WHAT DRIVES US follows young bands RadKey and Starcrawler who are taking on the world one town at a time, while also telling stories of the biggest artists in the music industry, recalling the romance and adventure, as well as the insanity and chaos, of their own time on the road. The film explores what it takes to turn a van into a home, and how the tricks of this trade have been handed down through the decades. There was a time before the digital age when players had to take the music to the people one show, one overnight drive, one dilapidated little club at a time. While the world has changed, the rite of passage has not. There is no other first step on the path to making it in music. You have to get in the van.
WHAT DRIVES US features interviews with an array of iconic figures spanning eras and genres, including: Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Rami Jaffee, Pat Smear, Ringo Starr, Flea, Brian Johnson, St. Vincent, Slash, Duff McKagan, Ben Harper, The Edge, Mike Watt, Ian Mackaye, Starcrawler, RadKey, Exene Cervenka, Tony Kanal, DH Peligro, Charlie Gabriel, Jennifer Finch, Dave Lombardo, Kira Roessler, Pete Stahl, Lars Ulrich and Steven Tyler.
A Roswell Films / Therapy Studios production, WHAT DRIVES US was directed by Dave Grohl, produced by John Ramsay, James A Rota, Mark Monroe and Foo Fighters, and edited by Dean Gonzalez. Jessica Young was the director of photography and Brandon Kim was the sound designer and mixer.
Dave Grohl has been one of the most beloved and respected figures on the international music scene since his recorded debut with Nirvana on 1991’s generation-defining NEVERMIND. Grohl took centre stage with Foo Fighters’ 1995 self-titled debut, the first album in a massive 12-Grammy-winning catalogue, including the band’s most recent release MEDICINE AT MIDNIGHT (2021). Grohl has a well-earned reputation as a prolific collaborator through his work with Paul McCartney, Them Crooked Vultures, Queens of the Stone Age, late legends David Bowie and Lemmy Kilmister, as well as Mick Jagger, Neil Young, Elton John, Nine Inch Nails , Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen, to name a few.
In 2013, Grohl made his debut as a feature director/producer with the acclaimed documentary SOUND CITY about the Van Nuys CA studio where Nirvana recorded NEVERMIND in 1991, which would sell more than 30 million copies and transform the modern musical landscape. Premiering to unanimous raves at Sundance and achieving a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, SOUND CITY focused both on the history of the legendary studio and on the ongoing fight to preserve the human element of music. Grohl also directed the eight-part HBO docuseries FOO FIGHTERS: SONIC HIGHWAYS , which premiered in October 2014 and went on to win two of the four Emmys for which it was nominated (outstanding sound mixing for nonfiction programming and outstanding sound editing for nonfiction programming).