Foo Fighters stay on track

  • This year's Foo Fighters includes, from left, Chris Shiflett, Taylor Hawkins, Dave Grohl and Nate Mendel. They are scheduled to play the Grammy Awards on Feb. 10. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

The Grammy Awards judges seem to love loud, punkish, stadium band the Foo Fighters, which seems odd since the awards arent exactly known for being cutting-edge.

Even the band is surprised.

Its like, Who are these guys? Were really gnarly, you know what I mean? said drummer Taylor Hawkins recently to Orlando Sentinel music critic Jim Abbott. Were just a little rock band.

Set to award another slew of winners on Feb. 10, the Recording Academy has bestowed four Grammys on the Foos over their 12-year career; the band is up for another five this year-thats one more than even Bruce Springsteen-all for its latest release, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.

The Foo Fighters, who will play the Oakland Arena this Saturday before heading down to Los Angeles for the Grammy ceremonies, are up for Record of the Year (The Pretender), Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, Best Hard Rock Performance (The Pretender) and Best Rock Song (The Pretender).

Previous Grammy wins came in 2000, 2003 and 2004.

Its a stellar accomplishment, noted Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, a collection of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals who annually honor musical excellence via the Grammy Awards.

The Foos are a band that over the years has exhibited great skills in their writing and performing and recording, Portnow added. That they are broadly accepted has to do with the way theyve crafted their music of late.

Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl is the Foos singer/songwriter/guitarist and Vans-shod frontman extraordinaire. In addition to Hawkins, Grohl is backed by lead guitarist Chris Shiflett and bassist Nate Mendel.

Grohls fearless approach to life and music may also be what appeals to Grammy voters, though theres no doubt he remains blessed by his noble lineage.

First, theres the anointment of Nirvana, still the most influential American rock band of the past 20 years, said journalist/musician Ted Drozdowski, who writes for Rolling Stone, Musician and the Boston Phoenix. Grohl can still wave that banner in the spotlight of success.

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