Sonic Highways, Dave Grohl’s “love letter to the history of American music,” premieres October 17 at 11 p.m. on HBO. The series documents the creation of the Foo Fighters’ eighth studio album (of the same name), written and recorded in eight cities across the U.S.: Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, and New York.
“As we were coming down from the success of the last record [Wasting Light], I thought, ‘Now we have license to get weird,’ ” Grohl told billboard.com. “If we wanted, we could make some crazy, bleak Radiohead record and freak everyone out. Then I thought, ‘Eff that.’…The music is a progression or an evolution, for sure, but it’s a Foo Fighters record.”
Leave it to Grohl’s overachieving nature (a/k/a: brilliance) to put an innovative spin on the creation of an album. To convey each city’s unique sound and personality, Grohl wrote his lyrics while in each city, after interviewing notable musicians who defined the musical landscape of each region. The Foo Fighters performed a string of secret shows during their quest (the most notable being a 30-minute stint in New Orleans’ historic Preservation Hall), which was also documented for the series.
Grohl’s message for the next generation is this: Dream big, practice your fucking ass off, and make something real.
“Wait until you see what we’re gonna do for the next record,” Grohl told ultimateclassicrock.com. “I’m not kidding. We already know.”
Sonic Highways, the album, drops November 10. Here’s some free advice Grohl has shared in the past. Quotation above via Grohl’s SXSW Keynote Speech, 2013.