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Foo Fighters is an American alternative rock band formed by singer/guitarist Dave Grohl in 1995. Grohl formed the group as a one-man project after the dissolution of his previous band Nirvana in 1994. Prior to the release of Foo Fighters in 1995, Grohl drafted Nate Mendel (bass), William Goldsmith (drums), and Pat Smear (guitar) to complete the group. Goldsmith and Smear left after the recording of the group's second album The Colour and the Shape (1997). They were replaced by Taylor Hawkins and Franz Stahl, respectively, although Stahl left prior to the recording of the group's third album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999). Chris Shiflett joined as the band's second guitarist after the completion of There is Nothing Left to Lose. The band released its fourth album One by One in 2002. The group followed that release with the two-disc In Your Honor (2005), which was split between acoustic songs and harder-rocking material. Foo Fighters released its sixth album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace in 2007. Over the course of the band's career, three of its albums have won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album, and all six have been nominated for Grammys.
When Grohl first started the band, its music was often compared to that of his previous group, Nirvana. Grohl acknowledged that Nirvana singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain was a major influence on his songwriting. Grohl said, "Through Kurt, I saw the beauty of minimalism and the importance of music that's stripped down." Foo Fighters also utilize Nirvana's technique of shifting between quiet verses and loud chorus, which Grohl said was influenced by the members of Nirvana "liking the Knack, Bay City Rollers, Beatles, and Abba as much as we liked Flipper and Black Flag, I suppose". Writing and recording songs for the first Foo Fighters album by himself, Grohl wrote the guitar riffs to be as rhythmic as possible. He approached the guitar similiar to how he approached playing a drumkit, assigning different drum parts to different strings on the instrument. This allowed him to piece together songs easily; he said, "I could hear the song in my head before it was finished." Once Grohl assembled a full band, his bandmates assisted in song arrangments. The members of Foo Fighters meld melodic elements with harder sounds. Grohl noted in 1997, "We all love music, whether it's the Beatles or Queen or punk rock. I think the lure of punk rock was the energy and immediacy; the need to thrash stuff around. But at the same time, we're all suckers for a beautiful melody, you know? So it is just natural."
In 2000, the band generated controversy through their public support of Alive & Well, an organization that denies the link between HIV and AIDS, questions the validity of HIV tests, and advises against taking medication to counter the disease. Foo Fighter bassist Nate Mendel learned of Alive & Well through What If Everything You Thought You Knew about AIDS Was Wrong?, a self-published book written by Christine Maggiore, the organization's founder. Mendel passed the book around to the rest of the band, who supported his advocacy. In January 2000, the band played a benefit concert for the organization, which Mendel helped to organize. The band also contributed songs to The Other Side of AIDS, a controversial documentary film by Maggiore's husband Robin Scovill, which questions whether HIV is the cause of AIDS. The band's position caused alarm in the medical community, as Alive & Well's advice ran contrary to established medical wisdom about HIV and AIDS. In a 2000 interview, Mendel spoke of using Foo Fighters' popularity to help spread the group's message and of holding more benefits for the organization. However, no further benefits have taken place, and the band has since removed the organization from its list of supported causes.
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Official Homepage: www.foofighters.com
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