Dave Grohl knows a thing or two about cramming into a van to tour the world with your band. Which is why it makes perfect sense that the hard-hustling Foo Fighters leader hopped behind the camera to direct the upcoming touring doc What Drives Us.
The film, produced by the Foos, will be released exclusively on the music-centric Coda Collection streaming service in the U.S. and Amazon Prime Video in select global markets beginning on April 30.
“This film is my love letter to every musician that has ever jumped in an old van with their friends and left it all behind for the simple reward of playing music,” said Grohl in a statement. “What started as a project to pull back the curtain on the DIY logistics of stuffing all of your friends and equipment into a small space for months on end eventually turned into an exploration of ‘why?’ What drives us?’”
Grohl tapped a galaxy of rock, pop and punk icons for the film, which features interviews with bandmates Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Rami Jaffee and Pat Smear, as well as Ringo Starr, Flea, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, St. Vincent, Slash, Ben Harper, The Edge, X’s Exene Cervenka, No Doubt’s Tony Kanal, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and punk icons DH Peligro, Jennifer Finch, Ian Mackaye, Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and many more.
The trailer for the film — which follows on the heels of Grohl announcing his upcoming rock memoir, The Storyteller — opens with the rock icon hopping in a van and cranking up the engine and Beatles drummer Starr explaining, “You gotta get in the van if you want to make it in this business.”
With archival footage of No Doubt, L7’s Jennifer Finch and Flea reminiscing about the bad old good days — for the record, Ulrich jokes that is band “never” toured in a van — of cramming into a tight, stinky space to live out their dreams, the trailer provides a sneak peek at the legendary road stories Grohl collected for posterity.
A tribute to any kid who ever wanted to hit the road to see if the world would listen, the release promises that the movie zeros in on the one common bond all bands share: “At some point, before anyone knew their name, they had an unstoppable drive to share their music with the world. Their passion led them to leave everything behind, throw caution to the wind, and chase their dream.”
In telling the indelible stories of the greats who are now many steps beyond their Econoline years, Grohl focuses on two young bands, RadKey and Starcrawler, who are still climbing that ladder one filthy truck stop and city at a time. Plus, it provides insight into how to turn a van into your rolling home away from home and the hard-won tricks of the trade handed down from generation-to-generation.
Grohl made his feature film directing debut in 2013 with the music doc Sound City, which told the story of the beloved Van Nuys, California studio where Nirvana recorded their landmark Nevermind in 1991; Grohl also directed the Emmy-winning eight-part 2014 HBO docuseries Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways.
Watch the What Drives Us trailer below.