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Foo Fighters: Wasting Light



By Hunter Rothwell

Dave Grohl, the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and founder of the Foo Fighters, is one of the hardest working musicians in popular music today. Since the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, which put an arrow through the heart of the legendary band Nirvana (Grohl was the drummer)
Grohl has not stopped touring and recording.

Soon after Nirvana, he sat played the drum kit for shows with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, however he declined Petty’s invitation to join the band permanently. Instead, Grohl booked studio time and went to work recording 15 new demo tracks on which he plays every instrument [with the exception of one song] and takes over the lead vocalist role. While shopping the potential album around to record companies, Grohl recruited members from two alternative bands, the Germs and Sunny Day Real Estate, to form the original Foo Fighters lineup. It was never his intention to be considered a solo artist. In July 1995 the demos, now polished with professional mixing treatment, were released as the Foo Fighters self-titled debut album.

The history of Grohl’s post-Nirvana career thus far has been highlighted by the Foo Fighters’ tremendous success. Three of their first six albums won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album, and all six received a nomination for the coveted award. However, when the Foo Fighters are not working, Grohl does not take time to rest. Since becoming a musician, he has played in 30 different bands. These included Hall of Fame inductees like Paul McCartney and David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, Slash, Tenacious D, and many others—Grohl has not discriminated.

In 2001, he played drums on the Queens of the Stone Age [QOTSA] album, “Songs for the Deaf,” which was the band’s breakout album. Although Grohl once again moved on to other projects, he did achieve a great rock milestone during his brief career with QOTSA. On November 23, 2002, he became the first artist to remain #1 on the Modern Rock Charts with
three different bands. Nirvana’s “You Know Your Right” was replaced by the Foo Fighters “All
My Life” and finally QOTSA grabbed the #1 spot with “No One Knows.” Dave Grohl cemented his place among rock and roll royalty.

As the 2000s wore on, Grohl’s success continued with the Foo Fighters and extracurricular ventures such as 2004’s ‘metal project,’ “Probot.” Another successful project was 2009’s self-titled debut album “Them Crooked Vultures,” for which he teamed up with QOTSA front man Josh Homme and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

Grohl was back on the skins for this effort, which became a rock classic. April 2011 saw the release of Dave Grohl’s most recent accomplishment, the Foo Fighters’ seventh album “Wasting Light.” From start to finish, this is one of the Foo Fighters’ finest and most consistent albums since 1997’s “The Colour and the Shape.” The new album is a reunion for Dave Grohl and Butch Vig, who produced Nirvana’s 1991 major label debut, “Nevermind.” “Wasting Light”
is an onslaught of blistering guitar riffs and powerful vocals drawing from Grohl’s many styles, with a little bit of each of those 30 bands that molded his superior talent. Songs like “White
Limo,” “Rope,” “Arlandra,” “Dear Rosemary” and “Bridge Burning,” are hard edged rock music for the masses.

There is one exception, “I Should Have
Known.” This track features Grohl’s
former bandmate, Krist Novoselic,
the bassist for Nirvana. This song is
a posthumous letter to Kurt Cobain.
With emotional lyrics like, “Look
at the shape you’re in/I should have
known/But I jumped right in”, and
“Didn’t hear your warning/Damn my
heart gone deaf”, it is very clear. As
many music fans know, Cobain was a
heavy drug user and his friends finally
had an intervention. Kurt gave in and
went to rehab, but within a week he
had climbed the wall of the facility and
escaped on a plane back to Seattle. Kurt
Cobain was back on heroin and by the
next week, dead at age 27 from a self
inflicted shotgun wound.

Although we lost Cobain, Nirvana, and
their potential, we can thank the rock
gods Dave Grohl is still working overtime,
paving the way for rock music in
the 21st century.

The Foo Fighters will
be at the Adams
Center in Missoula, MT
on May 26, and at the
Gorge Amphitheater
in George, WA on May
27 for the Sasquatch!
Music Festival.

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