Mendel passed the book around to the rest of the band, who supported his advocacy. The band's position caused alarm in the medical community, as Alive & Well's advice ran contrary to scientific knowledge about HIV and AIDS.;Current members
*Dave Grohl – vocals singer , guitar (since 1995)
*Nate Mendel – bass bass guitar (since 1995)
*Taylor Hawkins – drums drum kit (since 1997)
*Chris Shiflett – guitar (since 1999)
*Pat Smear - full time guitar, backing vocals (1995 / 1997), touring 3rd guitar (since 2006)
*William Goldsmith - drums, percussion (1995 / 1997)
*Franz Stahl - guitar (1997 / 1999)* Foo Fighters Foo Fighters (album) (1995)
* The Colour and the Shape (1997)
* There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999)
* One by One (2002)
* In Your Honor (2005)
* Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007)* VH1: Storytellers (2009)
* Bravo: Top Chef Season 5. Episode: A Foo Fighters Thanksgiving (2008)
* Fuse Rocks the Garden: Foo Fighters (2008)
* MTV: Live from Denmark (2005)
* MTV: Viva la Bam Episode: Driveway Skatepark (2005) [Dave Grohl only]
* Viva (TFM): Foo Fighters Live at Wembley StadiumFoo Fighters first received a Grammy Award for their music video for "Learn to Fly" in 2000 and have won six in total. These include 3 for Best Rock Album for There Is Nothing Left To Lose, One By One, and Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace; and 2 for Best Hard Rock Performance for the songs "All My Life", and "The Pretender The Pretender (song) ".
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