Dave Grohl teased Foo Fighters fans late last month, telling BBC that the “biggest pop star in the world” is gonna be doing a guest vocal spot on their upcoming album Concrete and Gold. “[He or she] sings backup on one of the heaviest songs on the record,” he said. “And we’re not telling anybody who it is.”
“What’s the strangest thing for this band to do at this point?” singer asks. “Just to go into a studio and make a fucking album like a normal band”
Grohl declined to reveal the megastar’s name when speaking with Rolling Stone, but the musician provided a few more hints, walking back the “pop star” comment he made originally. “This person is, I think, is more than that,” he says.
“It was sort of towards the end of the album and this person came up and said, ‘Man, I’d really love to sing on your record,'” Grohl says. “I looked at [producer] Greg [Kurstin] and said, ‘OK, come in tomorrow and we’ll figure something out.’ So we found a backup part for this person to sing and we decided we were gonna make it our own dirty little secret and see if anyone can figure it out.
“I’d be amazed if anyone can really figure it out,” he says. “But it was great and this person’s been around a long time. And I think I’ve met this person maybe a few times, but I’d never spent time with this person, and we had a blast together. Really f**ing fun. And [he or she is] very talented – more so than I ever knew. But, of course, I f**ing ran my mouth off; now I have to answer to it every time I pick up the telephone and I’m like, ‘F***! I shouldn’t have said anything.'”
His final hint was that the person was someone he’d talked to about doing the next season of his star-studded, multiple-location TV series Sonic Highways with.
“We decided we were gonna make it our own dirty little secret and see if anyone can figure it out.” “Everyone thinks Adele sang on the record,” he says. “She didn’t sing on the record. I f***ing love her, she’s an amazing person – I love her personally, and I of course also love her music – but I think everyone made this correlation because Greg had produced her. I’m like, ‘F***, I wish it was Adele. Goddamn, that’d be amazing.'”
He also shot down Taylor Swift as a potential guest. “Ooooh, that’d be a good one,” he says. “Wasn’t T-Swift. She’s pretty rad, but… That’s the thing. Maybe everyone should just start submitting their wish list and then the next album will be ‘We Are the World.’ We could do this.”
Grohl did reveal some of the guests who appear on Concrete and Gold: like the Kills’ Alison Mosshart, who sang on “La Dee Da” and another song called “The Sky Is a Neighborhood” here’s a clip of a live version of that song. (Careful, there’s NSFW language in there)
One of the turning points was asking Boyz II Men singer Shawn Stockman, whom Grohl had spotted in the parking lot, to create a choir for the song “Concrete and Gold.” “When he left the room, I turned to everybody and I said, ‘You guys, the Boyz II Men dude just raised the f***ing bar. Every song has to sound this big,'” Grohl says. “We were just like, ‘Holy shit.'”
Grohl said that the band also had fun meeting some of the other artists recording at EastWest Studios, though he did not confirm whether they made appearances on Concrete and Gold. “It felt like a community of musicians,” he says. ” There’s five rooms in there, so on any given day, you see Lady Gaga walking down the hall, or there’s Glenn Hughes from Deep Purple is in there today. Hey, Justin Timberlake’s in the kitchen. Or Rufus Wainwright’s there one day. One day, I get a text like, ‘Shania Twain’s in the big room. She wants to say hello.’ It’s like Jesus f***ing Christ; it’s like Hollywood Squares.”
Who do you think it is?