Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters’ Drummer, Dies at 50


“I think it had more to do with our personal relationship than anything musical,” he added. “To be honest, it still does. Our musical relationship — the foundation of that is our friendship, and that’s why when we jump up onstage and play, we’re so connected because we’re like best friends.”

Mr. Grohl, Foo Fighters’ lead singer and one of its songwriters and guitarists, had played drums on the band’s first album in 1995, and he took over again for its second LP, “The Colour and the Shape,” when a replacement failed to stick. In joining the band, Mr. Hawkins was charged with assuming the seat of one of contemporary rock’s most distinct, powerful and beloved drummers. His colorful flair and good humor helped him carve out his own place in the band, and he adapted to Mr. Grohl’s creative process: “He writes in rhythms, not only in melodies but in rhythms, so I have to meet him there,” Mr. Hawkins said.

Recorded in a Virginia basement without the input of a record label, “There Is Nothing Left to Lose” went on to win the Grammy for best rock album — the first of the band’s 12 career awards there.

At this year’s Grammys, where Foo Fighters were scheduled to perform on April 3, “Medicine at Midnight” was nominated for three awards, including best rock performance (for the song “Making a Fire”), best rock song (“Waiting on a War”) and best rock album.

Foo Fighters were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, recognized for their “rock authenticity with infectious hooks, in-your-face guitar riffs, monster drums, and boundless energy.” At the ceremony, Mr. Hawkins told Mr. Grohl, “Thank you for letting me be in your band.”

In addition to his drumming, Mr. Hawkins went on to contribute as a songwriter to Foo Fighters albums, even singing lead vocals on occasion. Beginning in 2006, he released three albums with a side project, the cheekily named Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders. He also played in a cover band called Chevy Metal and a prog-rock band called the Birds of Satan. Last year, he teamed up with the guitarist Dave Navarro and the bassist Chris Chaney to form a band called NHC; the group’s debut EP, “Intakes & Outtakes,” was released in February.



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