Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dave Grohl|
|Written by||Mark Monroe|
|Edited by||Paul Crowder|
Sound City is a 2013 documentary film produced and directed by Dave Grohl, in his directorial debut, about the history of recording studio Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, Los Angeles.
A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record. "Documentary" has been described as a "filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries. Documentary films were originally called 'actuality' films and were only a minute or less in length. Over time documentaries have evolved to be longer in length and to include more categories, such as educational, observational, and even 'docufiction'. Documentaries are also educational and often used in schools to teach various principles. Social media platforms such as YouTube, have allowed documentary films to improve the ways the films are distributed and able to educate and broaden the reach of people who receive the information.
David Eric Grohl is an American singer, songwriter, musician and director. He is the founder, frontman, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter of the rock band Foo Fighters since 1994, and was the best-known and longest-serving drummer for Nirvana from 1990 to 1994, when they broke up, following the death of Kurt Cobain.
Sound City Studios is a recording studio incorporated in 1969, located in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California, USA. The facility had previously been a production factory of the British musical instrument manufacturer, Vox. The studio was officially closed in 2011, when it ceased commercial operations, but it has reopened as of early 2017.
In 1991 Nirvana recorded the album Nevermind at Sound City Studios. The band's drummer Dave Grohl was inspired to create the documentary after he purchased several items from the studio, including the Neve 8028 analog mixing console, when the studio closed in 2011.
Nirvana was an American rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. It was founded by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, the longest-lasting and best-known being Dave Grohl, who joined in 1990. Though the band dissolved in 1994 after the death of Cobain, their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock and roll culture.
Nevermind is the second studio album by American rock band Nirvana, released on September 24, 1991 by DGC Records. Produced by Butch Vig, it was the band's first release on the label, as well as the first to feature drummer Dave Grohl.
Neve Electronics was a manufacturer of music recording and broadcast mixing consoles and hardware. It was founded in 1961 by Rupert Neve, the man credited with creating the modern mixing console.
Sound City Studios was located in the San Fernando Valley, amidst rows of dilapidated warehouses. The little-known recording studio housed a unique analog Neve recording console and had a reputation for recording drums. Artists such as Nirvana, Kyuss, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, Rage Against The Machine, and Slipknot recorded groundbreaking music at the studio. The film tells the story of the studio from its early days in 1969 until its closing in 2011. It then follows Dave Grohl's purchase of the studio's custom analog Neve console, which he moved to his personal studio, Studio 606. Rupert Neve is an English engineer who founded Neve Electronics in 1961, designed and manufactured the Neve 8028, "one of four in the world",and is interviewed by Grohl in the film. Famous musicians who recorded at Sound City reunite at Studio 606 for a jam session and to make an album of "all-new all-original songs, each one composed and recorded exclusively for the film within its own 24-hour session on that console." It also shows album covers by some bands: Red Hot Chili Peppers's One Hot Minute , Nirvana's Incesticide and Nevermind , Rage Against The Machine's self-titled album and many others.
The San Fernando Valley is an urbanized valley in Los Angeles County, California in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, defined by the mountains of the Transverse Ranges circling it. Home to 1.77 million people, it is north of the larger, more populous Los Angeles Basin.
Kyuss was an American rock band, formed in Palm Desert, California, in 1987 by Josh Homme (guitar), John Garcia (vocals), Brant Bjork (drums) and Chris Cockrell (bass). After releasing an EP under the name Sons of Kyuss in 1990, the band shortened its name to Kyuss and recruited Nick Oliveri, replacing Cockrell as bassist. Over the next five years the band released four full-length albums, and one last split EP in 1997 as Kyuss and the newly formed Queens of the Stone Age. This tied up the loose ends of Kyuss and introduced the new band Queens of the Stone Age, which was initially composed entirely of former Kyuss members.
Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group's musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk rock and psychedelic rock. When played live, their music incorporates elements of jam band due to the improvised nature of many of their performances. Currently, the band consists of founding members vocalist Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea, longtime drummer Chad Smith, and former touring guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best-selling bands of all time with over 80 million records sold worldwide, have been nominated for sixteen Grammy Awards, of which they have won six, and are the most successful band in alternative rock radio history, currently holding the records for most number-one singles (13), most cumulative weeks at number one (85) and most top-ten songs (25) on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. In 2012, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The film was first exhibited in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on January 18, 2013,and released on video-on-demand and in theaters on February 1, 2013. It was screened on January 31 in five Australian cities (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth). The documentary was also screened in three cities in Canada (Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal) and 51 cities in the United States. The film was screened for a one-off showing on February 18, 2013 in 23 theaters across the United Kingdom.
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival took place from January 17, 2013 until January 27, 2013 in Park City, Utah, United States, with screenings in Salt Lake City, Utah, Ogden, Utah, and Sundance, Utah.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 4.9 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".
After the closing credits there is a short, silent segment of a home movie showing a band getting set up. The picture freezes on one person and the following text appears: "In memory of Brian Hauge (1970 – 2012)."He was the key grip of the film.
Closing credits or end credits are a list of the cast and crew of a particular motion picture, television program, or video game. Where opening credits appear at the beginning of a work, closing credits appear close to, or at the very end of a work. A full set of credits can include the cast and crew, but also production sponsors, distribution companies, works of music licensed or written for the work, various legal disclaimers, such as copyright and more. Some long-running productions list "production babies".
In US and Canadian filmmaking, the key grip supervises all grip crews and reports to the director of photography.
The documentary features interviews conducted by Grohl of artists associated with the studio:
Current or former members of the bands Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, Pixies, Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana, REO Speedwagon, Weezer, Ratt, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, The Beatles, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Stone Sour, Metallica, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Fear, Foo Fighters and Rage Against The Machine appeared in the film. The drummer of Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins, also appeared in the film.
Sound City received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 100% of critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 7.7/10 based on 44 reviews. The site's consensus states: "Smart, affectionate, and unabashedly sincere, Sound City pairs a great soundtrack with a well-argued ode to one of rock 'n' roll's most fondly remembered bygone eras."It was one of the highest rated limited release and documentary movies of the year on the website. On Metacritic the film has a score of 76 based on reviews from 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Kenneth Turan from Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, saying "High-spirited, emotional and funny, Sound City is, of all things, a mash note to a machine. Not just any machine, however, but one that helped change the face of rock 'n' roll."In a review for The Daily Telegraph , Sebastian Doggart awarded the documentary five out of five stars and proclaimed it as "an exhilarating exploration of the creative process." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone admits "In his directing debut, Dave Grohl shows the instincts of a real filmmaker. Sound City hits you like a shot in the heart." Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic remarks "Sound City is a music geek's dream, a rollicking look at a dumpy California studio where a lot of musicians found magic. It's also a bit of a mess, like all good rock and roll ought to be", while Elizabeth Weitzman of New York Daily News praised that "Grohl's aim is to explore the aura of a place, but what he winds up proving is that people make the magic."
Nevertheless Phil Gallo from Billboard stated "Grohl's inexperience as a filmmaker only shows when the film makes a sharp turn out of history and into the more recent past: There's a sense that instead of celebrating great rock 'n' roll moments, a product is about to be pitched at the viewer."
The film received a Satellite Award for Best Documentary Film nomination in the 18th edition and the Cinema Eye Honor 2014 Audience Choice Prize.
Sound City: Real to Reel is the official soundtrack of the documentary and was released on March 12, 2013. The songs "Cut Me Some Slack", "From Can to Can't", "You Can't Fix This" and "Mantra" were made available on Sound City's official YouTube channel on December 14, 2012, January 15, 2013, February 15, 2013 and March 8, 2013, respectively.
Krist Anthony Novoselic is an American musician and political activist, and was the bassist and founding member of the grunge band Nirvana alongside guitarist and lead singer Kurt Cobain. Nirvana achieved massive success, earning multiple gold and platinum awards and touring around the world at sold-out shows.
Foo Fighters is the eponymous debut studio album by American rock band Foo Fighters, released on July 4, 1995 by Roswell and Capitol Records. Dave Grohl wrote and recorded the entire album himself, apart from a guest guitar spot by Greg Dulli, with the assistance of producer Barrett Jones at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, Washington, in 1994. He claimed that he recorded the album just for fun, describing it as a cathartic experience to recover from the death of Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain.
The Colour and the Shape is the second studio album by American rock band Foo Fighters, released on May 20, 1997 by Roswell and Capitol Records. Produced by Gil Norton, it was the official debut of the Foo Fighters as a band, as their eponymous 1995 debut album was primarily recorded by frontman Dave Grohl and producer Barrett Jones as a demo. After the project became an international success, the group convened for pre-production on their second album in the fall of 1996, and brought in producer Norton to establish a pop sensibility for the tracks. The band strived to create a full-fledged rock record, although the music press predicted another grunge offshoot.
Georg Albert Ruthenberg, better known by the stage name Pat Smear, is an American musician and actor. He was a founding member of punk band the Germs, and was the touring guitarist for grunge band Nirvana from 1993 to 1994. After Nirvana ended, its drummer Dave Grohl went on to become the frontman of rock band Foo Fighters; Smear soon joined on guitar, and has since recorded four studio albums and a live album with the band.
Foo Fighters is an American rock band, formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1994. It was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl as a one-man project following the dissolution of Nirvana after the suicide of Kurt Cobain. 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".
Probot was a heavy metal side project of ex-Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters rhythm guitarist and lead-singer Dave Grohl. Described by Grohl as "a death metal Supernatural," the album mixes instrumentals recorded by Grohl himself with various metal singers whom the musician admired. The album was released in February 2004 by Southern Lord Records. It featured one single entitled "Centuries of Sin"/"The Emerald Law".
One by One is the fourth studio album by American rock band Foo Fighters, released on October 22, 2002 by Roswell and RCA Records. Production on the album was troubled, with initial recording sessions considered unsatisfying and raising tensions between the band members. They eventually decided to redo the album from scratch during a two-week period at frontman Dave Grohl's home studio in Alexandria, Virginia. The album, which includes the successful singles "All My Life" and "Times Like These", has been noted for its introspective lyrics and a heavier, more aggressive sound compared to the band's earlier work, which Grohl said was intended to translate the energy of the Foo Fighters' live performances into a recording.
In Your Honor is the fifth studio album by American rock band Foo Fighters, released as a double album on June 14, 2005 by Roswell and RCA Records. It consists of one disc containing heavy rock songs and a second disc with mellower acoustic songs. Frontman Dave Grohl decided to do a diverse blend of songs, as he felt that after ten years of existence, the band had to break new ground with their music. The album was recorded at a newly built studio in Northridge, Los Angeles, and features guests such as John Paul Jones, Norah Jones, and Josh Homme. Its lyrics deal with both resonating and introspective themes, with a major influence from Grohl's involvement on the campaign trail with John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election. It was the first album to feature keyboardist Rami Jaffee, although he would not join the band as full-time member until 2017.
"This Is a Call" is the first major single released by the Foo Fighters from their self-titled debut album. It was released in 1995.
"My Hero" is a song by American rock group Foo Fighters. It was released in January 1998 as the third single from their second album, The Colour and the Shape (1997). The song reached number 6 on the US Billboard Alternative Songs chart.
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace is the sixth studio album by American rock band Foo Fighters, released on September 25, 2007 by RCA Records. The album is noted for a blend of regular rock and acoustic tracks with shifting dynamics, which emerged from the variety of styles employed on the demos the band produced. It also marks the second time the band worked with producer Gil Norton, whom frontman Dave Grohl brought to fully explore the potential of his compositions and have a record that sounded different from their previous work. Grohl tried to focus on songs with messages that resonated on the audience, writing reflective lyrics which drew inspiration from the birth of his daughter.
Dave Grohl is an American singer, songwriter, and musician whose discography consists of 16 studio albums, six live albums, eight compilation albums, six EPs, and four soundtracks, and also includes his other collaborations and work as a studio musician with 26 additional artists. A large portion of his releases have come as the drummer of Nirvana (1990–1994) and as the frontman of Foo Fighters (1995–present).
Jim Scott is an American music producer and engineer, best known for his large body of work as an engineer, and his work as a producer with American rock band Wilco.
Wasting Light is the seventh studio album by American rock band Foo Fighters. It was released on April 12, 2011 on RCA Records, and is the first album to feature rhythm guitarist Pat Smear since The Colour and the Shape (1997).
The Sound City Players were a supergroup formed by ex-Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters guitarist and lead-singer Dave Grohl. They consisted in a collaboration of Grohl with Krist Novoselic ex-Nirvana, Stone Sour's and Slipknot's Corey Taylor, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age, Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick, Rick Springfield, Stevie Nicks, Alain Johannes, Paul McCartney, and many more.
"Mantra" is a song by Dave Grohl, Josh Homme, and Trent Reznor from the 2013 album Sound City: Real to Reel, the soundtrack to the 2013 documentary Sound City. Grohl was joined by different artists for different tracks as Grohl's Sound City Players. For "Mantra", the final track on the album, he was joined by Homme and Reznor. Homme also appeared on two other tracks on the album, "Centipede" and "A Trick With No Sleeve".
Sonic Highways is a 2014 American documentary miniseries directed by Dave Grohl and written by Mark Monroe. The documentary was made concurrently with Foo Fighters' eighth album, Sonic Highways, and was broadcast on HBO. Grohl described the project as "a love letter to the history of American music". Each of the eight episodes is presented as an exploration of the musical history of a different American city through a series of interviews by Grohl. The group is also shown incorporating what they learned from the interviews into the writing and recording of a new song in or near that city. The series debuted on October 17, 2014.
Roswell Records is an imprint of RCA Records, founded in 1995 by Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters. As of 2004, it is based in New York, NY. It was named after the UFO incident that occurred in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. Grohl chose the name because of his interest in UFOs, despite never having been to Roswell. The label was originally set up by Capitol Records as a holding company to retain the rights to Grohl's post-Nirvana music. Roswell's first release was the Foo Fighters' self-titled debut album in 1995. The gun on the album's cover is partly intended as a reference to the outer space theme associated with the names of both Roswell Records and the Foo Fighters. As of 2015, Grohl is president of Roswell Records, which still owns and licenses all of the Foo Fighters' music. The imprint also has a film subsidiary, Roswell Films, which distributed Grohl's 2013 documentary film Sound City.