Can the location where an album was recorded influence the final product? Like, is that actually a thing? I know I need a certain kind of environment (alone) and headspace (frantic) to write, but it seems like the Foo Fighters took this idea an extra step while recording their latest album, Sonic Highways.
For their eighth studio album, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters recorded each track in separate studios across the United States. Their trip took them to locations with personally significant connections as well as other cities chosen for the mood or legacy they might contribute to each song. The band also filmed the entire journey for the upcoming HBO series Sonic Highways, which debuts on October 17.
The band follows in the footsteps of acts like the Red Hot Chili Peppers who recorded Blood Sugar Sex Magik in the allegedly haunted Mansion in Los Angeles, while Norwegian black metal act Burzum’s Varg Vikernes recorded a pair of mid 90s releases while behind bars.
“Mostly, we wanted to pick cities that meant something to us,” explains Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear.
Grohl adds “We went to Chicago and recorded with a producer [Steve Albini] that Nirvana had worked with. And Washington, D.C. where I grew up and became a musician.” Grohl shared some stories about learning to play the drums with the Nerdist Podcast, offering some stories that really deserve a listen if you’re a Foo fan.
It’ll be interesting to see the act of creating the album take shape in front of the cameras while the band discusses what each location means to them. Or maybe they’ll just Bourdain it and show us some awesome food. In any event, adventure!
Sonic Highways premieres October 17 on HBO.