The mysterious countdown clock on the Foo Fighters‘ official website finally ticked down to all zeroes Sunday night, and it was revealed that Dave Grohl’s surprise for fans was a new EP titled Saint Cecilia. The five-track collection, recorded at Austin, Texas’ Saint Cecilia Hotel during the Austin City Limits festival’s two weekends, was offered up as a free download. The group has also offered up a pre-order of the Saint Cecilia vinyl at their official site.
In addition to the new EP, Grohl also penned a long letter to fans that tracked the Sonic Highways journey, detailed his gruesome leg injury and paid tribute to those killed in the Paris terror attacks. The EP was meant to be an end-of-the-tour thank you gift to fans, but the final leg of the Sonic Highways jaunt was cut short by the November 13th attack in Paris. Foo Fighters also posted a link for fans to donate to victims of the attack.
“Let me begin with a preface to a letter I wrote a few weeks ago from my hotel room in Berlin while on our final tour for this album. I felt the need to write this foreword in light of the heartbreaking tragedies of Nov. 13th, as this project has now taken on an entirely different tone. As has everything, it seems…,” Grohl wrote. “The Saint Cecilia EP was put into motion back in October of this year as a celebration of life and music. The concept being that, as our world tour drew to a close this week, we wanted to share our love of both with you in return for everything you have given us.”
During the Foo Fighters’ ACL headlining set, Grohl announced that the band had recorded new music in Austin, and in the letter, he goes in depth about the project and how the band turned the Saint Cecilia Hotel into their own personal recording studio. “Returning to the city where the entire Sonic Highways concept was born, loading in one last time to a room that was never designed to be a recording studio a la Sonic Highways, and making some music! Fate? Destiny?,” Grohl wrote.
Throughout the letter, Grohl also hinted that the Foo Fighters might be going on a well-deserved break, and possibly a long hiatus. “It was heartbreaking to leave that place, to say the least. I honestly feel like we left a piece of our band there as we were being torn away from it,” Grohl wrote. “The perfect unity of life, and love, and music is something that only comes around so often and in certain circumstances. When you feel it coming on, you have to take hold of it. That place and those people made it possible for our band to take one, big final breath before the curtain closes. Thankfully, we have evidence of this in these songs that we’re giving to you today. “
He added, “Maybe these songs are the bread crumbs that will help us find our way back when it’s time. We could use a nice wander through the woods right about now. Another empty journal, another tap on the shoulder … those things are never far behind. It’s what lies ahead in those woods that excites me now…. So tonight, as I sit in my Berlin hotel room on our final tour for this album, counting down the days until we return home, I can’t help but wonder when we will see each other again. Who knows? But, with everything Foo Fighter-related, it will only be when it feels right. And that’s a feeling that’s easy to feel.”