Dave Grohl is the purest and probably the most talented rocker of his generation. Of course he’s known for his legendary drum work with Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, the Foo Fighters and anyone else that needed a kit filled for their album (I’m talking to you Tenacious D), but if you think that’s all Grohl can do you’re beyond underestimating the founding father of the Foo Fighters. Grohl writes, shreds, sings, and performs at the same level of perfection that he delivers while wielding his cymbal assaulting wooden weapons. As the Foo Fighters promote “Wasting Light”, which might possibly be the best album they’ve written since their debut, they decided to also give fans an inside look at their history with the timely release of their Rockumentary “Back and Forth”.
With Kurt Cobain’s death came the end of Nirvana, and an unforeseen change of direction for Dave Grohl. One day you’re a part of the most influential band of the decade, the next you are left picking up the pieces. The Foo Fighters started as a demo that Grohl recorded on his own, on which he played every instrument. Never planning to release it, he slapped an anonymous name on it so that no one would know it was his recording (The Foo Fighter name was officially born, watch all the way through the credits to see how Dave really feels about it). After demoing it to a few friends in the industry, Grohl decided to run with it and see where the rock gods were planning on taking him. That journey is remarkably documented in “Back and Forth”.
From day one, scrutiny followed the Foo Fighters. Endless questions regarding Nirvana, critics asking why Dave Grohl was on stage with a guitar and mic instead of drum sticks,and band members adapting to being thrown into the national spotlight were just a few of the challenges that faced the band in their early days. “Back and Forth” offers a first hand look at how this type of pressure affected the band and how it helped them shape the lineup they are known for today. While Nate Mendel was a part of the band since its inception, “Back and Forth” sheds light on why the band had a revolving door of lead guitarists (Until current guitarist Chris Shiflett joined the band) and why Taylor Hawkins replaced William Goldsmith on the drums. As Grohl so directly put it best, all bands go through these phases of life, most of them just do it before they are on the national stage.
“Back and Forth” features some great behind the scenes footage and photos of the band on tour, on promotional shoots, and in the studio (including their unique, diverse choice of venues to record). It’s an unprecedented back stage look at some of their greatest triumphs and challenges that they faced in their 16 year history. Mendel, Shiflett, Grohl, and Hawkins openly share their thoughts on all things high and low from the band’s past. From playing Wembley Stadium to a band on the brink of their own demise, they are candid throughout.
The biggest treat of “Back and Forth” was watching the analog recording sessions in Grohl’s garage for “Wasting Light”. Analog requires perfection, and Grohl shows he can deliver it even with his daughter tapping him on the shoulder to remind him that they are supposed to go swimming as he lays down a riff for the record (One of the perks of recording the album at your house I guess). Seeing the efforts and true collaboration that went into the record through the eye of the camera help you appreciate what a spectacular album the Foo Fighters put together.
It’s hard to believe they’ve been at it for 16 years, but the Foo Fighters are at the top of their game in a music scene that is starving for any signs of quality rock n’ roll. “Back and Forth” invigorates the excitement you felt when you gave “Foo Fighters” it’s first spin in your discman back in 1995. Grohl and company will keep re-inventing themselves and thanks to “Back and Forth” fans from around the world received a glimpse at how that happens.
"Back and Forth" is playing this month on Palladia and is available in stores
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As the Webmaster and Founder of Rocksposure.com, Chris Brach is always looking for new music from up and coming rock bands. You never know, they could be our next Artist of the Month! If there is something you think he should give a listen to, email him at GetRocked@Rocksposure.com