Get to know Josh Freese, the new Foo Fighters drummer who has played with bands including Paramore, Weezer and Guns N' Roses
The Foo Fighters are ready to rock!
The Grammy Award-winning rock band announced that sessions drummer Josh Freese would be the new man behind the kit for their upcoming tour, following the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins on March 25, 2022.
The news was revealed during the opening moments of Sunday's Foo Fighters: Preparing Music For Concerts livestream, which included a string of cameos from Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith, Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee and Tool's Danny Carey.
Speculation that Freese would join the band as a drummer has been ongoing, with Variety deeming him a "front-runner" since January. The veteran musician seemed likely for various reasons, including his reputable resume and relationship with Foo Fighters' founder and frontman Dave Grohl.
Beginning on May 24, the Foo Fighters are set to embark on their first concert tour since Hawkins died in March 2022 at age 50. At the time, the band was on tour in South America but following the tragic news, they immediately canceled their remaining tour dates.
The Foo Fighters shared a statement in December 2022 that acknowledged they will be a "different band" after Hawkins' death. "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 most, and for the loved ones who are no longer with us," the message began.
"Foo Fighters were formed 27 years ago to represent the healing power of music and a continuation of life," it continued in part. "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."
Here's everything to know about Freese, the new drummer for the Foo Fighters.
He comes from a family of musicians
Raised in Orlando, the Florida native was born into a family of musicians on Dec. 25, 1972. His mother, Tricia Freese, was a classical pianist while his father, Stan Freese, conducted the Disney World and Disneyland band.
Naturally, Freese picked up drumsticks when he was about 7 years old. "I remember my dad sat down behind the drum set and played the simplest 4/4 beat, and it sounded like a record to me," the musician told Modern Drummer in a 2005 interview.
"He told me to try it, and I was able to do it right away. I started playing to Van Halen, Queen and Devo records," Freese continued. "It's ironic that I've gotten to play with Devo; It's such a dream come true to play with people I've admired since I was in first grade."
He would mark the Foo Fighters' third permanent drummer
While Freese was announced as the new Foo Fighters drummer for their upcoming tour, it remains unclear whether his new role behind the kit is permanent. If he does remain with the band full-time, he would be the band's third drummer to date (not including Grohl).
Drummers who precede Freese include Hawkins and William Goldsmith, who played on the 1997 LP The Colour and Shape. The newcomer joins members Grohl, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee.
He has drummed for the Foo Fighters before
In the wake of Hawkins' death in March 2022, the band and the late drummer's family held a star-studded tribute concert, as the Foo Fighters performed the 1997 hit "My Hero" with Hawkins' son Oliver Shane on drums. Freese also drummed for the band during the Hawkins tribute show.
Prior to the gig, Freese expressed gratitude for the opportunity to honor Hawkins on Instagram. He also revealed the conversation that went on behind the scenes, particularly when asked which drum set he'd like to use during the performance.
"Without hesitation, I said, 'Taylor's drums need to be up there, and I want to play on his exact setup," he wrote at the time. "'I want THAT energy to be up on THAT stage. I want to sweat all over the same drums he was sweating all over every night...don't change a thing.'"
He has toured with many major bands
In addition to playing with the Foo Fighters at the tribute concert in honor of Hawkins, Freese has a lengthy resume performing with prominent artists and bands as a sessions drummer. Among them include Paramore, Weezer, Sting, Guns N' Roses, A Perfect Circle, Puddle of Mudd, Nine Inch Nails, the Replacements and the Vandals.
Freese has upwards of 300 recordings to his name that cover a wide range of musical genres from pop to rock to country. "He is renowned as one of the top session drummers in the business so he's well-known to musicians," noted Variety.
He has guest drummed on Late Night with Seth Meyers
He also performed at Coachella with Danny Elfman and 100 gecs at Coachella 2022.
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