The Foo Fighters: What We Know About the “Cursed” Band

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Last updated on August 3rd, 2023 at 09:09 am

A rock band famous for rocking amazingly large crowds, Foo Fighters was created in 1994 by Dave Grohl in Washington DC. The band has released several hit singles and albums in its 28 years of being a band. Foo Fighters hits include “Hero,” “Everlong,” “All My Life,” and “Learn to Fly.” They’ve sold 30 million albums and won 15 Grammy awards. 

How did the Foo Fighters form?

Grohl wanted to release his music anonymously. He recorded his songs under the name of Foo Fighters to stay behind the curtain. 

Once his work started getting noticed, he recruited other band members, including Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, and Rami Jaffee, who are still part of the band. 

William Goldsmith, Franz Stahl, and Taylor Hawkins are former band members of the Foo Fighters. 

Dave Grohl, the founder of the band, was initially part of Nirvana, a band formed by Kurt Cobain, who passed away in April of 1994. 

The band members parted ways after that, and Grohl decided to release his songs under the name Foo Fighters, a phrase used in World War 2 for Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).

Grohl once said that, had he known the band would become his career, he would have named them something else because “it is the stupidest fucking band name in the world.”

Once his music caught the eye of recording labels, he decided to create a band by adding more members to it. 

the foo fighters band on the red carpet
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Foo Fighters members

Dave Grohl recruited Nate Mendel as the bassist for the band, while William Goldsmith was hired as the drummer. Pat Smear came on as the second guitarist. In 1997, Goldsmith left the band after Grohl had replaced his drum tracks in a song because he was not satisfied. 

After he left, Grohl was recommended Taylor Hawkins, who joined as a replacement soon after. In the same year, Smear left the band too, because he felt like he was burning out. He was replaced by Franz Stahl. 

The Foo Fighters worked on some songs in 1998 while they were in Virginia. Stahl and Grohl realized they were not on the same creative page, which led to Grohl kicking him out of the band.

In the same year, the band started looking out for another guitarist. After many auditions, they decided to go for Chris Shiflett, who initially joined as a touring guitarist but soon made his place as a Lead Guitarist.

Rami Jaffee has worked with the band on two albums, Concrete and Gold and Medicine at Midnight. 

Foo Fighters songs

Dave Grohl wrote the band’s first songs while he was still part of Nirvana. However, he was quite nervous and intimidated due to how good Kurt Cobain’s music was. Grohl felt like his song would feel amateur compared to Cobain’s songs. 

Because of this, he released his music under the pseudonym Late in 1992. He eventually released his music under the name Foo Fighters to give the impression that a group had recorded them, not just him on his own.

Once his work started getting noticed, and people started wondering who the Foo Fighters were, he formed the band and added the above-mentioned members to it. 

The band’s first official single, “This Is A Call,” was released in 1995. The band has produced 57 singles up till now. 

the foo fighters lead singer
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Foo Fighters albums

Their debut album Foo Fighters was released only a couple of months after their first single. After that, the band kept making albums that became huge hits. They went on tours and have released ten albums. There are the Foo Fighters albums:

  • Foo Fighters
  • The Colour and the Shape 
  • There Is Nothing Left to Lose 
  • One by One 
  • In Your Honor
  • Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
  • Wasting Light 
  • Sonic Highways 
  • Concrete and Gold
  • Medicine at Midnight

The Color and the Shape and Pat Smear’s Departure

The second Foo Fighters album, The Colour and the Shape, was written and recorded while Grohl was going through his divorce with Jennifer Youngblood. It is said that the circumstances of his life affected his work. 

While the band was working on its second album, Pat Smear announced he wanted to leave. The news came as a shock to the rest of the band and they asked him to stay until they could find a replacement for him.

Franz Stahl was Smears’ replacement, but he didn’t last long. He was friends with Dave Grohl, but they could not seem to work out their differences regarding the music they produced.

Andy Pollard and his death

Andy Pollard was the stage manager for Foo Fighters for 12 years before he passed away. The band considered him a member and his death affected the members greatly. 

“We are shocked and devastated by this loss,” Foo Fighters said in a statement. “We can’t imagine being on stage without Andy there by our side. He was not only a key member of our team but a dear friend and a wonderful father. Our hearts go out to his partner Sophie Peacock, their children Arlo and Ren, and his family and loved ones.”

Following his untimely passing, the Foo Fighters dedicated one of their shows to Pollard. 

dave grohl's net worth dave grohl on stage with his guitar
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil september 28th, 2019- Rock in Rio Foo Fighters Dave Grohl at the Rock in Rio festival. Image from Shutterstock.

Dave Grohl: A tough man to impress

Late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins once said that Dave Grohl was a difficult man to impress because he wanted perfection. That was one of the reasons he had replaced Goldsmith’s drum tracks with his, which led to Goldsmith’s departure from the band. 

Goldsmith has also commented that he was made to do hours after hours of retakes, as Dave would not feel satisfied. Hawkins made similar comments, saying that his job was very demanding and that he had to put in quite a lot of effort to make sure Dave was satisfied.

More about Taylor Hawkins

Taylor Hawkins, the second drummer of Foo Fighters, was a great drummer, which makes sense considering that he worked under Dave Grohl, a successful drummer himself. Despite Grohl’s perfectionist nature, Hawkins remained with the band for 25 years.

Hawkins began his career working for the Canadian-American singer and songwriter Alanis Morissette. The opportunity to work for her was great for Hawkins, as he said that he enjoyed working with her and that they were good friends.

He also said that Morissette would always provide everyone space and that she would be on board with whatever he added to her songs. He departed from her when he started feeling like the direction she was going in was not for him.

Hawkins’ 2001 heroin overdose made him realize that he had gone too far with drugs. He said that he would go mountain biking to clear out his head, and it also served as a way to cope with his addiction.

taylor hawkins on the drums before his death
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The death of Taylor Hawkins

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins passed away after complaining of chest pain on March 25th, 2022. The band had scheduled a show in the city, but the tragedy left everyone in shock. 

It was later found that there were substances in his system. The death has affected Dave Grohl the most, as he considered Hawkins his best friend. After the 2001 London overdose incident, Grohl had been so affected that he had considered ending his career altogether. 

Hawkins is survived by his wife, Alison Hawkins. The couple has three children together. 

It is unknown whether the band will return after this recent tragedy, as they canceled all the upcoming shows. It will remain a mystery until an announcement from the band arrives.

Interesting Facts About the Foo Fighters and Their Members

  • While on tour in 2000, Dave Grohl was arrested for DUI after he was found driving a scooter after drinking. 
  • Another tragedy happened when Grohl broke his leg in 2015 after falling off the stage during a performance. The band did not think they would complete the tour, but Grohl found a solution, and the band did perform at the rest of the shows.
  • Dave Grohl and Courtney Love, Nirvana founder Kurt Cobain’s widow, had a feud going on for decades over who the band’s assets belonged after Cobain’s death. It went on for quite a while, after which they hugged it out in 2014.
  • While in London in 2001, Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins overdosed on heroin. He was in a coma for two weeks. Afterward, he said that he wasn’t an addict but had simply gotten out of hand while partying. The incident set him straight, at least for a while.
  • Foo Fighters made a horror-comedy movie, Studio 666, that showed them recording a new album in a haunted mansion. The movie did not gain much fame. It did not earn the amount of money expected and was given average ratings by many movie critics. 

Written by Bo Weber

Supporting artists since 2014


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