JOSH FREESE On Being Asked To Join FOO FIGHTERS: 'It Felt Like Someone Kind Of Socked Me In The Stomach'

April 16, 2024

Josh Freese, who officially became FOO FIGHTERS' new drummer a year ago, filling the vacancy left by the late Taylor Hawkins, spoke to producer and YouTuber Rick Beato about how he landed the coveted gig. He said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "On my children's lives, I had zero plans of being called to be the drummer. And everyone and their mother — my neighbor walking the dog, 'Hey Josh, the FOO FIGHTERS call you yet?' Other people hitting me up, other drummers, Reddit forums, 'Josh Freese is gonna be the guy.' I'm going, 'I don't even know if they're gonna continue on [after Taylor's death].' And most people I knew said, 'Oh, they're gonna have to. They're gonna figure it out.' I was, like, 'Well, maybe. Who knows?' I didn't ask them that question during those [Taylor Hawkins] tribute [concerts in September 2022]. Once again, I wanted to give everybody space. I wasn't gonna be another guy coming at Dave [Grohl, FOO FIGHTERS frontman], going, 'So dude, if you need a drummer, I'm around. I'm just saying.' I didn't mention it once, and was busy enough and making a good enough living already that I wasn't freaked out about it. I wasn't going, 'God, I hope they call. I hope they call.' I was, like, 'You know what? Whatever happens is gonna happen.' And that's how I kind of like to roll."

He continued: "Months went on after that second, L.A. [Taylor Hawkins tribute concert]. I guess it was September [2022 when the two shows took place]. And Dave had said that he'd written a bunch of songs. He was gonna record a bunch of stuff after those shows. So, cool. So it sounded like he was gonna make a record. And then I guess it was right before Christmas that year, 2022, and I got a call from him. I got a missed call. I was on a walk with my wife and some of our dogs, and I go, 'Ah, Dave just tried calling me like 20 minutes ago.' And she's, like, 'I know why he's calling you.' I was, like, 'Easy. I'm not thinking that.' I swear to God, that's not why I thought. I go, 'You know what? He might be having a New Year's Eve party. He might be doing a project where he has all those drummer friends of ours that perform at the thing, we each play a track. He could be calling me for numerous reasons, but I'm not gonna pretend like that's why he's calling me.' I called him back, and we small-talked about Christmas and our kids and do they still believe in Santa Claus? And who's the hardest to shop for? And just this silly small-talk family stuff, if anything. I said, 'Hey, did you go record?' He goes, 'Yeah, we recorded a bunch of stuff. And I played drums, and I'm really happy with the way it sounds. I'm really excited about it. And we had the drummer talk. And we want you to be the guy.' And it felt like someone kind of socked me in the stomach. I didn't go, 'Wow, yippee, this is so cool.' I didn't get excited like that. It was almost like I got the wind knocked out of me. And I was, like, 'Oh my God.' I was, like, 'Here we go.' 'Cause I knew… I had time to think about it and all that, but I was, like, come on. After the holidays, Dave and I got together and talked and he played me the new record, we were talking, and even there's sometimes when you go, 'You know you've gotta do this, right?'"

Freese went on to say that he had no doubt he would accept the offer to become FOO FIGHTERS' new drummer. "It couldn't have gone down any other way after being asked, and being asked by someone that I've respected forever, not just as a songwriter and a singer/guitarist, but as a drummer," Josh explained. "First and foremost for me, Dave is such a bad motherfucker, man. And he just innately has this thing. That stuff can't be taught; it just can't be taught. You can try to explain it to somebody, but you're either gonna do it or you're not. And he was blessed with being able to do it and just deliver. So, for me, as a drummer, it's great. And I used to talk about it with Taylor all the time. He was, like, 'Oh, man, it's so cool. Look at Dave.' He loved Dave's drumming, and we'd talk about it."

Freese continued: "I've made records with bands where the singer maybe used to play drums. But Dave's a drummer's drummer. And so it's not, like, 'Oh, yeah, he used to play drums.' Nah, he's the drummer. And I've tried to let that be a source of inspiration and excitement when I'm playing with him and playing in a band with him rather than letting it intimidate me or freak me out. 'Cause if you start going down that path, it could intimidate you and freak you out. 'My God, I'm Dave Grohl's drummer.' But he makes it so comfortable and good and natural, the way we play together. And as a drummer, his rhythm is great. Most bands, when you've got a break, you've got a four-bar break and the guitar is playing, I'm making sure to keep that time on the hi-hat. [With Dave, I] never have to [do that]. It's right there all the time. Ah, it's so cool. It's so cool. And when he turns around and we lock in, luckily — maybe one day it will become nerve racking — it's never been nerve racking for me. It's always fun and exciting, 'cause it's kind of laid out that way. It's not some heavy trip or weird thing. It's just all good. It's all good stuff."

FOO FIGHTERS revealed Freese as part of its touring lineup on May 21, 2023 during a pre-tour livestream called "Foo Fighters: Preparing Music For Concerts". Freese was unveiled as the drummer during the livestream after comedic cameos by Chad Smith of RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, Tommy Lee of MÖTLEY CRÜE and Danny Carey of TOOL.

Prior to joining the FOO FIGHTERS, Freese had most recently been drumming for Danny Elfman but was recently replaced by Ilan Rubin. Freese was also touring with THE OFFSPRING up until 2022, with former SUICIDAL TENDENCIES drummer Brandon Pertzborn stepping in to officially replace him.

Freese is a veteran session drummer who has performed with GUNS N' ROSES, A PERFECT CIRCLE, PUDDLE OF MUDD, NINE INCH NAILS, WEEZER, PARAMORE, THE REPLACEMENTS, Sting and THE VANDALS, among many others. He has also played more than 300 recordings ranging in genres from pop to rock to country.

FOO FIGHTERS' 11th album, "But Here We Are", was released in June 2023 on Roswell/RCA.

Hawkins tragically passed away in March 2022 at the age of 50.

Hawkins was found dead in a hotel room in Colombia, shortly before FOO FIGHTERS were due to play a festival in Bogotá. No cause of death was ever announced.

Hawkins had been the FOO FIGHTERS drummer for 25 years, taking over from original drummer William Goldsmith in 1997. He is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.

FOO FIGHTERS staged two tribute concerts in honor of Hawkins. The first tribute concert took place September 3, 2022 at London's Wembley Stadium. A Los Angeles concert was held on September 27, 2022 and raised money for Musicares and Music Support charities and served as a farewell party for Hawkins's adopted hometown.

Other notable tributes to come in the months following Hawkins's death included a segment at the 2022 Grammy Awards, a drum circle in Taylor's hometown, and a live performance of the FOO FIGHTERS song "My Hero" by more than 1,000 musicians.

Find more on Foo fighters
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).