On November 13th 2001 Taylor Hawkins posted a message on the official postboard first of all to confirm he was back in good health after his drug overdose three months earlier and also to report that the band were back in Grohl's basement studio in Alexandria, Virginia, and had begun recording material for their fourth studio album. One track he mentioned they had started recording was 'All My Life', the track he and Grohl had first demoed together in April. In the message Hawkins described the track as his "personal favorite ever".
Two days later Dave Grohl also posted a message on the postboard confirming they were indeed in the studio. He reported that the equipment had been upgraded since they last recorded there with some new amps including a vintage Marshall and a HIWATT cabinet from the 70s that used to belong to Rick Neilson of Cheap Trick. Recording was still done on a Studer 827 24 Track 2" tape machine.
In this message from Grohl he also mentioned that the band had 29 new songs to work on and revealed 'Halo', 'Gun Beside My Bed', 'New Wave', 'Bottomed Out' and 'The One' were titles of the tracks they had "gotten into" by that point. 'The One' was pretty much completed by November 15th as he mentioned that it would be hitting radio shortly and they were also possibly going to make a video for the song soon.
'The One' was indeed released to radio shortly after and was also used in the movie 'Orange County', as well as appearing on the CD soundtrack, released in early 2002. The track was the first Foo Fighters song released to feature explicit lyrics with Grohl singing in the chorus "You're not the one but you're the only one to make me feel like this" and then repeating the same line but changing the final word to 'shit'.
When the song was broadcast on radio or the music video was shown the first 'clean' line would repeated or the expletive covered. When released as a single in Australia in March 2001 the front artwork had a PG warning sticker on the cover.
On November 16th Grohl made another online post, this time revealing that they had another song recorded with a title of 'Asshole' although he joked it would probably have to change to something more radio friendly. He also revealed that Adam Kasper was again producing the record, noting that he was "making the drums sound so fucking great". The person in charge of pressing the record button and engineering was not Kasper however, it was Nick Raskulinecz.
Raskulinecz was a former Sound City Studios engineer and had first met Dave and the rest of the band whilst they were at the studio in 1998, recording 'A320' for the Godzilla Movie. He and Grohl became friends at the time but didn't see each other again until by sheer luck, Grohl bumping into him in an LA parking lot. "He told me the Foo Fighters were getting ready to go back to Virginia to make a new record and asked me if I was interested in going back with him and engineering the record at his house" Raskulinecz recalled, "And I was totally down for it".
November 18th saw another message from Grohl in which he continued to reveal information about the recording process, this time reporting that the song 'Knucklehead' was now complete. He also mentioned that the band were heading over to New York to film a music video for 'The One' and so a would be taking a short break from recording.
After shooting the video they returned home and picked up where they left of recording on November 23rd, by which time Dave reported that they were "a third of the way done with the drum tracks" and that "everything is coming along very well".
In yet another update on November 26th the number of songs the band were working on was reported to be up to 32 with Grohl stating that "It almost seems like the list of songs is getting longer. I keep remembering stuff that I wrote while we were out on tour for the last few years. Stuff that I never bothered to put on tape. Usually, if I think I'm onto something good, the least I'll do is call my voicemail and leave ideas there, but so many of them slip through the cracks".
He added that he "really want[ed] to give every one of them a chance but I'm afraid if I do we'll be stuck in the basement for the next year and a half". He also commented on the recording process saying that drums were recorded every day with "a song in the can by the end of every night". "We've got a good rhythm going at the moment, if we keep it up we might have an album by spring" he added.
The very next day Grohl posted further updates indicating that they were "getting ready to put some scratch guitars on a few completed drum tracks" and that another new song was in the works titled 'Attica!', Grohl adding that it was "maybe [his] fave by far".
November 29th saw yet another update with Grohl posting a list of things on his mind, one of which was "[a] new song tentatively titled 'Get Up, I Want To Get Down", describing it as "A monster". A couple of days later Hawkins also posted a message about the song expanding on Grohl's description - "The most kick ass, motherfucking, ass licking, dick smoking song of all time" was his not so sincere description.
In the end this track (or at least the title) was not used for the album or released in any other way. However the title was used by Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders, a track on their 2006 debut album using that title. It is however a different song according to Hawkins, revealing in an interview that he just remembered the title and 'borrowed' it.
By December 2nd the band were winding down with the drums and only had three songs left according to another Grohl post. He mentioned that the song recorded the day previous was a 'rocker'. "Imagine the B 52's playing a Sabbath song.......or vice versa.....or something like that.........". By the 5th they were officially done with the drums.
The next online update came on December 16th, Grohl mainly talking about recording 'Shake Your Blood' with Motorhead front man Lemmy for his Probot side project. He did also however add that Foo Fighters were back in the basement recording guitar tracks. "Back to the basement for guitars. We have entered uncharted territory here....finding new ways to make a guitar sound like an angry old power tool, which is exactly how it SHOULD sound." he explained. "Adam has cracked the code. Nick is mixing up some serious shit over on his side of the laboratory. It's getting weird. It's getting noisy. And it's getting done a lot faster than we expected. That's a good thing. Last record we just set up a mike and hit record. This time we set up a mike, make the amp scream like a wild banshee, and run for cover. OK....that's a little silly, but holy shit are we ruling downstairs. We'll have all the rhythm guitars done by the middle of next week" he added.
The band halted recordings over the holiday period and then another update was posted on January 15th. "We've finished 6 songs, and are going out to LA to do the rest. Need a change of scenery. The basement was getting smaller and smaller. It's no fun feeling like a rat in the sewer, never seeing the light of day, only coming out at night to hit up the 7-11 for slurpees and microwaveable pork cracklin's. I think it'll be nice to sleep somewhere that's more than 20 feet from the mixing board. We have about 3 weeks left, and then we're done. DONE. Everything has turned out killer so far."
From this first session only the previously mentioned release of 'The One' made it out the door. They took the rest of the unfinished recording and headed off to Conway Recording Studios In Los Angeles with the aim of completing the record.