Dave Grohl presents “PLAY”

By on August 8, 2018
Andrew Stuart

“PLAY” is a two-page mini documentary that includes a 23-minute original composition written by Dave Grohl in which he plays all seven instruments. The documentary and the song will be released August 10th.

“To see my children start playing music and learning to sing or play drums takes me back to time when I was in their age and played albums at home where I learned by listening. And when I today take my kids to their music classes, I see all these rooms full of young people who really push themselves to figure out how it works. Even now, 49 years old, I try to figure out how everything works, it’s something that’s never completely mastered. You always chase the next challenge and you are always trying to improve what you have already learned”, says Dave Grohl

“PLAY” is a two-piece mini documentary directed by Grohl himself along with Mark Monroe, who previously collaborated on Sound City / Sonic Highways, and praises the rewards and challenges of dedicating his life to playing and mastering an instrument. The first part opens with scenes behind the scenes, discussions about the love of playing music and the lifelong relationship with an instrument, as well as a review of the process of recording and filming this unique appearance.

Part two then goes to “PLAY”, a 23 minute long instrumental song where Grohl plays all seven instruments live. The whole song was recorded by Grohl himself where he started recording the drums completely from memory without sheet music or any other kind of support, followed by guitar, bass, keyboard and so on. Grohl gave himself the task of making a one-man recording session where he had to start all over again if he did the slightest mistake or if he felt he could do better.

Filmed in black and white by Brandon Trost (The Disaster Artist, This Is The End) with light that match the dramatic peaks and valleys of this epic instrumental song, then clipped “PLAY” together to show seven versions of Dave Grohl playing together. Online there will be an interactive experience that offers the viewer to see the entire documentary in its original form or to focus on a specific instrument and to download the notes. The website will also include a list of organizations where time, money and instruments can be donated, and premises where musicians, young and old, have the opportunity to play live.

The challenges Grohl set for himself when he created “PLAY” mirrors those music students get used to everyday. The obstacles they encounter daily in their efforts to improve their musical abilities are not different to those of world-class arena rockers – both strive for the same goal. This joint goal gave “PLAY” its mission to inspire and promote music education. In the film, young musicians are participating in the “Join The Band” music school in San Fernando Valley, USA where they practice their instruments and work rigorously to make it right, while always coming back to the conclusion that, with Grohl’s own words, “like any child, the reward is just to play.”

Helena Olofsson, Movie & Game