Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl invited Taylor Hawkins to hitch the band in 1997. From that day on, Hawkins was underneath quite a lot of strain. He was the drummer for among the finest drummers of the Nineteen Nineties. It intimidated him and made him scared to report music. Hawkins was additionally always attempting to show himself by all the time enjoying completely, which contributed to his stage fright.
Enjoying and recording completely and attempting to be the very best drummer have been solely a few of Hawkins’ pressures. He was all the time attempting to maintain up. Foo Fighters had a nagging schedule that wore Hawkins skinny. He instructed his associates he was able to give up simply earlier than his dying.
Reps for Foo Fighters deny claims that Taylor Hawkins ‘couldn’t f***ing do it anymore’
Since Hawkins’ dying on March 25, Rolling Stone has interviewed a few of his closest associates. Curiously, most of them stated the identical factor in regards to the finish of Hawkins’ life.
Months earlier than his dying, Hawkins had reached his breaking level because the drummer of Foo Fighters. He always vented about how robust it was, always touring the world. He usually contemplated whether or not he may go on.
Pearl Jam’s drummer Matt Cameron claims Hawkins confronted Grohl in regards to the fast-paced touring. “He had a heart-to-heart with Dave and, yeah, he instructed me that he ‘couldn’t f***ing do it anymore’ — these have been his phrases,” Cameron stated. “So I suppose they did come to some understanding, but it surely simply looks as if the touring schedule acquired even crazier after that.”
A rep for Foo Fighters denied Hawkins felt that approach and that he’d talked to Grohl. “No, there was by no means a ‘heart-to-heart’ — or any type of assembly on this subject — with Dave and [Silva Artist Management].”
In the meantime, Hawkins’ buddy and former boss, singer Sass Jordan stated, “Truthfully, I feel he was simply so drained. Bored with the entire sport.”
An nameless colleague and buddy of Hawkins stated, “The truth that he lastly spoke to Dave and actually instructed him that he couldn’t do that and that he wouldn’t do it anymore, that was liberating for him. That took f***ing balls. That did take a 12 months of working up the center to do.”
Hawkins’ associates knew he wished a change, however how massive is disputable.
Cameron believes that regardless of Hawkins desirous to reduce touring, he was keen to proceed for his band. “He tried to maintain up,” Cameron says. “He simply did no matter it took to maintain up, and ultimately he couldn’t sustain.”
RELATED: Why Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins Weren’t Allowed Entry Into Pantera’s Strip Membership
Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins struggled with stage fright
Regardless of what the rep for Foo Fighters stated, the proof that Hawkins was getting bored with touring was obvious. He had critical stage fright and was grateful for a relaxation through the pandemic.
In June 2021, on the day of Foo Fighters’ first post-lockdown gig, Hawkins instructed Rolling Stone, “I’m actually nervous about tonight. I’ve main stage fright — main, main, main. Like, right now is, like, I’m in hell proper now. I’ve been on the street 28 years, actually, so I had a 12 months and a half off from this sense I’ve right now.”
Rolling Stone identified, “Eddie Van Halen stated quite a lot of his substance abuse was due to efficiency anxiousness.” Hawkins, who changed his drug use with mountain biking after a heroin overdose in 2001, replied, “Oh, as a result of he was f***ing scared, dude. Scared. Simply scared. “
Regardless of all of the train Hawkins did, his stage fright made him really feel bodily weak. “I’m simply not having a great day,” he stated. “I really feel like every part in my physique is flawed. My leg doesn’t really feel proper and all that form of s***. Like all these form of loopy psychosis form of issues that you simply undergo to get your self prepped sufficient simply to play somewhat membership present.
“I used to be feeling good not doing something. It’s good being a loser for a 12 months and a half; it actually was.”
Hawkins additionally stated he was “attempting actually arduous to determine tips on how to proceed to maintain the depth of a younger man in a 50-year-old’s physique, which could be very tough.”
In December 2021, an indication of Hawkins’ exhaustion cropped up. A number of associates of Hawkins say he misplaced consciousness onboard a aircraft in Chicago, which reps additionally denied. “He simply stated he was exhausted and collapsed, they usually needed to pump him stuffed with IVs and stuff,” his buddy, Crimson Scorching Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, says.
After the incident, Smith says, Hawkins instructed him, “I can’t do it like this anymore.” Hawkins began mountain biking much less to keep away from overexerting his coronary heart, which had doubled in dimension by his dying.
RELATED: The Foo Fighters Tune That Had Paul McCartney on Drums and Taylor Hawkins on Vocals
The drummer additionally put quite a lot of strain on himself to play completely
Hawkins’ put strain on himself to play completely out and in of the recording studio, which could have additionally brought on his stage fright.
He instructed Kerrang!, “It’s actually with Foo Fighters exhibits. I do exhibits with my different bands, however I simply really feel a sure approach when there’s 100,000 individuals ready so that you can go onstage. I put an enormous burden on myself to play completely – no matter which means – and preserve in good time.”
All the strain Hawkins had stemmed from his early days in Foo Fighters. When he joined the band, he knew it could be arduous being the drummer for among the finest drummers. He needed to be on his A-game the entire time as a result of he knew Grohl didn’t want him within the recording studio.
When Hawkins recorded with Foo Fighters for the primary time, he was nervous. Hawkins instructed Rolling Stone, “I used to be so scared once we went to go do [the third Foos album] Nothing Left to Lose. I had red-light fever so dangerous. … At one level I simply stated to Dave, ‘Pay attention, dude, I simply don’t assume I can do that.’ … I used to be simply so scared.”
“One time he known as me, and he stated, ‘You know the way a lot strain it’s?’” Stevie Salas, who backed Jordan with Hawkins, says. “He was like, ‘Are you aware how I f***ing really feel once I’m sitting there struggling, attempting to get a monitor, and I simply know that Dave can put the guitar down and are available sit on my drums and do it in a single take?’”
Grohl didn’t care how Hawkins performed; he knew he wished to be associates with Hawkins. Nonetheless, Hawkins by no means thought he was a adequate drummer.
Salas says, “I imagine Taylor wished to be nice so dangerous, and I imagine he by no means believed he was nice. I imagine Taylor would sit down daily and assume that he wasn’t adequate, and he would work and work and work at being nice. I used to inform him, ‘Dude, you’ll be able to loosen up now. All the pieces’s good.’ However I don’t imagine that he ever actually did loosen up and really feel nice about himself as a musician.”
Hawkins’ insecurities plagued him. Nonetheless, he discovered his place within the band finally.
“The truth that [Dave] trusted Taylor to run that engine says loads,” Jesse Tobias, who performed with Hawkins in Alanis Morissette’s touring band, stated, “And I don’t assume any of that was wasted on him. I feel he was effectively conscious that it was an enormous honor and was going to knock it out of the park it doesn’t matter what.”
Nonetheless, knocking it out of the park was getting tougher for Hawkins towards the top of his life. Rolling Stone writes that Foo Fighters performed roughly 40 exhibits in 2021 and already had almost 60 extra deliberate for 2022. When different bands have been slowing down, Foo Fighters have been in every single place directly, touring the world, making appearances, recording, and making movies with little breaks in between.
A number of associates noticed how daunting Foo Fighters’ schedule was by a frail Hawkins. “In the previous few months, he was stepping into lifting weights and ingesting these electrolytes and was actually attempting to do issues to assist play on the degree that he wished to play at,” Smith says.
Hawkins’ reason behind dying remains to be unknown, as is the destiny of Foo Fighters, however Hawkins’ legacy will reside on.
RELATED: How Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl’s Drumming Differed