Dave Grohl discussed what motivated the Seattle and New Orleans music scenes in a new FastCoCreate article.
“The tempo of the city, the weather, the historic roots in each city… all of these things have an influence on what you do,” Grohl says. “If you go into the fanciest studio in the world to make a record, you’re probably going to make a fancy record. If you make a record in a 200-year-old room in the French Quarter of New Orleans, it’s going to sound different. There are so many different factors that go into influencing how a song sounds. It’s maybe hard for people to understand nowadays because you can pick up the computer and scroll down from a menu of different sounds and put together something that really doesn’t have anything to do with your surroundings.”
Beyond the vibe, he says that physical attributes have a distinct affect on the sound of music. Like humidity, for instance. “The humidity in New Orleans affects the instruments. Even the humidity in the air will affect the sound of a piano because the wood stretches and the strings stretch. It affects the sound of the horns,” he says. “Or rain. Rain is a great motivation. It draws people inwards and makes them go inside. One of the reasons there was such a vital community in Seattle because everyone couldn’t be fucking bothered to go outside.”