This 22 years of existence could be considered as the best rock music band for the past two decades. Six of the band’s eight studio albums have gone platinum (the other two went gold). They’ve won 11 Grammys, five NME Awards, two VMAs and have been nominated for nearly 90 other awards. They’ve endured personal tragedies and serious infighting but have always emerged triumphant, ready to keep rocking both on record and IRL.
Some reasons to make sure this band is full of a real badass squad:
1. Because Dave Grohl broke his leg on stage but didn’t stop rocking.
At a gig in Sweden in 2015, the singer broke his leg at the beginning of the show but continued playing until the last song!
2. Because they invite emotional fans to sing onstage with them
3. Because they recorded an album in eight different cities.
The recording process usually involves a band finding a studio and a producer and holing up in that one spot for weeks or months until they’ve got a completed record to show for it. But for their last album, the Foos went big — traveling to Chicago, D.C., Nashville, Austin, L.A., New Orleans, Seattle and New York and creating one song in each city. The result was Sonic Highways, which also came out as an HBO series (of which a second season may be on the way).
4. Because people forget that guitarist Pat Smear played in Nirvana too
He was the second guitarist at the MTV Unplugged In New York show who played the American-striped acoustic in the background. And he played in the Foos briefly in the ’90s, then became a permanent member again in 2010 after being an on/off touring member for years. So technically, that makes two Nirvana alums in the Foo Fighters. Badass indeed.
5. Because bassist Nate Mendel played in lots of other bands
The Foos tour a lot (like, A LOT), so to have other musical commitments is kinda crazy. But Mendel makes it happen with his newest band, Lieutenant, who you could’ve caught at this year’s SXSW, as well as with emo pioneers Sunny Day Real Estate, with whom he played in the ’90s.
6. Because they made an entire Italian city’s dreams come true
Rockin’1000 is an initiative started by Fabio Zaffagnini, a northern Italian Foo Fighters superfan. Last week, he assembled 1,000 musicians and singers in the city of Cesena for a massive live performance of the band’s “Learn To Fly” in hopes it would convince the Foos to come play there. Dave Grohl heard, and he responded with a “See you soon.” Ultimate level of badassery: officially reached.
7. Because they sing White Stripes songs with orthopaedic surgeons
After Grohl visited his doctor in Baltimore, he invited him to join the band onstage at Boston’s Fenway Park for a song. So the surgeon, Lew C. Schon, chose The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” and they made it happen — with the doc taking lead vocal duties and electrifying a crowd of 40,000 people.