The Pretender (4:28)

Cover of Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

From Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace and 19 other releases

The Pretender” is the first single from the Foo Fighters’ 2007 album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.

In a 2007 interview with XFM, frontman Dave Grohl stopped short of explaining the meaning behind “The Pretender,” but alluded its roots go to current political unrest. Grohl noted:

That’s the thing with lyrics, you never want to give away specifics, because it’s nice for people to have their own idea or interpretation of the song. But, you know, everyone’s been fucked over before and I think a lot of people feel fucked over right now and they’re not getting what they were promised, and so something to do with that.

Grohl also told XFM “The Pretender” wasn’t initially planned for the album and happened really quickly.

That song didn’t happen until later on in the session. We didn’t go into making the record with that song and it happened after we recorded a lot of stuff. Up until that point, I didn’t know if we had a good opening song or not. So after we recorded it, I thought, ‘oh this is perfect, we have the song to open the record,’ and it just became everybody’s favorite song. … It’s the type of song that I look forward to opening shows with and it came together really easily. We put that song together in, I don’t know, a day, whereas a lot of the other songs we worked on for weeks.”

The video was directed by Sam Brown. It is presented in letterbox format and heavily employs pans, zooms, and tracking shots. It consists of the band performing the song in an airplane hangar with many strip lights on the ceiling. Behind the band is a large red screen, which is thick and solid. The band is then faced by what appears to be a riot police officer, who stands behind a black line on the floor, around 30 feet or so from the band.


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