Dave Grohl Talks Sound City

Exclusive: Mr. Foo on his music doc

Sound City, Dave Grohl

The concept of playing 'for one night only' is something that's generally found more in the world of music, and not down your local multiplex. But Dave Grohl doesn't always embrace the conventional, which is why today Sound City - aka Grohl's excellent documentary, or if you will, rockumentary - is playing at Vue Cinemas across the country. For one night only.

The documentary, directed by the Foo Fighters frontman, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and is an absolute belter, chronicling both the history of the illustrious Sound City studio in LA - where Grohl recorded Nevermind with Nirvana - and his attempts to record a new album using the studio's fabled equipment with some of the biggest names in rock. Along the way Grohl jams with, and chats to, the likes of Paul McCartney, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lars Ulrich and Neil Young.

"My history with Sound City is pretty deep, so the minute I stepped into that studio in 1991 I was fascinated," explains Grohl, talking exclusively to Empire ahead of the movie's simultaneous UK bow. "I thought, ‘how could such a shithole be responsible for so many legendary works?’ Then after we started recording, I realized it was the sound, it wasn’t the paint on the walls, it wasn’t the china in the cabinet, it was the sound of that board and that room."

That board was the Neve 8028 mixing console, which Grohl purchased when the studio was shut down in 2001, and subsequently used to record the last Foo Fighters album, Wasting Light. Which highlights another aim of Sound City: it's a documentary that celebrates the analogue over the ominous and sometimes inexorable march of the digital.

"That studio was so different than anywhere else. It was not a corporate studio, it was not in Hollywood, and it had a soul, and that fucking board is just as instrumental as any instrument that’s ever been and been run through it," adds Grohl, "because it really does sort of embellish the sound in a way that makes it its own. Because of all those things, I always considered Sound City to be a perfect example of integrity, that was the place. If you could record at Sound City, you were fucking badass, because they were that studio that never bought a computer, they never went Pro Tools, they stood firm and, and represented the real human element of music for 40 fucking years."

Sound City is playing in Vue Cinemas tonight, and is also available via iTunes. It’ll be out on DVD on March 11.