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Music

The two Foo Fighters songs that share a connection

@TylerGolsen

The Foo Fighters don’t exactly write songs in a shared universe. There are no concept albums, repeated settings, or major connections that link, say, ‘Everlong’ with ‘Walk’ or ‘For All the Cows’ with ‘Congregation’. Dave Grohl might have similar themes that he returns to, but each song in the Foo Fighters discography is home to its own story.

In two specific cases, however, Grohl couldn’t resist giving a shout-out to his hometown. That would be Arlandria, the community that Grohl was raised in just outside of Washington, D.C. in the city of Alexandria, Virginia. Grohl spent almost his entire youth in Virginia, getting his start with local D.C. punk legends Scream before eventually departing to Seattle, Washington once he joined Nirvana.

Around the late 1990s, Grohl was feeling nostalgic for his hometown. Having spent the previous decade in both Seattle and Los Angeles, Grohl wanted to get away from the pressures of the music industry and the posturing of L.A. Grohl decided to buy a house just a few miles away from his hometown, set up a recording studio in the basement, and began tracking songs for the Foo’s third studio album There Is Nothing Left to Lose.

The album had its nostalgic nods, specifically to the Seattle area that he lived in during his earliest days of Nirvana on ‘Aurora’, but another song gave a shoutout to Grohl’s former neighbourhood. That would be ‘Headwires’, which concludes with Grohl gently intoning that “the sun is on Arlandria”. A loving acknowledgement of the optimistic days of his youth, ‘Headwires’ wouldn’t be the last time that Grohl paid tribute to Virginia.

It would take over a decade, but Grohl would return to the DMV with ‘Arlandria’, the hard-rocking album cut from 2011’s Wasting Light. However, ‘Arlandria’ appears to be a bit of a kickback at the place that Grohl once called home, with Grohl screaming out a chorus of “You are not me, Arlandria”.

The song focuses on putting away the past and moving forward, with ‘Arlandria’ acting as the metaphorical albatross that hangs over Grohl’s neck. Grohl does sing “My sweet Virginia, I’m the same as I was in your heart,” but that seems more likely to be a reference to his mother, Virginia Grohl, rather than and ode to his home state. Even though ‘Arlandria’ is seemingly a kickback at his past, Grohl has never shied away from paying tribute to his old home.

Check out ‘Headwires’ and ‘Arlandria’ down below.