Rock band Foo Fighters just released their first album since the passing of Taylor Hawkins, and it is a case study on grief and pushing through the unimaginable.
Listen to Foo Fighters Radio and more on the free Audacy app
Since the beginning of their band’s founding, the Foo Fighters have voiced an exceptional sense of perseverance in response to adversity. But the last year has found them again in mourning, due to the sudden and unexpected death of their drummer and friend, Taylor Hawkins, in March 2022. Within just five months, frontman Dave Grohl also lost his mother, Virginia Grohl, with whom he had a very close relationship. The two even worked on a documentary series based on her autobiographical book, From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars. So if you’re looking for the band’s comeback in the face of these tragedies, look no further than their latest album.
But Here We Are was released in its entirety today, and is reported as, “the sound of brothers finding refuge in the music that brought them together.” And it’s clear that the band is a united front as they endure and press forward. When compiled, the whole album seems to go through the band’s grief and processing. The opening track, “Rescued” communicates shock or panic while “Show Me How” responds with sadness. Song “Rest” ends the album in acceptance, with the final lyric: “In the warm Virginia sun / There I will meet you.”
“Rescued” was the first single released, and immediately ramps up the listener for what’s to come. In his classic raspy scream, Grohl belts, “are you thinking what I’m thinking? / Is this happening now? / Are you feeling what I’m feeling? / This is happening now.” The music is in their classic Foo Fighters style, with a rhythmic-based rock guitar and the drums’ central feature in the mix. The next single, “Under You” is a tad more relaxed, but still active and moving. The guitar riff and cymbals are the driving force of the song, while the lyrics describe the ups and downs of getting over someone. The second verse seems to reveal that the someone is Taylor Hawkins, with the lyrics, "someone said I'll never see your face again / Part of me just can't believe it's true / Pictures of us sharing songs and cigarettes / This is how I'll always picture you.”
The songs, like “Show Me How,” are still vague enough to be relatable, though more compelling for those in the know. Its riff and melody are catchy, and features the voice of Grohl’s daughter Violet as a kind of whispered echo. And while they may seem too intense with context, But Here We Are still conveys a kind of joy and appreciation for life. It’s captivating, memorable and colorful - making it a proper tribute to Hawkins and mom Virginia.
Ultimately, it’s clear that the Foo Fighters, and Grohl specifically, took his mother’s advice. “In order to make things better, you don’t waste time blaming the world around you,” she wrote in her book. “You find a way; you figure it out. And then you work harder than anyone else until you achieve something.”