Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has spoken exclusively to Kerrang! about the band's forthcoming follow-up to their 2005 double album 'In Your Honour'. 'Echoes, Silence, Patience And Grace', which was recorded in Los Angeles at the band's Studio 606 by 'The Colour And The Shape' producer Gil Norton.
The track-listing for the band's sixth studio album is as follows: 'The Pretender', 'Let It Die', 'Erase/Replace', 'Long Road To Ruin', 'Come Alive', 'Stranger Things Have Happened', 'Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make-Up Is Running)', 'Summer's End', 'The Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners', 'Statues', 'But, Honestly' and 'Home'.
According to Grohl, the band's sixth album was their easiest and smoothest to make.
"We didn't spend hours and hours on guitar and drum sounds," says Grohl. "We just threw up mics that sounded like the band and hit record! It was fucking really easy considering that every other album we've ever made we've done twice - every album we've recorded once, throw it away and do it one more time. This time, when we were finished I thought, 'Wait a second, aren't we supposed to do it again? Wait, we're done, really? Fuck, that was easy!'... "
WHEN YOU WERE WRITING THE ALBUM, DID YOU HAVE A FIRM PLAN HOW IT WAS GOING TO SOUND?
"We didn't plan the new album to be half rock and half acoustic. We just thought whichever songs are the best. When we started recording, we let the album dynamic dictate itself, because if they were all great songs and they were all on a fucking cello then it would have been an album full of cello! So we had a lot of songs to choose from and had a lot of demos which ranged from psycho fucking Nomeansno to sloppy, Tom Petty country to fucking piano-driven songs!"
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK WITH GIL NORTON AGAIN?
"When we worked with Gil on 'The Colour And The Shape' in 1997, it was a learning experience because up until that point, I'd only worked with Steve Albini and Butch Vig. They're great producers, but there wasn't as much intensity in the pre-production and recording processes. That first album, he basically showed us what pre-production really is, honing the songs and composition, and arrangements so that it's just airtight when you go into record. After recording all those demos, we thought that the songs had the potential to be something great and rather than just stay in our own comfort zone, we needed someone to push us out of there. I thought about a lot of different producers, but I feel like Gil is the one rock producer that we're compatible with because he's unconventional. I don't know what it is, but he seems to capture the best of this band. So we called him up, and once he agreed to do it, I knew it was going to be our best record in years."
YOU AND YOUR WIFE JORDYN BECAME THE PROUD PARENTS OF VIOLET
MAY LAST APRIL. HAS FATHERHOOD AFFECTED YOUR ROLE AS A SONGWRITER AT ALL?
"It has, yeah! Becoming a father changes your outlook on every single aspect of your life. It changes the way you taste and feel and process emotion and process the big picture. It really does change the way you look at things and with me, it made me feel fearless. It made me feel like the big picture had opened up so wide that I wasn't afraid of anything anymore, to try things I've never done and to say things I've never said before. It changed everything about the way I write. Now when I get fucking angry or defensive or something, I just want to rip someone's fucking head off. When I feel love, I feel it in fucking every cell of my body. So it just makes me fucking more alive. So when you're writing music with that in mind or that in your heart, everything just blooms into this fucking incredibly colourful, colourful feeling."
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT 'THE BALLAD OF THE BEACONSFIELD MINERS'?
"About a year and half ago, there were some miners that were trapped in a mine in Beaconsfield, in Tasmania. After a few days the rescue team made contact with the guys and asked them if they could get them anything until they were able to rescue them. One of the miners asked for an iPod with our last record 'In Your Honour' on it. Someone sent me an email telling me what was going on and so I sent them a note and said, 'Hey, I hope you guys are hanging in there. You're in my thoughts and prayers and I hope our music is helping you get through this and when you come out there's a couple cold beers and a couple of tickets to our show, let's hang out and have a drink'. And they were in there for a couple of weeks, man, I don't remember how many days but they were in for a long time and they came out and Brant, one of the miners came to see us when we did the acoustic tour down at the Sydney Opera House. And the night before the show, I thought that I should write something just to dedicate to him that night because he definitely seemed like a hero. He gave me a gift that no one had ever given me before. He made me feel like my music is maybe more meaningful than just jumping up onstage after five beers and having lasers chop your head off, y'know? So, I felt like maybe what I'm doing is a good thing for some people. So I played that acoustic thing, after the show we got fucked up in the bar and I promised him I'd put it on the record! And on that song it's me and this guitar player named Kaki King who is the most fucking shredding guitar virtuoso genius America has to offer, she's fucking unbelievable!"
ARE YOU HAVING A DIG AT EMO ON 'CHEER UP BOYS (YOUR MAKE-UP IS RUNNING)'?
"I'm from Washington DC and in the mid'80s, the hard core scene changed from Bad Brains and Minor Threat to bands like Embrace and Rites Of Spring. People started calling it 'emo-core' which everyone hated. For this song, it was a working title that stuck, because that was a song that we had demoed and it sounded like this really bright, poppy, late '80s REM song that would have been off their 'Green' or something like that.
I gave it that title because it definitely seemed like the most light-hearted, melodic song of all that we had because there's some heavy, dark shit on the record and then there's some songs that aren't light and breezy and so we felt like we needed it on the album just to balance a lot of the other stuff out. I kept the title because I thought it was fucking hilarious!"
AND FINALLY, IN TERMS OF THE NEW RECORD, HOW DO YOU FEEL COMING OUT OF THIS PROCESS? ARE YOU REALLY EXCITED FOR PEOPLE TO BE HEARING IT NOW?
"You have to understand that after 13 years of being in this band, it becomes a cycle almost like having children. You see these families that have seven or eight kids and you can't imagine going through that seven or eight times! Yet what happens with every album is that we grow a little bit, musically and lyrically. Every album is a platform for the next, so the second album was a result of the first, the third was a result of the second and so on and so on. So this album is definitely a result of our last record and the intention of the last record was to try to broaden the field of dynamic with this band, just to try to make it so that we're allowed - to make it so that we could do anything, y'know? From a song with one acoustic guitar and a vocal to a song with fucking string quartets and echo guitars and fucking stacks of amps and four-part harmonies and the idea was just to build yourself musically so that when you're lying in your deathbed you think that I accomplished more than I ever imagined, and then with this record, right now - I think years ago we put out a new record and crossed our fingers and now with this record, I know it's coming out soon and I'm just strutting (laughs)! We've definitely made an album that tops the others, so I'm a very happy man."