Back in July, veteran grunge band Foo Fighters were tied with an interesting band on the Billboard Rock and Alternative Airplay charts. It makes sense because the frontman of the Foo Fighters practically invented the alternative rock genre. So who is the fascinating group that joined Foo Fighters on the charts?
It’s not easy to make a group to top the charts
Multi-instrumentalist Dave Grohl knows what it’s like to start a band that doesn’t do much. The Ohio native, who moved to Virginia with his family when he was 3, started his own group when he was 10. Dubbed HG Hancock, the band didn’t go anywhere, but it gave the fifth-year guitarist a taste for applause.
Eventually, Grohl started playing drums and joined several Virginia-based combos, including Freak Baby and Dain Bramage, Curbed Washington DC reports. Popular locally, neither group achieved the success of future Grohl groups: Nirvana and Foo Fighters.
Sadly, Nirvana ended with the death of Kurt Cobain, but Foo Fighters remains a life force in rock music. That the group shares the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Rock and Alternative Airplay charts in 2021 comes as no surprise to fans who have followed Foo Fighters from the start.
Starting a band is fun and exciting, but there are inherent issues with leadership that those outside of the music business might never even imagine. According to Sonicbids, these issues include finding reliable members, building a fan base, and maintaining energy. Other issues are canceled shows, lack of funds, demos that never get heard, and promised reviews that never get released, reports The Balance Careers.
By the time Dave Grohl replaced drummer Chad Channing in Nirvana in 1990, the band led by grunge god Kurt Cobain had overcome these obstacles and had already released their debut album, Bleach. Nirvana only lasted seven years.
Enter Foo Fighters
In October 2020, Grohl caught up with veteran rocker Bruce Springsteen on his syndicated radio series, Letter to you Radio. According to the music journal Kerrang, the “Born to Run” singer asked Grohl about the difference between becoming a member of Nirvana and becoming the leader of Foo Fighters. Grohl opposes this, only explaining that he started playing music as a child because something caught his heart.
“I never imagined I could be a Beatle. I never imagined I could be one of the rock stars I had in my record collection, or on posters on my wall. I just thought, to myself, that it was this puzzle… and I was obsessed with the idea that multiple instruments could create something emotional, or something that could make you feel.
According to Alternative Press, Foo Fighters was originally an individual project that Grohl started in 1994 to “exorcise his soul” after Cobain’s untimely death. The first album released is the eponym Foo fighters. Over the years, Grohl has added and released several musicians and recently performed a sold-out three-night concert at Madison Square Garden with guitarist Pat Smear and a full-fledged Foo Fighters, The New York Post reported.
What is Cage the Elephant?
Compared to Grohl and his decades of experience, Cage the Elephant is a newcomer to the alternative rock scene. Founded in Kentucky just before the release of their debut album, Cage the Elephant moved to England in 2009 and became one of the biggest bands of the 2010s, reports AllMusic. Critics praised the group’s transatlantic hit single, “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” as a clever hybrid of Beck and the White Stripes. Ten years ago, Cage the Elephant released their second punk-flavored, Nirvana-influenced album, Thank you, happy birthday, which hit the alternative rock charts in second place.
Comprised of rhythm guitarist Brad Shultz, guitarist Nick Bockrath, vocalist Matt Shultz, bassist Daniel Tichenor, keyboardist Matthan Minster and drummer Jared Champion, the group saw founding member and guitarist Lincoln Parish quit in 2013. Cage the Elephant has won numerous date awards, including two gold albums and a Grammy. And since then, it has remained at or near the top of the Billboard charts.
The group recently formed a relationship with the Foo Fighters.
This past February, Foo Fighters reached # 1 on three amazing Billboard rock charts. Looks like Foo Fighters is at # 1 on the Top Rock, Hard Rock, and Alternative Albums charts.
Nonetheless, Cage the Elephant made it appear on the Most Rock and Alternative Airplay chart for July 2021, where the two groups boasted 13 to top the charts, Billboard reported. Recently, Foo Fighters also joined the late rocker Tom Petty in the Mainstream Rock Airplay chart.
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