The world of music witnessed a profound loss with the untimely passing of Taylor Hawkins, the revered drummer of the Foo Fighters. Now, over a year later, the band unveils their chosen successor, the esteemed Josh Freese, in a poignant transition that pays homage to Hawkins’ indelible legacy.
On March 25, 2022, Taylor Hawkins, an integral member of the Foo Fighters for a remarkable 25 years, tragically departed during the band’s South American tour at the age of 50. Beyond his exceptional drumming skills, Hawkins held a cherished place as the closest confidant of frontman Dave Grohl, forging a deep bond that extended far beyond the stage.
During a captivating livestream event entitled “Foo Fighters: Preparing Music for Concerts,” the band revealed their choice for a new drummer, an artist whose caliber matches the Foo Fighters’ illustrious trajectory. Josh Freese, a veteran session drummer revered within the music industry, emerges as the one entrusted to carry the rhythmic torch for the band.
According to Variety, Freese’s prior collaborations with the Foo Fighters during tribute concerts dedicated to Hawkins in London and Los Angeles last fall strengthened his connection to the band. Moreover, his enduring friendship with both Grohl and Hawkins imbues his inclusion with an extra layer of significance.
Josh Freese’s distinguished career as a drummer boasts collaborations with an impressive array of renowned rock bands, including Guns N’ Roses, A Perfect Circle, Puddle of Mudd, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer, Paramore, the Replacements, Sting and the Vandals, and most recently, Danny Elfman and the Offspring. His virtuosity behind the drum kit has garnered acclaim and admiration throughout the music world.
The announcement of Freese joining the Foo Fighters unfolded in a captivating spectacle during the livestream event. In the presence of esteemed drummers, including Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, and Danny Carey from Tool, the atmosphere crackled with anticipation.
Amidst the banter and camaraderie, a voice of authority interjected, demanding attention. The camera shifted, revealing Josh Freese seated confidently behind a drum kit, ready to take up the mantle. As he eagerly inquired, “Can we play a song or something?!”, the band responded with an electric surge, launching into a performance that reverberated with raw emotion.
Taylor Hawkins, who embarked on his journey with the Foo Fighters during their “The Colour & The Shape” tour in 1997, left an indelible mark on the band’s discography. His drumming prowess graced numerous albums, including the iconic “One by One” and “In Your Honor,” and contributed to unforgettable hits like “Best of You.” Hawkins’ artistry and profound musical connection with the band will forever resonate in their collective soul.
The Foo Fighters, despite the void left by Hawkins’ absence, march ahead, embracing the future with resilience and unwavering determination. Earlier this year, they unveiled their upcoming album, “But Here We Are,” set for release on June 2, with the band and Greg Kurstin serving as producers. Described as a brutally honest response to the challenges endured by the Foo Fighters in the past year, the album promises to channel their emotions into a captivating sonic journey.
Lead single “Rescued” epitomizes the band’s unyielding spirit, with poignant lyrics that speak to the yearning for salvation and the collective human experience. Other tracks, such as “Hearing Voices,” “Show Me How,” “Nothing At All,” and the soul-stirring finale, “Rest,” bear witness to the Foo Fighters’ resilient evolution as they navigate a world forever transformed by loss.
As the Foo Fighters embark on a new chapter with Josh Freese behind the drum kit, their unwavering commitment to their craft and their enduring bond with Taylor Hawkins serve as a testament to the power of music to heal, inspire, and forge connections that transcend the realms of sound.