UNDATED (WOOD) — More than a year after Taylor Hawkins’ death, the Foo Fighters have a new drummer. During a live streamed show on Sunday, the band announced Josh Freese will man the kit going forward.
Freese has been the longtime drummer for The Vandals, a California punk band and has filled in for several other popular rock bands, including Guns N’ Roses, The Offspring, Nine Inch Nails and Devo.
The drummer has reportedly been friends with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl for many years. Freese also performed during the two Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts held last year in London and Los Angeles.
Freese is stepping in for Hawkins, who died unexpectedly while the band was touring South America in March 2022. Hawkins was rushed to a hospital with chest pains hours before the band was set to perform in Bogota, Colombia.
No formal cause of death was ever issued, however, a toxicology report showed Hawkins had 10 different substances in his system at the time of his death, including opioids, marijuana and antidepressants.
The news rattled the music world, with countless icons offering up their tributes to the Foo Fighters’ drummer. Ozzy Osbourne called Hawkins a “great person and an amazing musician.” Disturbed frontman David Draiman reminisced on the chemistry between Grohl and Hawkins, saying “I’ve seen a lot of live bands in my time, and I can honestly say I have never seen a drummer and guitar player interact in a more jovial, genuine and entertaining way.”
One of the most popular tributes was from Hawkins’ son, Shane, who played drums with the band on their hit song “My Hero.”
Hawkins played with the Foo Fighters for 25 years, joining the band in March 1997. Hawkins played with several smaller bands and was drumming for Alanis Morrissette’s touring band before joining the Foo Fighters.
The Foo Fighters are working on a new album. The album’s first single, called “Under You,” was released on streaming services last week. They also played two new songs called “Rescued” and “Nothing At All” during Sunday night’s show.
The band is embarking on its first tour without Hawkins later this week, starting Wednesday at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, New Hampshire.