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Dave Grohl on Foo Fighters’ new album: we didn’t want to “make some crazy, bleak Radiohead record”

on May 23, 2014, 4:14pm

We’ve talked and speculated a whole lot about Foo Fighters’ eighth studio album, but only now are we hearing from the horses’ mouth. In a new interview with Billboard, Dave Grohl has spoken for the first time about what fans can expect from the follow-up to 2011’s Wasting Light.

Grohl said the goal of the new album is to “make stadium anthems that startle,” according to Billboard. . “As we were coming down from the success of the last record, I thought, ‘Now we have license to get weird,’ ” Grohl explained. “If we wanted, we could make some crazy, bleak Radiohead record and freak everyone out. Then I thought, ‘F- that.'”

Instead of “banging out these big choruses, because that’s what we do, we’re banging them out in the middle of instrumental sections that will take you by surprise,” Grohl added. “The music is a progression or an evolution, for sure, but it’s a Foo Fighters record.”

(Read: Foo Fighters’ Top 10 Songs)

As previously reported, the album was recorded in eight American cities — Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, DC and New York. Often times, the band was joined by a local musician of note; Gary Clark Jr. (Austin), Eagles’ Joe Walsh (Los Angeles), and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen (Chicago) are all said to have contributed to the record.

The recording sessions are being documented for a forthcoming HBO series, helmed by Grohl. Discussing the project with Billboard, Grohl said he was spurred on by the success of his recent Sound City documentary. “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. 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.'”

Thus, the series will dive into the musical identity of each studio and its corresponding city. “It’s basically the history of American music broken down to the cultural roots of each place: Why did Chicago become a blues capital? Why did country go to Nashville? Why did the first psychedelic band, Thirteenth Floor Elevators, come from Austin? How did the second line rhythm make its way to New Orleans? It’s crazy.” Grohl himself not only directed the series, but he also handled booking and interviewing.

The as-yet-untitled album is due out this fall. In the meantime, revisit all the reasons Dave Grohl is awesome.