Foo Fighters are American rock royalty, one of the only legit, straight-up-and-down rock bands we have left. So naturally, on their upcoming sixth album, they’re going to take things in a more eclectic direction.

“It’s always been my dream to mix Steely Dan with No Means No,” Dave Grohl told Billboard regarding the tentatively titled Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace. “If anybody is going to do it, I’d love to be that guy.”

He says there’s plenty of “four-piece rock sh*t,” but then adds that several songs have noisy orchestral swells and odd time-signature changes. Grohl hopes most of the material will have festival crowds mixing it up and going crazy like always (as with the hilariously titled “Cheer Up, Boys, Your Makeup is Running”).

But then there’s “The Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners.” A while back, two Tasmanian men were trapped underground for two weeks. Among their requests was an iPod with Foo Fighters songs on it to lift their spirits.

Someone at the Australian division of Grohl’s record label told him about the men, and Grohl sent along a personal note promising cold beers and two tickets wherever they wanted to see the band. “I was in tears, man,” says Grohl. One of the men later came and saw the Foos in Sydney.

“I thought I'd write something for him ... I came up with this little instrumental thing. After the show, we went and got f*ckin' wasted in the hotel bar and I was like, 'Dude, I promise I'm going to put this on the record.'" The song features guest guitarist Kaki King and delicate tandem finger-picking.

The band has some one-off gigs scheduled throughout the summer. The album is set for release Sept. 25 in the U.S., and they will play some American gigs through September and October before heading to the U.K. and Australia to finish out the year.

All right Foo Fighters, '90 were an earnest time: Rock bands didn't have to wear eyeliner and costumes, talk about how everything sucks or flaunt a disco beat to get noticed. People weren't so disaffected: Rocking hard was plenty.

Seems like ages ago, I know. I'd say welcome back, but the Foos never went anywhere. Does that means we should simply say hello?

Well then, hello again, old friends.

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