Dave Grohl’s band rename themselves the Dee Gees and cover five 1970s hits by the Gibb brothers.
The Foo Fighters have unveiled their new musical direction – transforming from stadium rock heroes to a Bee Gees tribute band for their next album.
As the Dee Gees, a nod to frontman Dave Grohl’s initials, the band will release an LP including four Bee Gees covers.
Hail Satin will see the Foos take on the Gibb brothers’ 1970s disco classics Night Fever, Tragedy, You Should Be Dancing and More Than a Woman.
It will be released on vinyl for US Record Store Day on 17 July.
Side one of the LP will also include their version of Andy Gibb’s Shadow Dancing, which spent seven weeks at number one in the US in 1978.
Side two will feature five live versions of songs from their last album Medicine at Midnight.
The US group announced the news with a clip of Grohl attempting his best falsetto, a la Barry Gibb.
The band actually gave the first glimpse of their new disco diversion in February, performing You Should Be Dancing for Jo Whiley’s Sofa Session on BBC Radio 2.
The band had been asked to perform a cover, and Grohl explained that they chose the song after a discussion about a recent Bee Gees documentary.
“I was like, ’Why don’t we just do a Bee Gees song?’ And someone was just like, ’OK, how do you wanna do it?’ And I said, ’Well, let’s do it like the Bee Gees’.”
He added that he had “never, ever in my life sung like that, but it was the easiest song I have ever sung in my entire life!”
- In her memoir last year, pop singer Mariah Carey revealed she “did an alternative album” while working on her 1995 LP Daydream. Carey wrote, produced and sang on rock band Chick’s album, Someone’s Ugly Daughter, from the same year. “I created an alter-ego artist and her Ziggy Stardust-like spoof band,” she wrote in The Meaning of Mariah. My character was a dark-haired brooding Goth girl who wrote and sang ridiculous tortured songs.”
- Irish rockers U2 went under the pseudonym Passengers when they worked with UK musician and composer Brian Eno on a side project called Original Soundtracks 1. The album, also released in 1995, was a collection of songs made for mostly imaginary films.
- Sir Paul McCartney – not averse to a change of persona from The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper days, of course – went under the name Percy “Thrills” Thrillington for an album in 1977. The album Thrillington constituted an instrumental re-working of Paul and his late wife Linda’s record Ram, from six years earlier. In the 90s and 00s, Sir Macca repeated the trick by releasing three rock/electronica albums alongside Killing Joke star Youth, using the catchy moniker The Fireman.
- Prince may have once been known as a squiggle, but he also recorded an unreleased self-titled record as Camille – his feminine alter ego. He disguised his vocals for the LP by singing in a high-pitched style. It was scrapped several weeks before its planned release, but several songs were re-recorded and made it on to his 1987 double album, Sign o’ the Times. Some of Camille’s early pressings, however, did eventually go up for auction in 2016.
- Last but not least, Chris Gaines was a fictional rock character played by US country star Garth Brooks. He was meant to appear in the movie, The Lamb, but it never made it to the big screen. Brooks did release one album as Gaines, which spawned the top five hit Lost in You.
Elsewhere, in an interview earlier this week, Grohl and former Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic teased a potential reissue of their seminal grunge album Nevermind, following its 30th anniversary in September.
“We’re going to have the 30-year Nevermind, but we’re still putting it together,” Novoselic told Uncut magazine. “It’s kind of late! What’s on it? You’ll see, I don’t want to spoil the surprise!”
Grohl recently revealed that he and Novoselic sometimes get together at Grohl’s house, and have recorded new material alongside Foo Fighters guitarist and former Nirvana touring bandmember Pat Smear.
“We don’t, like, run through a big old Nirvana setlist, but we do like to fool around and sometimes as we’re fooling around, songs happen,” Grohl told US radio host Howard Stern.
“And, you know, if we’re in a studio, we’ll record them. So we’ve recorded some stuff that’s really cool. But we’ve never done anything with it… It’s more just like friends, jamming around. It doesn’t really seem like any sort of like big official reunion.”
On Tuesday, the Foo Fighters played their first concert with no social distancing in over a year, to vaccinated fans at a 600-capacity venue in California.
Anti-vaccine protesters congregated outside the gig at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, complaining that playing only to vaccinated people was a form of “segregation”.
The show served as a warm-up for Sunday’s much bigger event at New York’s Madison Square Garden, which will be full for the first time since March 2020.