Dave Grohl has been honing his craft for decades, but like many musicians, he’s still finding ways to challenge himself creatively. The Foo Fighters frontman’s latest ambition is a 23-minute track, played live by Grohl on seven different instruments. In the midst of FF’s summer tour, he’s announced a two-part documentary that centers around his one-man band recording of the instrumental.
The first part of Play is a behind-the-scenes look at the genesis of the project with “footage featuring discussion of the love of playing music and the lifelong relationship with an instrument.” Part one will also detail the logistical challenges of filming the performance.
Play then segues into the track itself. As a press release explains:
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.
The mini-doc was directed by Grohl alongside his Sound City/Sonic Highways collaborator Mark Monroe. The duo recruited cinematographer Brandon Trost and sound engineer Darrell Thorp. An online interactive experience in which fans can zero in on one of the instruments Grohl is playing will accompany the film.
Grohl discussed his inspiration for the project in a statement: “Watching my kids start to play music and learn to sing or play drums, 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,” he said. “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.”
The song itself will also be available for digital download beginning Aug. 10, with a limited-edition vinyl release following on Sept. 28. You can watch the teaser for Play below and find Paste audio from a 1995 Foo Fighters show further down.