It’s way too soon, but people are already speculating who might be the next Foo Fighters drummer

I know, I know. The grief is still unbearable and the healing hasn’t even begun to take hold. Hell, we haven’t even had the funeral yet. But it’s out there: Who might take over the drummer’s spot in the Foo Fighters now that Taylor Hawkins is no longer with us?

Let’s be very, very clear: Taylor cannot be replaced. His personality, charm, and contribution to the family chemistry of the Foo Fighters are things that developed over 25 years. I can speak from personal experience that he was one of the nicest musicians I’ve ever interviewed, second only to Dave Grohl himself. But if the Foos are to continue, they’ll need someone to keep time.

The more I brooded about Taylor’s death, the more I’ve come to believe that the Foos will eventually regroup and continue because Taylor would never want something bad that happened to him to ruin things for the other guys, especially Dave. I just know it. He’d want them to keep going and to continue their good fortune. It’ll be hard–the ghost of Taylor will always be with the band–but it can probably be done. And if (when?) the Foos do hit the road again, the outpouring of love from the fans will be insane.

In fact, regrouping might be the best therapy for everyone associated with the band. And if that’s the case, someone will have to play drums.

Again, I apologize for talking about this already, but as I said, the topic is out there. There’s not a Foo fan anywhere in the world who hasn’t thought about this. You have, too. Admit it. You can’t speculate about the future of the Foo Fighters without stumbling on this topic.

The successful candidate will have to have chops equal to Taylor; that goes without saying. At this level, the most important thing is chemistry, personality, and humanity. This person, whoever he/she may be, will have to fit into the Foo Fighters family.

One way to skirt the issue of replacing Taylor might be to bring in a series of guest drummers, people who won’t become official members of the band but who can fill in on tours and live appearances. That might be the most palatable route to take for fans, too.

The first article I saw on the subject appeared in The Georgia Straight yesterday (March 30). It offered four suggestions, punk rock drummers who may get a phone call at some point.

  1. Lucky Lehrer (Circle Jerks, Redd Kross, Bad Religion, Wasted Youth)
  2. Spit Six (Fear, Nina Hagen, Lydia Lunch, Dick Dale)
  3. Earl Hudson (Bad Brains)
  4. Chuck Biscuits (D.O.A., Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Danzig, Social Distortion)

Interesting thoughts. But who else might be on this list? After talking things through with a couple of people, I came up with these names.

  • Travis Barker: Like Dave Grohl, he’s super-versatile and has boundless energy. He was also a very, very, very good friend of Taylor. Having him join the Foos when he’s not busy with Blink-182–billed as a guest drummer and not a full member–might be the way to go.
  • Stephen Perkins: The Jane’s Addiction drummer was also a very good friend. Nothing wrong with his abilities, either.
  • Tommy Lee: It’s been floated by some, but he might be a little too volatile for the Foos’ tastes. Then again, he was also Taylor’s friend and may have been one of the very last people to speak to him.
  • Chad Smith: If the Chili Peppers weren’t about to embark on yet another album cycle, he may have been a good choice. Probably not going to happen, though.
  • Brad Wilk: The Rage Against the Machine man is a hard-hitter with a great groove. Maybe?
  • Cindy Blackman: She’s often recognized as one of the best female drummers of all time. Remember her from Lenny Kravitz’s band?
  • Meytal Cohen: If you haven’t seen this Israeli-born woman’s drum cover videos on YouTube, Google her now.
  • Nandi Bushell: Okay, she’s just 11, but Dave and the Foos are besotted with her abilities. Maybe a guest drummer appearance?
  • Dave Grohl: I hear he plays drums. And he might know a few Foos songs already.

Again, I’m sorry for bringing this up so soon. But I like said, the talk is out there.

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 38410 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

39 thoughts on “It’s way too soon, but people are already speculating who might be the next Foo Fighters drummer

  • An obvious choice for me would be Brooks Wackerman, ex-Bad Religion. He certainly has the chops for it!!

  • I had a “future of the Foos” discussion with some friends and my thoughts are IF they play again it won’t be for a year and a half or two years. And their best bet is to bring in literal family. One of the kids or somebody actually related to the band. Phil Collins’ kid did a great job touring with his dad.

  • I have had the same discussion…with myself. I imagine them bringing in a list of guest drummers, a permanent drummer would have to battle the ghosts and fill major shoes from the get go. My thoughts were of a few young drummers (and an older one) as guest spots and potential full time…

    Rufus Taylor – Roger Taylor’s son and friend and mentee of Taylor
    Jason Bonham – John Bonham’s son and friend of Taylor
    Nic Collins – Phil Collins’ son
    Chad Smith – of RHCP would be a great fit to me but has obligations with RHCP

    It is way to early to speculate but agree they will carry on in honor of Taylor…

  • As much as I think that Travis Barker is a talented drummer, his style is too different from Taylor Hawkin’s style, and therefore not a fit for the Foos. I just can’t envision him playing any of the songs.

  • My first thought was Josh Freese and I’m surprised I haven’t seen his name mentioned. Super versatile, great drummer, similar age, and has likely crossed paths numerous times with Dave et al.

  • Minor mistake M. Cross in your suggestions. I presume you meant Stephen Perkins. He’s also my suggestion for the (possible) job.

    But again, I guess it’s always a question of vibe between musicians. Doesn’t mean the guy is a great drummer that he will automatically get along with the other guys.


  • Larnel Lewis. He can play anything

  • Rufus Taylor would be a great fit. Roger Taylor’s son, amazing drummer (plays for The Darkness), close friends with Taylor, was his mentee, played a few times with the Foos and has a bond with Dave as well… being the son of the drummer Taylor himself adored…

  • Brad Wilk wouldn’t fit very well. He does have a groove, but he mostly seems comfortable with just keeping a 4/4 beat. And I’ve never heard him drum at the tempo Foos go for.

    I’ll do it! I know all their songs by heart, and don’t have anything else going on with my time right now. Hope I get that phone call.

  • I think it would be easier on Dave, and more interesting overall, for the band to share the lead singing duties than to replace Taylor. As I remarked in the other thread concerning this… my vote is for “Dave takes the drums”. The Foo’s already have their defacto first drummer… considered by many to be one of the best out there. Why not put that amazing talent back out in the spotlight again firmly where it belongs? Passing the main guitar-work fully to Chris and Pat adds another new dimension, and sharing singing duties between Dave, the band, backup singers, and celebrity guest singer/guitarists (think an Ian Thornley type) could turn out to be an interesting new chapter of this band. The Foo Fighter songs are great and stand on their own with whomever sings them (taking nothing away from Dave), but the songwriting and musical force of the band also needs to be driven from behind the drumkit. I think this question should be restructured as, which musician will help the band out (if any)?

    Again taking nothing away from what a tragic and heartbreaking loss Taylor’s passing has been. RIP.

  • However much I imagine that Travis Barker is a gifted drummer, his style is excessively not quite the same as Taylor Hawkin’s style, and subsequently not a fit for the Foos. I can’t imagine him playing any of the melodies.

  • How about Richard from Manchester that was pulled from the crowd at Croatia concert?

  • I actually don’t see it happening. I see Dave making music, but not doing the whole Foo thing. If he did want to carry on with a “new” drummer, lots of options above are great. I would add Charlie Paxon to the list, Barbara Gruska (who sings BGs with foos currently, so already ‘in the family’), Josh Freese (even though some history might get in the way), and Gregg Bissonnete. Like Taylor, Gregg is the worlds best friend, he is fantastic to tour with, and he has the joy of playing and the showmanship that Taylor had. AND…he is an incredible drummer. He can do anything.

  • Actually, the first person that crossed my mind would be Joey Castillo (Danzig, QOTSA, EODM, etc., etc.) He’s certainly got the chops and he’s a monster behind the kit.

  • Drew Hester… He was close to Taylor and was on tour with the Foo Fighter’s back in 2008.

  • None of the above. The best fit would be Rufus Taylor, son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor. There is a video of Rufus playing drums with the Foo’s while Taylor sang Queens Under Pressure and Rufus was great. Even has the same look as Taylor. That all said I think the band is done as a unit and that we will just see Dave Grohl solo with various friends from here on.

  • There’s only one drummer that fits the bill and that would be Ilan Rubin of Nine Inch Nails. Of course, Taylor is irreplaceable, but Rubin is damn close. His musical influences (Zeppelin, Queen, The Beatles) are very much in line with Grohl and Hawkins’ favorites and there is no question about his drumming. He is one of the premier rock drummers today. That said, it’s way too soon and who knows if Grohl will even want to continue as a Foo Fighter.

  • Dave Lombardo. Though, he’d be crossing over from thrash metal.

  • Tony Royston Jr. He’s been a wild talent since he was a child. He’s been the backup drummer for the likes of Jay Z, Katy Perry, and can play rock as well as anyone. He’s been featured on Letterman’s drum week and played the biggest stages with massive presence. The guy can handle the pressure and isn’t going to have to jump between other famous bands like some of the other suggestions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZI9YvM02L8

    Absolutely: TRAVIS BARKER

  • I’m glad to see others thinking Rufus Taylor too. I think he would be a great fit for the band.
    Even if he just joined them for some concerts in Taylor’s memory.
    Probably all a bit early to think of a replace ment but I definitely think Rufus all
    The way x

  • Not a lot of follow up for female drummers.

  • 100% Rufus Taylor – mentored by Taylor Hawkins and the links to Queen are strongest anyway !
    Rufus is an awesome drummer, have witnessed that when he fills in on tour when Roger joins Brian for songs………he’s learnt from the best !!

  • IF they do continue, I can fully understand if they do choose to leave it. I mean, Taylor was a powerhouse and equally as good as Dave.
    However, here are my suggestions:
    Atom Willard (Against Me), Dave Abbruzzese (ex Pearl Jam), Hayley Cramer (Pop Evil), Cindy Blackman (Lenny Kravitz), Matt Sorum (ex-Guns N Roses), Zak Starkey (The Who and Ringo’s Son) or Jon Philip Theodore (ex Mars Volta)

  • I could see Rufus Taylor…son of Roger Taylor from Queen. There is a connection there and he is a good drummer. Makes sense on a lot of levels.

  • I think hannah welton would be amazing in a hard rock band

  • You are right. We all had the thought so I do not see wrong. As the huge Queen Taylor was. He knows that the show must go on. And as much as I miss him and forever will, I also want the Foos to carry on and keep Taylor’s memory alive by doing what they love and Taylor loved.
    I love thay you mentioned Nandi! Because I had the same thought.
    I also thought Dave but I think he is already a front man and unless he moves the drums to the front, will not happen. I also thought Rufus Taylor.
    Tommy as you said too volatile. And Travis why not, but maybe he now being a reality star might not be a fit for these too cool rock gods.

  • I would throw in Samantha Maloney. If she can work well with Motley Crue, I think she would fit in with Foo Fighters.

  • Well after reading your article, here’s something that might work out for the best. Why not just fill the sets on tour with several guest drummers. I truly think that the Foo’s are very very well established that no one cares if the position is filled. Myself as a fan I can say that just having to see them perform, which they never disappoint. I would like to see them take on several of the drummers you mentioned as guest.
    What are your thoughts on this?

  • Delta Empire is a good name. Pure Talent.

  • I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that IF they regroup, it WILL be Rufus Taylor.
    He was Taylor’s mentee and has been close to the band from a young age. There’s nobody else that makes more sense.

  • They are 100 percent going to be the FOO FIGHTERS again. Dave will continue and will be a front man as should be. It is not an IF. They just need time. I have friends close with the band. I do not believe Travis is even being considered.

    I think Rufus Taylor would be an interesting choice of what I have seen above. I think they will take many months or another year to figure this out if they haven’t already. Taylor Hawkins son Oliver (now 16 almost 17 ) might be able to pull it off. He is in school drumming now, is like a son to Dave and has been playing on stage for years. He also joined the FOO a few times to do covers during shows (Rolling Stones and so on). He is very comfortable on stage. Jason Bonham was only 15 when he joined Led Zeppelin. I could see Dave wanting to keep him in the family. And I know fans would love it if he could pull it off this legacy.

  • Barbara Gruska. She’s already on stage with the band, and she’s already a professional drummer

  • DAVE ABBRUZZES might be able to fill those shoes & he’s VERY PROFESSIONAL. youtube channel@ FreeAssRecords.CHECK HIM OUT

  • The Foo Fighters are a family. When a beloved family member passes, you grieve, you know you will never get over the loss, but you look to the rest of your family for support. Watching the Foos live streaming from Wembly at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute concert, you could see the love between the members, the pain they all hold, and the outpouring of love by their fans. I think when they have had appropriate time to grieve, they will continue. Rufus Taylor is “a member of the Foo’s Family” as introduced at the concert. I could see the love when he played on “One of These Days” and “Best of You.” His style is more understated than Taylor, a cross between the talent of he and Dave and the backbeat feeling of Ringo Starr. His drumming fits like a glove, not overwhelming, but fitting in so smoothly. I. think it would be a mistake to seek a good Taylor imitator. Rufus brings the close relationship with the members, but his own unique, more understated style. He is self-confident in playing his own way. He reminds me of a young Omar Hakim, the best drummer of all, but very unlikely to join the Foos, as great as he would be. I am very grateful to have obtained a ticket for the LA concert. I have seen the Foos many times, and was at the FOX when Dave played a solo acoustic set for the UCSF Children’s Hospital Benefit, and saw Violet and Harper play with him. It this is the last concert for them, I will bring my love and prayers for their healing and feel grateful for the happiness their music has brought me, more than they could imagine.


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