Dave’s attention to detail distinguish him from the pool of singers and performers in his niche. A strong work ethic and standards that separate the complacent from the dedicated. One can find him ‘clownish’ with childlike glee at almost anything random and be the serious type in the band almost spontaneously.
He can get kind of anal about the particulars but when the curtain falls - time to hit the stage - one deep breath and he comes on like a storm. He can f*** around with the best of the best but when it comes to shows and performances, he takes what he does very seriously. Replace Dave with Nick and the results would be astoundingly similar.
Meet Fooz Fighters.
The band was formed in San Diego, CA in 2014. 2020 will the band’s 5th Anniversary which also happens to be the 25th Anniversary of the Foo Fighters.
The idea to launch a Foo Fighters tribute band began when guitarist and founder Brent Wright left a mildly successful Stone Temple Pilots tribute band he helped form in 2012.
That experience taught Brent that picking the right band to tribute and finding musicians disciplined to learn the music note for note were keys to being a successful tribute band. It also helps if [you] look a little bit like the original band.
Fooz Fighters came together after Brent was introduced to Nicky Rich, a seasoned San Diego musician, who had spent that last 20 years in both original bands and tribute projects including diverse acts like Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra. Brent was immediately impressed with Nicky’s vocal skills but he needed work on his Dave Grohl look and mannerisms. Over the next 2 years, Nicky immersed himself in the project working on his look and vocal skills where today Nicky and the Fooz Fighters are widely recognized as one of the top Foo Fighters tribute bands in the world playing to packed crowds at venues across the U.S. and abroad.
Brent who plays the role of Chris Shiflett and Nicky are the only remaining original members. Rounding out the band are Alan Troian as Taylor Hawkins, Sean Casillas as Nate Mendel and Alan Sosa as Pat Smear.
above: with the hawkins sister. below right: Chris Shiftlett with Brent.
Countless memories top their list. Playing in their hometown with huge following, regularly selling out the House of Blues and Belly Up Tavern. Headlining the 2018 Hangar 24 Air Show held on the runway of Redlands Municipal Airport in front of 15,000 people. Sold-out shows at the annual Grunge Festival held in Pheonix in 2018 and the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in 2019.
Fooz Fighters have met Chris Shiflett on several occasions and even signed Brent’s Chris Shiflett signature model guitar and told him how to modify the guitar to get the Foo Fighters tones. “We’ve also met Taylor Hawkins’s sister who has been to several of our shows and gave us some autographed drumsticks from her brother.”
When asked what they would likely be if not music Nicky Rich and Sean Casillas said they would probably be actors; Brent Wright a ski racer or professional golfer; Alan Sosa a professional chef and Alan Troian a Math teacher.
learn to fly!
Playing with members of the Foo Fighters is not far fetched. “We are hoping one day to be playing a show in LA near Dave’s home and he just happens to be there and gets up with us for a few tunes,” said Brent.
Knowing when to say no to a show has been integral.
“We’ve all had those shows that we took and then wondered why we took them because either the venues were a dive or the sound system sucked,” he recalled.
Fooz has been extremely mindful since of the other bands they headline with as they “owe it to the fans to put together bands compatible with the Foo Fighters music.” “We’ve become very selective about taking only high-quality shows.” But every once in a while, taking on a local show in San Diego just to “play in front of friends and families” is always worth the while.
Anything off of ‘Wasted Light’ (‘Bridge Burning’ and ‘Let it Die’) are favorites to perform. Nick believes it’s a strong record from start to finish. “The sound is distinct because it was recorded on tape at Dave’s home studio.”
The band knew they have been recognized when requested by Foo Fighters to play at their annual fundraiser in LA in support of their number #1 charity Love Hope Strength Foundation.
It takes commitment to be at the pinnacle of a high-octane industry niche - tribute bands to be precise - that demands a cutting-edge arsenal of talent and skills. A journey as such is a slippery slope to climb with the challenge of sustaining enthusiasm while undergoing scrutiny to live and breathe as close to the original as possible. Grueling and demanding albeit worthwhile if the passion, among other traits, remains intact.
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