Foo Fighters' 20th anniversary comes with an album, its own cable docuseries and an ambitious mission to tell the story of America through its indigenous music
If Dave Grohl is gunning for the title of rock's top overachiever, he is well on his way. Since forming Foo Fighters in 1995, he has churned out seven albums that have sold a combined 11.1 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan; he directed the 2013 documentary Sound City -- about the fabled former Los Angeles recording studio of the same name - which boasts a 100 percent review score on Rotten Tomatoes; he crossed off "jam with Paul McCartney" on his bucket list; and, in April, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Nirvana. As he told a crowd at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival premiere of Sound City, "Next, I'll be flying your plane to Dulles."
More Foo Fighters
What actually is next on Grohl's to-do list is the new, as-yet-untitled Foos album, due this fall, which might be the band's most ambitious yet. The band visited eight American cities rooted in music -- Seattle, Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Washington, D.C. -- where Grohl, 45, interviewed some of the musicians who helped shape those sounds and used each conversation as inspiration to write and record an original song for the album. Grohl filmed this creative process for an HBO hourlong series he is directing that will debut around the time that the album is released (November, says a source). The footage will feature the Foos performing with local artists interviewed for the project, such as Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen in Chicago. "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 tells Billboard of the project's genesis. "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.'"