Foo Fighters is an American rock band, formed in Seattle in 1994. It was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl as a one-man project following the death of Kurt Cobain and the resulting dissolution of his previous band. The group got its name from the UFOs and various aerial phenomena that were reported by Allied aircraft pilots in World War II, which were known collectively as foo fighters.
Foo Fighters has been described as alternative rock, post-grunge and hard rock. When Grohl first started the band, its music was often compared to that of his previous group, Nirvana. Grohl acknowledged that Nirvana singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain was a major influence on his songwriting. Grohl said, "Through Kurt, I saw the beauty of minimalism and the importance of music that's stripped down". Foo Fighters also utilized the technique of shifting between quiet verses and loud choruses, which Grohl said was influenced by the members of Nirvana "liking The Knack, Bay City Rollers, Beatles, and ABBA as much as we liked Flipper and Black Flag, I suppose".
Writing and recording songs for the first Foo Fighters album by himself, Grohl wrote the guitar riffs to be as rhythmic as possible. He approached the guitar in a similar manner to his playing a drumkit, assigning different drum parts to different strings on the instrument. This allowed him to piece together songs easily; he said, "I could hear the song in my head before it was finished." Once Grohl assembled a full band, his bandmates assisted in song arrangements.
Prior to the release of Foo Fighters' 1995 debut album Foo Fighters, which featured Grohl as the only official member, Grohl recruited bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith, both formerly of Sunny Day Real Estate, as well as Nirvana touring guitarist Pat Smear to complete the lineup. The band began with performances in Portland, Oregon. Goldsmith quit during the recording of the group's second album, The Colour and the Shape (1997), when most of the drum parts were re-recorded by Grohl himself. Smear's departure followed soon afterward, though he would rejoin them in 2005.
They were replaced by Taylor Hawkins and Franz Stahl, respectively, although Stahl was fired before the recording of the group's third album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999). The band briefly continued as a trio until Chris Shiflett joined as the band's lead guitarist after the completion of There Is Nothing Left to Lose.