Taylor Hawkins, Foo Combatants’ Drummer, Dies At 50



Hard-hitting and charismatic, he become direct about his hopes for the group’s destiny, even after two decades. “I want to be the largest band inside the global,” he said.Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters at a live performance in New York City closing November.Credit...Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

Taylor Hawkins, the tough-hitting, charismatic drummer for Foo Fighters, the iconic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band that has gained 12 Grammys and released seven platinum albums, has died at 50.

A statement posted to the band’s social media overdue Friday and sent with the aid of its representative confirmed the dying. According to the attorney wellknown’s office of Colombia, Mr. Hawkins had been staying in a inn in northern Bogotá, where the band have been scheduled to play a show Friday night time. The workplace stated that initial checks confirmed Mr. Hawkins had numerous substances in his gadget, including opioids, marijuana and benzodiazepines; the reason of demise become still beneath investigation.

Recognizable for his flailing limbs, surfer’s correct looks and huge, childlike grin, Mr. Hawkins became a member of the band led through Dave Grohl for its third album, “There Is Nothing Left to Lose,” launched in 1999, and performed on the group’s subsequent seven albums. He drew on wonderful patterns: the basics of Roger Taylor from Queen and the intricacy of Stewart Copeland from the Police. He added the muscle of punk and steel, the precision of drum machines and a present for explosive momentum.

Foo Fighters’ maximum recent album, “Medicine at Midnight,” arrived final 12 months because the group turned into celebrating its twenty fifth anniversary, and in an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Hawkins was direct about his hopes for its destiny. “I need to be the most important band inside the international,” he said.

Mr. Hawkins became born in Fort Worth on Feb. 17, 1972, and raised in Southern California. He commenced to play drums at age 10, and stated that his mother gave him the confidence to dream large: “When I first were given drums, she was the one who might watch me play. She turned into a massive supporter and told me I’d make it,” he stated in an interview closing yr.

Attending a Queen show in 1982 showed that track was his ardour. “After that live performance, I don’t suppose I slept for 3 days,” he stated in a 2021 interview with the steel mag Kerrang. “It modified everything, and I became never the identical because of it. It become the beginning of my obsession with rock ’n’ roll, and I knew that I wanted to be in a large rock band.”

After Mr. Hawkins played in a neighborhood California band called Sylvia and backing the Canadian rock vocalist Sass Jordan, his first mainstream smash came in 1995, while he joined Alanis Morissette’s band as she toured at the back of her blockbuster album “Jagged Little Pill.” (He seemed inside the video for her breakout hit “You Oughta Know,” flipping his blond mane behind the drum package.)

ImageFoo Fighters in overall performance in New York closing year.Credit...Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

Mr. Grohl, then nevertheless often recognized for his function because the drummer for Nirvana, recalled assembly Mr. Hawkins behind the scenes at a radio station live performance within the Nineties and feeling an instantaneous kinship.

“I turned into like, ‘Wow, you’re both my twin or my spirit animal or my fine friend,’” Mr. Grohl said in an interview remaining year. “When it changed into time to look for a drummer, I kind of wished that he might do it, however I didn’t imagine he would depart Alanis Morissette, because on the time she became the biggest artist in the global.”

But while Mr. Grohl called him later looking for a drummer, he recalled, Mr. Hawkins stated, “I’m your guy.”

“I think it had extra to do with our non-public dating than some thing musical,” he introduced. “To be honest, it still does. Our musical dating — the muse of this is our friendship, and that’s why when we jump up onstage and play, we’re so related, because we’re like exceptional buddies.”

Mr. Grohl, Foo Fighters’ lead singer and one among its songwriters and guitarists, had played drums on the band’s first album in 1995, and he took yet again for its 2nd, “The Colour and the Shape,” whilst a substitute failed to stick. In becoming a member of the band, Mr. Hawkins become charged with assuming the seat of one of contemporary rock’s maximum wonderful, powerful and loved drummers. His colorful flair and right humor helped him carve out his own location in the band, and he adapted to Mr. Grohl’s innovative system: “He writes in rhythms, not best in melodies but in rhythms, so I should meet him there,” Mr. Hawkins said.

Recorded in a Virginia basement, a ways from the prying eyes of a file label, “There Is Nothing Left to Lose” went directly to win the band’s first Grammy, for high-quality rock album.

Foo Fighters had been scheduled to carry out at this yr’s Grammys, to be held on April three. “Medicine at Midnight” is nominated for three awards, which include nice rock performance (for the tune “Making a Fire”), great rock song (“Waiting on a War”) and nice rock album.

Foo Fighters have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame closing year, diagnosed for their “rock authenticity with infectious hooks, in-your-face guitar riffs, monster drums and boundless strength.” At the induction rite, Mr. Hawkins informed Mr. Grohl, “Thank you for letting me be in your band.”

ImageDave Grohl of Foo Fighters spoke while the institution become inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in October. Paul McCartney, who gave the induction speech, become at the back of Mr. Grohl, and Mr. Hawklns become subsequent to Mr. McCartney.Credit...David Richard/Associated Press

On songs like “Times Like These,” the 2003 hit that has end up an anthem of perseverance and renewal, Mr. Hawkins is a hard-driving pressure, punctuating the verses with rat-a-tat fills. On “Best of You,” every other fist-pumping, heartstring-tugging signature track, his snare kilos offer the refrain’s steadily building drama. And on “Rope,” a single from the band’s 2011 album, “Wasting Light,” Mr. Hawkins’s exactly syncopated paintings at the verses offers way to eruptions of fills.

In addition to his drumming, Mr. Hawkins went directly to make contributions as a songwriter to Foo Fighters albums, even making a song lead vocals sometimes. Beginning in 2006, he launched three albums with a facet venture, the cheekily named Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders. He also performed in a cowl band called Chevy Metal and a prog-rock band known as the Birds of Satan. Last year he teamed with the guitarist Dave Navarro and the bassist Chris Chaney to https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=thorss.sonic-2-vo shape a band called NHC; the institution’s debut EP, “Intakes & Outtakes,” became released in February.

On latest Foo Fighters excursions, Mr. Hawkins might switch locations with Mr. Grohl to sing a cowl of Queen’s 1981 hit with David Bowie, “Under Pressure,” or Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” emerging from behind the kit in his signature shorts to pay homage to the act that set him on his path. He’d also take the spotlight for drum solos that stretched several minutes, smiling as he became a whirl of limbs atop his riser, smashing his cymbals and bashing a timpani.

Although he has been called “a sideman with a frontman’s flair,” Mr. Hawkins admitted over the years to feeling a few self-doubt about filling Mr. Grohl’s seat in the back of the drum package. “A lot of my insecurities — which caused plenty of my drug use — needed to do with me now not feeling like I became proper enough to be on this band, to play drums with Dave,” he advised Spin in 2002.

In 2001, he overdosed in London and became briefly comatose. “Everyone has their own path, and I took it too a ways,” Mr. Hawkins informed Kerrang, adding that he as soon as believed the “fantasy of stay tough and speedy, die younger.”

He introduced, “I’m no longer right here to preach about no longer doing capsules, because I cherished doing tablets, however I simply were given out of manipulate for some time and it nearly were given me.”

In a 2018 communication with the net radio station Beats 1, Mr. Hawkins said, “There’s no happy finishing with difficult tablets.” But he declined to give an explanation for how he stayed sober: “I don’t certainly discuss how I live my lifestyles in that regard. I have my machine that works for me.”

Mr. Hawkins is survived via his spouse, Alison, whom he married in 2005, and their 3 children, Oliver, Annabelle and Everleigh.

Jon Pareles and Isabella Grullón Paz contributed reporting.

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