Skip to main content

Chad Smith and Matt Cameron: Rolling Stone Taylor Hawkins quotes were "sensationalised" and "out of context"

Matt Cameron, 2021
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, Chad Smith and Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron have taken to social media to address the handling of their interview contributions to Rolling Stone’s article, ‘Inside Taylor Hawkins’ Final Days as a Foo Fighter’ as well as apologising to Taylor Hawkins’ family and friends.

In separate posts to their own Instagram accounts, the two drummers both expressed their regret over the interviews, with Matt Cameron claiming his quotes were taken out of context by the publication, and Chad Smith calling the article, “sensationalized and misleading”. 

Writing on his Instagram account with the caption, “My statement” Cameron said, “When I agreed to take part in the Rolling Stone article about Taylor, I assumed it would be a celebration of his life and work.

“My quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I had never intended. Taylor was a dear friend, and a next level artist. I miss him. I have only the deepest love and respect for Taylor, Dave and the Foo Fighters families.

“I am truly sorry to have taken part in this interview and I apologize that my participation may have caused harm to those for whom I have only the deepest respect and admiration. 

Chad Smith followed closely, saying “Taylor was one of my best friends and I would do anything for his family. I was asked by Rolling Stone to share some memories of our time together, which I thought was going to be the loving tribute he deserved.”

“Instead, the story they wrote was sensationalized and misleading, and had I known I never would have agreed to participate. I apologize to his family and musical friends for any pain this may have caused. I miss Taylor every day.”

During the long article, which featured quotes from 20 of Hawkins’ friends, Cameron was quoted multiple times, alongside Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, Chad Smith. Both drummers were close to Taylor Hawkins, with Cameron having created music with Hawkins under the name, Nighttime Boogie Association, as well as Hawkins being godfather to Smith’s son.

The piece explores Taylor Hawkins’ health in the lead-up to his death, most notably discussing an apparent conversation - including quotes from Matt Cameron, Chad Smith, Sass Jordan and others - whereby Taylor Hawkins expressed reservations regarding the band’s busy schedule to Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters' management.

Rolling Stone claims it reached out to Hawkins’ family, Foo Fighters and the band’s management for interviews that were declined, but included responses from a representative who repeatedly denied claims that Hawkins had a “heart-to-heart” with Grohl and the band’s management.

Both Smith and Cameron have recently paid tribute to Taylor Hawkins on stage. Smith took to the mic following RHCP's headline set at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, where the band were called in as a replacement to Foo Fighters.

“We just found out about this two weeks ago, because Foo Fighters were supposed to play here tonight.” he told the crowd. “We love Foo Fighters and we love our brother Taylor Hawkins. This means a lot to us to be able to play for them.

"The guys in the band are here, they’re supporting. Taylor’s wife Alison is here, the whole family. We love them, we love Taylor.”

Meanwhile, Matt Cameron played guitar and sang for a cover of the Taylor Hawkins-written Foo Fighters song, Cold Day in The Sun with his Pearl Jam bandmates, joined by Mark Guiliana on drums.

Taylor Hawkins died on 25 March while on tour in Bogata, Colombia. An official cause of death has yet to be announced, although his heart was found to have weighed almost twice as much as average at the time of his death.

Chad Smith has yet to release a statement regarding the Rolling Stone article.

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.