22 Years Ago, Dave Grohl Releases Foo Fighters' Debut Album

July 5, 2016

It can be incredibly hard becoming the biggest band on the planet. But how about being in the biggest band on the planet, have it all come to a tragic end, and then be in the biggest band on the planet again?

It's a story almost too hard to comprehend, but 21 years ago former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl released the self-titled Foo Fighters album that would secure his role in rock history forever.

When Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994, Grohl didn't even want to think about, play or even listen to music for a while. "How can I explain it," Grohl told Mojo. "If you have someone that's close to you, a family member or someone that you love, and they disappear or pass away... Imagine walking into their bedroom full of things every day. That's exactly how playing music felt to me, because that was my whole world. It was difficult to listen to music, whether it was Ry Cooder's soundtrack to Paris, Texas, or Metallica's Ride The Lightning. I had to disconnect. And I couldn't imagine getting up there and playing the drums with someone, and not thinking about Nirvana. I think about Nirvana every time I sit up to play the drums."

"After Nirvana, I wasn't sure what to do. i was asked to join a couple of other bands as the drummer, but I just couldn't imagine doing that because it would just remind me of Nirvana." According to Classic Rock, Dave says, "When I was young, someone played me the Klark Kent record that Stewart Copeland had done. I though how cool that he could make a record and people can listen to it objectively because it wasn't Stewart Copeland from The Police, it was Klark Kent. That's kind of what I wanted to do. There were some songs I'd recorded in my friend's studio while Nirvana was still a band and an independent label in Detroit wanted to release something."

That's precisely what Dave Grohl did. Taking some previously written songs from his days in Nirvana with some new material he wrote after the fact, Grohl stepped back into the studio for the first time in a year. "The idea wasn't too ora a new band and start over; it was to go down to the studio, down the road, and book six days, which is the most time I'd ever send recording music of my own. To me it seemed so professional. I wanted to start a label of my own, release the album with no names on it, no photos, call it Foo Fighters so people thought it was a band."

Taking on every role in the band: drums, guitar, bass, and vocals, Grohl recorded the Foo Fighters first record and handed out cassette tapes to friends and colleagues that that might show interest in his work. Among them was Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, who debuted "Exhausted" on his own radio show. Grohl would later sign with Capital records, eventually launching his own record label, Roswell Records.

Although Grohl operated as a one-man show for the first record, he would need an actual band if he would want the Foo Fighters to continue. So he recruited the talents of bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith of Sunny Day Real Estate and later, former Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear who would leave the band in in 1997 and rejoin in 2005.

By the time Ã¢Â€Â‹Foo Fighters hit store shelves, it was met with a little controversy, particularly due to the album cover which featured a futuristic laser gun, which many thought was in bad taste, associating it with Kurt Cobain's suicide. "People kind of freaked on that," says Grohl. "You know, honestly, that never came to mind once. Obviously it didn't because if I thought people would associate that with that, I never would have done it."

Before "Exhausted" was about to launch as the record's first single, Pat Smear would tell Grohl that Cobain loved listening to the song back in their days in Nirvana and even considered adding it to one of their records, but didn't because he didn't want to Dave if he would be willing to change some of the lyrics, or even replace his voice.

Instead, "This Is a Call" became the record's first single, and it attacked the airwaves hard. Grohl told Kerrang of the song, "I felt like I had nothing to lose and I didn't necessarily wanna be the drummer of Nirvana for the rest of my life without Nirvana. I thought I should try something I'd never done before and I'd never stood up in front of a band and been the lead singer, which was f**king horrifying and still is!"

Other hits that debuted off the album included, "I'll Stick Around", "For All The Cows", and "Big Me."

Now, 21 years later, Grohl tells Rolling Stone that he is still amazed by the transformation Foo Fighters has gone through. "The band has the felling of being fresh and exciting," said Grohl. "You don't know exactly where it's going to take you. That was one of the greatest feelings about 1991 - we had no idea what was going to happen. The Nevermind tour just felt like everything was going to pop. i'd have numerous panic attacks. it was so cool to be that close to going insane yet somehow not. I really thought every time I sat down on the drum stool that it would be the night where I fainted onstage. It was all so hilarious. It wasn't supposed to happen, and it did. One of the saddest things is that it can never happen again, but the greatest things is that it did."