Taylor Hawkins, the challenging-hitting, charismatic drummer for Foo Fighters, the enduring Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band that has won 12 Grammys and launched 7 platinum albums, has died at 50.
A statement posted to the band’s social media late Friday and despatched by its agent confirmed the loss of life. In accordance to the lawyer general’s office of Colombia, Mr. Hawkins experienced been staying in a resort in northern Bogotá, exactly where the band had been scheduled to perform a present Friday night. The office environment stated that preliminary exams showed Mr. Hawkins had various substances in his procedure, like opioids, cannabis and benzodiazepines the lead to of dying was still less than investigation.
Recognizable for his flailing limbs, surfer’s very good appears to be like and vast, childlike grin, Mr. Hawkins grew to become a member of the band led by Dave Grohl for its 3rd album, “There Is Nothing at all Still left to Drop,” unveiled in 1999, and performed on the group’s subsequent seven albums. He drew on two distinct variations: the fundamentals of Roger Taylor from Queen and the intricacy of Stewart Copeland from the Police. He included the muscle mass of punk and metallic, the precision of drum equipment and a present for explosive momentum.
Foo Fighters’ most modern album, “Medicine at Midnight,” arrived very last calendar year as the group was celebrating its 25th anniversary, and in an job interview with The New York Occasions, Mr. Hawkins was immediate about his hopes for its foreseeable future. “I want to be the most significant band in the environment,” he said.
Mr. Hawkins was born in Fort Worth on Feb. 17, 1972, and raised in Southern California. He begun to perform drums at age 10, and stated that his mom gave him the assurance to desire huge: “When I very first got drums, she was the a person who would view me perform. She was a major supporter and explained to me I’d make it,” he claimed in an interview previous year.
Attending a Queen show in 1982 confirmed that new music was his enthusiasm. “After that concert, I really do not believe I slept for 3 times,” he mentioned in a 2021 job interview with the metallic journal Kerrang. “It altered every thing, and I was never ever the similar since of it. It was the starting of my obsession with rock ’n’ roll, and I realized that I preferred to be in a huge rock band.”
After Mr. Hawkins played in a nearby California band termed Sylvia and backing the Canadian rock vocalist Sass Jordan, his very first mainstream split came in 1995, when he joined Alanis Morissette’s band as she toured driving her blockbuster album “Jagged Tiny Tablet.” (He appeared in the movie for her breakout hit “You Oughta Know,” flipping his blond mane guiding the drum kit.)
Mr. Grohl, then even now generally acknowledged for his job as the drummer for Nirvana, recalled meeting Mr. Hawkins backstage at a radio station live performance in the 1990s and sensation an instant kinship.
“I was like, ‘Wow, you are either my twin or my spirit animal or my ideal close friend,’” Mr. Grohl claimed in an interview last year. “When it was time to seem for a drummer, I form of wished that he would do it, but I didn’t think about he would go away Alanis Morissette, simply because at the time she was the most significant artist in the globe.”
But when Mr. Grohl known as him later seeking for a drummer, he recalled, Mr. Hawkins stated, “I’m your dude.”
“I think it had far more to do with our own marriage than nearly anything musical,” he additional. “To be trustworthy, it however does. Our musical connection — the basis of that is our friendship, and which is why when we leap up onstage and play, we’re so linked, due to the fact we’re like most effective buddies.”
Mr. Grohl, Foo Fighters’ direct singer and 1 of its songwriters and guitarists, had played drums on the band’s very first album in 1995, and he took more than once again for its 2nd, “The Color and the Condition,” when a replacement unsuccessful to stick. In becoming a member of the band, Mr. Hawkins was charged with assuming the seat of one particular of present-day rock’s most distinctive, effective and beloved drummers. His vibrant aptitude and superior humor served him carve out his very own place in the band, and he adapted to Mr. Grohl’s imaginative procedure: “He writes in rhythms, not only in melodies but in rhythms, so I have to fulfill him there,” Mr. Hawkins mentioned.
Recorded in a Virginia basement, much from the prying eyes of a file label, “There Is Absolutely nothing Left to Lose” went on to gain the band’s initial Grammy, for finest rock album.
Foo Fighters were scheduled to carry out at this year’s Grammys, to be held on April 3. “Medicine at Midnight” is nominated for three awards, together with greatest rock performance (for the music “Making a Fire”), ideal rock music (“Waiting on a War”) and best rock album.
Foo Fighters have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame final year, identified for their “rock authenticity with infectious hooks, in-your-facial area guitar riffs, monster drums and boundless energy.” At the induction ceremony, Mr. Hawkins informed Mr. Grohl, “Thank you for letting me be in your band.”
On music like “Times Like These,” the 2003 hit that has grow to be an anthem of perseverance and renewal, Mr. Hawkins is a challenging-driving force, punctuating the verses with rat-a-tat fills. On “Best of You,” a further fist-pumping, heartstring-tugging signature song, his snare pounds provide the chorus’s steadily setting up drama. And on “Rope,” a one from the band’s 2011 album, “Wasting Light,” Mr. Hawkins’s specifically syncopated do the job on the verses offers way to eruptions of fills.
In addition to his drumming, Mr. Hawkins went on to contribute as a songwriter to Foo Fighters albums, even singing direct vocals on event. Starting in 2006, he unveiled three albums with a facet job, the cheekily named Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders. He also performed in a go over band termed Chevy Metallic and a prog-rock band called the Birds of Satan. Past calendar year he teamed with the guitarist Dave Navarro and the bassist Chris Chaney to type a band referred to as NHC the group’s debut EP, “Intakes & Outtakes,” was introduced in February.
On latest Foo Fighters tours, Mr. Hawkins would swap areas with Mr. Grohl to sing a go over of Queen’s 1981 strike with David Bowie, “Under Strain,” or Queen’s “Somebody to Really like,” rising from guiding the kit in his signature shorts to fork out homage to the act that established him on his route. He’d also just take the highlight for drum solos that stretched quite a few minutes, smiling as he grew to become a whirl of limbs atop his riser, smashing his cymbals and bashing a timpani.
Though he has been referred to as “a sideman with a frontman’s aptitude,” Mr. Hawkins admitted about the many years to sensation some self-doubt about filling Mr. Grohl’s seat driving the drum package. “A ton of my insecurities — which led to a large amount of my drug use — experienced to do with me not emotion like I was great plenty of to be in this band, to engage in drums with Dave,” he told Spin in 2002.
In 2001, he overdosed in London and was briefly comatose. “Everyone has their individual route, and I took it too significantly,” Mr. Hawkins advised Kerrang, introducing that he the moment believed the “myth of stay challenging and quickly, die younger.”
He additional, “I’m not right here to preach about not doing prescription drugs, since I beloved accomplishing prescription drugs, but I just obtained out of command for a when and it practically bought me.”
In a 2018 conversation with the on the web radio station Beats 1, Mr. Hawkins mentioned, “There’s no pleased ending with difficult medicine.” But he declined to make clear how he stayed sober: “I never definitely focus on how I reside my life in that regard. I have my method that operates for me.”
Mr. Hawkins is survived by his wife, Alison, whom he married in 2005, and their a few young children, Oliver, Annabelle and Everleigh.
Jon Pareles and Isabella Grullón Paz contributed reporting.