The Foo Fighters album Dave Grohl called “nonsense”

dave grohl

Following Nirvana’s abrupt death, Dave Grohl could have easily gone in any musical direction he desired. He thought he had lost his desire to play music following Kurt Cobain’s tragic death. But Grohl believed that music would eventually help him heal from the pain. And he picked himself up by recording various songs in a studio near his house. Grohl could have continued playing drums for the rest of his life. But he took a chance and walked away with one of the greatest comeback stories in rock history with the Foo Fighters.

Grohl played every note on the debut album. It was made up of a handful of songs he wrote while still in Nirvana. After putting a band together featuring ex-Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear William Goldsmith, and Nate Mendel of Sunny Day Real Estate, the first incarnation of the group was born. They were going out on the road playing the tracks from Grohl’s first cassette

The band was still in its early stages. There was no doubt that everything that came out of them would be Grohl’s vision. Grohl was known to be particular about what he wanted when recording the album The Colour and the Shape. It’s because it would be their first effort.

Working with longtime Pixies producer Gil Norton, the rest of the band was under pressure to perform to the best of their abilities whenever the red light came on. The album would go on to become one of the group’s best. It did a number on Goldsmith’s confidence. He eventually left the band after Grohl decided to delete his drum parts from the record and replace them with his own.

Granted, Grohl’s job in the band would not be easy either. After a recent breakup with his fiance, much of the album features lyrics dissecting the frontman’s state of mind. It reminisces about his euphoria on songs like ‘Everlong’ while making bittersweet ballads like ‘Walking After You’.

Grohl admitted to upping his game on the record. But he wasn’t always so complimentary of it. He recalled, “Last time the lyrics were obscure for a good reason.” They were complete nonsense. A few songs meant a lot to me, but I mostly needed a vocal track. I don’t consider myself to be clever or even a lyricist. “I can’t even write postcards.”

Grohl would eventually come out of his shell with Norton’s help. He was working tirelessly to find just the right word combination that rolled off the tongue nicely. Some songs remained obscure, such as the massive rager ‘Enough Space’. This was the first time fans got to hear thoughts inside Grohl’s head. He was talking about the turmoil that comes with falling out of love. And the fear of what might happen after he’s separated from his lover.

Dave Grohl has seen the brighter side of the band’s debut in the years since its release. But he believed that it made for good imagery rather than holding together as a cohesive whole. Every song on their first album didn’t make the most sense. But the words are the perfect way to get into Grohl’s headspace after watching his musical world shatter.


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