Dave Grohl Says PJ Harvey Foiled Foo Fighters' Plans to Record in Front of a Live Audience
Published Sep 11, 2017Foo Fighters finally return with their latest LP Concrete and Gold later this week, but frontman Dave Grohl just revealed that he had to scrap his original plan for the record after another rock star beat him to the punch.
In a new interview with Metallica's Lars Ulrich on Beats 1, Grohl claimed he wanted to record Concrete and Gold in front of a massive live audience, but canned the idea after learning that PJ Harvey did something similar.
Grohl said that he had booked out the Hollywood Bowl to create a one-night only recording studio onstage, complete with isolation booths, a control room and tape reels — and an audience of 20,000 people.
"Then maybe eight months later, PJ Harvey sort of did something similar where she set up a recording studio — I think it was an instalment 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.'"
He's referring to the process behind Harvey's 2016 The Hope Six Demolition Project LP, which was recorded early last year as an installation titled Recording in Progress at Somerset House in London. She was joined in the on-display recording environment by producers Flood and John Parish, her band and a crew of sound engineers.
"I want Recording in Progress to operate as if we're an exhibition in a gallery," Harvey said at the time. "I hope visitors will be able to experience the flow and energy of the recording process."
As previously reported, the Foos ended up sticking to a slightly more traditional recording studio for Concrete and Gold, though they did enlist some fresh collaborators like producer Greg Kurstin, Paul McCartney and Justin Timberlake.
Of course, Grohl and the gang previously took fans inside their creative process with their 2014 documentary series Sonic Highways.
Concrete and Gold arrives on September 15 via Roswell Records/RCA. Listen to Grohl's full interview with Ulrich below.