The [artist id="986"]Foo Fighters[/artist] spent six hours making the video for “White Limo” and the hilariously lo-fi clip became an Internet sensation with more than 1.2 million views to date. Soon, the clip’s namesake will travel the country giving fans early previews of the band’s forthcoming album, Wasting Light. So when it came time to make the video for “Rope,” the first official single, it only made sense to break out the VHS cameras again.
On Thursday night (March 9), the Foos premiered “Rope” on MTV and told fans what inspired their DIY approach during our MTV.com interview, which just happened to stream live from the California backyard of contest winner/Foo fan Shivan.
“We like to keep things really simple,” Grohl explained shortly after the video premiere. “The way we made this new record, we did it in my garage. We did it to tape. We didn’t use any computers. We just used our old tape machine. To me, that’s sort of the easiest way to do it. If you’re in an environment where you feel really comfortable and you use really simple equipment, then there’s not a lot that can go wrong, really. It just is what it is, you know?”
The concept of the beauty of simplicity fueled the making of the “White Limo” video, which was in turn inspired by old-school, hard-core punk videos like Black Flag’s “TV Party” and “Slip it In.” “They were always done on VHS,” Grohl said. “The lip-syncing was always out of sync. They were really silly. The music was insane but they were funny.”
“So, we got this limo and we had Lemmy [Kilmister] from Motorhead drive us around. And it was me directing! So I was just like, ‘Uh, I don’t know, um, drink that whiskey!’ … There’s something about old school VHS. It has this weird resolution that’s almost more high-def than high-def. It makes you look so gross. The lighting is always bad and the colors are always off. There’s just something about it. It’s almost like an effect, you know?”
After the online success of “White Limo,” the band elected to take a similar approach to the video for “Rope,” with Grohl back in the director’s chair . “Honestly, it was like, ‘We need a video in a week.’ It was just like, ‘Uh … OK.’ I came up with the idea of this cube and the colors and the silhouettes. I thought all of those things together with that VHS resolution would look kind of cool. It was really easy. We did it in like a day.”
“Rope” is currently available as a digital single and the Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light is due on April 12.