Recording an album is tough, but after 20 years of producing music, the most difficult aspect may be keeping the process fresh. The Foo Fighters took that concept to a new level while creating their latest album, due out in November–they toured the United States, recording each song in a different city, hoping that the music scene of the area would influence the track.
But Dave Grohl didn’t just want to record Sonic Highways–he decided to document the experience, interviewing figures important to each city’s musical history for a documentary series that shares the album’s name. In turn, those interviews shaped the album, as Grohl fashioned his lyrics out of the words of his documentary subjects.
So Sonic Highways attempts to be three different things–a history of music in America, the story of what inspired the Foo Fighters, particularly Dave Grohl, and a behind-the-scenes look at the music production process. Having to serve so many masters unfortunately detracts from the ultimate impact of each story thread, but the show’s ambition and actual construction are fascinating enough for anyone interested in American music, Foo Fighters fan or not, that Sonic Highways is still a unique and enjoyable look into the country’s defining musical history.