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Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways

This article is about the HBO television miniseries. For the album, see Sonic Highways.
Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways
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Genre Rockumentary
Created by Dave Grohl
Written by Mark Monroe
Directed by Dave Grohl
Starring
Opening theme "Something From Nothing" by Foo Fighters
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 8
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • James A. Rota
  • John Ramsay
  • Dave Grohl
Producer(s)
  • John Silva
  • Gaby Skolnek
  • John Cutcliffe
  • Kristen Welsh
Editor(s)
  • Meg Ramsay
  • Kristin McCasey
  • Scott D. Hanson
  • Grant MacDowell
  • Brian Lazarte
  • Lenny Mesina
Location(s)
Cinematography
  • Kenny Stoff
  • Jessica Young
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original channel HBO
Picture format 1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Audio format 5.1 Surround Sound
Original release October 17, 2014 (2014-10-17) – December 5, 2014 (2014-12-05)
External links
Website

Sonic Highways is a 2014 American documentary miniseries directed by Dave Grohl and written by Mark Monroe. The documentary was made concurrently with Foo Fighters' eighth album, Sonic Highways,[1] and was broadcast on HBO. Grohl described the project as "a love letter to the history of American music".[2] Each of the eight episodes is presented as an exploration of the musical history of a different American city through a series of interviews by Grohl. The group is also shown incorporating what they learned from the interviews into the writing and recording of a new song in or near that city. The series debuted on October 17, 2014.[3]

Development

After the success of Grohl's 2013 documentary film Sound City, he expressed interest to Billboard of doing something similar.[4] According to Grohl,
After making Sound City, I realized that the pairing of music and documentary works well because the stories give substance and depth to the song, which makes for a stronger emotional connection. So I thought, ‘I want to do this again, but instead of just walking into a studio and telling its story, I want to travel across America and tell its story.[5]

On May 15, 2014, it was announced that Foo Fighters' eighth album would be released in the fall of 2014, and that Foo Fighters would commemorate the album and 20th anniversary with the TV series.[1][6] Each song on the new album was recorded in a different city, featuring “local legends” on each song and lyrics inspired by the ”experiences, interviews and personalities that became part of the process.”[1]

On May 31, 2014, a 20-second video was uploaded to YouTube announcing the series.[7] On August 21, 2014, a trailer, lasting 3 minutes and 31 seconds, was uploaded to YouTube showing most of the people interviewed in the series.[8]

Overview

The series eight episodes show the Foo Fighters traveling to eight legendary studios in eight different cities across the United States of America to write and record their album, Sonic Highways.[9] The cities visited were Chicago, Washington, D.C., Nashville, Austin, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Seattle and New York.[2] Studios involved with the project include Steve Albini's Electrical Audio in Chicago; Rancho De La Luna in California; Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, and Arlington County, Virginia's Inner Ear Studios.[10]

Each episode features interviews with artists who recorded at the respective studios. Among them are Dolly Parton, Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi, Paul Stanley of Kiss, Joe Walsh of Eagles, Nancy Wilson of Heart, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Zac Brown,[11] and Gary Clark, Jr.[4] There was also collaboration with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans, which led to a live performance with Trombone Shorty.[11] The episode begins with a quote from a song that was recorded in their respective location and ends with a music video for that same song with animated lyrics appearing in the background.

Surprise concerts

On May 5, 2014, Foo Fighters gave a surprise two-hour concert at 9:30 Club in Washington D.C.[12][13]

On May 7, 2014, Grohl performed a surprise hour-long solo set at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville to a crowd of approximately 100 people.[13]

On May 17, 2014, after a week of recording at Preservation Hall, the band played a surprise show for 90-minutes, which proceeded to shut down an entire block of St. Peter Street in New Orleans.[14]

International broadcast

The series aired in the UK on BBC Four starting October 26, 2014. It also aired in Australia on GO! hours after its US broadcast. It will be repeated on Channel [V] starting February 16, 2015.[15]

Episodes

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No. Title Original air date

Charts

Template:AlbumchartTemplate:Albumchart
Chart (2015) Peak
position
Australia Top 40 Audiovisual Chart (ARIA Charts)[16] 1
Belgian DVD Chart (Ultratop)[17] 3
UK Music Videos Chart (Official Charts Company)[18] 6

Certifications

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Australia (ARIA)[19]

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See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 AlternativeNation.net | Foo Fighters Release Trailer For Upcoming HBO Series ‘Sonic Highways’
  2. 2.0 2.1 Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl teases 'Sonic Highways' television series with trailer - watch | News | NME.COM
  3. Foo Fighters Sonic Highways | The Official Website of the HBO series
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dave Grohl on Foo Fighters’ new album: we didn’t want to “make some crazy, bleak Radiohead record” | Consequence of Sound
  5. Rock Hall of Fame: Dave Grohl on Nirvana Honors, Reuniting with Courtney Love: 'It Was Beautiful' (Q&A) - The Hollywood Reporter
  6. "Foo Fighters To Commemorate Eighth Album & 20th Anniversary With HBO Series Documenting Eight-City Recording Odyssey". FooFighters.com. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  7. Twitter / HBO: .@foofighters Sonic Highways
  8. YouTube: Foo Fighters Sonic Highways: Trailer (HBO)
  9. Watch Foo Fighters Roam 'Sonic Highways' in New Doc Series Teaser - Video | Rolling Stone
  10. Dave Grohl reveals title for HBO show, Sonic Highways, shares trailer | Consequence of Sound
  11. 11.0 11.1 Foo Fighters release ‘Sonic Highways’ teaser
  12. Foo Fighters Play Career-Spanning Surprise Show in D.C. | SPIN | Music News
  13. 13.0 13.1 Dave Grohl Sang Foo Fighters Songs to 100 People and Filmed It | SPIN | Music News
  14. Foo Fighters Shut Down a New Orleans Block With Secret Show | SPIN | Music News
  15. Knox, David (6 February 2015). "Airdate: Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways". TV Tonight. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  16. ARIA Report - Issue 1311 - 13 April, 2015 pandora.nla.gov.au. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  17. Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways - DVD ultratop.be. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  18. "Official Music Video Chart Top 50 - 22 March 2015 - 28 March 2015". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  19. ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2015 DVDs aria.com. Retrieved May 11, 2015.

External links