Foo Fighters are a US rock band fronted by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl and comprised of drummer Taylor Hawkins, lead guitarist Crist Shiflett, bassist Nate Mendel and, since 2010, guitarist Pat Smear. Originally formed by Grohl as a one-man project in 1994, the band have gone on to be one of the most successful rock groups of the 21st century and have sold an estimated 11.1 million albums worldwide.
Grohl was originally a member of grunge legends Nirvana, but after the suicide of frontman Kurt Cobain in 1994, he began writing and recording music on his own. He released ‘Foo Fighters’ in 1995 and soon began recruiting new bandmates, eventually settling on the line-u of Shiflett, Hawkins and Mendel. Foo Fighters’ second album, ‘The Colour And The Shape’, was a commercial success in both the UK and the US, partly due to the popularity of the hit singles ‘Monkey Wrench’, ‘Everlong’ and ‘My Hero’. According to figures from Nielsen SounScan, it is still the band’s biggest-selling album in the US, where it has shifted over two million copies.
The band achieved even greater mainstream acclaim with their third album, 1999’s ‘There Is Nothing Left To Lose’, and 2002’s ‘One By One’. During this period Grohl also played drums with Queens Of The Stone Age and featured on their 2002 album ‘Songs For The Deaf’.
In 2005, the band released their fifth studio album ‘In Your Honour’. Two years later, their album ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace’ was nominated for five Grammy Awards in 2008 and won prizes for Best Rock Album and Best Hard Rock Performance. The group’s seventh studio album ‘Wasting Light’ was released in 2011, and Grohl was honoured with NME’s Godlike Genius Award the same year.
In 2014 the group released their eight studio album ‘Sonic Highways’ which was recorded in eight different US cities, and it features guest appearances from musicians from the eight cities that Grohl and the band travelled to during the writing and recording of the album. To mark the release of Record Store Day in 2015, the group released an exclusive EP titled ‘Songs from the Laundry Room’ which features two demos from their debut album, a cover and a previously unreleased song.
The ‘Songs from the Laundry Room EP’ has since been re-released on the mainstream market. In November of 2015, the Foo Fighters released a free to download EP called ‘Saint Cecilia’ which was dedicated not only to the bands fans and followers as thanks for their support, but also as a tribute to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks which took place on the eve of November 13 2015.
In the summer of 2015 Dave Grohl broke his leg after falling off stage during a Foo Fighters concert in Sweden. Despite the injury the frontman finished the show, returning to the stage after being bandaged up by first aiders. However, the incident saw the band cancel a run of shows, including a headline slot at Glastonbury Festival – the band were replaced by Florence and the Machine.
Foo Fighters still completed a number of shows with Grohl still injured, with the frontman performing on a specially built throne. The band’s tour was rebranded the ‘Broken Leg’ tour in reference to Grohl’s condition. The throne was then used in 2016 by Axl Rose, who had broken his foot, but continued to play a number of Guns N’Roses reunion gigs. The same year, the band released a mockumentary addressing rumours that they would be splitting up – the video ended with the band exclaiming: “For the millionth time, we’re not breaking up. And nobody’s going fucking solo!”
In 2017 the band announced that they’ll be working on a new record all year, alongside a handful of tour dates in the US and Europe this summer. At a secret show in Frome, Somerset in February, the band confirmed that they will be headlining Glastonbury Festival in June.