No strangers to silly, sardonic videos, Foo Fighters have hired Tenacious D collaborator and "Sifl & Olly" creator Liam Lynch to shoot the video to their next single "Times Like These." Except this time, the band isn't aiming for the funny bone.
"We thought, 'Let's make something that focuses on the band performing,' " said frontman Dave Grohl, who directed the group's similarly straightforward last vid "All My Life" (see "Foo Fighters Out To Show They Can 'Really Do It Up'").
Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who sought to capture a trippy '60s vibe with their new video for "The Zephyr Song," (see "Chili Peppers Turn To Psychedelic '60s For 'Zephyr' Look"), Foo Fighters are reaching back to a similar era for creative inspiration.
"We did everything on a green screen, and projected these psychedelic images on it so it kind of looks old school," Grohl said. "It looks like a [Black] Sabbath-y, old rock video."
"Times Like These" is a no-nonsense rocker with plenty of power, but few frills. Grohl has called the track his favorite on the band's new disc One By One (see "Foo Fighters Cross The Rock Line On One By One"), and the song fits in perfectly with the straightforward rock vibe of the other songs on the record. Because of their simplicity and energy, Grohl said they're easier to perform live than other Foo Fighters songs.
"When we wrote the songs, we were in a [really small] room jamming, and since we recorded so quickly, it's a basic simple representation of the parts of the band. So when we go out and play, it sounds like the record, and you're comfortable with the part that you play 'cause you wrote it standing up, and it feels good."
In a climate where every major label is looking for a blockbuster to minimize the industry-wide sales slump, many artists feel intense pressure to perform. Not Foo Fighters.
"The cool thing about this band is we only do stuff that makes us feel happy, and we only make records if it feels right and we only release the songs we dig," he said. "So we kind of go day by day and roll with things. We've never seen this as a big career. It started as a demo tape, not this ambitious career move. It was like, 'Here's this demo tape. ... Let's start a band.' And you get this far by sort of taking it day by day. As long as it feels good you do it."
Something Grohl's not feeling too good about is the recent release of his former Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain's private diaries (see "Pages From Kurt Cobain's 'Journals' Published"). The journal entries were sold to Riverhead Books earlier this year for a reported $4 million.
"I don't have anything to do with the release of the journals or the diaries or any of that," Grohl said curtly. "I don't want to read it. I'm sure a lot of other people will. I don't. I think it's strange how sometimes people don't consider musicians as human beings. When someone reaches an icon or God-like status it seems a little strange to me because you have to see everybody as a human being."
Jon Wiederhorn, with additional reporting by Gideon Yago