Josh Freese On Joining Foos: ‘It Felt Like Someone Kind Of Socked Me In The Stomach’

April 19, 2024

Foo Fighters drummer Josh Freese recently sat down with producer and YouTuber Rick Beato and talked about being asked to join the band. “On my children’s lives, I had zero plans of being called to be the drummer. And everyone and their mother — my neighbour walking the dog, ‘Hey Josh, the Foo Fighters call you yet?’ Other people hitting me up, other drummers, Reddit forums, ‘Josh Freese is gonna be the guy.’ I’m going, ‘I don’t even know if they’re gonna continue on (after Taylor’s death).’ And most people I knew said, ‘Oh, they’re gonna have to. They’re gonna figure it out.’ I was, like, ‘Well, maybe. Who knows?’ I didn’t ask them that question during those (Taylor Hawkins) tribute (concerts in September 2022). Once again, I wanted to give everybody space. I wasn’t gonna be another guy coming at Dave (Grohl, Foo Fighters singer), going, ‘So dude, if you need a drummer, I’m around. I’m just saying.’ I didn’t mention it once, and was busy enough and making a good enough living already that I wasn’t freaked out about it. I wasn’t going, ‘God, I hope they call. I hope they call.’ I was, like, ‘You know what? Whatever happens is gonna happen.’ And that’s how I kind of like to roll.”

Freese added, “Months went on after that second, L.A. (Taylor Hawkins tribute concert). I guess it was September (2022 when the two shows took place). And Dave had said that he’d written a bunch of songs. He was gonna record a bunch of stuff after those shows. So, cool. So it sounded like he was gonna make a record. And then I guess it was right before Christmas that year, 2022, and I got a call from him. I got a missed call. I was on a walk with my wife and some of our dogs, and I go, ‘Ah, Dave just tried calling me like 20 minutes ago.’ And she’s, like, ‘I know why he’s calling you.’ I was, like, ‘Easy. I’m not thinking that.’ I swear to God, that’s not why I thought. I go, ‘You know what? He might be having a New Year’s Eve party. He might be doing a project where he has all those drummer friends of ours that perform at the thing, we each play a track. He could be calling me for numerous reasons, but I’m not gonna pretend like that’s why he’s calling me.’ I called him back, and we small-talked about Christmas and our kids and do they still believe in Santa Claus? And who’s the hardest to shop for? And just this silly small-talk family stuff, if anything. I said, ‘Hey, did you go record?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, we recorded a bunch of stuff. And I played drums, and I’m really happy with the way it sounds. I’m really excited about it. And we had the drummer talk. And we want you to be the guy.’ And it felt like someone kind of socked me in the stomach. I didn’t go, ‘Wow, yippee, this is so cool.’ I didn’t get excited like that. It was almost like I got the wind knocked out of me. And I was, like, ‘Oh my God.’ I was, like, ‘Here we go.’ ‘Cause I knew… I had time to think about it and all that, but I was, like, come on. After the holidays, Dave and I got together and talked and he played me the new record, we were talking, and even there’s sometimes when you go, ‘You know you’ve gotta do this, right?'”

As you’d expect, Freese said there was no way he’d turn down the offer, “It couldn’t have gone down any other way after being asked, and being asked by someone that I’ve respected forever, not just as a songwriter and a singer/guitarist, but as a drummer. First and foremost for me, Dave is such a bad motherfucker, man. And he just innately has this thing. That stuff can’t be taught; it just can’t be taught. You can try to explain it to somebody, but you’re either gonna do it or you’re not. And he was blessed with being able to do it and just deliver. So, for me, as a drummer, it’s great. And I used to talk about it with Taylor all the time. He was, like, ‘Oh, man, it’s so cool. Look at Dave.’ He loved Dave’s drumming, and we’d talk about it.”

Foos revealed Freese as part of their tour lineup in May ’23 during a pre-tour livestream called “Foo Fighters: Preparing Music For Concerts”.

Prior to joining Foo Fighters, you saw Freese tour with The Offspring, Suicidal Tendencies, Guns N’ Roses, A Perfect Circle, Puddle of Mudd, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer, Paramore, The Replacements, Sting and The Vandals.

Foo Fighters’ 11th album, “But Here We Are”, was released in June 2023.

Drummer Taylor Hawkins tragically passed away in March ’22 at the age of 50. He was found dead in a hotel room in Colombia. 

If it wasn’t Freese, who did you think Foo Fighters would ask to join the band?


Written by Todd Hancock