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Live: Sound City Players @ London Kentish Town Forum – 19 February 2012

February 20th, 2013

sound city players dave grohl kentish town forum 2013

If it’s somehow passed you by, Sound City Players is the latest super-super-group led by Dave Grohl. Centred around the legendary Sound City Studio, the band brings together loads of the artists featured in the wonderful feature-length documentary written and directed by Grohl. That they are all playing live with a record for sale as well makes it a 360-degree experience. We saw the film, got the album and went to the gig. Here’s a review of the last bit.

Six things we learnt watching the Sound City Players in London

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Retrospective Review: Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

January 1st, 2012

When we asked our contributors to tell us their albums of the year, we also offered them the opportunity to retrospectively review any of their Top 10 list that we hadn’t reviewed already. Jon Kerr took us up on that offer.

Foo Fighters 2011 promo photo Thrash Hits

Foo Fighters
Wasting Light
RCA Records
11 April 2011

by Jon Kerr

Twenty years after Nevermind, Butch Vig finally produces a Foo Fighters album. In Dave Grohl’s garage. On tape. And Krist Novoselic plays bass on it. Whether you think the “Nevermind-effect” on the rock industry was a good or bad thing is one of the divisive questions for rock fans of a certain age, making this collaboration one that was destined to raise both ears and eyebrows.

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Interview: Jackson United’s Chris Shiflett

November 3rd, 2008

Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett has unleashed his own punk rock band, Jackson United. George Fernandez has a chat to him about being the frontman now and dodgy tattoo-oriented ‘facts’ on the internet.

jackson united chris shiflett band promo photo thrash hits

You are in and have been in several bands of varying stature but Jackson United seems to be the one where you are the chief songwriter. How important is that to you?
Pretty much every band I’ve ever been in besides Jackson United, I’ve been playing other people’s music with varying degrees of input so that was basically the motivation to start my own thing.

Foo Fighters is obviously your main band. How does it feel having your other bands automatically labelled as side projects?
‘Side project’ is kind of an ugly term but I do usually refer to Jackson United as one. It doesn’t mean I put less into it but just on the sheer scale of work that we do in Foos everything else in my musical life is a ‘side project’.

You didn’t get 6 months off to write this record. How did you go about it?
I wrote it over the course of a couple of years but once we were ready to record we blasted through it in sixteen days – no fucking around! I like having everything together before starting recording.

Watch the video to ’21st Century Fight Song’ by Jackson United

I’m very happy with the results – of course now that we’ve been playing the songs live things have evolved – but you always look back on recordings and wish you’d done something different.

The drums stand out as one of my favourite elements of the record. Dave [Grohl] and Taylor [Hawkins] brought an energy to it that we’d never have gotten without ‘em. As far as the guitar playing goes, it’s nice to dust off some Ace Frehley licks here and there.

What do you hope to achieve with the album? What would you do if it sold 2 million copies?
I think it’s a pretty safe bet that we’re not going to sell millions of records but that’d be a good problem to have! I just want a forum for my songs and it’d be great if we could get the band to a point where it’s self-sufficient financially. It’s a struggle out there!

What’s the plan for the future of Jackson United?
We just started touring for the new record but I’d love to get another in the can early next year. I’ve got a bunch of song ideas so hopefully we’ll spend some time soon getting it together. It always takes me so long to put these records together that I’d like to take advantage of next year’s down time and be active.

Watch Chris Shiflett boxing (getting punched)

What’s it like being in a band with your brother?
Scott’s not actually playing with us at the moment because Face To Face is doing shows again. Playing with Scott is always great ‘cos we have a special bond and don’t really have to talk about it much – we just know what to do when we’re playing together.

What’s been your favourite moment in your career so far?
The first couple of years in the Foos were filled with so many crazy moments that I’d be hard pressed to pick one, but the first time I went on tour in Europe – with No Use For Name – stands out. We were the ultimate hard-partying tourists – daytime was all about cathedrals and museums and night time was all about endless gigs and partying!

Wembley Stadium or Camden Barfly?
Playing those huge gigs is a lot of fun but I think music is best in bars or theatres. Anything bigger than that and I think you lose a lot. It becomes more of an event than a gig. Of course, I wouldn’t trade anything for those Wembley gigs or Hyde Park or Reading Festival. I’m lucky I’ve gotten to do all sizes.

From Wikipedia: “Shiflett, after being in cover band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes has a tattoo on the inside of his bottom lip with the word “Gimme”. This was what Shiflett describes as a drunken dare and regrets the tattoo but is forced to get it re-touched each year to avoid infection.”
It was neither a drunken dare nor something I regret! In fact I was sober when I got it and then it healed up pretty bad so I had to do it again! Also, you don’t have to touch up tattoos to avoid infection and it says “Gimme Gimme” not just “Gimme.” That’s twice the pain!

Jackson United November UK tourdates
14 Cambridge Soul Tree
16 London Astoria w/ Rancid
17 Manchester Academy 3
18 Leeds Cockpit 3
19 Glasgow Captains Rest
20 Birmingham Barfly
21 London Water Rats

Jackson United’s debut album, Harmony And Dissidence is out now on Deck Cheese Records

Live: Foo Fighters @ Wembley Stadium – 07 June 2008

June 9th, 2008

If the mighty Foo Fighters were playing Wembley Stadium, Thrash Hits .com had to be there. Raziq Rauf reports from the biggest shows of this year and maybe even this century.

Dave Grohl on the big screen

A decade ago I had a disagreement with a friend that Foo Fighters could ever be a bigger, better more successful band than Nirvana; one that more people would pay good money to go and see.

On Saturday night, 07 June 2008, Foo Fighters played what a roused, riled and emotional Dave Grohl said was “the greatest fucking night in [their] band’s lives”. Tens of thousands agreed that it was theirs as well.

The second of the international megastars’ appearances at 86,000-capacity Wembley Stadium saw an encore with a surprise appearance from some very, very special guests.

Jimmy Page and Jon Paul Jones, guitarist and bassist from the legendary Led Zeppelin came onstage to perform two songs with Grohl, who has a Led Zep tattoo, and drummer Taylor Hawkins. It was the first Led Zeppelin performance since their London O2 Arena show in December 2007.

Hawkins took to the microphone first to sing ‘Rock And Roll’ while Grohl drummed. The pair then switched places to perform ‘Ramble On’. However heavily it had been rumoured that this event would transpire, the crowd still reacted accordingly.

Watch the Foo Fighters perform ‘Rock And Roll’ with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin

The band’s two-hour set included the band’s most famous singles as well as some lesser-known tracks, such as ‘Marigold’, the Grohl-penned B-side to Nirvana’s 1993 single ‘Heart-Shaped Box’. It was the only Nirvana-released song that Kurt Cobain had absolutely no part in writing.

Other set highlights included a magnificent acoustic version of ‘My Hero’ and fully-plugged in renditions of show opener ‘The Pretender’ and ‘Monkey Wrench’ as well as the last song of the night, ‘Best Of You’.

The fireworks that signaled the end of the evening were as much in the sky as they were in everyone’s hearts. Not every band can fill a stadium of this magnitude and make a success of it.

It turns out that I was completely wrong and owe that old friend a tenner. When the downside of that bet is seeing a fantastic Wembley Stadium headline show from one of the greatest rock bands of this and last generation, however, it’s not so bad.



‘The Pretender’
‘Times Like These’
‘No Way Back’
‘Cheer Up Boys, Your Make Up Is Running’
‘Learn To Fly’
‘This Is A Call’
‘Long Road To Ruin’
‘Stacked Actors’
‘Skin And Bones’
‘Big Me’
‘My Hero’
‘Cold Day In The Sun’
‘Let It Die’
‘Monkey Wrench’
‘All My Life’
‘Rock And Roll’
‘Ramble On’
‘Best Of You’

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