2011’s Wasting Light proved to be a classic Foo Fighter’s album. Pat Smear returned to the band full-time and Nevermind’s producer Butch Vig recorded this album in Grohl’s basement studio utilizing only analog recording equipment. Cameo appearances by Krist Novoselic and Husker Du’s Bob Mould helped make the album a success. It reached number one in eleven countries and won a Grammy for Best Rock Album. 2014’s Sonic Highways featured contributions from many guest musicians with ties to the unique music of different American cities. The process was filmed for a television series titled, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, and was broadcast on HBO TV. This was a groundbreaking concept for a music project. It put the Foo Fighters in an innovative position that made them “Ambassadors of American rock music.”
2017’s Concrete and Gold was the latest Foo Fighter’s studio album. It featured appearances from Justin Timberlake and Paul McCartney playing drums on the song “Sunday Rain.” The Foo Fighters are seasoned songwriters and their songwriting process has evolved over the years. Guitarist Chris Shiflett explained “We usually do kind of a similar thing where Dave has a bunch of song ideas and he’ll usually demo them first, just himself. Then he sends us all the songs, and we’ll all get together and jam on them…that’s usually the method of this band, we just demo and demo and demo and do them over and over and tweak them along the way…Back in the old days, the first few records I did with this band we’d record all the drums, then all the bass, and all the guitars…But for Wasting Light there was a change where we just started doing one song at a time.”
Foo Fighters were often compared to Grohl’s previous band, Nirvana. Grohl has recognized Kurt Cobain’s strong influence on his own songwriting. Grohl’s great sense of rhythm serves to musically inform his guitar playing and his overall songwriting style. Foo Fighters possess a great love for diverse music from The Beatles to Queen to punk rock and heavy metal. They consistently rock very hard while expressing simple melodies and acoustic timbres. Foo Fighters personified post-grunge but continue to play rock with a vision to the future.