Friday, October 25, 2013
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth
Call it Even Dave Grohl Gets Band Drama. One thing that anyone who sees Foo Fighters: Back and Forth will take away from it is that you can be the coolest, funniest, most easygoing rock star in the world, and keeping a band together is still tough work.
Grohl's reputation as The Nicest Guy in Rock won't be tattered by Back and Forth, where you see him struggle to keep Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel and Pat Smear in a band together. There's a reason why it's not called Dave Grohl: Back and Forth. But this is not a side of Grohl that we're used to seeing, when he goofs around with Jack Black or Josh Homme in public. Here he turns down a cushy gig with Tom Petty (on the Wildflowers tour, no less) because it's more important to him to try out his own untested songs. He overdubs his own drums on The Colour and the Shape at the risk of hurting his original drummer's feelings, which it does. Grohl may be an uncharacteristically sweet rock star, but he's still a rock star, and he demonstrates the kind of focus and professionalism that one would expect from a guy who's led one of the biggest rock bands in the world for almost 20 years now. He's been many things to many different people, but he's still nobody's monkey wrench.
Yet Back and Forth has one thing that's even more fascinating than watching Grohl be a boss, and you know exactly what that is. "It's all about the music" is a cliché in any rockumentary, but Grohl says it here without ever uttering the words. Watching him explain how he wrote the bass line to "Enough Space" while jumping up and down to get the rhythm of a crowd of people jumping at a rock show just right is even more spellbinding than the song itself. Maybe you think that's faint praise, but even if you're not a Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Probot, Queens of the Stone Age, Tenacious D, Them Crooked Vultures or Scream fan, there's no denying that Dave Grohl was born to make music.