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Dave Grohl Reflects On the Conclusion of ‘Sonic Highways’

Neilson Barnard, Getty Images

The Foo Fighters have a lot to be proud of right now. Their new album, ‘Sonic Highways,’ is just about a month old; frontman Dave Grohl’s eight-episode, cross-country HBO series of the same name aired its last episode this past weekend; and the band played a more than two-and-a-half-hour show at Irving Plaza in New York on Friday, Dec. 5.

Grohl recently sat down for an interview with Rolling Stone to discuss the conclusion of the massive undertaking that was ‘Sonic Highways,’ discussing everything from his interview with President Obama, his dream of a Smithsonian exhibit and what’s coming next for the Foo Fighters.

Grohl, the son of a Washington, D.C.-based reporter, says that interviewing for each episode of the ‘Sonic Highways’ series was very natural for the singer-guitarist. “[It’s] written in my DNA that I like to sit down and talk to people and their experiences,” he said.

“When I sit down to interview people, I don’t hold questions and I don’t know the answers,” Grohl said of his interviewing style. “They’re more like conversations that become lessons.”

That, plus the sheer magnitude of the project, led to an abundance of excess footage, which Grohl says is upwards of 1,300 hours. What are his dreams for the additional footage? The Smithsonian.

“If I can get the Smithsonian to acknowledge what we’re doing, then maybe someday you’ll be able to walk into a museum on the Mall and see a ‘Sonic Highways’ exhibit,” he said.

Many critics of the Foo Fighters’ corresponding ‘Sonic Highways’ album have argued that the band didn’t incorporate enough of the eight cities’ musical influences into their own sound. Grohl says it was always their plan to remain themselves throughout the project.

“I would explain the idea and someone would say, ‘Oh, cool. So, are you going to play a blues song? Are you going to make a country song in Nashville? Are you going to do jazz in New Orleans?” Grohl explained. “And I thought, ‘Can you f–king imagine how much of a train wreck that would be?”

“Well, f–k, dude, are we a jazz band? Are we a country band? F–k no,” he said.

“The most important thing in this whole project is that we remain the Foo Fighters,” he said. “I didn’t want to become a tribute band and I didn’t want it to sound like a compilation tape by the bar band that plays down the street every Friday. I wanted all of it to come to us by some sort of musical osmosis; not some weird collage of sounds that don’t belong to our band.”

Grohl has already alluded that he knows what his next project will be. When asked what that is, he simply said it will be “bigger” than ‘Sonic Highways.’

“‘Sonic Highways’ has just opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the band and for me,” Grohl said.

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