Foo Fighters Take Busy Spring Break With Side Projects

Band to regroup for next album in new Los Angeles studio 'compound.'

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins is impressed.

"Someone actually let you play their bar mitzvah?" he asked guitarist Chris Shiflett recently.

"Yeah, we've been trying to do it for a long time and finally got to," Shiflett answered. "We even annoyed him. He was like a little punker kid, and by the end he was outside eating ice cream."

Shiflett scored the gig with his other band, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, who are releasing a live album from the performance.

And while Hawkins has yet to book a bar mitzvah, he too is working on outside music while the Foo Fighters take a spring break. In fact, everyone in the band has other projects.

"I recorded with all sorts of different people and friends and stuff," Hawkins said, name-dropping former Jane's Addiction bassist Eric Avery. "I haven't really decided to release anything yet, but I'll play some of them eventually."

Meanwhile, Foos bassist Nate Mendel is about to hit the road with his other band, the Fire Theft, opening for Grandaddy and Saves the Day.

Shiflett is also touring with the Gimme Gimmes, although singer Dave Grohl is uncertain whether his dark metal side project, Probot (see "Dave Grohl, Lemmy, Wino, Half-Naked Ladies Gather To 'Shake Your Blood' "), will play out.

"We talked about it, but the logistics are just so nuts, and it wouldn't work if everybody wasn't there," Grohl said of the star-studded band. "We might do it."

The Foo Fighters will regroup this summer in a "compound" they're building in Los Angeles.

"In Virginia, it's in my basement," Grohl said of his other studio. "So it's inside my house. But this time we're gonna build something like a clubhouse."

"Foo West," Taylor added.

"Yeah, there's Foo East and now Foo West," Grohl continued. " 'Cause it's fun to build your own studio from scratch, throw your equipment in and then start making the songs and demoing them and just do it all from scratch. It's pretty great."

The Foos have a few ideas but aren't talking about the album yet. "We always try to predict where it's gonna go, and then it turns out totally different," Grohl said.