Taylor Hawkins

Oliver Taylor Hawkins (born February 17, 1972) is an American musician, best known as the drummer for the rock band Foo Fighters. Prior to joining the band in 1997, he was the touring drummer for Alanis Morissette as well as the drummer in a progressive experimental band Sylvia. In 2004, Hawkins formed his own side project, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, in which he plays drums and sings. He was voted "Best Rock Drummer" in 2005 by the United Kingdom drumming magazine Rhythm.

Taylor Hawkins
Hawkins with Foo Fighters in 2017
Hawkins with Foo Fighters in 2017
Background information
Birth nameOliver Taylor Hawkins
Born (1972-02-17) February 17, 1972 (age 49)
Fort Worth, Texas, US
OriginLaguna Beach, California, US
GenresAlternative rock, punk rock, post-grunge, alternative metal, progressive rock
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsDrums, percussions, piano, vocals, guitar
Years active1994–present
Associated actsFoo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, Coheed and Cambria, Alanis Morissette, Eddie Fisher, Anyone, Eagles of Death Metal, Chevy Metal, Vasco Rossi, The Birds of Satan

Life and careerEdit

Early lifeEdit

Oliver Taylor Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on February 17, 1972. His family moved to Laguna Beach, California, in 1976, where Hawkins grew up. Hawkins has a brother, Jason, and a sister, Heather. He attended Thurston Jr. High School and later went to Laguna Beach High School. After leaving the Orange County-based band Sylvia (later emerging as ANYONE), he joined up as the drummer for Sass Jordan. In an interview with BBC Radio 6, Hawkins revealed that playing drums for Jordan was his "first real gig".[1] He then left to be Alanis Morissette's drummer on the tour supporting Jagged Little Pill.

Alanis MorissetteEdit

Between 1995 and 1996, Hawkins was the drummer for Morissette during her Can't Not tour. He appeared in the videos for "You Oughta Know", "All I Really Want" and "You Learn". He also appeared on Morissette's VHS/DVD Jagged Little Pill, Live (1997). Hawkins played for Morissette for 18 months prior to joining Foo Fighters.

Foo FightersEdit

After touring through the spring of 1996, Foo Fighters entered a Seattle studio with producer Gil Norton to record its second album. Conflict during recording reportedly erupted between Dave Grohl and drummer William Goldsmith, eventually causing Goldsmith to leave the band.[2] The band regrouped in Los Angeles and almost completely re-recorded the album with Grohl on drums. The album, The Colour and the Shape, was released on May 20, 1997. Grohl called up Hawkins to recommend a new drummer, thinking that Hawkins would not leave Morissette since it was a bigger band than Foo Fighters, which was only starting at the time. But to Grohl's surprise, Hawkins volunteered, explaining that he wanted to be a drummer in a rock band rather than for a solo act. The band announced Hawkins would be the new drummer on March 18, 1997;[3] he made his debut in time for the album's release.[1]

When Hawkins joined the band, they were only playing at clubs or opening slots for other bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now they have been touring for nearly 25 years, playing at sold-out stadium concerts.[1] Their biggest concert was reportedly a two-night sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium in London, where they performed for approximately 86,000 people in 2008.[4][circular reference]

Hawkins singing during a Foo Fighters concert in 2018

In addition to his drumming duties with the Foo Fighters, Hawkins is also an accomplished rock singer, guitarist and pianist. His first lead vocal with the group was a cover of Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar". Two versions of the song were released, one as the b-side to "Learn to Fly" and another on the Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack album. He sang lead vocals on the original "Cold Day in the Sun," from In Your Honor, which was later released as a single, and the cover of Cream's "I Feel Free," which appeared as the b-side of "DOA" and on the EP Five Songs and a Cover. Hawkins also sang lead vocals for the band's cover of Joe Walsh's "Life of Illusion." Most recently, he sang lead vocals for "Sunday Rain," a track on the Foo Fighters' 2017 album Concrete and Gold. Many Foo Fighters live shows feature Hawkins singing lead vocals on at least one cover song. He now also contributes with songwriting, he co-wrote songs like "All My Life".

Other projectsEdit

In 2006, Hawkins released a self-titled LP with his side project, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders. He occasionally plays with a Police cover band alternately called "The Cops" and "Fallout."

At Live Earth in 2007, Hawkins was part of SOS Allstars with Roger Taylor of Queen and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Hawkins played "YYZ" with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush on stage at a concert in Toronto on March 22, 2008.

Hawkins recorded the drum tracks for the Coheed and Cambria album Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow as the band's regular drummer, Chris Pennie, was not able to record due to contractual reasons. Also, Hawkins toured with Coheed and Cambria shortly during the months of the album. Hawkins can also be heard drumming on Eric Avery's (formerly of Jane's Addiction) first solo effort, Help Wanted and on Kerry Ellis's album, Wicked in Rock. Hawkins and Grohl split drumming duties on Harmony & Dissidence, the latest album by Foo Fighters bandmate Chris Shiflett's own side project, Jackson United.

Hawkins played on the track "Cyborg," from Queen guitarist Brian May's 1998 solo album, Another World; he also played drums at VH1's Rock Honors 2006 while Queen performed "We Will Rock You." He sang backing vocals on the Queen + Paul Rodgers single, "C-lebrity."

Hawkins (behind the drums) playing with Foo Fighters in Austin, Texas

Hawkins was commissioned to complete an unfinished recording of a song by Beach Boys' drummer Dennis Wilson titled "Holy Man" by writing and singing new lyrics. The recording was released in June 2008 as part of a deluxe edition of Wilson's lone 1977 solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue.

While the Foo Fighters were on break, Hawkins played in a three-piece cover band, Chevy Metal, that played lesser known tracks by ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Van Halen, Queen, and Black Sabbath. Hawkins continues to play in Chevy Metal, with the addition of fellow Foo Fighters bandmate Chris Shiflett now on guitar.

Hawkins appears on Slash's solo album Slash,[5] released in 2010, providing backing vocals on the track "Crucify the Dead," featuring Ozzy Osbourne.

Hawkins in 2012

In June 2012, it was announced that Hawkins was cast in the role of Iggy Pop in the rock film CBGB.

Hawkins recorded the drums on Vasco Rossi's last song, "L'uomo più semplice." This song was released on January 21, 2013 in Italy.[6]

In March 2014, Hawkins announced his new side project called The Birds of Satan. It features Hawkins's drum technician and bandmate from Chevy Metal, Wiley Hodgden on bass guitar and vocals as well as guitarist Mick Murphy also of Chevy Metal. The band's self-titled debut album was released in April 2014, with a release party at 'Rock n Roll Pizza' featuring the Foo Fighters guesting on some of the cover tracks.[7]

In an interview with Radio X, Hawkins revealed that his initial idea with his solo projects was to duet with female singers.[8]

He has invited other stars to sing in Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders album Get the Money, like LeAnn Rimes, on one of his songs titled "C U In Hell".[1] Loudwire named the album one of the 50 best rock efforts of 2019.[9] Other musicians who have appeared in his projects include Roger Taylor, Brian May, Dave Grohl, Nancy Wilson, Joe Walsh, and many more.[10]


Hawkins performing in 2018

Hawkins has said that his drumming has been chiefly influenced by classic rock drummers. His main influences are Phil Collins of Genesis,[11] Stewart Copeland of The Police,[11] Budgie of Siouxsie and the Banshees,[12] Roger Taylor of Queen,[11] Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction,[11] Jim Gordon of Derek and the Dominos[11] and Neil Peart of Rush.[13] He was once guest editor of Rhythm and interviewed Collins, Copeland, Taylor and Perkins for the issue.[11]

It was thanks to Rush that I got into Genesis. After listening to Neil, I bought the Seconds Out live album, which was released in 1977. It's just amazing. Not only hearing Phil Collins playing the drums, but also singing. He gets a really bad rap from some people for 'daring' to take over after Peter Gabriel quit, but you just hear the way he sounds here. The beauty of this album is that it's got songs from ...Trick Of The Tail, the first album Genesis did without Gabriel. Collins is an incredible drummer. Anyone who wants to be good on the drums should check him out – the man is a master.[13]

Hawkins's first two major inspirations were Roger Taylor and Stewart Copeland. He reported that due to these two drummers' different styles, it gave him a wide spectrum of drumming style. He also mentions that he would play along songs on the radio or records, like Queen's News of the World, to enhance his skills when he was young.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Hawkins and his wife, have three children. Their son, Oliver Shane, was born in 2006; their daughter, Annabelle, was born in winter, 2009; and their second daughter, Everleigh, was born in November 2014.[citation needed]

They reside in Hidden Hills, California, after moving from Topanga Canyon in 2012.

Hawkins overdosed on heroin in 2001, which put him in a coma for two weeks.[14] Speaking to Beats 1 host Matt Wilkinson in 2018 about the incident, Hawkins said: "I was partying a lot. I wasn't a junkie per se, but I was partying. There was a year where the partying just got a little too heavy. Thank God on some level this guy gave me the wrong line with the wrong thing one night and I woke up going, 'What the fuck happened?' That was a real changing point for me."[15]

He is a childhood friend of current Yes lead vocalist Jon Davison. Hawkins was the one who suggested Davison to Yes bassist Chris Squire even before the departure of replacement vocalist Benoit David. "Strangely enough, Jon's name came up when we started working with Benoit," Squire recalled. "In fact, my friend, Taylor Hawkins, had been telling me for years: 'If you ever need a replacement (singer), I know exactly the guy.'"[16]


Foo FightersEdit

Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail RidersEdit

The Birds of SatanEdit

Coheed and CambriaEdit


  • Kota (EP) (2016)[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Taylor Hawkins Drumming Masterclass". YouTube.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2005). "Biography" AllMusicGuide.com (accessed April 28, 2006)
  3. ^ Sakamoto, John (March 18, 1997). "Alanis drummer joins Foo Fighters". Archived from the original on August 25, 1999. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  4. ^ "Live at Wembley Stadium (Foo Fighters video)".
  5. ^ "Slash interview, ultimate-guitar.com, March 20, 2010". Ultimate-guitar.com. March 20, 2010. Archived from the original on May 8, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  6. ^ http://www.radioswisspop.ch/en/music-database/musician/50033bea8c0212c4195b3771a4cd92d5a2ada/biography; and http://www.newspettacolo.com/news/view/72771-vasco_rossi_in_tour_il_9_e_10_giugno_a_torino_stadio_olimpico_e_il_22_e_23_giugno_2013_a_bologna_stadio_dall_ara_news_nazionale_bologna_nazionale_bologna_nazionale_emilia_romagna
  7. ^ Jason Newman (March 4, 2014). "Dave Grohl, Pat Smear to Guest on Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins New Band The Birds of Satan | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  8. ^ "Taylor Hawkins on "jerk" Noel Gallagher, Foo Fighters, and solo music | FULL Interview | Radio X".
  9. ^ "The 50 Best Rock Albums of 2019". Loudwire. Townsquare Media. December 5, 2019. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  10. ^ Kroll, Katy (November 5, 2019). "Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins Corrals Multiple Stars for Coattail Riders' 'Get the Money' Album".
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Drum Icon Interviews: Taylor Hawkins". MusicRadar. August 31, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  12. ^ Needs, Kris (February 2021). Heart of Darkness. Classic Rock. p. 56. [Siouxsie and the Banshees] were an infuence on so many people. I discovered Juju in my early 20s and went: "Oh my god". [...] The way Budgie played drums was so influential - the tribal thing he was doing was so innovative.
  13. ^ a b "Taylor Hawkins: My Prog Heroes". Prog. April 7, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  14. ^ Eells, Josh (September 6, 2017). "Dave Grohl Goes Deep on Foo Fighters' New LP, Chris Cornell". Rolling Stone.
  15. ^ "Foo Fighters Taylor Hawkins says he thought his 2001 overdose was the end of the band". NME.com. June 27, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  16. ^ "JonDavison". Glasshammer.com. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  17. ^ "Get the Money by Taylor Hawkins". Apple Music. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  18. ^ Blistein, Jon (November 1, 2016). "Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins Preps Debut LP 'KOTA'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 1, 2016.

External linksEdit