Foo Fighters will tour with Josh Freese, as the veteran drummer inherits the spot from the late Taylor Hawkins.
Freese, 50, started playing professionally at the age of 12 and is a veteran of many rock bands including Guns N’ Roses, Sting, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer, A Perfect Circle, Devo and others.
The band revealed Freese’s addition during a Veeps.com livestream performance today. The show started with the band’s other members chatting about random topics in a rehearsal studio while famous drummers such as Tommy Lee, Chad Smith and Danny Carey dropped in for increasingly ludicrous reasons. Finally, Freese was revealed behind the kit, asking his new bandmates if they could get on with the rehearsal.
Freese is known for a no-nonsense, heavy-hitting approach to playing. His attitude matches that of Dave Grohl, and also with Hawkins himself. “I always say… that when little boys are day dreaming of cool-sounding jobs ‘when they grow up,’ that being a drummer is right up there alongside of astronaut, baseball player, fireman,” He told Vice in 2016.
Recalling he’d found an old drum kit in his musician dad’s attic, he continued: “My dad played me the most elementary rock’’n’ roll 101 beat, and I sat down and immediately played it. I fell in love instantly and then spent the next few years playing along to Van Halen, Devo, Police, and Queen records before taking formal lessons.”
On his approach to working with others, Freese said: “I always tell people, ‘Play with as many people as you can play with, without burning all bridges or fucking things up for yourself.’” And in case his qualification for offering advice was in doubt, he noted: “I’ve paid taxes every year since I was 12 from drumming income. Other than a paper route I had for about six weeks when I was 10, this is the only job I’ve ever had.”
Hawkins played with Foo Fighters for 25 years and appeared on eight of their studio albums, before dying suddenly on March 25, 2022, in Bogota, Colombia, where the band was scheduled to perform at the Festival Estereo Picnic. He was 50 years old.
Foo Fighters subsequently canceled their remaining 2022 tour dates, though they honored Hawkins with a pair of star-studded tribute concerts in London and Los Angeles last September. Both concerts found the band joined by a handful of high-profile drummers, including Pearl Jam‘s Matt Cameron, Blink-182‘s Travis Barker, the Darkness’ Rufus Taylor, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith and Freese.
Foo Fighters are gearing up for a characteristically busy schedule in the second half of 2023, having already been announced as headliners for a slew of festivals, including Boston Calling, Sonic Temple and Bonnaroo. They released a New Year’s Eve statement confirming their intention to continue as a band, reflecting on the tumultuous year and expressing optimism for the future.
“As we say goodbye to the most difficult and tragic year that our band has ever known, we are reminded of how thankful we are for the people that we love and cherish most, and for the loved ones who are no longer with us,” they wrote. “Foo Fighters were formed 27 years ago to represent the healing power of music and a continuation of life, and for the past 27 years, our fans have built a worldwide community, a devoted support system that has helped us all get through the darkest of times together.”
They described the band as “a place to share our joy and our pain, our hopes and fears, and to join a chorus of life together through music. Without Taylor, we never would have become the band that we were – and without Taylor, we know that we’re going to be a different band going forward. We also know that you, the fans, meant as much to Taylor as he meant to you. And we know that when we see you again — and we will soon — he’ll be there in spirit with all of us every night.”