Dave Grohl Says “Sonic Highways” Series Will Celebrate “Unsung Heroes”

Image Courtesy of Steve GullickYou may have heard that Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters recorded their newest album, Sonic Highways, in a less-than traditional way. The band traveled across the country as they recorded Sonic Highways in iconic American music cities and studios. Along the way, Grohl would interview musicians who artistically represented each city. The whole process will be documented in Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, an HBO documentary series that premieres tonight, October 17, at 11 p.m. ET.

For Grohl, Sonic Highways gave him a chance to try something new.

"We could just go and make another record in a studio and hit the road and sell a bunch of t-shirts," he said at a recent Los Angeles panel. But Grohl and the band had a different idea.

"We've been a band for twenty years now. Let's go to tiny studios all over the country, tell the story of music from that city and what is it about each one of these cities that influences the music that comes from there," he said. "Because there are real reasons. Cultural influence from each one of these places. There's a reason why jazz came from New Orleans. There's a reason why country went to Nashville and why the blues went to Chicago."

In his journey to tell the story of American music, Grohl spoke with many famous faces, including country legend Dolly Parton, of whom he says "nobody is cooler," and President Barack Obama.

Grohl felt that speaking to the president was integral to telling the telling of that story.

"I wanted [President Obama] to talk about America as a country where you have the opportunity to start with nothing like Buddy Guy -- make your guitar from strings and wires in your screen porch, and then become a blues legend that's inducted into the Kennedy Center," he said. "Or be a high school dropout from Springfield, Virginia that winds up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Or being a kid from Hawaii that winds up being the president."

Though he talked with a lot of stars, Grohl was most impressed from the stories he heard from lesser-known artists. He felt like it was these lesser known artists who had the power to truly inspire.

"The idea is that you tell the stories of these unsung studios and these unsung musicians, and that's when people start feeling inspired," Grohl said. "That's when you get a kid in his basement watching the guitar player of [punk band] Naked Raygun say 'You shouldn't be intimidated by your heroes, you should be inspired by them.'"

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