LET IT DIE
"We had 30 or 40 song ideas when'we started recording. When Gil [Norton, producer] came over to America, we sat at a table and listened to demos for a week and half and just picked the most powerful, dramatic songs. We wanted the stops to be pin-drop silent before exploding. If we had a beautiful melody, we'd throw a fucking string quartet in there. So we did everything we could to really magnify all those elements and that was fun. Usually you.have a few parameters you're afraid to pass but, this time, there was no fear of going too far."
"I still listen to Kill 'Em All once a week and there's a part of me that will never lose the love of riffs. That's where a song like this comes in. As a drummer and a guitar player, the rhythmic quality of a decent riff is like a cannon to me. I can write riffs all day long because I look at the guitar like a drum set. So, just as I'll sit at a drum kit and play beats, I sit with a guitar and try the same thing. That's what I was doing here. This one rocks."
LONG ROAD TO RUIN
"I wrote this while we were on our acoustic tour [in 2006]. In order to have songs like Let It Die or Erase/Replace, which are darker and heavier, you need to have the lighter side of things too, like this one. I grew up listening to the Beatles and Beach Boys and I love writing simple melodies. You can almost dance to this one, and there aren't too many Foo Fighters songs you can do that to."
"On the last album we split the acoustic side and the electric side into two albums. Here, we've split it into one song. This is about reawakening after becoming a father. Anyone who's a father understands how the world becomes a different place when your child is born. I just feel and see everything differently now."
STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED
"I spend a lot of time in silence. I spend a lot of time alone in hotel rooms; I really don't do a hell of a lot on the road. I've been touring for a long time and hotel rooms all begin to look the same after a while. This is a product of just sitting around and doing fuck all for weeks on end."
CHEER UP BOYS (YOUR MAKE-UP IS RUNNING)
"People keep saying this is aimed at the 'emo brigade. Come on now, don't be so sensitive! I'd hate to offend anyone because it's all meant in good fun. The title actually has nothing to do with the song; it was a working title that stuck because we thought it was funny. Whenever a genre of music gets labelled and then becomes a parody of itself, I think it's a shame, though. That's something the title alludes to."
"This one's unlike anything we've done in its swing and swagger. I just had a simple riff and melody and I ran with it. It just feels good to play. And Hawkins, man! Taylor's got a pretty slimy groove on this song. I'm so lucky he's in my band, I swear to God. I don't know what we'd do without him. He's such a great friend and mentor and, of course, he's an incredible drummer."
BALLAD OF THE BEACONSFIELD MINERS
"This was written about some miners in Australia who got trapped. While they were waiting to be rescued, they asked for a CD player with a Foo Fighters album on it. I heard about that, and sent them a note saying that, when they got out, there'd be a couple of Foo Fighters tickets waiting for them. They came to our acoustic show at the Sydney Opera House and this was the song I wrote for them.
"People wouldn't necessarily be expecting us to write a folksy, instrumental song which is exactly why we did it. It's me on the left side and a guitarist named Kaki King on the right. She's this girl from Atlanta and she's a fucking genius. On this song, we just put a mic between us, played it three times and nailed it. She's so good."
People keep saying this sounds like Paul McCartney. That really wasn't intentional. It was just a simple melody with a piano track. I got a piano a year and half ago for my birthday and I had never played one before. Someone pointed out middle C to me and I took it from there. I was quite nervous about putting it on the record because it's a big departure - then I thought, 'What the fuck? That's exactly why we should put it on the record'."
"This is another one that goes from acoustic to rock. It's a funny one because the tail end is actually something that's about 10 years old. I had this acoustic idea but it didn't have an ending. I tacked an old riff on it and it became this climactic explosion. Melodically and tempo-wise, the song feels like something we might have done 10 years ago. It's almost like a retrospective. We can see how far we've come."
"I wrote this at home on the piano, then Taylor and I recorded a demo of it. I sat and wrote the lyrics in about 10 minutes, sang it once, listened to it, and just felt overwhelmed by how revealing it was. It made me feel quite vulnerable, so much so that it's hard to listen to. I get really choked up thinking about all the time I spend away from the things that are important to me. It's tough being away on tour; it's even tough just to be talking about how much I wish I was with my family. It's the kind of song I can't imagine singing live because it's going to be too much."