Earlier this year, when MTV News spoke to producer Butch Vig , he made it a point to mention that the [artist id="986"]Foo Fighters[/artist]‘ Wasting Light album was recorded not just in Dave Grohl’s garage, but on analog tape, and that it avoided any and all digital manipulation until its final mastering.
It wasn’t a gimmick. Rather, it was a matter of necessity, the only way Vig and Foos frontman Dave Grohl knew to do justice to the “primal” and “raw” songs the band was thundering through. Fuzzed-out guitars, blown bass and Grohl’s guttural wails (all readily apparent on songs like “White Limo”) just wouldn’t sound appropriately skuzzy on anything but 2-inch tape, after all.
And so, after all that discussion of tape, perhaps it’s not surprising that the Foo Fighters’ new video for Light’s proper first single, “Rope,” was shot entirely on VHS . No digital cameras, no big budgets, no pretenses.
Much like the album itself, the “Rope” video is a rough and raw, back-to-basics kind of thing. It’s little more than a really killer performance clip — the Foos riffing their way through the song in stark black-and-white — which is appropriate, since, at its very core, Light is very much a killer rock record, one that sounds unmistakably like a band setting up in a tiny room and just letting it rip.
But the “Rope” video also binds itself to Light in another, less apparent way. As Grohl — who directed the clip — explained, it’s modeled after the Foo Fighters’ own cluttered rehearsal space , meant to feel slightly “claustrophobic.” The big secret is that the band is really performing in a room within a room. And watching it, one gets the feeling that the walls are getting slightly closer with each passing frame — a tension that’s echoed in the song and the album itself. The pervasive sentiment on Wasting Light is one of creeping claustrophobia, the snarling guitars and booming bass rattling off Grohl’s garage walls, which seem to be closing in on the band with each song.
So, really, while it’s easy to admire “Rope” strictly for its rough-hewn, warts-and-all look, its deeper appeal lies in the way it complements the very essence of Wasting Light itself. Committed to tape, creeping in at the corners — that’s synergy, people. Claustrophobically so.