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Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters is the solo-project of the former Nirvana Drummer Dave Grohl. The name "Foo Fighter" is taken of the 2nd World War. It was the name for strange lights American pilots saw when flying over German territory at night. They were taken for "Foo Fighters" (unknown flying objects, UFOs).


History and Evolution

After the suicide of Kurt Cobain in and the splitting-up of Nirvana in 1995, David Grohl decided to come up with a new band. Because, still in the times of Nirvana, Grohl wrote his own songs, which weren't exploited in Nirvana, so, in Foo Fighters he utilized them (and kept writing songs for sure). Few months after Court Cobains death he recorded a demo tape all by his self (he played all instruments and sang, except some guitar parts) that was called „the Foo Fighters album“. Some years later Grohl said to MTV that it's due to his psychologist that he did not stopped to make music (God bless him). This album and the singles that were taken, got into charts immediately. To be able to perform it live he put a band together: Pat Smear (guitar, former The Germer + Nirvana), Nate Mendel (bass) and William Goldsmith (drum). Together with them, the 2nd album was recorded but after an argument between Goldsmith and Grohl, Goldsmith was kicked. For a new drummer Taylor Hawkins was engaged. But new problems arrived: the guitarist Pat Smear (guitar) decided to leave the band, too. So there was need for a new guitarist:Chris Shiflett.

Nothing could inhibit the new album now „There Is Nothing Left to Lose“. It appeared in 1999 and contained Hit-Singles like „Learn to Fly“ and „Breakout“. Finally the Album won a grammy for the „best rock album“ in 2001. 2002 the forth album „One by One“ appeared, mentionable is here, that Queens Guitarist Brian May played in the song „Tired of you“. In the US-election campaign 2004 they supported John Kerry with some gigs, because George W. Bush used one of their songs without permission on his demonstration („Times like These“). 2005 a double-album appeared („In Your Honour“) containing ten „normal“ rock-songs in Foo-Fighters-style and 10 acoustic ones. Here's also a famous guest musician involved: the ex-Led-Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. After a world tournee and a lot of silence around them on 25th september 2007 the new „Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace“ album popped out. It can be called their most successful album with 2 grammys in 2008 („best rock-album“ and „best hard-rock act“) and 2 Brit Awards („best album international“ and „best band“) also in 2008. The most famous song, the one, everyone identifies Foo Fighters with is also on that album, (and was lift from the album as Single) called „The Pretenders“.


The Foo Fighters style changed from a very row seattle-style grunge sound to a post-punk like sound with some influences from desert-rock. You could critizise that they become closer to the mainstream but in my opinion that does not fit.


Now to the interesting part for us gmc'ers: The Gear. Foo Fighters uses Mesa Boogie amps for guitar and Ashdown amps for bass. Both David Grohl himself as Chris Shiflett use a Mesa Boogie Road King head and a Mesa Boogie cabinet (straight). Sometimes you see Grohl also play with a Mesa Boogie Lonestar combo. Nate Mandel uses an Ashown ABM-series top combined with an 8x10 Classic Neo cabinet, also from Ashdown. Grohl plays with a Gibson DG-335 he designed in cooperation with the Gibson Custom Shop. Besides that he owns a Gibson Firebird Studio Ebony and an Ampeg dan Armstrong (plexiglass) Chris Shiflett uses also Gibson guitars but not very special ones like Grohl. Nate Mandel prefers Music Man and Fender basses. The Drummer uses a Gretsch drumset, cymbals of Zildjian and his self-designed Zildjian Taylor Hawkins Signature Drumsticks.

Analyse of the lyrcis from Statues

The song Pretender is the song that made them attractive to a lot of people. Youtube is very interesting here: you have around 1mio views to the other famous Foo Fighter videos but the Pretender: 13,5 Million Views. But in my opinion the best track to show how Foo Fighters feel about music and life in general is "Statues".

You and I were two old and tortured souls

Repaired by a love of broken things

In a life, just some bodies growing old

No fear of the end, of anything

We're just ordinary people, you and me

Time will turn us into statues, eventually

We got by, though we never needed much

A sliver of hope, no diamond rings

We got high, it was heaven it was hell

Flying over them, with broken wings

We're just ordinary people, you and me

Time will turn us into statues, eventually

Oh, just two ordinary people, you and me

Time will turn us into statues, eventually

Our bones forever in stone

Monuments of life

To dust, as everything must

We fade away in time, oh

We're just ordinary people, you and me

Time will turn us into statues, eventually

Oh, just two ordinary people, you and me

Oh, time will turn us into statues, eventually

This text shows perfectly the attitude of the Foo Fighters. It's a very melancholic and slow ballad. The verse "Oh, just two ordinary people, you and me Time will turn us into statues, eventually" demonstrates that they're still down-to-earth and not megalomaniac like other "stars". Besides that you see that they think that nothing is forever, and this is, for a star a very good attitude. Also the ascertainment that they're just ordinary people shows what they think of life: they live their lives and are happy with the things they have ("We got by, though we never needed much - A sliver of hope, no diamond rings") - this is a very good attitude to have and on the basis of this song they display that this is their own one. You can find this song on the Echos, Silence, Patience & Grace Album.



Cover of the Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace Album
Cover of the Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace Album

1995: Foo Fighters

1997: The Colour and the Shape

1999: There Is Nothing Left to Lose

2002: One by One

2005: In Your Honor

2007: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace


1995 from Foo Fighters Album:

Big me, For all the Cows, I'll Stick Around, This Is A Call

1997/1998 from The Colour and the Shape:

Monkey Wrench, Everlong, My Hero, Walking After You

1999/2000 from There's Nothing Left to Lose:

Learn to fly, Stacked Actors, Generator, Breakout, Next Year

2002/2003 from One by One

All my Life, Times like These, Low, Have it All

2005/2006 from In Your Honor:

Best Of You, DOA, Resolve, No Way Back, Miracle

2007/2007 from Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

The Pretenders, Long Road to Ruin, Cheer Up Boys

Related GMC Lessons

Foo Fighters Style Lesson by Gabriel Leopardi