Dave Grohl is well known for dipping his fingers in as many musical pies as he possibly can. He loves to work with his peers, and also help out new, young and independent bands. This natural lust for creativity often leaves most artists with unfinished business when it comes to creating, writing, and releasing music. Grohl, on the other hand, prefers to go all out and try to conquer all of his creative desires.
There are many iconic albums still revered to this very day by millions of fans worldwide, albums that were released decades ago yet are still held to the highest standards by fans and musicians alike. The holy grails of records. AC/DC - Back In Black, Motörhead - Ace Of Spades, Judas Priest - British Steel, Metallica - Ride The Lightning, The Cult - Electric, Led Zeppelin - IV, Guns N Roses - Appetite For Destruction, Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit, to name a few. The list could literally be pages and pages long.
These are some of the big hitters, albums that will no doubt ring in the ears of many for decades to come. Many iconic albums hold their status in underground scenes and rarely receive what you could call, commercial recognition. Converge, Thrice, Monster Magnet, Supersuckers, Zeke, Turbonegro, The Hellacopters and more have all released iconic albums, however, the chances of these names standing the test of time are slim compared to their god like counterparts mentioned above.
One such album that time seems to have forgotten is one of the most ambitious records ever attempted in recent times. Dave Grohl, not satisfied with the commercial success of his band Foo Fighters, wanted to write a metal album back in the early 00s. He knew this wouldn’t be received well by your average Foo Fighters fan, so he decided to essentially form one of the biggest supergroups of all time. Although it was a collaboration between himself and a dozen different artists, the album itself certainly felt like a supergroup that needed to happen.
In the year 2000, Dave Grohl took up residence in his home recording studio, Studio 606 to write one of the most incredible metal albums of all time. Grohl has always been open about his love for metal music. Drawing influences from some of the most iconic metal bands of all time such as Venom, Motörhead, Slayer, King Diamond, Ozzy Osbourne, Testament, Pantera, Kreator, Soulfly, and others. Grohl had a burning desire to pay homage to some of his idols and create his own take on Heavy Metal.
Grohl recalled in an interview with MTV "So I was just kinda itching to record something that I was really excited about. I love the Foo Fighters record, but there's a part of me that's always been kind of this metalhead kid”
Dave Grohl set out to record a metal album with a host of collaborations. He reached out to dozens of singers and sent them all demos of songs he wanted them to appear on, to his surprise, his idols were jumping at the chance to collaborate with him. Initially, however, he had no intentions of putting vocals over these demos. After 4 days of recording this material, he labeled it ‘Probot’ before reaching out to people to collaborate.
Between the years 2000 and 2004, Grohl gradually worked on every song with artists that would end up on the final cut of the self-titled album, and it would become one off the most unique metal albums of all time.
Featuring on the final Probot album was Cronos (Venom), Max Cavalera (Soulfly), Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead), Mike Dean (Corrosion of Conformity), Kurt Brecht (D.R.I), Lee Dorrian (Napalm Death & Cathedral), Wino (Robert Scott Weinrich of Obsessed and Saint Vitus), Tom G. Warrior (Celtic Frost), Denis ‘Snake’ Bélanger (Voivod), Eric Wagner (Trouble), King Diamond, and Jack Black.
“These were my favorite bands in the mid-80s, so the sequence of the album kind of runs like a compilation tape that I would have made as a kid...” Grohl says in an interview with Billboard.
When the album was released on Indie label ‘Southern Lord Records’ it received huge critical acclaim across the globe. The most prominent single being ‘Shake Your Blood’ featuring the one and only Lemmy Kilmister. The album also peaked at 68 in the US charts, 34 in the UK charts, and number 12 in the Black Metal homeland of Norway.
With the incredible success of the Probot album, and the sheer magnitude of iconic musicians that took part in the project, you’d think this would still be a well-known record, however, it seems to have fallen off the radar.
What a shame it would be if one of the most iconic Heavy Metal albums of all time were to go unnoticed by future generations of metalheads to come. Maybe people thought it was a novelty, a gimmick, just a side project. But it was so much more than that. Probot was and still is, a reminder of how incredible musicians can create incredible music.
Shake Your Blood Probot, Shake Your Blood...