Dave Grohl took Anderson Cooper behind the scenes of Foo Fighters‘ ambitious Sonic Highways documentary for Sunday night’s episode of 60 Minutes. Cooper joined the band in New Orleans, where – like the seven other cities featured in the doc – Grohl interviewed local musicians to tell the city’s musical history, which he used as inspiration for eight corresponding tracks on the band’s upcoming studio LP. But Cooper also asked Grohl to reflect on his own musical past – including the goofy band name that started his journey to rock stardom. “Had I imagined that it would last more than a month-and-a-half, I might have named it something else,” Grohl says in the above video. “It’s the dumbest band name ever.”
The segment gives fans an intimate look at the frontman’s spontaneous creative process for the new album, as he uses musician interviews as fuel for lyrics. Cooper stands nearby with headphones on as Grohl records vocals for the New Orleans song, “In the Clear,” which references the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the development of jazz.
“The musical history of this country is deep,” Grohl reflects. “And there’s so much of it that I honestly feel like if music were more a part of our daily lives, this country would be a better place.”
Elsewhere, Grohl talks about how the New Orleans experience made him “fall head-over-heels in love with music all over again,” how Bob Dylan would fare as an American Idol contestant and how the death of former Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain changed Grohl’s life.
“Losing Kurt was earth-shattering, and I was afraid of music after he died,” Grohl says. “If I heard a song that even touched on an emotion in me, I would turn it off. I was so terrified because to me, that’s what music always was. It was a direct connection to my heart.”
Further insights are revealed in a trio of bonus clips. One behind-the-scenes piece shows Grohl’s home recording setup, with his daughter’s playroom right next door to his drum booth; in a piece about drumming greats, Grohl and Foo sticks-man Taylor Hawkins call each other the greatest drummer on the planet and share their mutual love for Abba; and in a short clip about being a Foo Fighter, the other band members – guitarist Chris Shiflett, guitarist Pat Smear and bassist Nate Mendel – dish about the old-school band atmosphere and how Grohl always keeps them guessing.