Sonic Highways drives Foo Fighters to new music

Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters celebrate 20th Anniversary by exploring roots of music.


The eighth studio album for Foo Fighters comes with a unique tagalong.  The album, entitled Sonic Highways, contains eight songs that correlate with the eight episodes of Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl’s HBO documentary also entitled Sonic Highways. Foo Fighters is Dave Grohl’s creation and arguably biggest musical outlet.  Foo Fighters was created by Grohl to be a musical outlet after Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain committed suicide which ended the band. The Foo Fighters self-titled first album was created by Grohl who played every instrument.  Grohl, who is still lead singer and guitarist, is now joined by lead guitarist Chris Shiflett, rhythm guitarist Pat Smear, bassist Nate Mendel, and drummer Taylor Hawkins.

Nirvana-- Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic (L.R)
Nirvana– Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic (L.R)

In 2013, Grohl directed the documentary Sound City.  After Sound City’s success, Grohl wanted to do another documentary.  With the 20th anniversary of Foo Fighters approaching, Grohl created Sonic Highways. Sonic Highways the documentary series features the band as they travel to Chicago, Washington D.C., Nashville, Austin, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Seattle, and New York to understand the musical roots of the cities.  The band travels to different studios in each city, such as Electrical Audio in Chicago, Southern Ground in Nashville, and Preservation Hall in New Orleans. Grohl conducts interviews with musicians that came up in the city to understand their roots and influence gained from the city.  Using these interviews, Grohl writes a song and the band records it at the studio.  These songs written and recorded in these cities make up the album Sonic Highways.  Each song also has a special guest, such as Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen on “Something from Nothing” and Zac Brown on “Congregation”.

Album Cover for Sonic Highways
Album Cover for Sonic Highways

The ambitious endeavor received mixed reviews from critics despite high chart rankings.  Sonic Highways debuted and peaked at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 and the single “Something from Nothing” peaked at number one on the U.S. Alternative and U.S. Rock rankings. Grohl’s project was a breath of fresh air to a dry rock music scene.  Despite the album’s mixed reviews, Sonic Highways the documentary series has been praised by fans for its creative nature.  Sonic Highways the album was released on November 10 through vinyl, CD, and digital downloads.  The documentary series air on HBO on Friday nights.