The Foo Fighters have officially announced Josh Freese their new drummer, following the death of Taylor Hawkins in March 2022. The news was revealed on Sunday (21 May) during a free to watch global live stream called Foo Fighters: Preparing Music For Concerts. The stream is still available to watch - but for a limited time only, just 72 hours after it aired.
The stream, which was recorded in the band's studio, opened with the Foo Fighters teasing their potential new drummer by featuring a parade of famous drummers, including Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tommy Lee from Motley Crue and Danny Carey from Tool.
The camera eventually panned to an exasperated looking Freese, who was sitting behind a drum kit.
“Excuse me! Could we just, like… play a song?” he said.
The band played an eight song set, which included two new tracks from their upcoming album But Here We Are.
This is everything you need to know about Josh Freese.
Who is Josh Freese?
Freese is an American session drummer, which is a type of drummer hired to play in recording sessions or during live performances. As a session drummer, Freese has played with bands like The Vandals, Devo, Guns N’ Roses, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer, Paramore and Sting.
He was born in Florida on Christmas in 1972, with both his parents involved in the world of music. His father, Stan Freese, conducted the Disney World and Disneyland band, and his mother, Tricia Freese, a classical pianist.
Freese told Modern Drummer in 2005: “I was infatuated with music and drums at an early age. I come from a pretty musical family. My grandparents on my dad's side both taught music in school, my mom is a classical pianist, and my dad, who is mainly a tuba player, was conducting the band down at Disney World in Florida when I was born. Thank God he was transferred to the California Disneyland when I was six months old.”
Freese started drumming when he was eight years old and by the time he was 12 he was drumming professionally. When he was 16, he dropped out of high school to start touring and recording albums with different bands.
Regarding his success as a session drummer, he told Modern Drummer: “I think it's a combination of being into a lot of different kinds of music and understanding a lot of different kinds of music, and being open to things. I still feel that I have a hunger and a fire inside of me.”
He added: “I'm just as inspired by songwriters as I am by drummers, which can't help but come out in my drumming. It's important to draw inspiration from whatever you're inspired by. And it's important to understand what's going on around you, as far as what the bass player is doing, what the lyrics are saying, and what the guitarist is playing.
“Listening is all-important - listening to music in the car, going out and hearing people play, and then when you're in the studio, listening to what's going on around you and being supportive of that, being a team player rather than a hot dog. Get into country music, punk rock music, everything - Willie Nelson, The Ramones, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty. It's so important to be open.”
Are Foo Fighters going on tour?
From May to October this year, Foo Fighters, with Freese behind the kit, will embark on their comeback tour which will see the band hit a variety of states around the US as well as shows in Japan and São Paulo.
The tour dates in full goes:
- 24 – Bank Of New Hampshire Pavilion Gilford, NH, US
- 26 – Boston Calling, Boston, Massachusetts
- 28 – Sonic Temple - Columbus, Ohio
- 30 – The Atlantis, Washington D.C.
- 2 – Rock AM Ring, Nürburgring, DE
- 4 – Rock Im Park, Nürburgring, DE
- 14 – Walmart AMP Rogers, AR, US
- 16 – Oak Mountain Ampitheatre, Pelham, AL, US
- 18 – Bonnaroo - Manchester, Tennessee
- 12 – Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa, Ontaria, CA
- 15 – Harley-Davidson Homecoming Festival, Milwaukee, WI, US
- 29 – Fuji rock, Naeba, Japan
- 4 – Spokane Arena, WA
- 8 – Usana Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City, UT
- 10 – Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys - Lake Tahoe, NV
- 11 to 13 – Outside Lands Festivals, San Francisco, CA, US
- 3 – Jazz Aspen Snowmass Aspen, CO, US
- 9 – The Town, São Paulo
- 17 – Sea.Hear.Now, Asbury Park, NJ, US
- 19 – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater, Virgina Beach, VA
- 1 – Ohana Festival, Dana Point, CA, US
- 3 – Talking Stick Resort Ampitheatre, Phoenix, AZ
- 5 – Don Haskins Center, El Paso, TX
In a statement released earlier this year, Foo Fighters confirmed that they would be continuing to make music without Hawkins.
The band said: “As we say goodbye to the most difficult and tragic year that our band has ever known, we are reminded of how thankful we are for the people that we love and cherish the most, and for the loved ones who are no longer with us.
“Foo Fighters were formed 27 years ago to represent the healing power of music and a continuation of life and for the past 27 our fans have built a worldwide community, a devoted support system that has helped us all get through the darkest of times together. A place to share our joy and our pain, our hopes and fears, and to join in a chorus of life together through music.
“Without Taylor, we never would have become the band that we were - and without Taylor, we know that we’re going to be a different band going forward.
“We also know that you, the fans, meant as much to Taylor as he meant to you. And we know that when we see you again - and we will soon - he’ll be there in spirit with all of us every night.”
Foo Fighters newest album, But Here We Are, is set to be released on 2 June.