In March 2022, the world of music was met with the tragic news that Foo Fighters drummer of 25 years, Taylor Hawkins, had passed away aged 50. Hawkins was found in his hotel room in Bogotá, Colombia, just hours before the band were due on stage to headline a festival in the city as part of a South American tour.
Despite the momentum of frontman Dave Grohl’s role as Nirvana’s drummer, Foo Fighters carved out a worthy identity of their own since their formation in 1994. In 1997, Hawkins joined Foo Fighters to replace the original drummer, William Goldsmith.
When joining the band, Hawkins was purportedly a little intimidated to drum for Nirvana’s famed beatmaker, Dave Grohl. However, after a short while, it became clear that he didn’t need to worry; Grohl was looking for friendship in his bandmates above all else.
In his 2021 memoir, Grohl described his first meeting with Hawkins. “Tearing through the room like an F5 tornado of hyperactive joy was Taylor Hawkins, my brother from another mother, my best friend, a man from whom I would take a bullet,” Grohl wrote. “Upon first meeting, our bond was immediate, and we grew closer with every day, every song, every note that we played together.”
The band’s friendship and chemistry were their superpowers, and the positivity shone through in their live performances and creative productivity over the past 25 years. In 2020, Hawkins discussed the band’s impressive back catalogue with Matt Wilkinson on his Apple Music 1 show.
When asked to name his favourite Foo Fighters track, Hawkins picked out a song from the band’s 1999 album There Is Nothing Left to Lose. “I would say without a doubt, it would be ‘Aurora’,” Hawkins said. “I just think it’s really, I love that side of Dave. I love it when Dave gets in his almost yacht rock softness in his voice and he double tracks his voice really nice.”
As well as praising his bandmate, Hawkins was particularly proud of his own performance on the track, “And that was the first drum track that I ever did for the Foo Fighters that I was really, really proud of because I only played half the drums on the Nothing Left to Lose record, because it was my first time in the studio and I was just… I didn’t know how to record. Recording drums and playing live is just super different and the mistakes are polarised heavily, once you’re under the scrutiny of the microphones. You had to do it right.”
While Hawkins initially picked out ‘Aurora’ as his favourite “without a doubt,” he subsequently hesitated, offering another personal favourite that pre-dated his tenure with the band. “I could also say the first time I heard ‘This Is a Call’ was the first time I heard the Foo Fighters, and I wasn’t in the band yet. I was playing with Alanis [Morissette], and we were all in the van, traversing the Foo Fighters, playing all the same clubs as they were. And it was just funny, and we just wore that album out. And ‘This Is a Call’ might be my favourite Foo Fighters song of all time too.”
‘This Is a Call’ was the first single to be released by Foo Fighters dating back to June 1995, appearing in the band’s eponymous debut album.