"I wanted it to be the biggest-sounding FOO FIGHTERS record ever. To make a gigantic rock record but with Greg Kurstin's sense of melody and arrangement… MOTÖRHEAD's version of 'Sgt. Pepper'… or something like that."
So speaks Dave Grohl of the mission statement made manifest in FOO FIGHTERS' ninth epic, the aptly titled "Concrete And Gold", due out September 15 worldwide on Roswell Records / RCA Records and available for preorder now.
Just as FOO FIGHTERS' anthem of the summer, "Run", "opens as a dreamy, slow burner then… quickly turns heavy as thunder" (Billboard) with its "huge triumphant chorus" (Stereogum), "Concrete And Gold" marries some of the most insanely heavy FF riffs ever with lush harmonic complexities courtesy of a first time team-up with producer Greg Kurstin (ADELE, SIA, PINK).
This unlikely alliance came about through a bizarre sequence of surprise musical obsessions and chance encounters: Listening to the radio during a drive roughly four years ago, Grohl first heard "Again And Again" by Kurstin's band THE BIRD & THE BEE. "It blew my mind," he said. "It was so much more sophisticated than anything I'd ever heard and I became obsessed."
Some months later, Grohl would randomly spot and fanboy out over "the guy from THE BIRD & THE BEE!" a.k.a. Greg Kurstin. The two became fast friends over common musical loves with Grohl learning that his new favorite band had been on hiatus due to Kurstin's workload as a producer.
While FOO FIGHTERS recorded and released "Sonic Highways", broke some bones and packed stadiums and arenas on one of the top five grossing tours of 2015, and gifted fans with the "St. Cecilia" EP, "Greg was becoming one of the biggest producers in the world," Grohl recalls.
With the writing and recording of the next FOO FIGHTERS album on the horizon, Grohl was eager as always to find fresh challenges for the band: "So I think maybe Greg is the guy that we ask to be our producer because he's never made a heavy rock record before and we've never worked with a pop producer." Darrel Thorp (BECK, RADIOHEAD) was soon enlisted to mix and engineer. This collective conceived a blueprint of the new record as "MOTÖRHEAD's version of 'Sgt. Pepper'... or something like that," secretly booking into Hollywood's esteemed EastWest studios to consummate this marriage of extremes... or as Grohl puts it: "Our noise and Greg's big brain and all of his sophisticated arrangements and composition."
Months, sounds and stories (more on those soon, promise) and so many guitars later, the 11-Grammy-winning, 25-plus-million-record-selling, last great American stadium rock band had completed its most ambitious album ever — which naturally begat another insane challenge: How to celebrate music and throw the ultimate "backyard party for 50,000 people"…
What came to Grohl in that vision will become reality October 7 when FOO FIGHTERS' Cal Jam 17 takes over Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California. In addition to being FOO FIGHTERS' biggest ever one-day U.S. headline, in the spirit of the original California Jam, this daylong marathon of eating, drinking and rocking features an absolutely unfuckwithable lineup:
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
CAGE THE ELEPHANT
BABES IN TOYLAND
And in addition to 12 hours of rock and roll good times, Cal Jam 17 offers camping, carnival rides, a water park, attractions, a mobile recording studio and so much more. On Friday night, October 6, campers will also experience the world's best Go-Go band BIG TONY & TROUBLE FUNK, an outdoor movie theater and many other surprises. Camping space is limited, so act fast.
For more information, visit CalJamFest.com.
Cal Jam 17 will be the first chance for FOO FIGHTERS fans in the U.S. to experience the sonic majesty of songs from "Concrete And Gold" in their full live glory — and will be followed by a full scale October through December U.S. headline tour. Public on sales for all dates will be June 29 at 10 a.m. local time.
As a sponsor of Cal Jam 17 and the 2017 "Concrete And Gold" tour, Capital One cardholders will have early access to tickets. The Capital One presale starts Monday, June 26 at 9 a.m. local time.
The full track listing for "Concrete And Gold" is:
03. Make It Right
04. The Sky Is A Neighborhood
05. La Dee Da
06. Dirty Water
08. Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)
09. Sunday Rain
10. The Line
11. Concrete And Gold
"Concrete And Gold" U.S. tour dates:
Oct. 07 - San Bernardino, CA - Cal Jam 17 @ Glen Helen Regional Park
Oct. 12 - Washington DC - The Anthem (SOLD OUT)
Oct. 14 - Richmond, VA - Richmond Coliseum
Oct. 15 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum
Oct. 17 - Columbia, SC - Colonial Life Arena
Oct. 18 - Knoxville, TN - Thompson-Boling Arena
Oct. 20 - Cincinnati, OH - U.S. Bank Arena
Oct. 21 - Lexington, KY - Rupp Arena
Oct. 23 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
Oct. 24 - Memphis,TN - FedExForum
Oct. 26 - Birmingham, AL - Legacy Arena at The BJCC
Oct. 28 - New Orleans, LA - Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
Nov. 07 - Madison, WI - Kohl Center
Nov. 08 - Champaign, IL - State Farm Arena
Nov. 10 - Des Moines, IA - Wells Fargo Arena
Nov. 11 - Sioux Falls, SD - Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
Nov. 13 - Wichita, KS - INTRUST Bank Arena
Nov. 15 - Tulsa, OK - BOK Center
Dec. 01 - Fresno, CA - Save Mart Center
Dec. 02 - Sacramento, CA - Golden 1 Center
Dec. 04 - Spokane, WA - Spokane Arena
Dec. 05 - Eugene, OR - Matthew Knight Arena
Dec. 07 - Nampa ID - Ford Idaho Center
Dec. 09 - Billings MT - Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark
Dec. 10 - Casper WY - Casper Events Center
Dec. 12 - Salt Lake City UT - Vivint Smart Home Arena