Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dave Grohl: Play film documents solo 23-minute recording

Dave Grohl will release a film project called “Play” on August 10 that sees the Foo Fighters frontman perform seven instruments during the live recording of a solo 23-minute composition.

Directed by Grohl with help from his "Sound City"/"Sonic Highways" collaborator Mark Monroe, the mini-documentary is presented in two parts, with the first offering behind the scenes footage as the rocker explains his lifelong love of playing music while detailing the process and challenges of recording and filming this unique performance.

Part two features the 23-minute, one-man-band instrumental recording on which Grohl plays all seven instruments on the track, all live. The entire song was played by Grohl, each time on a different instrument, live for 23 minutes. Beginning with the recording of the entire drum track purely from memory, with no sheet music or guide tracks, followed by guitar, then bass, then keyboards, and so on… Grohl tasked himself with a one-man-band recording session that was forced to start from the very beginning of the 23-minute song any time the slightest mistake was made or if Grohl felt he could do a better take.

Filmed in classic black and white by Brandon Trost ("The Disaster Artist", "This Is The End"), with lighting modulating to match the dramatic peaks and valleys of this epic instrumental, "Play" was then edited to feature seven Grohl's recordings together.

The "Play" online interactive experience offers viewer/listener/participants the options of taking in the mini-doc and Grohl performance as is, focusing on one instrument, and/or downloading "Play" sheet music. The online version of "Play" also includes a list of organizations where time, money and instruments can be donated to the cause — and places where musicians young and old alike can have the opportunity to play live music.

The challenges Grohl created for himself in creating "Play" mirror those taken on by music students every day: The obstacles they face in their daily efforts to elevate and improve their abilities are no different than those faced by a world class stadium rocker — both are striving for the same goals. This shared quest gave "Play" its mission to inspire and promote music education: The film is intercut with young musicians from the Join The Band music school in the San Fernando Valley practicing their craft.

“Watching my kids start to play music and learn to sing or play drums,” explains Grohl, “it brings me back to the time when I was their age listening to albums, learning from listening... and when I take my kids to the place where they take their lessons, I see these rooms full of children that are really pushing themselves to figure this out. And even now, as a 49-year-old man, I’m still trying to figure it out... it’s not something that you ever truly master. You’re always chasing the next challenge, and you’re always trying to find a way to improve on what you’ve learned.”

“Play” will be released to streaming services on August 10, with a limited-edition vinyl to follow on September 28.

Grohl and the Foo Fighters are currently playing shows across North America in support of their ninth album, “Concrete And Gold.”

See also:

VIDEO: Foo Fighters joined by Cheap Trick guitarist at Wrigley Field
VIDEO: Joe Walsh joins Foo Fighters for Rocky Mountain Way at Fenway Park
VIDEO: Foo Fighters joined by Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer for Faces classic
Dave Grohl considers release of Nirvana reunion show
Search Foo Fighters at hennemusic