Dave Grohl and Butch Vig
The Grammys shed 31 categories in April, but the Foo Fighters' Grohl has a suggestion for one they should add: "Best garage record. Wouldn't that be f--ing rad?" says the 43-year-old frontman. "Or best old-school album," offers producer of the year nominee Vig, 56. They're not entirely kidding, though it's doubtful they'd have much competition. That's because Wasting Light, the Foos' seventh album, was an all-analog production created by meticulously stitching together pieces of 2-inch tape, as was the usual practice until the mid-'90s, when digital recording became commonplace. "You have to be a little insane to make a record this way," says Vig, who also produced Nirvana's seminal 1991 album Nevermind. "And I've got all these young bands asking, 'Will you do records in analog now?' My answer is, 'Not unless you can play as good as the Foo Fighters!' " Weeks of preproduction and rehearsals in a top-of-the-line studio preceded four months spent in Grohl's garage in the San Fernando Valley, which offered the best of two worlds, allowing him to spend time with his wife and two daughters and make the band's most challenging -- and likely most gratifying -- album, the first to get a Grammy nom for album of the year (the Foos have six noms this year). Says Grohl: "To me, it's the greatest honor. It blew me away." Still, he adds a dose of modesty: "It's not rocket science. If you're semi-decent at an instrument and grew up with Beatles albums, make a f--ing record in your garage. You might get a Grammy nomination. It's not an impossibility."
Photographed by Dan Monick on Jan. 31 at the Foo Fighters' recording studio in Northridge, Calif.