Dave Grohl isn’t a fan of musical nostalgia, at least not when it involves the stage or studio. In a new interview with NME, the Foo Fighters frontman says he “fucking hates” when bands tour behind one classic album. “I don’t like it when bands do that,” he says. “It’s presumptuous. It’s lazy.”
Naturally, Grohl isn’t planning a special jaunt behind the 20th anniversary of the band’s self-titled 1995 debut: “I mean, I don’t mind playing a lot of those old songs just to revisit,” he says. “But the best way to celebrate our 20th anniversary isn’t to focus on 20 years ago, but to focus on the last 20 years, meaning two years ago and six years ago and eight years ago.”
In its infancy, Foo Fighters was a solo project for the former Nirvana drummer, who recorded all the instruments on the first Foo album. But two decades later, that innocent studio lark has developed into a stadium-filling band. Considering that shift, Grohl says he contemplated re-recording Foo Fighters with his bandmates just to “piss people off,” but he reconsidered after drummer Taylor Hawkins assured him it was “the worst idea ever.”
“At one point I thought, ‘You know what would be really funny? To re-record the first Foo Fighters record as the band we are now,'” Grohl says. “‘Cause the first record isn’t the Foo Fighters; it’s just me. So what if, for the 20th anniversary, we went in and re-recorded the first record – same songs, same arrangements, in sequence – but as the Foo Fighters 2014? Taylor was like, ‘Are you out of your fucking mind?! That’s the worst idea ever! People would fucking hate it!’ And [guitarist] Pat [Smear] said, ‘That’s exactly why we should do it!'”
The band’s eighth studio album, Sonic Highways, is out on November 10th. The LP – which features guest appearances from Zac Brown and and Cheap Trick axeman Rick Nielsen, among others – is a companion piece to the HBO documentary of the same name. That multi-part program finds the Foos traveling to eight historic American music cities, interviewing prominent area musicians and using the experiences as creative fuel for writing and recording the album’s eight corresponding songs.
The fourth episode – which focuses on Austin, Texas – airs Friday, November 7th.