Foo Fighters Biography
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While he was drumming with Nirvana, Dave Grohl was recording original songs at home that never received public release. Those tapes would become the foundation of the Foo Fighters, the band he formed in 1995, after the death of Kurt Cobain. Like Nirvana, the Foo Fighters melded loud, heavy guitars with pretty melodies and mixed punk sensibilities with a sharp sense of pop songwriting.
Dave Grohl began playing guitar and writing songs in his early teens, as well as performing with a variety of hardcore punk bands. In the late '80s, when he was still in his teens, he joined the Washington, D.C.-area hardcore band Scream as their drummer. During the final days of Scream, Grohl began recording his own material in the basement studio of his friend, Barrett Jones. Some of Grohl's songs appeared on Scream's final album, Fumble. After Scream's 1990 summer tour, Grohl joined Nirvana and moved to Seattle.
After Nirvana recorded Nevermind, Grohl went back to the D.C.-area and recorded a handful of tracks that would appear on Pocketwatch, a cassette released by Simple Machines. For most of 1992, he was busy with Nirvana, but when the band stayed off of the road, he recorded solo material with Jones, who had moved to Seattle. The pair kept recording throughout early 1993, when Grohl returned to Nirvana to record In Utero.
Grohl had toyed with the idea of releasing another independent cassette in the summer of 1993, but the plans never reached fruition. Following Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994, the drummer kept quiet for several months. In the fall of 1994, booking time in a professional studio, Grohl and Jones recorded the album that became the Foo Fighters' debut album in a week. Boiling down his backlog of songs to about 15 tracks, Grohl played all of the instruments on the album. He made 100 copies of the tape, passing it out to friends and associates. In no time, Dave Grohl's solo project became the object of a fierce record-company bidding war.
Instead of embarking on a full-fledged solo career, Grohl decided to form a band. Through his wife he met Nate Mendel, the bassist for Sunny Day Real Estate. Shortly before the pair met, Jeremy Enigk, the leader of Sunny Day Real Estate, had converted to Christianity and quit the band, effectively ending the group's career. Not only did Mendel join Grohl's band, but so did Sunny Day's drummer, William Goldsmith; former Germs and Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear rounded out the lineup.
The band, named the Foo Fighters after a World War II secret force that allegedly researched UFOs, signed a contract with Capitol Records. The band's self-titled debut, consisting solely of Dave Grohl's solo recordings, was released on July 4, 1995. It was an instant success in America, as "This Is a Call" garnered heavy alternative and album rock airplay. By early 1996, the album was certified platinum in the U.S.
Throughout 1996, the Foo Fighters supported the album with an extensive tour, enjoying a crossover hit with "Big Me" that spring. Late in the year, the group began recording their second album with producer Gil Norton. During the sessions, William Goldsmith left the band due to creative tensions, leaving Grohl to drum on the majority of the album. Before the record's release in the spring of 1997, Goldsmith was replaced by Taylor Hawkins, who had previously drummed with Alanis Morissette. The Colour and the Shape, the Foo Fighters' second album and the first they recorded as a band, was issued in May of 1997.
Smear left the group in the wake of the album's completion, and was replaced by guitarist Franz Stahl, whose stay proved short-lived; 1999's There Is Nothing Left to Lose was recorded as a three-piece, with ex-No Use for a Name guitarist Chris Shiflett signing on soon after.
In the Summer of 2002, Foo Fighters headlined Reading festival in England and released the brilliant album One By One. They followed the release of this with their first UK arena tour, which sold out in many venues. They received massive airplay for the saingles All My Life and Times Like These lifted off the album. One by One was number one in the Uk album charts for one week. During the recording of the album, Dave Grohl decided to scrap the tracks they had allready layed down and left to drum for Queens Of The Stone Age's Songs for the deaf album. He performed several live shows with them before returning to Foo Fighters and re-recording the whole album in a few days. Dave described it as the rawest album yet, and the best in his opinion.
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biography | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/7/11
ok i love the foo fighters but i dont know where u got the info for this biography but Dave never described one by one as the best album. in fact it is his least favorite of their albums and they have never played half of the songs on the album again after they finished touring for it. and you seem to not really know anything behind goldsmith leaving the band, it wasnt "creative tensions" it was because Dave had gone behind his back and re-recorded all the drumming parts. and when he found out he felt betrayed and quit the band. but anyway...in the end the foo end up as the greatest rock band in the world and with too many awesome songs to name. LONG LIVE THE FOO
Maybe you need a life? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/23/10
I think it's funny when someone says i need a life for loving a band. Oh yea, another thing, dave grohl was actually crowned The nicest guy in rock, he wouldn't tell me to get lost, he'd welcome me as his own friend, also, if you dont like this band all that much, why take the time to look up their band profile on a website to tell everyone else that likes them why they shouldn't, maybe youre the one that needs a life?
show in winnipeg | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/15/08
I brought my son to see the Foo and he didn't seem all that impressed but I know inside he thought it was a great show. The stage coming down at our end was an excellent touch, the band,sound and participation with the crowd was killer. Boo to the fools who threw anything on the stage, poor manners. I would definitely go again.
Foo Fighters are the best!!! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/8/08
I was impressed at how great their concert was in council bluffs. When someone gave Dave Grohl the finger for introducing the triangle solo, Dave told the guy to suck the whole bands' dicks if he thought he was better lol. The whole concert was kick ass!!!!!
Rock'N'Roll | Reviewer: MetalMan | 3/27/08
I've seen the Foo Fighters twice now... and what can I say they become better and better. Dave actually will put on a great show and give your money's worth! I must say the best thing about the whole concert had to be the TRIANGLE PLAYER... Drew! I couldn't beleive Dave actually had a triangle player! And to my surprise this guy was good! All I can say The Foo brings a lot of intensity to the stage and it's fun to see and be a part of!
Cant Get Enough | Reviewer: Hatchi | 3/1/08
i just love the Foo Fighters; what can i say im addicted. Dave Grohl is such a good singer, i was on youtube and watched him sing "Stairway to Heaven" even though he forgot some of the words, he sang it almost as good as Led Zep himself.
Rock On Foo Fighters!~ Now and Forever
Had to say this.. | Reviewer: Sam | 2/6/08
I was reading this and got to the part where it says "Kurt Cobain's suicide..", I don't think this should be written because it hasn't been confirmed that it was suicide or murder. Now, I believe it was murder so I don't like how it says "suicide". If possible, I would be very thankful if this could be changed to "death" and not "suicide".
well written | Reviewer: literary critic | 11/15/07
re: dennis green ...nice job on the pretender visualization. its rare to find a great post, and it's appreciated!
oh yeah, foo fighters rock!
u all need a life | Reviewer: monker | 11/12/07
well, i think the foo fighters are ok. their new song “the pretender” has a good sound. ido not idolize them by any means though. i believe also that you all are much too obsessed with them. you give them undying devotion, but if you met them in person, they would probably tell you to get lost. anyhow, if you intend on bashing me for this post, save yourselves the time of proving to me that you are all a bunch of mindless drones because i will probably never come back to this post to check on your futile attempts to somehow defend the dignity of a group of musicians you will probably never meet in your lifetimes. this is just my freedom of speech and showing that i dont have to be a hard core fan like everyone else. if you find yourselves preturbed or disgruntled from this post, you seriously need to rethink your life and see if you are one of the men in black in the new music video.
You Can't Play Here | Reviewer: Dennis Green | 11/5/07
“The Pretender,” a slashing beast of a thing, at least to me, for I have a hard-earned and well-developed sense of resistance to Authority, a disrespect for it that borders on violence.
Because Authority falls so often to bullies to enforce it, and this is the lyrical and visual context to “The Pretender.” Screen opens with a huge expanse of white flooring and industrial warehouse girders and structural geometry and deep shadows surrounding it. David Grohl steps up to the microphone. He’s slender, wearing a white t-shirt and skinny black pants. His dark hair is long, and as he moves it swings into his face.
He holds his guitar and plucks a few strings. A gentle, acoustic sound tentatively fills the screen. It sounds like a ballad coming down. (“Keep you in the dark…”) Then, as his band mates take their places, a lone figure emerges from the darkness on the opposite side of this arena, a figure swathed in tight black leather head to toe, slapping a trenchant slowly with one heavily-gloved hand into the other.
It is the storm trooper of sheer, mute Authority. A jack-booted, mindless, implacable enforcer of the Law. What law? Any law, anywhere, anyone wants in place. Fair or civil or civic or not. Mute dumb Authority.
“You can’t play here,” the figure is saying without speaking. “You just can’t play here, Kid. That’s just the way it is. That’s what the law says. That’s just the way it is. No playing. No loud noises. None of your insolent crap. I represent the Law, with the menace a mere afterthought.”
And how can you possibly argue with that? How can you possibly dissent, or put up any resistance. On the other hand, he’s just one guy and I’ve got me band mates.
The figure in black pulls down the helmet’s clear plastic shield that is his faceplate…and then from the deep shadows behind him step fifty, a hundred more just like him, each and every one of them slowly slapping a truncheon into his gloved hand.
As Grohl sings, “What if I say I’m not like the others?/What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?/You’re the pretender./What if I say I’ll never surrender?/What if I say I’ll never surrender!/What if I say I’ll never SURRENDER!” in super-slo motion, the heavy black line of troopers advances toward the band members, to crush them under the sheer weight of their powers of enforcement.
Suddenly, a few hushed lines, almost imperceptible.
And then — SMASH! — from behind the band come flying torrents of blood, a shitstorm of blood and particulate matter, a furious wind shear of blood, a cyclone of blood, hurling itself with great fury and purpose toward the menacing leather clad brotherhood of Zombies and flings them backward, tears them to pieces and dismembers them, and as Grohl sings XXXX and falls exhausted to the floor, we’re left aloe with a darkened screen wondering why all of this, every brutal second, feels so goddamned fucking familiar.
What if I say I will never surrender?
What if old Kurt Cobain hadn’t blown his brains out? Would there even BE a Foo Fighter?
What if I say I’m not like the others?
The Zeitgeist is changing again, my friend. We seem to have a Full-Tilt Boogie Revolution going on, a Second American Revolution, against conformity and authority, and as usual, it’s started with the artist.
[1087 words, ©2007
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