EXCLUSIVE Interview: Dave Grohl on Cutting the New Foo Fighters Album's Master Tape to Pieces--and Giving Them Away to the Fans
It robs the musicians of their personalities, and their fingerprints, their signature sound. I think the idea to have more of a human sound to this record than just a sterile cold version.
So anyway, everyone was so precious about tapes, so afraid they're gonna shed or break or something will happen to them, weather, "you have to be really careful with them." And that just made me want to destroy it. To prove a point to everybody to show how intangible a real tape can be. I thought, let's chop it up into a million pieces, and give it to the people who buy the album so they can hold it in their hands and see it. A lot of the records you buy, there's nothing you can hold in your hand, it's all 1's and 0's, this digital cloud floating in the ether. but with analog albums, you can hold it in your hand.
There's something about pulling out a real tape from a shelf and looking at it and knowing that "Everlong" is on it, or "Best of You" is on it, and it's really special.
I say that to say you can touch it and know it's real, so we decided to chop it up and put it in the album.
So the master version of this album is a harddrive?
Behold a piece of the Foo Fighters' master tape (penny provided for comparisons--and for your thoughts)
No, we backed it all up to tapes. We did backup reels, we have 25-30 backup reels and tapes, also hard drives. It's second generation analog in our closets, but then we also did hard drives, because now when you do something like Guitar Hero, they have to use that.
So if someone were to grab the little piece of tape and splice it on a longer piece of tape and then played it, would they get like one drumbeat or is it too short to hear anything?
They'd probably get one note, or one drumbeat. I mean, the pieces of tape are like an inch by an inch piece of tape. We chop it up into a million fucking pieces ... if a million people got together and put it back together, they'd get a whole album.
Maybe somebody can sample it.
Yeah, give it to Gaga, maybe she can sample the snare drum beat!