Foo Fighters Originally Wanted To Record Their New Album In A Makeshift Studio In Front Of 20,000 People

Senior Music Writer
09.11.17

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Dave Grohl is an idea man. Take a look at how he created Foo Fighters 2014 album Sonic Highways, making one song in eight different famous recording studios across America, while filming the entire thing and releasing it as an HBO miniseries. For the Foos next record, Concrete And Gold, Grohl originally had some similarly large thoughts about how it should be made, which he revealed to Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich on his Beats 1 radio program.

Grohl has apparently booked a night for the band at the Hollywood Bowl where he wanted to record the group’s next full length album — “with isolation booths and a control room with tape reels and the whole deal” — live in front of 20,000 people. The only reason he didn’t pull the trigger? PJ Harvey.

“Maybe eight months later, PJ Harvey sort of did something similar where she set up a recording studio, I think it was an installment in an art museum where you could come and watch,” Grohl said. “And I was like, ‘That’s sort of similar. Now I can’t do that other thing.’”

Grohl is absolutely right. Harvey’s created her album The Hope Six Demolition Project in 2015 as part of an art installation at London’s Somerset House called Recording in Progress. Patrons were invited to come through and watch through a one-way mirror as the singer created all of her parts with the production team Flood.

Oh well. Maybe it was all for the best? Who knows if Grohl could’ve pulled Paul McCartney or Justin Timberlake in that setting.

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