Dave Grohl Unveils His One-Man Prog Rock Odyssey, 'Play' - Rolling Stone
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Dave Grohl Unveils His One-Man Prog Rock Odyssey, ‘Play’

Foo Fighters frontman also spotlights young music students in two-part documentary

In his ambitious two-part documentary, Play, Dave Grohl overdubs multiple instruments into a 23-minute, instrumental prog-rock odyssey.

The project opens with the Foo Fighters leader reflecting on the sheer childlike joy of picking up an instrument. “To any musician, young or old, a beautiful studio full of instruments like a playground,” he says. “To me, I’m like a kid in a candy store. Most musicians are always chasing the next challenge; you never feel satisfied, and you never feel like you’ve completely mastered the instrument you’re playing. It’s always going to be a puzzle; it’s always going to be a challenge. It’s a beautiful mystery. But once it gets its hooks in you, that’s when the obsession and the drive really kick in.”

Grohl then cuts to the “Join the Band” music lessons school in the San Fernando Valley, where instructors teach kids how to play in rock ensembles. Various pre-teens and teenagers discuss how learning an instrument teaches them discipline and fuels their creativity.

Play concludes with Grohl’s epic, expertly edited in-studio video, in which he overdubs various instruments (electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, drums, Fender Rhodes piano, synthesizers, vibraphone, tambourine, tympani) in a one-man-band approach. The footage is a head trip in itself, piecing together the sessions so that various Grohls appear to play live together in one room.

The song finds Grohl at his most progressive, journeying from a synth rumble rumble reminiscent of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” to feedback-fueled metal riffs to atmospheric sections to Queens of the Stone Age-styled stoner-rock.

Grohl will release a limited-edition vinyl version of Play on September 28th. The LP is available to pre-order, and the digital version is available to stream and download now.

In This Article: Dave Grohl, prog rock


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