The Foo Fighters….how they went from my first favorite band to my least favorite band

I wrote a while back about how my first cd which was the first Foo Fighters  album, the self titled one with the weird ray gun on the cover. I remember going into Best Buy and buying the cd with my own money so it probably was  not my first cd…..just the one I first actively purchased. I supposed all my cds before were presents or lifted from my brother. And, contrary to my earlier stated distaste for Whitney Houston, I did have the soundtrack to The Bodyguard in my room for one summer and for some reason listening to it to fall asleep. But, I digress…and the concept of my finding Whitney soothing is positively bone chilling. I loved this cd and it hurts me to say so, but I now hate this band and not because they suck. They don’t suck per se, although I do think many of their songs sound the same. I hate them because they are relentlessly and unmercifully played on alternative  rock stations across the country.

Before I berate the band and whoever is responsible for this amount of playtime. let’s look at the strong points of the band. There were some really good songs on that first album.  I really liked Nirvana and knew about Dave Grohl because of that band. He was a familiar face and when I saw the video for the first single, “I’ll Stick Around”,  I recognized both him and the other guitarist from Nirvana, Pat Smear. One has to remember that this was the era of cuts from Nirvana: Unplugged in New York were in mainstream rotation due to Kurt recently ending his life. I loved that cd and must have listened to it 10,000 times so when I realized who the Foo Fighters were, I got right on hassling the parents to get me to the mall to buy the cd.

It was really good then to my young ears and still sounds alright today. I’m into much different music than I was at age ten but I can still listen to this and bob my head.  It is also extremely impressive that he did this all on his own in the year after his former lead singer committed suicide. He literally wrote every song, played every instrument save for one track with a friend from the Afghan Whigs on guitar and helped produce the album. I got this all from this recent documentary I saw on Palladia  called Back and Forth which is very interesting and I highly recommend it. Even if you don’t like the band, it says a lot about the grunge scene and what came after, as well as pointing to some reasons the Foo Fighters got so big. Check it out if you have any interest in the band.

few really good songs on both that first album and other albums.  As I said, the whole first album was really good, most especially “For all the Cows, “This is the Call” and “Big Me”. With the last one, it’s again the video I remember, noting then that the song was not angry like many of the others and in fact was very poppy. I loved that video and thought the guys in the band seemed like generally cool people, not the sort of fear/admiration I had of Cobain because of his drug addiction. You remember it if you were alive then, it had the Mentos theme.

I also really like “Everlong” as well, which is off their sophomore effort The Colour and the Shape.  It’s a well written song with great music reflective of the many strands of alternative music of the time. This may be Dave Grohl at his lyrical best and this can be verified by a statement I read about it in a magazine. Allegedly, Bob Dylan cited the lyric ” you’ve got promise not to stop when I say when” as being a great lyric and Dave Grohl said he almost stopped crying. The humor the band is great and is definitely one of the reasons I first liked tit. The point, however, of this post is not to praise this band that I once so loved and is obviously a very good band.

I actually currently fucking hate this band because it is so over played on the alternative rock station that you literally start to think it’s going to propel you into some type of psychotic frenzy when the first three chords of the number one currently reigning Foo Fighters hit of the moment. I listen to a radio much of the day at one of my jobs and switch to classic rock whenever the Foos come on. I don’t know if they are really this popular as I never hear someone say “Gee, I really love the Foo Fighters” but I also don’t walk around populated areas and poll the populace on their current musical tastes. Is it someone paying off the stations? Is it a global conspiracy  Right now, it’s:

I hope you can fathom the frequency of this song being played right now. It is maddening and it’s not only in my northern alcove.  The Elder recently mentioned how it also pervades his alternative station down south, evidenced by the numerous car rides we spent when I recently visited changing the station rather than catching up on each others lives. It’s to the point, apparently, where this song/band being overplayed is affecting my personal relationships.

Now is this song even that bad when compared to dubstep music and nearly all contemporary pop music? No, it just sounds like the Foo Fighters wrote their first two albums, had a hit or two with anthem size songs and then have pushed repeat ever since. They want to write songs that football size stadiums of people and radio listeners everywhere will sing along with over and over again. I find myself doing that now and I despise the songs. They found a formula and  stick to it. Maybe it’s just me but this song sounds  lyrically and musically just like this hit from back in the day.

Again, it’s not terrible music. In fact, if I had only heard these songs a few times, I wouldn’t mind them. Maybe this is the crux of the biscuit here, that through endless amounts of listens, you deeply analyze every facet of the song to the point where it is aurally abrasive. I mean, I love the live album Yessongs by Yes and have listened to it hundreds of time, but sometimes I have to put it down for a while. With the current state of Foo songs being played and the circumstances of my listening, there is no way to put them down for a while.

I guess there are some deep cuts that are very good on the new album Wasting Light, which this song and the other annoying songs are on. Truth be told, I love Dave Grohl in everything else that he does beyond this band, from the album with the Queens of the Stone Age to the collaborations with Lemmy from Motorhead to the awesomeness that is Them Crooked Vultures. I don’t think the man is a mediocre musician; I think his own band just seems to really like and embrace seemingly mediocre tunes that keep becoming big super mega hits for no apparent reason. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t want to find out about the good songs on this album because I’m so agitated by the barrage of Foo songs on a daily basis. I suppose I should just listen to National Public Radio or talk radio of a political slant and avoid the problem completely.  I don’t because I do like the 90”s songs played often on the station and a few random modern alternative songs but I’m to the point where if I hear Foo Fighters one more time that I’m going to make like a postal worker. Am I the only one? I know the Elder J is right there with me.

15 comments on “The Foo Fighters….how they went from my first favorite band to my least favorite band

  1. theelderj says:

    Dothink you would have liked Foo Fighters at all if you were a little older? I remember thinking that the Mentos video was silly and a bit obnoxious. In fact, other than you, I don’t remember ever knowing any Foo Fighters fans. Perhaps the entire phenomenon is just a result of politeness to Grohl for being in Nirvana…

    But even that doesn’t forgive the horror of their most recent hit.

    • theyoungerj says:

      You could be right. I was young and easily impressed. Your theory on politeness is interesting but I assume it is another case of what is known as “Nickelback” syndrome.

      • theelderj says:

        “The Nickelback Syndrome” sounds like the perfect name for a pulpy spy novel. (Or a post explaining what you mean…)

    • professormortis says:

      You’ve met two Foo Fighters fans: my sister, and my wife.

      I don’t mind them; I never liked them, they’ve always been vaguely okay background music for me. What cracks me up: until I read this, I never realized that The Germs Pat Smear was in the band. I think I was vaguely aware that he played with Nirvana at some point, but I didn’t realize he carried over.

      I kind of feel like Foo Fighters is the Aerosmith of its genre/time: a band with a few good songs that are overplayed to death, that comes out with a new album of like sounding, anthem-y, rockish songs that get tons of radio play.

      • theelderj says:

        Sister and Wife like the foo fighters? I’ll admit that there is nothing especially wrong with the band; but their music just seems so forgetful and anodyine. So professionally, well, mediocre. Compared to Nirvana or the Germs or anything else that helped to spawn the world that made this band possible, there is just so little that makes them stand out.

        perhaps your ladies have memories that make them like the band? It can’t come down to aesthetics…

      • theyoungerj says:

        Yeah I don’t know what they are thinking. Admittedly, they did sell out two shows at Wembley stadium and consistently are able to tour and sell records so somebody likes them. I agree “Nickelback” Syndrome is a good idea for a post

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  3. […] Mullen Jr.) Would anyone know that Dave Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana if he hadn’t started that other band? Recent bands like the Lumineers and Mumford and Sons downplay traditional rock percussion […]

  4. […] Zeppelin. I’ve loved this one for over a decade which is not the same I can say for those old Foo Fighters records. Just listen to how he keeps building the solo until there is a climax, not unlike a sexual […]

  5. […] the Cobain estate to allow Nirvana in there? I suspect Dave Grohl should be implicated, since the Foo Fighters are involved too (they never had any kind of […]

  6. […] Elder J’s albums by the Pixies and became transfixed. I was already into Led Zeppelin, the Foo Fighters, Nirvana and The Beatles amongst all my other early musical influences. The Pixies fit right into […]

  7. […] and one my brother runs to on a regular basis. It’s way different from anything by the Foo Fighters or Pearl Jam and makes you want to move. Even though obscure, this video from an old Playstation […]

  8. […] radio. Well actually, he said he didn’t like the band at all and this alarmed me as even now twenty years later, I love that band. He brought up a very good point though which is that if you don’t ever […]

  9. […] Foo Fighters was the first cd I bought but I think this Genesis album was the first cassette tape I purchased on […]

  10. […] quiet Payola  situations (especially when it comes to the ubiquity of a mediocre band like Foo Fighters). While I think this is probably likely, I suspect that there is far less conspiracy and more […]

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