Wasting Light

2011 album by Foo Fighters

Wasting Light is the seventh studio album by American rock band Foo Fighters. It was released on April 12, 2011 on Roswell and RCA Records. It was the first Foo Fighters album with guitarist Pat Smear playing on it since The Colour and the Shape (1997) as a member. He did play on Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007) as a guest.[5]

Wasting Light
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 12, 2011
RecordedSeptember 6 – December 21, 2010
StudioDave Grohl's residence, Encino, California, U.S.
ProducerButch Vig
Foo Fighters chronology
Greatest Hits
Wasting Light
Medium Rare
Singles from Wasting Light
  1. "Rope"
    Released: March 1, 2011
  2. "White Limo"
    Released: March 28, 2011[4]
  3. "Walk"
    Released: June 17, 2011
  4. "Arlandria"
    Released: September 18, 2011
  5. "These Days"
    Released: November 1, 2011
  6. "Bridge Burning"
    Released: June 5, 2012

When making the album, the band did not want to use digital recording as they wanted to sound how they did in their first albums.[6] The album was made in the garage of Dave Grohl, the lead singer and guitarist of the band. The house was in Encino, California. The album was made on only analog equipment.[7][8] It was produced by Butch Vig. Vig had worked with Grohl in 1991 and 1992 to produce Nirvana's album Nevermind.[9] The band spent three weeks making sure they could play the songs well before recording, as no mistakes can be fixed after recording on analog equipment.[10] There were also guests who played on the album, such as Bob Mould, Krist Novoselic, Jessy Greene, Rami Jaffee and Fee Waybill.[5]

Six singles were released from the album. The most successful was Rope, which went straight to number one on Billboard's Rock Songs chart. It was only the second ever single to go straight to number one on this chart.[11] Wasting Light went straight to number one on the albums charts of twelve countries.[12] Critics said mainly good things about the album, mainly about the production and songwriting.[13] In 2012, Wasting Light won four Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album.[14]



After the Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace concert tour ended in 2008, the Foo Fighters went to Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California to record 14 songs. They wanted to release these quickly, without advertising or promoting them. They then changed their mind and took a break instead. Three of these songs were released: "Wheels", "Word Forward", and "Rope". The first two were released as part of the Greatest Hits album and "Rope" was released on Wasting Light. "Wheels" and "Word Forward" were produced by Butch Vig, which is what made Dave Grohl decide to work with him to make a new album. Grohl had worked with Vig when he was in Nirvana to make the album Nevermind.[9][15]

Dave Grohl had the idea of making a new album in 2010, while he was touring in Australia with Them Crooked Vultures. He wanted to make a documentary of making the album. He also didn't want to make it in an expensive studio with new equipment, but instead wanted to use the same equipment used in the 1990s.[16] He later also said he didn't want it to be the best album they had made, but he wanted it to be the one people would know them for best. He said it would be a lot like Back in Black for Amy Winehouse or The Black Album for Metallica.[9] The album was also the first to have guitarist Pat Smear. Smear had left the band after the album The Colour and the Shape in 1997.[5]

Wasting Light was recorded in Dave Grohl's garage at his home in Encino, California. The Foo Fighters' other albums were recorded Studio 606, which was built by the band.[7] Grohl said that he "wanted to make records the way we used to fucking make records", instead of making them in a new studio with new equipment.[5][17]

The album was made using only analog equipment. Digital equipment was only used after the album was made.[8] Grohl did this as he thought digital recording was "getting out of control". He also said that when he heard new music, all he could hear was drum machines. He didn't like the idea of not using real musical instruments.[5]

When producer Butch Vig heard that the band wanted to use analog equipment, he thought they were joking.[18] Vig then said that the band would have to play very well. This is because mistakes on analog tape cannot be fixed.[5] The band then practiced for three weeks in Studio 606 and chose the songs to use on the album. They started with 40 songs that they had and chose fourteen.[10]



Grohl's garage had microphones and sound baffles on the garage door and behind the drums. There was also a carpet under the drums. This stopped sound from leaking outside of the garage. The small room next to the study was used as a room to record vocals. A tent was set up in the back yard for the control room. There were two cameras set up in the garage that linked to a television in the tent so that the band could talk to the producer in the tent.[19] The same equipment that was used to make There Is Nothing Left to Lose and One by One in Grohl's house in Alexandria, Virginia were used to make Wasting Light.[20]

Track listing


All songs written and composed by Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear

No. Title Length
1. "Bridge Burning"   4:46
2. "Rope"   4:19
3. "Dear Rosemary"   4:26
4. "White Limo"   3:22
5. "Arlandria"   4:28
6. "These Days"   4:58
7. "Back & Forth"   3:52
8. "A Matter of Time"   4:36
9. "Miss the Misery"   4:33
10. "I Should Have Known"   4:15
11. "Walk"   4:16
Total length:




  1. "ALBUM REVIEW: "Wasting Light" by Foo Fighters". The Owl Mag. 5 April 2011. Archived from the original on 27 May 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  2. "Foo Fighters Go Garage Band on 'Wasting Light' // The Observer". The Observer. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  3. "Review: 'Wasting Light' by Foo Fighters". Pop-Break. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  4. "White Limo - Single by Foo Fighters - Single on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Moll, James (director) (2011). Back and Forth (documentary). RCA.
  6. Turner, Gustavo (2011-04-11). "EXCLUSIVE Interview: Dave Grohl on Cutting the New Foo Fighters Album's Master Tape to Pieces--and Giving Them Away to the Fans". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on 2011-08-20. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Halperin, Shirley (2010-03-08). "Foo Fighters Team With Butch Vig for "Heaviest Album Yet"Yet"". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2014-12-23. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Montgomery, James (2011-01-27). "Exclusive: Butch Vig Talks 'Primal, Raw' Foo Fighters Album". MTV. Archived from the original on 2012-06-03. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Brannigan, Paul (December 2010). "Kerrang's 50 albums you need to hear in 2011 - Foo Fighters (Interview)". Kerrang!.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Moll, James (director) (2011). Pre-Production These Days (documentary, deleted scene). Back and Forth DVD: RCA.
  11. Trust, Gary. "Foo Fighters' 'Rope' Hangs a No. 1 Debut on Rock Songs". Billboard. Feb 28, 2011.
  12. "FOO FIGHTERS: WASTING LIGHT DEBUTS AT #1 IN TWELVE COUNTRIES". RCA Records. 2011-04-20. Archived from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  13. "Reviews for Wasting Light by Foo Fighters". Metacritic. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  14. "Grammy Winners List 2012". MTV. 2012-02-12. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
  15. "I have all these huge fucking riffs, I can scream for three hours... LET'S GO!", Classic Rock, May 2011
  17. Peters, Mitchell (2011-03-25). "Foo Fighters: The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  18. "The Garbage super-producer on recording the Foo Fighters' new album Wasting Light" Rhythm - June 2011
  19. Doyle, Tom (June 2011). "Foo Fighters: Recording Wasting Light". Sound on Sound. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  20. di Perna, Alan (May 2011). "Hey. What's That Buzz?". Guitar World.
  21. "Foo Fighters "Wasting Light" @ CDJapan". CDJapan.co.jp. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  22. "Foo Fighters "Wasting Light (Deluxe Version)" @ iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 2012-03-13.