Seattle may have gone 0-2 in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 2020 class, but at least we’ll get another crack at it this year.
Foo Fighters are among the 16 artists nominated for the Rock Hall’s class of 2021, one of the industry’s top honors. The Cleveland music shrine announced Wednesday that the Seattle-born rock titans are nominated alongside Tina Turner, hip-hop heroes Jay-Z and LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, the Go-Gos, Kate Bush, Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, Carole King, Dionne Warwick and Devo.
Fellow ’90s rockers Rage Against the Machine also made the cut, as did metal gods Iron Maiden and glam rockers the New York Dolls — two acts rock-lovers have long clamored for. Todd Rundgren and Chaka Khan — who was previously nominated as Rufus featuring Chaka Khan — get another chance after unsuccessful noms last year.
For the Foos, the nomination comes in the band’s first year of eligibility, now more than 25 years removed from the release of its 1995 debut. Of course, Foo founder Dave Grohl and guitarist Pat Smear already have Hall of Fame jackets (are there jackets?) as members of 2014 inductees Nirvana.
After Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, Foo Fighters rose from Nirvana’s ashes after Grohl made the cathartic recordings at Seattle’s Robert Lang Studios that became the Foos’ self-titled debut. While Grohl handled nearly all of the album’s instrumentation, he soon recruited Smear and the rhythm section from Seattle’s Sunny Day Real Estate — proto-emo faves who released three albums with Sub Pop during its acclaimed ’90s run — to round out the lineup. Notably, Foo Fighters’ original drummer William Goldsmith (of Sunny Day Real Estate) is not included in the nomination. Goldsmith left the band on bad terms after Grohl rerecorded his parts on the Foos’ sophomore album “The Colour and the Shape.”
Despite bearing many of the same punk influences as Nirvana, Grohl’s more overt radio friendliness marked a subtle departure from the grunge era’s darker hues. In the years since, Grohl’s anthemic melodies have helped make Foo Fighters rock’s most reliable hitmakers, even as the genre’s prevalence in music’s mainstream waned.
The Rock Hall’s class of 2021 will be unveiled in May, with an induction ceremony slated for fall. An online fan vote, which counts as one of roughly 1,000 ballots, is open through the end of April.
News of the Foos’ Rock Hall nom arrives just days after its 10th studio album, “Medicine at Midnight,” was released to mixed reviews. While there’s plenty of power rock to satiate stadium-filling fist-pumpers (whenever such things return), the new record finds the band exploring dancier grooves with a classic rock sensibility.
Last month, Grohl and the gang performed their 2003 hit “Times Like These” as part of a star-studded virtual concert commemorating President Joe Biden’s inauguration (peep the video below). The band — including Foo Fighters’ remaining Washingtonian, bassist Nate Mendel, formerly of Sunny Day Real Estate — was introduced by Lake Stevens teacher Mackenzie Adams, whose energetic math lessons exploded on TikTok last fall.
The last time we had a confirmed Grohl sighting in Seattle, the Foo frontman acoustically rocked Pike Place Market with Brandi Carlile and the Hanseroth twins — an impromptu rehearsal for which nearly got the twins booted from a nearby hotel.