Imagine U2 with stage-fright and Aerosmith replace a plane for a van

What Drives Us (2021)


If during the intro of a documentary you hear the mighty „For Those About To Rock“, and an endless list of famous speakers from No Doubt, L7, Slayer, Guns’n’Roses, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Fugazi and even The Beatles appear, you know you are about to see a deep insight on music history. Still maybe not a detailed as a book can be, but Dave Grohl knows how to get close to the truth of those adventures.

Since he directed “Sound City” and “Sonic Highways“, he worked on a horror movie and another series „From Cradle To Stage“, an inbetween on „What Drives Us“. The title gives the content: What gets artists to pick up an instrument, get into a van and travel the world? Is it the wish for success, curiosity or simply the fun? Right in the beginning, Grohl takes on a ride with the young band Radkey and later also with Starcrawler, but of course he tells his own beginnings with Scream.

Starting from scratch, Brian Johnson reveals, how he was blown away by Little Richard, and that actually he wanted to become a drummer first. Ben Harper tells, that Gothic Death Rock pioneers Christian Death were his neighbors. For Flea, playing Jazz trumpet was an escape from his violent home, and as he was considered a weirdo, it was a way to find out, who he is himself. 

It is bit inconceivable, that U2 took a year to play in their gymnasium as The Edge recalls, or that Aerosmith were traveling in the old bus, Steven Tyler sits in. The stories are pretty romantic, but get serious at some point as well. With footage from the archives and even a cartoon sequence, we learn a lot of backgrounds and figures how many tours and miles musicians travelled, until maybe everyone got his own van.

Asking about live streams, the right answer is, that it makes one want to be there, but also they discuss, if there are still huge Rock bands coming up, before the movie ends with the Wembley concert of the Foo Fighters.