Less than a year after Foo Fighters released their studio-hopping Sonic Highways, Dave Grohl and company are already working on new music, with the singer revealing that he laid down some new music in one of his favorite musical cities: Austin, Texas. Grohl made the announcement during Foo Fighters’ Austin City Limits Festival set, “You know what I did last night … We recorded five fucking new songs in your beautiful city.” Grohl also told the crowd that one of those tracks features rocker Ben Kweller.
“Just by chance, I bumped into an old friend that I hadn’t seen in about 16 years, right as I was recording a vocal,” Grohl said of the chance run-in with Kweller (via NME). “This motherfucker walks in – I’m like, ‘Hey, man!’ – and he starts fucking singing the most beautiful harmony to the thing I was singing. I was like, ‘Get your ass in the vocal booth right now.’ And then he said, ‘Hey, if you want, I’ll come up and sing a song with you tonight.'”
While Foo Fighters didn’t premiere any of their new songs during their ACL set – “We’re gonna give it to you! But not tonight,” Grohl said – they did welcome Kweller to the stage to help out on “Big Me.”
Speaking to Rolling Stone after the Austin episode of Sonic Highways, Grohl talked about how the Austin City Limits television show inspired him in his youth. “I was 7 or 8 the first time I saw it. I was just learning how to play guitar and there weren’t too many shows like Austin City Limits back in the day,” Grohl said.
“Here was a show that you could watch an entire live performance of a band – not just one song after Johnny Carson walks off the couch – in front of an intimate audience. Those experiences translate. When I was young, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s music! That’s how it’s done! Now it’s in my living room and it makes me want to do that too.’ You watch these brilliant musicians ripping on that stage week after week and it could only inspire young musicians.”
Grohl also expressed concern about the gentrification of the Texas capital. “I think the message in the Austin episode is that we have to be careful that we don’t overlook the reasons why people are drawn to these cities,” Grohl said. “There’s something about Austin and its alternative culture that’s an oasis in the middle of this country that attracted people to it in the first place. The personality and the fingerprint of this city is unlike anywhere else.”