Foo Fighters Introduce New Drummer Replacing Taylor Hawkins

The Foo Fighters introduced Josh Freese as their new drummer. The veteran studio musician will replace the late Taylor Hawkins, who died in March 2022 at the age of 50. Dave Grohl and company shared the news during the band's Foo Fighters: Preparing Music for Concerts live-stream event on Sunday.

The studio show, shot in black and white, featured Freese joining the Food Fighters to preview songs from their new album, But Here We Are. Freese has recorded and toured with bands like Guns N' Roses, A Perfect Circle, and Nine Inch Nails, reports Billboard. Freese is the first new drummer for the Foo Fighters since Hawkins joined in 1997. The group's original drummer was Sunny Day Real Estate's William Goldsmith, who played with them from 1995 to 1997. Of course, Grohl is a drummer himself, having played percussion for Nirvana before he founded the Foos.

The livestream also marked the band's first live performance since their Hawkins tribute concerts in London and Los Angeles in September 2022. Those shows featured guest drummers, with an eclectic group of musicians sitting in behind the band. Travis Barker, Nandi Bushell, Rufus Taylor, Omar Hakim, Stewart Copeland, Lars Ulrich, Chad Smith, Brad Wilk and Hawkins' son Shane Hawkins performed during the shows.

Pearl Jam's Matt Cameron and Taylor, a member of The Darkness, were both rumored to be joining the Foo Fighters before Sunday's show. They both publicly denied the idea as Freese's name began popping up in unconfirmed reports. "FYI the internet rumors are false, I haven't joined the Foos," Cameron wrote in a March Instagram Story post after The Sun claimed he was the Foos' top pick.

But Here We Are will be released on June 2. The first two singles, "Rescued" and "Under You," have already been released. The album features a black-and-white package design and will be dedicated to Hawkins and Grohl's mother, Virginia, who also died last year. 

"But Here We Are is a testament to the healing powers of music, friendship, and family," reads the group's album announcement. "Courageous, damaged and unflinchingly authentic, But Here We Are opens with newly released lead single 'Rescued,' the first of 10 songs that run the emotional gamut from rage and sorrow to serenity and acceptance, and myriad points in between." The group's tour to support the album starts with a sold-out show at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, New Hampshire, on May 24.

Freese, 50, is the son of Disney musical director Stanford Freese and brother of multi-instrumentalist Jason Freese. His mother is also a classically trained pianist. He has played with musicians from a wide range of genres, from Michael Buble and Sting to Kelly Clarkson and Nelly Furtado. He was also toured with Paramore, Weezer, Daughtry, and Danny Elfman. He performed with Elfman and 100 gecs at Coachella last year. "It's part of my workaholic 'try to do it all' ethic that I have with playing music," Freese told Consequence in 2022.