“Holding Poison” by Foo Fighters

The idea of the singer being in some type of depressed or unfavorable mental/emotional state is a permeating theme throughout the Foo Fighters’ “Medicine at Midnight” album. Perhaps the title of the project itself alludes to the idea consciously seeking some type of remedy to this temperamental condition (via the creation of a bunch of dance songs). But either way this track is not celebratory, at least not lyric-wise. Rather it centers on the vocalist “holding” the aforementioned “poison”, i.e. negativity, inside of him. But this time around, the focus is not on how this affliction is personally making him suffer per se. Rather he is able to realize that the addressee, who would be some type of close associate or loved one, has been the victim of his negativity. 

Indeed the singer further elaborates, in a roundabout way, that his inner “poison” makes him into sort of an A-hole. In other words, he is the bossy type who doesn’t take no for an answer, apparently to the dismay of the addressee. Moreover his bad attitude is such that he often disregards the feelings of the other person altogether.

By the time the second half of the song rolls around, the focus is a bit more on the singer himself as opposed to his relationship with the addressee. This is the part of the composition where his depression really comes through. Indeed he is quite pessimistic in terms of his prospects of ever overcoming this state. And one can’t help but to feel sorry for him, as it is revealed that he is caught up in a hopeless cycle of negativity.

A Dash of Sarcasm

But there is a degree of what we can perhaps term as sarcasm also present. That is to say that in studying the lyrics, one does not get the impression that the vocalist is endeavoring to expel the “poison” within. Rather he is more committed to ‘holding it down’ or suppressing it. 

Perhaps resolving to such a fate is indicative of his aforementioned pessimism. But either way, he knows that the negativity tends to bubble to the forefront at times. Moreover he is not apologizing to the addressee for mistreating him or her but rather is just stating things as they are based on his analysis. 

So conclusively, it reads as if he has accepted this major personality flaw as being part and parcel of his character.

Lyrics of Foo Fighters' "Holding Poison"

Writing Credits for “Holding Poison”

As of the release of this track, on 5 February 2021, the Foo Fighters are made up of the following musicians:

  • Dave Grohl (primary vocalist)
  • Nate Mendel (primary bass guitarist)
  • Pat Smear (primary guitarist)
  • Taylor Hawkins (sole drummer)
  • Chris Shiflett (primary guitarist)
  • Rami Jaffee (primary keyboardist). 

And all six of those artists are credited as co-writers of “Holding Poison”.

Who handled the production of “Holding Poison”?

This track was co-produced by Greg Kurstin, one of the most-prolific and successful producers of the early-21st century. And the other co-producer is the Foo Fighters collectively.

Kurstin is one of the most sought-after producers and songwriters of his generation. For example, in 2017, he won three Grammy Awards for his collaboration with Adele. Two of these Grammys were for his work on her hit single “Hello“. Foo Fighters first collaborated with Kurstin in 2016 on their studio album titled “Concrete and Gold”.

On which Foo Fighters’ album does “Holding Poison” appear?

The Foo Fighters 10th studio album, which features this song, is entitled “Medicine at Midnight”. In all, there are approximately nine songs on this album. This tune is the seventh and longest track on the album. It wasn’t released as a single. In all, Foo Fighters released only the following three singles in support of “Medicine at Midnight”:

This project shot strait to the number 1 spot on several album charts the world over, including UK’s Official Albums Chart. It enjoyed the same accomplishment in the countries below:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • Scotland

The song’s narrator does his best to hold his “poison” in. However, it ends up still coming out, much to the utter dismay of the song’s addressee.

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