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"Making The Birds Of Satan record was a blast!” declares Taylor Hawkins enthusiastically. “It was all about having fun and if people enjoy it, then that’s great, but if they think that it sucks and sounds like some rock star asshole on vacation with his best buddies at the classic rock music resort, then that’s fine too... Because, honestly, that’s exactly what it is!”
Never one to rest on his laurels, Hawkins is well-known for keeping busy during downtime from his day job, the mighty Foo Fighters. In addition to his own side projects – including covers band Chevy Metal, The Coattail Riders and the new Birds Of Satan – in recent years he’s also been found playing drums for Coheed And Cambria, Brian May, Slash, Eric Avery and the Sound City Players, to name but a few.
“It’s just us in the room with our instruments and a lot of what you’re hearing is a live take – there are no click tracks or any of that nonsense"
“I’m just not somebody who can sit around doing nothing,” he explains, “and all of us in the Foo Fighters have our own things outside of the band. I’m not going to use the cliché that those outlets bring us back fresh and with new ideas, but what I will say is that it keeps us all feeling free – and that creative freedom is a very positive thing.”
The window of opportunity for The Birds Of Satan project appeared after Hawkins finished touring duties with the Foo Fighters and the Sound City Players in the summer of 2013. Teaming up with his fellow Chevy Metal conspirators Wiley Hodgden (bass) and Mick Murphy (guitar), Hawkins also enlisted the help of a few other friends, including Foo Fighters bandmates Dave Grohl (guitar), Pat Smear (guitar) and Rami Jaffee (keyboards), Yes’s Jon Davison (vocals) and fellow drummer Drew Hester (percussion). Incredibly, after only a week’s worth of sessions, the album was done...
“It’s old-school,” Hawkins says matter-of-factly. “It’s just us in the room with our instruments and a lot of what you’re hearing is a live take – there are no click tracks or any of that nonsense. And I think we really managed to capture that ‘on the edge’, ‘giving it all’ performance feel, which is exactly what I wanted.”
It was way back in March 1994 that the young Taylor Hawkins played his first ‘professional’ rock gig – with Canadian songstress Sas Jordan – and, unusually, he’s in a nostalgic mood when it comes to talking about the 20-year career he’s enjoyed behind the tubs...
“I rarely look back and think about it,” he confesses, “because the moment you look back is the moment that you stop moving forward. Rather than feeling proud, I always tend to attribute anything successful I’ve done to simply being in the right place at the right time but, on reaching this anniversary, I did allow myself a moment to reflect on how amazing the whole journey has been...
"I’ve worked hard, but this business can be tough, and I just consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the career that I have, and to still be having so much fun playing drums and making music.”