The Untold Truth Of The Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins

The Foo Fighters have been around for over 25 years, and though the band's formation started with the tragic death of Kurt Cobain, they haven't had any trouble making a name for themselves. With 11 Grammy wins and nine studio albums — with a tenth to be released in 2021 — the Foo Fighters have become one of the most popular rock bands on the planet.

The band's most famous member is founder, singer and guitarist Dave Grohl, with guitarist Pat Smear coming in a close second. It makes sense since the two of them once played for the '90s grunge icon Nirvana (albeit, Smear to a much lesser extent), but the Foo Fighters are made up of more than two guys, and it's about time you were introduced to another Foo Fighter's face: Taylor Hawkins.

Hawkins is currently the Foo Fighters' drummer — a notoriously difficult role to be in, with Grohl being an accomplished drummer himself. He's been playing with the band since 1997, taking over for the band's first drummer, William Goldsmith, who "buckled under the pressure," as Hawkins told Beats 1 (via NME).  

Hawkins, on the other hand has been thriving with the world-renowned rock band, and there's no sign he'll be stopping anytime soon. The Foo Fighters drummer has led an exciting life outside of the band — partly good, partly catastrophic, and with a few things you might not know.

Taylor Hawkins used to play for Alanis Morrissette

It would've been unlikely for the Foo Fighters to recruit an unknown musician off the street to play with a superstar like Dave Grohl. That's just not something Grammy-award-winning musicians do. So they didn't; they hired Taylor Hawkins.

Hawkins was by no means green when he was picked up by Groh's band. In fact, he'd played alongside Canadian-American singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette. The drummer met Morissette's manager in 1995 when he was only 23 years old — according to a 2019 interview Hawkins did with Billboard — and was invited  to lay drum tracks for Morissette's upcoming album. From then on, Hawkins would enjoy a long-lasting friendship with the renowned Canadian musician and songstress. Working with Morissette seems to be a fond memory for the Foo Fighters drummer; he apparently enjoyed her as a boss, a friend, and an artist. 

"As a musician, she gave all of us a lot of space. I mean, I said it before, I'll say it again. I destroyed her songs by putting all sorts of crazy drum stuff all over it," Hawkins said, "but she dug it."

Hawkins ended up leaving Morissette's band after a couple of years worth of recording and touring because, as he said on the Triple M podcast, he felt like he wasn't going to mesh well with the style Morissette was moving towards. He wanted to play harder, and she wanted to mellow out. Either way, it turned out well for Hawkins.

Taylor Hawkins had a drug problem that almost killed him

What's more stereotypically rock n' roll than a drug problem? Rockstars have long maintained reputations as party animals, and it's been that way since the early days of rock music. Johnny Cash, Ozzy Osbourne, everyone from Aerosmith, Anthony Kiedis, you name it; every era of rock had its users, and every era of rock had those who were taken early because of it. By his own admission, Taylor Hawkins almost became one of them.

"I wasn't like a junkie per se, but I was partying," Hawkins told Beats 1 (via NME). 

For about a year around the turn of the millennium, the drummer said, he fell pretty hard into narcotics. Hawkins recalled being given "the wrong line with the wrong thing" in it, and it definitely was the wrong thing since it led to a heroin overdose that put him in a two-week long coma. But, drugs were nothing new to the musician; as he told Kerrang! "I used to do a lot of f**king drugs." 

But the overdose was a wakeup call. Even though Hawkins said he wouldn't take any of it back, he admitted that most of his spare time is spent mountain biking instead of getting high these days.

The Foo Fighters drummer once played Iggy Pop in a movie

It's always odd when we see musicians step into the world of film, but some of them have done it successfully while others, like Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins, have but just their proverbial 15 minutes of on-screen glory. In 2013, Hawkins got the opportunity to portray The Stooges frontman and "Godfather of Punk" Iggy Pop in the film CBGB.

The story doesn't revolve around Hawkins' character by any means, but it did constitute the drummer's first major role on screen. It doesn't seem like Hawkins is planning to carve himself out a place in Hollywood anytime soon, and the only other credits you can find on his IMDB page boil down to a long list of Foo Fighters video promos.

Hawkins wasn't the first member of the band to appear in a movie either. Dave Grohl had a cameo as the temporary fill-in for Animal in the 2011 film The Muppets. Maybe the Foo Fighters will edge their way into Hollywood someday; until then, we'll sit here and enjoy their music.