The nicest guy in rock and roll is bringing us another one of his films and for that, can we just say “amen.”
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has added to his directing repertoire with a new movie about touring called What Drives Us, and the former Nirvana drummer has rounded up a bunch of his favourite mates to appear.
St. Vincent, Slash, the Edge, Flea, Steven Tyler, Lars Ulrich, and many others offer commentary for the music doco, which will be released on April 30 on Amazon Prime Video.
“This film is my love letter to every musician that has ever jumped in an old van with their friends and left it all behind for the simple reward of playing music,” Grohl said in a statement.
“What started as a project to pull back the curtain on the DIY logistics of stuffing all of your friends and equipment into a small space for months on end eventually turned into an exploration of ‘why?’ What drives us?’”
The film was produced in conjunction with The Coda Collective who, on their official website, explain that “What Drives Us is a testament to the musician’s life. Directed by Dave Grohl, this feature documentary film is a love letter to the rare club of rock and roll, as well as an inspiration to every young kid who dreams of a life playing music. Dave was that kid.”
The film serves as a nostalgic snapshot into a time before social and digital media had the power to make a homegrown band a household name overnight. In those times, if musicians wanted to make a name for themselves they had little choice but to step up to the plate — and into a van.
Grohl has long been a proponent of pre-digital age techniques and rites of passage. Foo Fighters 2011 album Wasting Light was recorded on analog equipment in Grohl’s garage, with the tape spliced and hidden inside early editions of the CD as a memento for die-hard fans (like me).
The singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer also directed the 2013 Sound City which chronicled the Foos frontman purchasing the analog recording equipment from the famed studio when it closed down. Sound City Studios, which were located in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, was legendary for producing some of the most iconic records of all time from artists such as Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Johnny Cash and Metallica.
Also in 2013, Grohl appeared as the keynote speaker at the annual South by Southwest festival, giving an impassioned speech about the importance of musicians learning their craft and the power of his early experiences as an artist.
“I joined a band, dropped out of high school, and hit the road. I starved. My hands bled. If I slept, I slept on floors. I slept on stages. I slept on the f—kng floors under the f—king stages.” Grohl told the crowd.
“And I loved every minute of it. Because I was free. And I wanted to incite a riot, or an emotion, or a revolution, or to save someone’s life by inspiring them to pick up an instrument just like I did as a kid.”
The musician also directed the 2014 HBO series Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, which drew its title from the Foos album of the same name. He has directed several of the band’s music videos in including My Hero, Monkey Wrench, All My Life and Rope.
Foo Fighters released their tenth studio album — Medicine at Midnight — in February 2021.
Check out the trailer for What Drives Us, below.
While you wait for What Drives Us to be released, check out the other music docos you can watch by reading our article: Music Docos to Watch After Stan’s ‘Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine’.