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News / Life / Entertainment

Foo Fighters’ new drummer debuts

Veteran musician Josh Freese replaces late Taylor Hawkins

By Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times
Published: May 25, 2023, 6:02am

LOS ANGELES — The Foo Fighters introduced Josh Freese as the drummer for their upcoming tour and performed new music on Sunday during a free livestream event.

The virtual show took place more than a year after the death of the group’s longtime drummer, Taylor Hawkins. Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl kicked it off with Freese on drums after teasing fans with a string of cameos, including drummers Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe and Danny Carey of Tool.

Freese, 50, is a veteran session musician who has played drums for the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Sting, Weezer and other major artists. He and his new bandmates took breaks to chat, jam and goof around between songs during the livestream, titled “Preparing Music For Concerts.”

Next week, the Foo Fighters are set to embark on their first concert tour since Hawkins died in March 2022 at age 50. The rock band was touring South America when Hawkins was found dead in a hotel room in Bogotá, Colombia, and they immediately canceled all tour dates.

The group’s latest tour was set to begin Wednesday in New Hampshire and conclude in October in Texas. During that period, the Foo Fighters are also slated to headline two California music festivals: San Francisco’s Outside Lands (Aug. 12) and Dana Point’s Ohana Festival (Oct. 1).

Tickets for the tour went on sale shortly before the Foo Fighters announced plans to release their 11th studio album, “But Here We Are,” in June. During the livestream, the band played “Rescued” and “Under You” from the forthcoming record, in addition to classics such as “All My Life” and “Monkey Wrench.”

Sunday’s event was not the Foo Fighters’ first live performance since Hawkins’ death. In September, the band headlined a pair of star-studded tribute concerts to the revered percussionist — whose teenage son, Shane, filled in for him on the drums, bringing audiences to tears.