HBO has released its first trailer for Dave Grohl’s new documentary series, revealing the title as Sonic Highways. “It all started with the idea of recording at different studios all over the country,” Grohl says in the trailer’s voiceover. “Doing something to make it new. You can tie all of these people and places together with these sonic highways. This is a musical map of America.”
The series follows Grohl and the Foo Fighters on their travels as they visit and record music at eight legendary studios in eight different cities across the country, interviewing musicians connected with each city and examining the cultural roots that define a city’s musical character. In addition to hosting duties, Grohl will also direct the series, which is an outgrowth of Sound City, his 2013 documentary chronicling the famous Los Angeles recording studio. The new series will reportedly include visits to Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio in Chicago, Don Zientara’s Inner Ear studios in Washington, D.C. and Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, California.
“After making Sound City, I realized that the pairing of music and documentary works well because the stories give substance and depth to the song, which makes for a stronger emotional connection,” Grohl recently said in a statement. “So I thought, ‘I want to do this again, but instead of just walking into a studio and telling its story, I want to travel across America and tell its story.'”
The HBO series is also intimately connected with the Foo Fighters’ new album, which is due out later this year. The band recorded one song for the album in each of the cities the documentary covers, working with locals including Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr. and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen. As part of the project, the Foo Fighters recently played a surprise show at New Orleans’ Preservation Hall after spending a few days recording at the legendary venue while Grohl interviewed Crescent City musicians.