COUNT DOWN TO ZERO!
What do you do when you're the drummer with one of the most successful and influential bands of the 1990s whose revered singer/ songwriter decides that the pressures of fame and the demons in his head are all too much to bear and decides to blow his brains out? Simple, you form a new band, write all the songs and take over on vocals!
Well, it's not that simple really but that in effect is what ex-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl has done. Naturally before he got round to forming the Foo Fighters Grohl had to come to terms with the grief, the trauma and the sense of great loss that Cobain’s suicide caused.
Recalls Grohl, "After Kurt's death, I was as confused as I've ever been. To continue almost seemed in vain. I was always going to be 'that guy from Kurt Cobain's band' and I knew that I wasn't even sure if I had the desire to make music anymore. I received a postcard from fellow Seattle band 7 Year Bitch, who'd also lost a member. It said 'we know what you're going through. The desire to play music is gone for now, but it will return. Don’t worry.'"
Luckily that desire did return and manifested itself in the Foo Fighters project.
"That f**king letter saved my life, because as much as I missed Kurt, and as much as I felt so lost, I knew that there was only one thing that I was truly cut out to do and that was music."
The first thing Grohl did in getting his act together, was to book into a 24 track studio for a week and choose the best songs from the 30-40 he'd written. He also decided to work with producer Barrett Jones as he was the one person he felt comfortable singing in front of and in the space of seven days, 15 tracks had been recorded including a rough mix with Grohl singing and playing all the instruments.
The next stage involved handing out his tape and getting in the right men to make up the band. When that process had taken its natural course the band line-up emerged as Grohl (guitar/ vocalist) and relative unknowns Pat Smear, who had played additional guitar on Nirvana's last tour, on guitar, Nate Mendel on bass, and William Goldsmith on drums.
The fruits of Grohl's efforts are there for all to hear in Foo Fighters’ startlingly good self-titled debut album. Far less angst-ridden than Nirvana and bubbling over with powerful, sharp songs with gripping hooks. There is plenty of variety on offer and Grohl has proved that not only can he write fresh, memorable songs but that his vocals can carry a song just fine.
Foo Fighters sound like a real band, doing their own thing, and going places. Grohl has proven already that there is more to him than just the ex-drummer of a deceased supergroup and in doing so he has broken free from the painful legacy left by the late Kurt Cobain!
Foo Fighters will be out and about touring so check those gig guides and if there’s just a few albums you'll buy this year, make sure that Foo Fighters is one of them!