Five reasons why Taylor Hawkins is a drum legend
Taylor Hawkins is back with a bang, a new band and a Rhythm cover!
The Foo Fighters man has launched his prog rock side project the Birds of Satan. For loads more on that pick up the brand new issue of Rhythm. To find out why we think Taylor is a bonafide drum legend, read on…
Grohl loves him
Dave Grohl might have earned himself a tag as the nicest man in rock, but back in 1997 he had shown himself to be a pretty hard taskmaster when it came to finding a drummer that he could work with.
Grohl laid down the beats on the Foos debut album and then threw out the majority of William Goldsmith’s work on follow-up The Colour and Shape, choosing to re-record the beats himself.
So, when Taylor joined the Foos in ’97, there was no guarantee that he’d be getting comfortable at the drum stool. It’s testament to Taylor’s playing that a whopping 17 years later he’s not only still the band’s drummer, but he’s also an integral part of the Foos.
And so does Butch
Hey, Butch Vig knows a thing or two about working with decent drummers. Jimmy Chamberlin, Dom Howard, a bloke called Dave Grohl, Butch has worked with drumming’s elite. So, when he dishes out praise you know it’s fully deserved.
Back in the June 2012 issue of Rhythm, Butch told us: “I wish I could play drums as good as Taylor. I consider myself a pretty good producer and engineer and a pretty good songwriter but I think I’m a pretty average drummer. Part of that is that I just don’t work on my chops. I wish I could play some of the crazy s*** Taylor can play.”
He wears his influences on his sleeve
Taylor is a die-hard fan of Queen and Rush, and you can hear it coursing through his playing. He has Roger Taylor’s ear for a melody and fantastically supportive drum parts, and he isn’t scared of thinking outside of the box by introducing a little of Neil Peart’s flair into the Foos’ straight-up rock.
On the latter, that man Vig adds: “I mean like ‘Rope’, who does a drum solo in the middle of a bridge these days?! Not too many people! That was a really fun moment. To me that song was totally cool and allowed to have those drum fills.”
He helped bring back concert toms
Phil Collins is another Hawkins hero, and Taylor has doffed his hat to the Genesis man many times over the years. But surely his finest tribute was when he bust out concert toms a few years back.
He added three of the beauties to his kit for the Wasting Light sessions and you can hear them all over the Birds of Satan’s debut record.
He's fronted Led Zeppelin
Well, sort of. While Taylor has shown glimpses of his vocal prowess for years, it was his stint up front at the Foos huge Wembley Stadium shows in 2008 that made the world really sit up and take notice of his incredible set of pipes as he fronted the band for a couple of Led Zeppelin tunes.
Oh, we should also mention that Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones jumped up on stage as well for said jam. Not bad company to keep, really.