Foo Fighters toured in support of their sixth studio album, ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace’, throughout a large part of 2007 and most of 2008. As had become common ever since their very first tours in 1995 the band would not rest on their laurels, writing and honing new songs and ideas during soundcheck for the shows. The tour finally came to an end in September 2008 and with all the ongoing work the band found themselves in an unusual position, coming to the end of a traditional ‘album cycle’ with an entirely new collection of songs practically ready to go.
They needed to decide on their next move and with another 18 months of touring discounted, Dave Grohl first conceived a rather unconventional plan – record another album full of new material but do nothing for it – no real promotion, not go on tour to support it. Just release music, and then disappear. “I thought it'd nice just to silently put it out,” he said of the idea, but it wasn’t long before he changed his mind. “It didn't really feel like it was ready, and we wouldn't be able to just sit around at home if we had a new album out, and ultimately we just want to go out and play, so rather than jump back in to another cycle of things, it felt like a good idea to stop.”
That left two options for the band and their stockpile of new songs. “Okay, we can do one of two things,” thought Grohl. “We can not touch these songs until we're ready to make another record, or we can record them right now and forget about them.” The band decided on the latter, heading to Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.
The band recorded fourteen songs and true to their word, simply tucked them away for future use. Three of those songs known to have been recorded were ‘Word Forward’, ‘Wheels’ and ‘Rope’, all of which would indeed be re-recorded and released in later years.