Report: Taylor Hawkins Was ‘Exhausted’ by Foo Fighters’ Schedule
UPDATE #2: Like Matt Cameron (see below) Chad Smith has released a statement distancing himself from the Rolling Stone report. "Taylor was one of my best friends and I would do anything for his family," the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer told Yahoo Entertainment. "I was asked by Rolling Stone to talk about Taylor for a tribute article and I certainly didn’t expect it to be a piece about his last days. Had I known that, I never would have talked to the magazine, and I apologize for any pain my participation in the article may have caused his family and his musical friends. I miss him every day."
UPDATE: Drummer Matt Cameron distanced himself from the Rolling Stone report in a statement shared to Instagram on Tuesday. "When I agreed to take part in the Rolling Stone article about Taylor, I assumed it would be a celebration of his life and work," he wrote. "My quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I had never intended. Taylor was a dear friend, and a next level artist. I miss him. I have only the deepest love and respect for Taylor, Dave and the Foo Fighters families. I am truly sorry to have taken part in this interview and I apologize that my participation may have caused harm to those for whom I have only the deepest respect and admiration."
In a recently published story, Rolling Stone interviewed several of Hawkins' close friends, including Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Both musicians recalled that the late Foo Fighters drummer had complained about his band’s exhaustive work schedule.
“He told me that he ‘couldn’t fucking do it anymore’ — those were his words,” Cameron revealed, adding that he believed Hawkins and Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl had engaged in a “heart-to-heart” on the topic. “So I guess they did come to some understanding, but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that.”
“He tried to keep up,” Cameron noted. “He just did whatever it took to keep up, and in the end he couldn’t keep up.”
“Honestly, I think he was just so tired,” opined Sass Jordan, the Canadian singer who gave Hawkins his first professional job and remained close friends with the drummer. “Tired of the whole game.”
Jordan recalled texting with Hawkins about getting together the next time the Foo Fighters played in Toronto. “And he goes, ‘Oh, my fucking God. I can’t look at the goddamn tour schedule. It gives me anxiety.'”
Hawkins was rumored to have lost consciousness during a flight last December. At the time, reports didn’t identify which member of the Foo Fighters received medical attention. “He just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him full of IVs and stuff,” Smith explained to Rolling Stone. According to the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, that incident was “one of the straws that broke the camel’s back.” “After that, [Hawkins] had a real important heart-to-heart with Dave and the management. He said, ‘I can’t continue on this schedule, and so we’ve got to figure out something.'”
A representative for the Foo Fighters and their management denied all of the reports given to Rolling Stone. “No, there was never a ‘heart-to-heart’ — or any sort of meeting on this topic — with Dave and [Silva Artist Management],” the representative insisted, adding that Hawkins “never informed Dave and [management]” of his feelings regarding the band’s schedule. None of the band's members, nor any of Hawkins' family, agreed to be interviewed for the story.
Hawkins' official cause of death has still not been announced. Early toxicology reports suggested a fatal overdose, however friends interviewed for the Rolling Stone piece disputed those claims.
According to Setlist.fm, Foo Fighters played 44 shows in 2021. They played six 2022 concerts prior to Hawkins’ passing, and had more than 40 additional dates lined up this year. The group’s most recent album, Medicine at Midnight, was released in 2021, while the band’s first original film, the horror comedy Studio 666, arrived in February 2022.