Following the successful demoing of new songs by Grohl and Hawkins the pair returned to Grohl's home studio in Virginia and over a period of just twelve days re-recorded those two songs in full as well as most of the songs from the aborted earlier sessions. "Taylor and I went back to Virginia, and we recorded the basic tracks for everything in like 12 days. All the vocals, all the guitars, and all the drums" Grohl explained. Nate Mendel and Chris Shiflett were not present during the session nor were they even aware of it taking place.
For this session Nick Raskulinecz was promoted to the role of producer following a phone call from Grohl a few weeks earlier, asking for his real opinion on their work in the previous two session. "Dave called me up point blank one day and asked if I thought the record was as good as it could be and I said, 'No, I thought it could be better …'" Raskulinecz recalled. Grohl then asked if he believed he could produce a new version. Raskulinecz agreed and recalled that they "went back to Virginia and tracked the whole album in two weeks."
With this new record partially finished Grohl then had to contact Mendel and Shiflett to explain what was going on. "I Called up Nate and Chris and said, 'hey, I think we just re-recorded the whole record here.' And they were, like, 'what?' 'Yeah, we did three songs yesterday, we're doing two today, we're doing three songs tomorrow.'" Grohl recalled of the call he made part way through the re-recording. "It just came together--there was no time to fuck around, there was no time to overanalyze, it was just all about making music because we were excited to do it and the energy was really there".
Grohl wanted the pair to add their parts to the record but there was a slight problem, as explained by Grohl. "But then I had to go back out with Queens of the Stone Age, and Chris and Nate were left to do all of their recording on their own. So they were basically left to play the parts that they wanted to play." Mendel and Shiflett, along with producer Raskulinecz, went to The Hook Studios in Los Angeles to add their parts to the record, working with the ProTools session files created by Dave and Taylor. More details on that session can be found in the next entry.
This was obviously a very disjointed way to make a record, something which Dave old found odd. "When you imagine a band making an album, you imagine four guys, in the studio, playing the song once, singing everything live and doing it. That seems like what you should do. But it doesn't necessarily work that way. Whatever it takes to make it work, shit, that's what it takes. In our case, we've always had sort of a weird way of making records, whether it's someone else playing the drums, or recording it in three different places. But I don't know. I think the way we made the album was a very healthy way, compared to the way a lot of other records are made these days. It almost seemed like an experiment that worked. But I listen to it, and I think it's a pretty good representation of the band. Warts and all, it's fuckin'--the band. And that's what it should be, I guess".
Ten songs were recorded in total at these two sessions, seven ('All My Life', 'Lonely As You', 'Come Back', 'Overdrive', 'Halo', 'Have It All' and 'Burn Away') were new versions of the tracks previously scrapped, the other three ('Low', 'Times Like These' and 'Disenchanted Lullaby') were the new ideas Grohl had come up with during the break and demoed at Hawkins' home studio a few weeks earlier.
The new versions of the previously scrapped songs were quite different, as Taylor explained. "'All My Life' we had for a long time, not necessarily with all the lyrics, but the basic structure. The same with 'Have It All'. But we ended up making them better when we re-recorded them, because we did it without all the technology and ProTools, and went for more of a real human feel, as opposed to this quantised Limp Bizkit version" he recalled of two songs.
"So when we went back we were just planning on recording these five songs, and adding them to 'Have It All' and 'All My Life'". Several songs were instead completely reworked and rearranged. “Come Back” is completely unrecognisable from the old version, “Lonely as You” is completely unrecognisable, “Overdrive” is … recognisable, but we put a big line of cocaine on top of it, we did it in an early Police record fashion, as opposed to the sterile “Learn to Fly” fashion that it was originally. And “Burn Away” was completely different. So basically we rearranged a lot of them" Hawkins explained.