AUSTIN — It appears that Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players gig at the South By Southwest music conference may have been its last. The all-star concerts have run concurrently with the promotion of the Foo Fighters frontman’s film “Sound City,” which has completed its rounds at winter and spring film festivals.
The show at Stubb’s late last week was three-and-a-half hours long, with long performances from artists like Stevie Nicks and John Fogerty with the backing of Foos like Taylor Hawkins and Pat Smear and Nirvana member Krist Novoselic. The setlist to the rock show ran from old to new, and for those who have seen “Sound City,” a reminder of rock ‘n’ roll history of laying down tape and getting performances right in the moment of recording, instead of going back and correcting it later with a piece of software.
That was the point, Grohl told me during our interview on the SXSW red carpet for the “Sound City” screener. The California rock studio couldn’t survive in a world of accessible digital technology, because of the restrictions of analog.
And it’s just that Grohl doesn’t mind the restrictions.
“You have the ability to completely manipulate and change the performance with the digital stuff. Youn’t really have that with analog… [but] I don’t want to even know I can do that. I don’t want to know I can tune my voice, because I want to sound like me,” Grohl said. “Some people say that digital sounds better than analog. I’m deaf as a f*cking post, so that argument is out the window.”
The Foo Fighters are in the very earliest stages of planning out their new album; while their last album was done completely on analog tape, Grohl intimated that the next effort could be both analog and digital. And when I asked if they plan on recording with Butch Vig again, he said “hope so.”
Check out the video interview for more info on why Grohl didn’t tap a Hollywood director for “Sound City,” and just why he wanted to make a doc despite not know the “first f*cking thing about making movies.”