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July 15, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Dave Grohl brings rock ’n’ roll touch to TV

Dave Grohl speaks onstage during the "Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways" segment of the BBC America 2014 Summer TCA on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Dave Grohl speaks onstage during the “Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways” segment of the BBC America 2014 Summer TCA on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

By BETH HARRIS

The Associated Press

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl brought a rock ’n’ roll sensibility to the usually button-down atmosphere of the summer TV critics’ tour.

His enthusiasm for his new HBO project, “Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways,” was evident with F-bombs sprinkled throughout his description of the eight-part documentary series.

Later, Grohl’s cellphone rang (“Sorry, I’m new to this,” he said, fumbling to fish the phone out of his jeans pocket) and then the mic clipped on his rumpled black jacket fell off in his lap.

Not quite the typical presentation from the carefully spoken and groomed TV directors, producers, writers and actors who come to the well-heeled Beverly Hilton to talk up their latest projects.

Grohl admitted his love of playing music anytime, anywhere led him to a sit-in with a cover band at a dive bar near his house in suburban Encino a night earlier, “just because I didn’t want to go to bed at 10 o’clock.”

The singer’s new series debuting in October is tied into the Foo Fighters’ untitled album set for release in November. Grohl and bandmates Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear visit studios in eight cities, recording one song in each location for the album. Along the way, Grohl interviews musicians tied to a particular city, including Buddy Guy, Dolly Parton, Chuck D, Gibby Haynes, Allen Toussaint and Gary Clark Jr.

“These recording studios are hallowed ground; they’re churches and monuments to me,” Grohl said. “History has been made in (dives) all over the country.”

The episodes are set in Seattle, Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York and Washington, D.C. Grohl chose the locales for their connections to the band. Local legends sit in with the band on the eight songs.

Grohl waited to write the lyrics until the last day of each session, hoping to be inspired by the experiences and interviews he’d done.

“We could just go make another record in the studio, hit the road and sell a bunch of T-shirts,” he said. “It’s all about reinventing the process.”

Grohl directs each episode, like he did with last year’s Grammy-winning documentary film “Sound City,” about a studio in suburban Los Angeles where he did his first major recording session as drummer for Nirvana.

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