February 2, 2023

In a new interview with Shannon Hernandez, a.k.a. The Shan Man, of 98KUPD, Arizona's Real Rock radio station, GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna reflected on his friendship with FOO FIGHTERS and the recent passing of drummer Taylor Hawkins. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I became friends with Taylor and Dave [Grohl, FOO FIGHTERS frontman and former NIRVANA drummer] a while back. When I first met them, they're just such a warm group of guys. Their whole camp, their whole team, everyone that works for them, they're just a very welcoming committee. When you're invited to be a guest at their show, they treat you very, very well. They're just very grounded, humble, simple people that have a great heart and care genuinely about everybody. So it was very easy to become friends with them.

"What can I say that people haven't said about Taylor already? He was one of the greatest guys out there. He was an incredible drummer. [He had] just a big, giant heart. All of 'em. They're just real special people."

When asked if he ever had a chance to jam with FOO FIGHTERS, Sully said: "Yeah. I did a song with them at Fenway Park. When they came to Boston, they played Fenway. I jumped up on stage and did 'School's Out' with the band, which was really cool and fun. That was when Dave was in a cast still [after falling off stage]. But, yeah, it was cool.

"They're just great guys," Sully continued. "I can't say enough about them. I've grown to love them over the years. I still stay in touch with Dave. Every now and then, we connect and just say hi and see how they're doing and getting through all the stuff [after Taylor's death] and whatever. And it's been extremely difficult for them, obviously, but they're handling it the best they can and mourning in their own way. And I think they'll make a comeback. Music is in that guy's [Dave] blood. I know Taylor would want them to do that. And I don't think Dave can stay away from music, even though I feel that he was feeling defeated at times."

Erna added: "These are big blows. I mean, he lost Kurt [Cobain, NIRVANA frontman], and then he lost Taylor, and you start to question whether you wanna do this anymore. But when you're that kind of level musician and that kind of artist and you do it as well as you do at that level, it eventually comes back and it will remind you of who you are and what you're supposed to be."

Hawkins was found dead last March at the Four Seasons Casa Medina hotel in Bogota.

An official cause of death for Hawkins hasn't yet been released. But one day after his death, Colombia's attorney general's office released a preliminary toxicology report, saying that medical examiners found evidence of 10 types of substances in Hawkins's body, including opioids, benzodiazepines, marijuana and antidepressants.

Hawkins joined FOO FIGHTERS in 1997. Prior to that, he played with the Orange County band SYLVIA and was also in the backing band for Sass Jordan. He also toured with Alanis Morissette as her drummer.

Hawkins was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last year as a member of the FOO FIGHTERS.

Hawkins's most recent work with FOO FIGHTERS included last year's "Medicine At Midnight" album, a collection of BEE GEES covers and FOO FIGHTERS' horror film "Studio 666".

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