By Scott T. Sterling
Foo Fighters continue to prove that rock and roll is alive and well with the Sept. 15 release of the band’s ninth studio album, Concrete and Gold on Roswell Records/RCA Records.
Produced by Greg Kurstin and featuring appearances from Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men, Alison Mosshart of the Kills and Dave Koz, Concrete and Gold sets the vanguard for rock is 2017 and beyond.
“I think it’s our most psychedelic record, and our weirdest,” drummer Taylor Hawins told Rolling Stone.
It’s an apt statement, as the band’s frontman and rock evangelist Dave Grohl takes the challenge of making a new Foo Fighters record truly exciting and innovative very seriously.
“I’ve always been afraid of becoming a heritage act,” Grohl stressed. “I feel like we have to prove ourselves over and over to be a band worth following.” He continues to Rolling Stone , “When it comes to the music, ‘our formula is pretty simple.’ When you put us in a room, it sounds like the band. So the challenge is to figure out how that evolves.”
When asked about the album’s overarching theme, Grohl has pointed to the title track, the last song on the set.
“There’s sort of a theme within the eleven songs that goes from beginning to end, so this is kind of the resolve of the entire record,” he explained. “The chorus [of the song ‘Concrete And Gold’] says, ‘I have an engine made of gold, something so beautiful. The world will never know. Our roots are stronger than you know. Up through the concrete we will grow.’ It’s kind of beautiful.”
The album’s impact has been felt from the release of the first advance single, “Run,” which shot to the top 5 of the iTunes video chart and the top of the 15 iTunes singles chart. Pulling more than 2 million YouTube views in its first 24 hours, the track generated the highest first-day numbers of any single in the Foo Fighters’ career.
Second single, “The Sky Is A Neighborhood,” arrived with a Grohl-directed epic sci-fi video starring the guitar god’s daughters that matched the track’s slow-burning power.
When it came to writing for the album, Grohl knew when it was finally the right time to get started, “I was inspired by what was going on with our country—politically, personally, as a father, an American and a musician,” he revealed. “There was a lot to write about.”
“The last couple of albums had been made in ways that we were trying to get out of our comfort zone,” Grohl added. “I thought, ‘What’s the strangest thing for this band to do at this point?’ And then I realized it was just to go into a studio and make a f—— album like a normal band.”
In true rock and roll fashion, the Foo Fighters will follow the release of Concrete and Gold with an extensive tour of arena, stadium and festival stages around the world, kicking off with the Cal Jam 17 on Oct. 7 at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, CA: a non-stop 100% live 12-hour rock n roll extravaganza featuring Queens Of The Stone Age, Cage The Elephant, Liam Gallagher, The Kills, Royal Blood and more.
Modeled after the original Cal Jam in 1974, Grohl and the band is amped and ready to continue waving the flag for rock and roll in 2017 from the highest mountain possible.
“That speedway aesthetic just seemed so cool,” Grohl enthused about Cal Jam 17. “This skeleton stage in the midday heat, and a bunch of shirtless dudes with Michelob bottles and sunburns and jean shorts. A lot of (the bands on the bill) are drinking buddies. And some I’ve never met. I can’t wait. It’s gonna be f—— fun.”
Concrete and Gold, the latest album from the Foo Fighters, available everywhere now.