Foo Fighters are an American rock band formed in Seattle in 1994, initially formed as a one-man project by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. Following the success of the 1995 eponymous debut album, Grohl (lead vocals, guitar) recruited a band consisting of Nate Mendel (bass guitar), William Goldsmith (drums), and Pat Smear (guitar). After a succession of lineup changes, including the departures of Goldsmith and Smear, the band formed its core lineup in 1999, consisting of Grohl, Mendel, Chris Shiflett (guitar), and Taylor Hawkins (drums). Smear rejoined in 2005, and Rami Jaffee (keys) joined in 2017.
Prior to the release of the debut Foo Fighters album, Grohl recruited Mendel and Goldsmith, both formerly of Sunny Day Real Estate, and Smear, who had played with Nirvana on tour. The band began with performances in Portland, Oregon. Goldsmith quit during the recording of their second album, The Colour and the Shape (1997); most of the drum parts were re-recorded by Grohl. Smear departed soon afterward but appeared as a guest with the band frequently from 2005, he rejoined in 2010.
Smear and Goldsmith were replaced by Franz Stahl and Taylor Hawkins; 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 on guitar after the completion of There Is Nothing Left to Lose. Foo Fighters released their fourth album, One by One, in 2002. It was followed with the two-disc In Your Honor (2005), which was split between acoustic songs and heavier material. Foo Fighters released their sixth album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, in 2007.
For Foo Fighters’ seventh studio album, Wasting Light (2011), produced by Butch Vig, Smear returned as a full member. Sonic Highways (2014) was released as the soundtrack to the television miniseries directed by Grohl. Concrete and Gold (2017) was the second Foo Fighters album to reach number one in the United States and their first studio album to feature longtime session and touring keyboardist Rami Jaffee as a full member. The band’s tenth album, Medicine at Midnight (2021), was the last to feature Hawkins, who died in March 2022.
Over the course of their career, Foo Fighters have won 15 Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album five times, making them among the most successful rock acts in Grammy history. In 2021, the band was announced as recipients of the first-ever “Global Icon” award at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, their first year of eligibility.