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And the new drummer for the Foo Fighters is…

The Foo Fighters have a string of festival dates set for this summer, starting with a gig in Gilford, New Hampshire on May 24. If they’re back on the road, they’ll need a drummer. But who will fill Taylor Hawkins’ shoes?

Taylor had many musician friends and a band the stature of the Foos has their pick of many possible candidates. There are plenty of drummers with the chops to play at the Foo Fighters’ level, but chemistry and compatibility will be the deciding factors. And given Hawkins’ popularity and charm, whoever gets the gig will have to meet the approval of fans. That alone means taking Taylor’s place is a mighty tall order.

Maybe it’ll take two (or three) guys. Here’s what I’m hearing from my sources and how I handicap things.

1. Matt Cameron (Even odds)

Matt is used to juggling multiple jobs. His main gig these days is with Pearl Jam, although if Soundgarden called, he’d probably want to play with his old mates again. Matt has been spotted near Studio 606, the Foo Fighters HQ in Van Nuys, California, where they record and rehearse. Matt is good friends with the Foos and was a close pal of Taylor’s. His name has been tossed about more than any other candidate with the exception of Rufus Taylor (see below). He’d be a solid, reliable, and safe choice. The fanbase would easily accept him. It’s also handy that Pearl Jam has ZERO shows scheduled for 2023.

2. Atom Willard (3-1 odds)

Not exactly a household name, but 49-year-old Atom has a great resume. He’s a founding member of Tom DeLonge’s other band, Angels & Airwaves. Past gigs include stints with Rocket from the Crypt, Social Distortion, Canada’s Danko Jones, Against Me! (his present gig) , and The Offspring. The dude is certainly very well qualified. He, too, has apparently been spotted going in and out of Studio 606.

3. Rufus Tiger Taylor (7-1 odds)

Rufus is the current drummer with The Darkness and the son of Roger Taylor, Hawkins’ all-time favourite drummer and the heartbeat of Queen, Taylor’s all-time favourite band. The Darkness isn’t doing much these days and Rufus appeared at both tribute shows last September. His name has been bandied about as a possible successor for a couple of months now. And it would be cool to have a guy in the band named “Tiger.” The Darkness has just one upcoming show on July 15 in Norway (they’re opening for KISS). That, however, is the same day the Foos are set to headline the Harley-Davidson Homecoming Festival in Milwaukee.

A few other names have been suggested.

  • Josh Freese, is the excellent and well-regarded journeyman drummer who’s friends with EVERYONE in rock. And he’s worked with everyone from Nine Inch Nails to Guns N’ Roses.
  • Shane Hawkins, son of Taylor. Having him take his dad’s seat has such a great ring to it.
  • Travis Barker will work with anyone, although now that Tom DeLonge is back in the fold, there are blink-182 albums to record and tour dates to play, some of which conflict with Foo Fighters’ touring commitments in the fall.
  • Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine isn’t doing anything right now as the band waits for Zack’s bum knee to heal.
  • Omar Hakim, the great session drummer, has been mentioned. You might remember him from his appearances at the first Taylor Hawkins tribute show at Wembley in London last September.
  • Patrick Wilson of Weezer is a heavy-hitter like Taylor, but Weezer’s on the road this year. Too many conflicts with Foo dates this summer.
  • Chad Smith of the Chili Peppers could do it, but his band is way too busy doing their own thing right now. Too many conflicts.
  • Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age (and one of Dave’s closest friends) may have suggested his drummer, Jon Theodore.
  • Some have suggested that even the adorable Nandi Bushell could sit in, although she’s not even a teenager yet.
  • And of course, Dave Grohl could do it himself, but’s now a frontman and needs to be able to roam the stage.

Although the Foos are said to have jammed with a number of players, Matt and Atom are rumoured to be the frontrunners. One story is that Matt will be the primary drummer for this summer but Atom will be called upon as required.

So…Matt Cameron? The more I think about it, the more I believe this would be a logical albeit temporary fit. Whatever happens, you have to admire the Foo Fighters organization for keeping such a tight lid on things.

That first show is coming up in a couple of months, so they’ll have to announce something soon. Will any of the above become a permanent Foo? Again, we’ll see.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38150 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

55 thoughts on “And the new drummer for the Foo Fighters is…

  • My only problems with this article:
    1. Saying that Matt Cameron is still going to work with Soundgarden… that band disbanded 5 years ago, with no hope of a reunion as one of the members is dead and the others do not want to replace him.
    2. The fact that Rufus Taylor is last in line. I’m in multiple Foo Fighters fan groups, so can tell you that Rufus’s name has been thrown around and speculated upon more than anyone else’s- certainly more than Cameron and Wilard, both of whom I haven’t heard anyone talk about as options until yesterday.

    Reply
    • You’re right in the sense that Soundgarden will never play live again. However, if they settle the lawsuit with Vicky Cornell, they will go back into the studio and finish and album using the vocals Chris left behind.

      And you’re right about Rufus’ name being bandied about a lot. But evidence now suggests that he may not be the frontrunner.

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      • Glad to hear you acknowledge Chris Cornell’s death and Soundgarden likely won’t be calling up Matt anytime soon. Your article made it sound like even odds of a Soundgarden reunion too

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    • My bet is it will be Jorma Vik. He recently quit EODM…

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    • Well,this is one of the toughest things they will be doing in the near future.So I think RUFUS is ultimately the best choice they should go with ,keep Taylor in the realm,I mean the name TAYLOR,it just makes sense,NO!,YES.

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      • I think they should look at Thomas Pridgen,he’s played with a lot of bands most notably The Mars Volta,he’s a black man who loves slot of genres including rock/punk and he’s got more than enough power and chops to drive FF.plus he plays with that joy Taylor did.if you’ve not seen him, check him out

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    • I wonder if anyone want to throw out William goldsmiths name. Yes, I concede that it’s a long long shot. But the original ff drummer coming back. That’s gold. And I’ve always believed William is an excellent drummer

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      • You know, that’s an interesting suggestions. I wonder if he was even considered.

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        • It just adds insult to injury that he is not seemingly part of the conversation.

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  • Everyone seems to miss an obvious choice, Josh Homme. He’s good friends with Dave, Pat, and the rest of the band. He’s a great drummer and guitar player. He and Dave could switch back and forth between drums and lead guitar.

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  • I stopped reading at “if Soundgarden called”. Have some ******* respect. And no, the unfinished album doesn’t count. You worded this as though there were a chance of an actual reunion and you know it. Weak as ****. Don’t bother replying because nothing you can say can undo the bull**** I just read.

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    • Dude get ahold of yourself lol is that how u talk to everyone? What are you f***** stupid? I said pepperoni and you ****** know it! Lolol i mean really. That set u off that bad? Im as big a SG fan there is. I didnt think twice about it

      Reply
  • I’ve been saying Atom Willard would be a perfect replacement for months. So glad to see someone else saying the same thing and that I’m not crazy! 🙃

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    • Totally agree on Atom Willard. He has that thing, that pocket similar to Taylor. Matt Cameron, although extremely capable, doesn’t seem like the fit drumming wise. Just my opinion.

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      • Willard would be such a great fit. His admiration of the foo and long term friendship with Dave make this an interesting situation. Watch him live he puts it all out there!

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      • I do believe you use the word IF Soundgarden ever got back together not that it would happen… I think these crackheads need to slow down on the pipe…. people who only read what they want to see kill me with there lack of a high school education…. i’d actually like to see Foo Fighters go outside the box and get some of these great drummers are heading in basement somewhere. There are so many of them give them a chance Dave.

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  • P Rufus Taylor or Shane Hawkins would be the best candidates to replace Taylor

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    • Exactly.,.enough said

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    • It would be a sweet and lovely thing if Shane Hawkins did it, but he’s not really on that level yet.
      Not that he won’t be at some point!
      Brad Wilk seems like the most probable choice all around.

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  • Rufus Taylor or Shane Hawkins

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    • I say, if Shane wants it, let him at those drums for the Foos! Taylor would be so PROUD to see his son stepping in! It’d be like continuing a heartbeat, or rhythm for the same song, carrying on, seamlessly..
      It’d be great- but only if he WANTS to be a Foo!❤

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      • I agree totally Shane is my pick

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    • Shane Hawkins is too young, the industry would use him up and spit him out too quickly. I let him get the age 22 at least, so he can make his own decisions.

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  • Why does nobody consider Nick Collins a notable contender for the job? I think he’s primed and could fill the position if he wanted to. He’s got it in his dna as well. Just needs the chemistry. I think everyone just forgets he’s out there in the world.

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    • I thought of Nick Collins a while back too. He is an incredible drummer and more than capable to carry on Taylor and Dave’s drum parts. I’ve seen Nick play live and saw him on Drumeo’s website talking about different parts, technique etc. He would be a great contender!

      Reply
  • I feel Shane will definitely take it when he’s ready. We saw how much skill,passion and talent he has in the tribute shows. So ready they already have the perfect replacement drummer. All it is now is whenever Shane says he’d want to.

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  • Bring on his son !!! Logical , Nobel , and ….. in the making let’s hope .

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    • One can not overlook the healing factor that the addition of Shane behind the drums would have for the band and Shane . Both are hurting beyond hurt . Taylor and Dave were obviously brothers from another mother ( a love that goes beyond genetics ) and Shane , well words couldn’t describe his loss . They say that you cannot die if people remember you . With the addition of Shane , his heart still beats

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  • Shane Hawkins is the best choice overall.

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  • I don’t care who the old drummer was to this highly over rated band let alone care for who the new drummer is !

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    • Yet you felt the need to make this Rude comment ? Whatever happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say keep your mouth shut”? You should have just kept your mouth shut Rather than waste everybody’s time with your s***** comment. Love you FOO FIGHTERS, I know who ever you choose to fill that seat will be great! Miss you TAYLOR, LOVE YOU DAVE 😍 See you at OUTSIDE LANDS SF.

      Reply
  • The darkness have just completed a world tour and are recording a new album, but yeah they’re not up to much. Mug

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    • I hope it’s Rufus Taylor, and they can incorporate Shane Taylor

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  • No Stewart Copeland in the mix?

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  • Not to sound like the old guy here but I hope it’s not Taylor’s son. The road is no place for a young kid. Look what it did to his dad. Rock stars are exposed to alot of ****. There were rumors that Taylor was even burned out before he passed. Anyways…

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  • I think Shane should finish school. He has his own band as well. I think Rufus should be the choice. However, being a Foo seems to be a life, not just a job. And BTW, the title of your article stinks. ‘Enquirer’ type headline. You didn’t think anyone would read your little article if you were honest???

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  • Yet you felt the need to make this Rude comment ? Whatever happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say keep your mouth shut”? You should have just kept your mouth shut Rather than waste everybody’s time with your s***** comment. Love you FOO FIGHTERS, I know who ever you choose to fill that seat will be great! Miss you TAYLOR, LOVE YOU DAVE 😍 See you at OUTSIDE LANDS SF.

    Reply
  • “The Darkness isn’t doing much these days … ”

    Quite the opposite, they just finished a big tour, co – headlining with Black Stone Cherry and are now in the writing process for a new album.

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    • Yes, but they only have one gig scheduled so far this year, hence “The Darkness isn’t doing much these days.”

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  • Matt Cameron is the guy that Geddy Lee called when he needed a drummer other than Neil Peart for his solo album. Does higher praise for a rock drummer even exist?

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  • Somebody has ever think of SOAD’s John Dolmayan? He was searching for a band a few months ago by Instagram because System hasn’t been active lately. I believe it would be cool, he has their own style and maybe it is not so fast as Taylor but he won’t be replaced ever.

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    • That’s a good one, although John’s right-leaning politics may interfere with the chemistry the band is looking for.

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  • Interesting that not one of you has mentioned who actually got the job. Very surprising. All you needed to do is open your eyes a couple times. It was right there all along.

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  • With all the commentary around Meg White on Twitter RN I was surprised to not see her name in the running. I love Meg White, but I’m not sure I want to hear her rendition of My Hero…maybe I do IDK.

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  • Have the same respect for Taylor Hawkins that Led Zeppelin had for John Bonham. Fold up FF and move on!

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    • Is that what The Hawk would have wanted?
      Keep that in mind.

      I don’t remember zepplin throwing 2 massive benefit concerts in Bonhams honour. Its been handled with nothing but class.

      You seem to forget its Daves band, whats he going to do, go start a reggae band?

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  • It’s 100% jorma Vik

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  • What about Matt Sorum?

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  • Matt Cameron makes almost too much sense. He’s an awesome drummer. He’d fit Foo Fighters stylistically. He’s known Dave forever. He and Taylor had literally started a band just before Taylor’s death (https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/matt-cameron-taylor-hawkins-nighttime-boogie-association-1101433/). He managed to do double duty for Pearl Jam and Soundgarden while both bands were touring extensively, a brief period in 2014 excepted, and Pearl Jam doesn’t seem to be touring anytime soon. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Foos continuing on without Taylor, but for me, Matt’s the one drummer I’d go out of my way to see play with them.

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    • My guess is you havent seen Atom Willard.

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  • A friend of mine who knew Dave and did gigs with him when he was in Scream told me he was offered the job way back in the day. I can’t remember if it was when he was first forming the band or as Goldsmith’s replacement. He turned it down because he was in a band with his brother he loved playing with as the primary reason. I mixed FOH for them when Dave asked the band if they wanted to open for them for the southern leg of a festival tour a long time ago.

    He’s an awesome drummer and could easily do the gig. Maybe he didn’t feel like it was the style of music he wanted to play over and over again, as his band is much more hard hitting.

    They even have the Foos early touring van for gigging around LA.

    Reply

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