The "Foo Fighters" amazing, rough, and analog album "There is Nothing Left To Lose" was released on November 2, 1999, we can't believe more than 20 fucking years have passed !!!
We are so happy to have the opportunity to talk about this wonderful and joyful album that represents everything that music should be...
So let's go back a bit to understand how this beautiful and fun album started.
In 1997 after giving their souls to music, recording a crazy rock album named "The Colour and Shape", a long tour around the world, losing their drummer William Goldsmith while recording... losing their guitarist Pat Smear while touring... After a few months, also lost another guitarist Franz Stahl on tour...
Bassist Nate Mendel picked up the phone with Dave and informed him that he was leaving because he was tired of all this craziness and that his previous band "Sunny Day Real Estate" was reuniting. Dave who was completely broken decided to go out and just get drunk to the point of unconsciousness, on the way he vented his anger on his car and the lawns of the neighbors, his mother's neighbors... yes, after two big albums he still lives with his mom. But we were fortunate because the next morning, Nate called Dave and informed him that he regretted it and that he was not leaving the band.
So they decided that this time they would make the album only as a trio, with no record label, no producers, no different artists, and assistants. Trio only !! Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, and Taylor Hawkins
Far from the spotlight of Los Angeles, Dave decided he was leaving his mom's house and buying a house in Virginia. Just to illustrate the desire to get away, Los Angeles is on the west coast and Virginia is on the east coast about 4,000 miles apart. Here Dave also begins a long-lasting DIY tradition of "build a studio in your home" and decides to build his famous "Studio 606" in the basement of his new home.
Why 606? Because it's a famous number you see almost everywhere, says Dave.
(Photo: Danny Clinch)
Away from all the bells and whistles, with no record company and no outsiders, other than Adam Kasper who did the technical producer role, they went down to the basement and started recording one of the band's best albums.
The three band members said it was one of the best and most relaxed periods of their lives. All they did all day was eat BBQ, drink whiskey and beers, and create music. Without any commitment to anything and without pressure from anywhere, creating music without inhibitions or restrictions as if "There is nothing left to lose..."
Just for the sake of further illustration, Dave decided that this album should be recorded in an analog manner with no computers at all, on reel tape as in the past. Speaking of the past... Dave said in one of the interviews that every time he listens to this album he immediately remembers the basement, the smell that would come in from the windows in the spring, and the chirping of birds that interfered with the vocals recordings.
(Photo: Danny Clinch)
The album opens with "Stacked Actors" and the beating of the drums and guitars, just to illustrate why the band left Los Angeles. It talks about everything that is fake and not real, about the time they lived in Hollywood and everyone seemed to them like actors. Yes, they too were part of the play at the time but now they are no longer and they want to laugh about it...
"Breakout", is an excellent second and rhythmic song that if you turn up the volume very loud and also watch the music video while doing it, nothing will stop you from jumping and going wild. Because we all somewhere want to break out of something and with the Foo's it's a great pleasure.
The next song "Learn To Fly" is simply a masterpiece not because it is musically complex, not because the lyrics are moving and touching, and also not because it has a mesmerizing rendition but only because... it is a lot of fun !! A song that no matter where you are and what you do, as soon as you hear it you will start singing. A song that makes you burst into uncontrollable laughter when you remember the music video and a song that is simply a sheer delight of supreme happiness and no !! We do not exaggerate !! They even won a Grammy for this song in 2001 so chill...
Go ahead, move on to "Gimme Stitches" which talks about a complicated relationship where both spouses do not stop hurting each other but still stay together.
The next song, "Generator", opens with Dave's Talk Box which he tends to use very rarely, and the hi-hat that opens in syncope (off-beat), which makes this thing addictive. The song talks about the sacrifice to someone who is your core. He is the one who turns on your generator and you will do everything to keep it running, even if it damages your health.
The next song, "Aurora" is one of the most beautiful and melodic songs on the album, Dave said they were very focused on the melody of the songs on the album, songs that would be fun to sing and would flow well in the listener's ears. This is one of Dave's favorite songs even though the lyrics are a collection of words that do not really tell a whole story but only refer to looking back to Dave's time in Seattle.
(Photo: Danny Clinch)
The next track was not supposed to be on the album at all, "Live-In Skin" was written when the recordings were already done and the album was on its way to the mix. Dave just came up with a riff that he liked so much that he had to record it and put it on the album. Indeed this riff is insane and it's a fun song to amplify because Dave goes on "Head on with my hate" when he gets in on everything he hates and still stays standing. If you listen well to the next song in the segment that is broken and Dave says hello to everyone, you will discover what a beauty of harmony this band has together and think that it was recorded in an analog way and sounds like that.
"Next Year" is an amazing song that is amazingly built and amazingly played, It is no wonder the music video is based on the flight of Apollo 11 to the moon, because it just takes you to the moon.
The song "Headwires" feels like a natural sequel, as if it is the next step of the previous song. The song that follows begins with Dave's touching fingering as if we are gently sliding on a cotton ball while our head moves from side to side lightly.
"Ain't It the Life" refers to the life of the rising and falling stars, who sometimes succeed and sometimes crash, some say it was written about the "Nirvana" period.
The penultimate song in the Japanese version and the last song in the international version, just before Dave leaves, explain that this is what he does best. He's the best at running away and leaving everything when things get ugly, he's going to be an "M.I.A" (Missing In Action) a great song to finish the album. (The Japanese version also has "Fraternity" where Dave says that he will never be in a fraternity, a powerful song to finish).
The album cover is a photo of Dave's backside neck after he did the tattoo of the band's initials, there is nothing more authentic and analog than that.
(Photo: Danny Clinch)
This album earned the band a Grammy Award in 2001 in the Best Rock Album category, when Dave came up to stage with the band and producer, the only thing that went through his mind was "I'm sure this will be the only album to win a Grammy and was created in the basement of a house" (in free translation). So we do not know about you but the last album we remember that was recorded in the basement was "Ten" by "Pearl Jam". So turn up the volume and click play on: Spotify, Apple Music