The first Foo Fighters song to feature Taylor Hawkins

Foo Fighters

There’s a good chance Dave Grohl could have hired a backing band for the Foo Fighters and no one would have minded. Because Grohl had performed every single note on their debut album. It would have been a natural progression for him to follow in the footsteps of Prince and Trent Reznor and form a band of hired guns. Grohl, on the other hand, was always at home in a band setting. And Taylor Hawkins would become his partner in crime throughout their career.

Grohl originally had the rhythm section for emo legends Sunny Day Real Estate rounding out the lineup before Hawkins secured the spot behind the drum stool, with Nate Mendel on bass and William Goldsmith on drums. The band had great chemistry live. But things came to a halt when they entered the studio to record The Colour and the Shape.

Grohl expressed dissatisfaction with Goldsmith’s interpretation of the songs. They eventually re-record the drums without informing the drummer, causing him to quit. Grohl could have easily played and sang at the same time. But when he saw Alanis Morrissette’s touring outfit, he knew he had found the answer to his prayers.

Hawkins sat behind the drum throne. He was known for giving it his all when playing songs like ‘You Oughta Know’ or ‘You Learn’. While Hawkins was excited about joining the band. He didn’t think he had a chance at first. He said, “My brother told me, ‘You should be in this band‘. I thought, ‘Fuck yeah, I’d love to have been in The Who, Jane’s Addiction, and Led Zeppelin, too.'”

The chemistry was undeniable after a meeting with Grohl, with both drummers practically finishing each other’s sentences. Hawkins made his debut behind the drumkit in the band’s video for ‘Monkey Wrench’. During that time they dealt another blow when guitarist Pat Smear left. He left dissatisfied with the constant touring lifestyle.

Hawkins would make his studio debut with a re-recording of the Colour and the Shape deep cut, ‘Walking After You,’ with former Scream guitarist Franz Stahl. Hawkins is far more subdued than he would eventually become on the song when recut for the soundtrack to X-Files. The Movie only provides a gentle pulse for the rest of the band to add everything on top of.

Fans would hear Hawkins in full force on There Is Nothing Left to Lose by the time Stahl was asked to leave midway through the tour. Hawkins is playing like he has everything to prove, turning in songs that are borderline metal like ‘Stacked Actors’ as well as more radio-friendly cuts like ‘Learn to Fly’ and ‘Next Year’.

Hawkins would go on to create rhythmic hooks with the group on albums like In Your Honour. He also provided the occasional lead vocal to a song whenever they performed live or on record. Foo Fighters was known as Grohl’s vehicle for the majority of their tenure. But Hawkins’ addition represented the band’s collaborative spirit from the moment he sat behind the kit.

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