What do the Foo Fighters do now?

I know. Too soon. But this is an issue that’s going inevitably have to be dealt with.

Let’s be very clear: Taylor Hawkins will never be replaced in the Foo Fighters. Impossible. The chemistry and friendship he brought to the group was essential to the family nature of the Foos. He was this loveable, buoyant goofy guy with whom Dave Grohl gladly shared the limelight and the stage. He was Dave’s best, best friend. In his memoir, The Storyteller, Dave said he’d “take a bullet for Taylor.”

How does Dave Grohl soldier on without Taylor? Shades of Kurt all over again.

And it’s not just Dave. Pat Smear was a touring guitarist with Nirvana when Kurt died. And before that, he was in The Germs. The day before John Lennon was shot, singer Darby Crash died of a heroin overdose, so this is the third time Pat has gone through something like this.

How does Dave, Pat, and the rest of the band Grohl step onstage and not feel Taylor’s presence behind him? Or will they just have to suck it up and keep going?

There are two ways of looking at this. First, there’s the human element.

Oh, sure, Dave can find someone to keep time for the band. But he’ll never, ever have that same Lennon-McCartney/Keith-Mick/Laurel-and-Hardy relationship he had with Taylor. Taylor also had a special relationship with the fans. They loved him.

Comparisons are being drawn with Led Zeppelin. When John Bonham died on September 25, 1980, there was no question that the band was done. Without Bonzo, there was no Led Zeppelin, so the group folded. Another comparison is with Rush. The group had already retired when Neil Peart died, but his death put an end to any possible talk of a reunion.

And imagine being the person selected to be the next Foo Fighters drummer. The pressure would be insane. Who could handle that?

But we also have to look at this from a business point of view.

The Foo Fighters are a multi-million-dollar machine, a corporation that employs dozens of people and has commitments for tours, appearances, and albums. Dave is not a quitter. Dave isn’t the kind of guy who can sit still. And he knows he has responsibilities that involve many other people. He’ll have to consider the case of the Rolling Stones. Charlie Watts was a founding member. When he died, it took a couple of weeks for Steve Jordan to be drafted into his spot.

Do the Foos continue in Taylor’s honour? Or do they honour him by saying that there are no Foo Fighters without him?

At some point, there will be a very, very tough band meeting involving the management team and perhaps even the record label.

Thoughts?

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.

26 thoughts on “What do the Foo Fighters do now?

  • March 28, 2022 at 10:14 am
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    will depend on the insurance policy, I guess.
    they had a lot of commitments already this year.

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  • March 28, 2022 at 11:57 am
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    What ever Dave and the rest of the band decide is fine by me. I could totally respect the decision to fold the Foo Fighters, but I could also support the decision to replace Taylor and press on. Having said that, if they decide to press forward, It would be cool to have some one younger, say someone like Rufus Taylor or Nic Collins, kind of the way Bruce Springsteen replaced Clarence Clemmons with Jake Clemons.

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  • March 28, 2022 at 12:27 pm
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    I’ve already thought of this.
    When Kurt died, Dave was clear he wasn’t done with making music. So, with much criticism, he launched Foo Fighters.
    It’s quite obvious that Dave is not done making music, but Foo Fighters will be no more, just like Nirvana was no more.
    Dave will continue making new music, and his loyal fans will support him.
    Many great musicians and artists have lost band mates and found a way to carry on.
    What would AC/DC be if they stopped after Bon Scott died?
    Dave will make music. Maybe there will be a new band. Maybe mixed collaborations (Slash has made a career out of it). Maybe a solo career now?
    He was never interested in doing anything outside of Foo Fighters (other than small side projects, like Queens Of The Stone Age), but he’s never been without Taylor until now.

    Dave will be back.

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  • March 28, 2022 at 12:42 pm
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    I can see it going one of two ways:

    Either the band is just done, or Dave records studio and they bring someone as a touring drummer. Shows won’t have the same magic though. I’m glad I got to see them when I did.

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  • March 28, 2022 at 9:29 pm
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    Taylor wasn’t the first Foo drummer, but obviously he’s been key since their enormous success. So now they find themselves in the position of the other world-famous bands who have lost a main member. I feel badly for Dave. He’s had massive losses while in the public eye. I’ve always liked that the Foos never lost their “guy down the street in a band” mentality. It’s like they are out there for all of us jamming with their heroes. I met Taylor at the NAMM show in about 2004. He was just as you think he would be. Laughing and bouncy. So sad.

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  • March 28, 2022 at 9:32 pm
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    Chad Smith
    Stephen Perkins
    Ringo

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  • March 28, 2022 at 10:57 pm
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    I think the Foos will be retired as a band. Dave loves side projects, so I would expect him to continue making documentaries, soundtracks, and all sorts of new music – just not as the Foo Fighters, but as Dave. And he’ll have the other guys from the Foos collaborate, as well as all sorts of other musicians.
    I just don’t think Dave will ever feel comfortable taking the stage as the Foos without Taylor.

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  • March 29, 2022 at 5:48 am
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    This article really is unnecessary. It tells the reader nothing that they did not already know & only states the obvious. You can do better.

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  • March 29, 2022 at 8:33 am
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    Well for starters the band has their own label and own all their content so that last line is poorly researched. Otherwise I could see the band finishing commitments as a tribute to Taylor with another drummer like a Chad Smith who is a well known friend of Taylor’s

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  • March 29, 2022 at 1:22 pm
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    I cannot imagine the Foo Fighters taking the stage without Hawkins. I don’t think Dave can either. I remember Grohl stating he couldn’t even listen to music for about a year following the death of Kurt Cobain. I don’t know the dynamics of Nirvana but, with the Foo Fighters, Hawkins was almost just as much the front man as Grohl was/is. They were also best friends. If I had to guess, the Foos will disband. They’ve already achieved every imaginable goal within the music industry. What’s left, and would it even make a difference? Will they record and release new music??? I think so… but, probably not for quite some time, and not as ‘Foo Fighters.’ My heart goes out to Taylor’s wife, his 3 children, the Foos, Dave, the fans, and everyone else affected by the tragic loss of TH. May his spirit live on!!!

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  • March 29, 2022 at 1:24 pm
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    One of their backup singers, Barbara Gruska, is an incredible drummer and I could see her possibly stepping in. I believe she played some shows with NHC.

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  • March 29, 2022 at 6:39 pm
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    So sad .I think they will shut the Foo train down..Can’t see them playing with a replacement ..Will never be another Taylor

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  • March 29, 2022 at 10:20 pm
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    Allan Dugas, your comment on here wasn’t necessary. If you can’t say something decent, don’t say nothing at all. Allan, YOU’RE the one who can do better.

    Thank you Alan Cross for the post.

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  • March 30, 2022 at 3:12 pm
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    It’s easy for anyone to feel that we know someone who’s been in the limelight for over 30 years. The truth is we only know the surface that they share. But the ability for the masses to understand and connect with them through their art is quite the phenomenal experience.

    Once in a while, we are graced with an iconic genius that resonates with the world, and Dave Grohl is certainly one of them. He has worked incredibly hard at his craft and I believe he has even surprised the sh*t outta himself with the empire he has created. From never writing a song while in Nirvana, to writing the entire catalog for one of the greatest bands of the 21st century.

    Whatever the next step is, we can only remain supportive of their choices. However, if they decided to move forward and continue their journey, I feel there is one man who is capable of carrying Taylor’s torch. This man is a beast on the kit, and was one of Taylor’s dearest friends before the days of Taylor playing with The Foo Fighters. That man is Travis Barker.

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  • March 30, 2022 at 5:56 pm
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    I think that the Foo Fighters are sadly over as a band. Alan’s Led Zeppelin comparison sums it up perfectly. RIP Tyler, and I hope that you’re doing ok Dave Grohl.

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  • March 30, 2022 at 11:01 pm
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    Easy…Dave plays drums and sings.

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  • March 31, 2022 at 12:26 am
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    All the talk that they’ll be ‘done’ is premature nonsense. Here’s what they WILL do…they will take time to heal and grieve and then they will have the hard task of finding a new drummer for touring, because Taylor WOULD WANT THEM TO CONTINUE. Anyone who thinks otherwise has no clue about anything regarding this band. They’ve invested too much time and energy to let it go…soldier on in his memory, THAT’S what they will do.
    End of discussion.

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  • March 31, 2022 at 2:05 am
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    It’s a hard question to ponder with it still feeling so fresh. That said, I think they will carry on at some point. As was mentioned, it’s a band but it’s also a corporation with a lot of obligations including, I assume, a want to help provide for Taylor’s family.

    I think there’s a big difference between the Cobain situation and this one. Specifically, Grohl’s age, goals, and where he is in life now versus when he was in his 20s when he felt like he had to do his own thing to create his own music and not take the gig with Petty and sort of fade into the background. At this point, he and the band have built something. It may, ultimately, feel more isolating and difficult to strive out on his own without Shifflet, Mendel, and Smear… and for what? It’s not like he’s going to quit music altogether. It’ll always feel strange, I’m sure. But we’re drawn to family in times of loss, so I can see that being the case here with the family unit of the band.

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  • March 31, 2022 at 4:23 am
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    David Grohl will just have to step back up behind the the drums where he began his career! The Eagles and Genesis made that format work very well for themselves….just saying

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  • March 31, 2022 at 7:34 pm
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    Yes still a bit soon, but I have been thinking about it all week and I see this going one of two ways:

    1) Dave retires the band. They’ve a great 25+ year run, are now all in their 50’s (with Pat in his 60’s), and to borrow on an album title… they have nothing left to prove. Other projects can fill their time and they can go out essentially on top.

    2) Dave takes the drums. The Foo’s already have their defacto first drummer… considered by many to be one of the best R&R drummers out there. Why not put that talent back out in the spotlight fulltime? Plus I don’t ever see Dave replacing Taylor, because as they have stated time and time again ‘you are only as good as your drummer’, and that ‘the drummer is the band’. I see Dave taking up those duties, passing the guitar-work fully to Chris and Pat, and sharing (lead) singing duties with the band, backup singers, and guest singers. It could turn out to be an interesting chapter of the band if they decided to go this route. So I agree with others that have stated the same, and it worked for many bands including Canada’s own Triumph.

    But more importantly, this was very, very sad news that affected me deeply. This was my band of the 1990’s, and one of my favorite albums will always be the seminal and decade defining “The Colour and the Shape”. My heart goes out to Taylor’s children and wife, Dave, Pat, Nate, Chris, and Rami, as well as all those who personally knew him or simply loved his music/talent. RIP Taylor Hawkins.

    P.S. Or… maybe in a few years a girl named Nandi will help Dave out when he’s too old and frail. 😉

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  • April 23, 2022 at 10:21 pm
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    Only a heartless and callous individual would post this mere days after Taylor’s passing. It’s incredible really, especially from someone who has been in this business for decades.

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  • April 29, 2022 at 8:19 pm
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    I’ll do it if you want! I’ll play drums for the Foo Fighters. I literally have nothing else to do. All I’m saying is I’m available. Just throwing it out there.

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  • May 23, 2022 at 8:22 pm
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    Dave you cannot give up! My kid brother died way to soon do you think he would want me to Quit on my 5 kids ? For the love of God Taylor is playing drums with my brother in Heaven!

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  • May 28, 2022 at 11:08 pm
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    Probably will end up being Matt Cameron. He has time for another band.

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  • July 9, 2022 at 10:46 pm
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    Rufus Taylor, given the Foo’s and Hawkin’s love of Queen. He is young and not nearly outgoing, but would be a mistake to try replacing a personality that was bigger than life. Option 2 is a female drummer.
    I think their decision to continue or not will be between Dave, Nate, and Pat; the remaining original core. To me it appeared Taylor was Dave’s playmate, but Pat is the glue. Nirvana talked about how Pat joining the band kept them from breaking up before Cobain died. Of all the Foos, he has endured the most loss, with Darby Crash, Kurt Cobain, and now Taylor Hawkins. Anyone watching the recent tour with Taylor jumping on Pat’s back when he played a rare solo on Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” can see their connection. Pat is still pure punk. The Foo’s lost their edge during his absence. They got up off the ground with “Wasting Light,” in large part because of Pat rejoining the band and giving it the edge again with his minimalist rhythm guitar and what David refers to as his “wall of sound.”

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  • July 9, 2022 at 10:47 pm
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    Rufus Taylor, given the Foo’s and Hawkin’s love of Queen. He is young and not nearly outgoing, but would be a mistake to try replacing a personality that was bigger than life. Option 2 is a female drummer.
    I think their decision to continue or not will be between Dave, Nate, and Pat; the remaining original core. To me it appeared Taylor was Dave’s playmate, but Pat is the glue. Nirvana talked about how Pat joining the band kept them from breaking up before Cobain died. Of all the Foos, he has endured the most loss, with Darby Crash, Kurt Cobain, and now Taylor Hawkins. Anyone watching the recent tour with Taylor jumping on Pat’s back when he played a rare solo on Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” can see their connection. Pat is still pure punk. The Foo’s lost their edge during his absence. They got up off the ground with “Wasting Light,” in large part because of Pat’s return.

    Reply

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