Rising from the ashes of Seattle grunge icons Nirvana following the suicide of frontman Kurt Cobain, the Foo Fighters went from low-key side project for drummer Dave Grohl to one of the world’s most successful rock bands. Grohl performed most of the instruments and vocals on the Foo Fighters’ self-titled 1995 debut, prior to recruiting his former Nirvana cohort (and one-time Germs guitarist) Pat Smear and the Sunny Day Real Estate rhythm section of bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith to hit the tour trail. First Goldsmith, then Smear, would take their leave under unhappy circumstances during the run-up and release of the Foo Fighters’ blockbuster sophomore album, ‘The Colour and the Shape,’ which nevertheless boosted the band’s popularity to new heights as drummer Taylor Hawkins and guitarist Franz Stahl stepped into the breach. But Stahl, whose relationship with Grohl dated back to pre-Nirvana days, and their Washington D.C. hardcore band, Scream, quickly proved a bad fit for the Foos and was uncomfortably dismissed at tours’ end, leaving Grohl, Mendel and Hawkins to record 1999’s ‘There is Nothing Left to Lose’ as a trio. Guitarist Chris Shiflett was then recruited and the band finally enjoyed both lineup stability and consistently consistently high-charting albums in 2002’s ‘One by One,’ 2005’s half electric, half acoustic ’In Your Hon-or,’ and 2007’s ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.’ Grohl simultaneously busied him-self with a string of stimulating extra-curricular activities, including 2003’s underground metal project, Probot, drumming on tour and in the studio for Queens of the Stone Age and Tenacious D, as well as the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, featuring Josh Homme and Led Zeppelin legend John Paul Jones. As for the Foo Fighters, they wel-comed back Smear and became a quintet ahead of 2011’s ‘Wasting Light,’ for which they challenged themselves to recording with purely analog equipment with producer Butch Vig, as usual to great success. And by the release of 2014’s ‘Sonic Highways’ the Foo Fighters had sold an estimated eleven million albums in the U.S. alone, while collecting a whopping ten Grammy Awards, clearly showing no end in sight to their amazing run.
- Selected Discography: ‘Foo Fighters’ (1995), ‘The Colour and the Shape’ (1997), ‘Wasting Light’ (2011)
- Related Artists: Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Probot
- Further Reading: 10 Best Foo Fighters Videos, 10 Best Foo Fighters Songs