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New Foo Fighters drummer Josh Freese on how Dave Grohl asked him to the join band

Foo Fighters drummer Josh Freese has recalled the unexpected moment Dave Grohl asked him to join the band.

Freese was confirmed as the Foos’ new touring drummer last May before he headed out on the road with Grohl and co. in support of their latest album, ‘But Here We Are’. He’d previously performed on stage with the group at the Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts in London and LA.

  • READ MORE: Foo Fighters – ‘But Here We Are’ review: Grohl and the gang work through their grief

Hawkins died on March 25, 2022 when Foo Fighters were in Bogotá, Colombia. He was 50 years old.

During a new interview with Rick Beato, Freese remembered the the day Grohl contacted him about joining the Foos family around Christmas that year (via Far Out).

“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’,” he said. “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 [he was calling].”

Freese continued: “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 performed at [the tribute shows]’.”

When he eventually called Grohl back, the pair “small-talked about Christmas and [their] kids” before the conversation turned to Foo Fighters’ future.

“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’.”

Freese said he “felt like someone kind of socked [him] in the stomach”, explaining: “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’.”

He went on: “I was like, ‘Here we go’. ‘Cause I knew… I’d had time to think about it and all that […] There’s some times when you go, ‘You know you’ve gotta do this, right?’ 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.”

Freese then called Grohl “such a bad motherfucker” who possesses something that “can’t be taught”.

“Dave is a drummer’s drummer,” he told Beato. “It’s not like, ‘Oh yeah, he used to play drums’. No. He’s the drummer, you know what I mean? And I’ve tried to let that be a source of inspiration and excitement […] rather than letting it intimidate me or freak me out.

“If you start going down that path, it could intimidate you and freak you out. ‘My God, I’m Dave Grohl’s drummer!’ But he makes it so comfortable and good and natural, the way we play together […] It’s all good stuff.”

Freese explained that “locking in” with Grohl on stage “has never been nerve-wracking”, adding: “It’s always fun and exciting.”

Earlier in the conversation, Freese said: “It continues to be bittersweet. Part of me wants to say, ‘I wish I wasn’t there at all’. I wish there wasn’t a reason for me to be the drummer in the Foo Fighters.”

He recalled how he was “friendly acquaintances” with Hawkins for 25 years before the pair became “a lot closer” in the last five or six years, “which makes the whole thing even more odd”.

“Some of the guys in the band I’ve known for a long, long time,” Freese said. “I met Dave before he was in Nirvana.”

Freese, who has also played with the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Paramore and Nine Inch Nails, described the two tribute shows for Hawkins as “therapeutic” and “healing” experiences. “It was special, you know?” he continued.

You can watch the full video interview with Freese above.

Foo Fighters are due to tour in the UK this summer, with the run of dates including two shows at the London Stadium. Find any remaining tickets here.

They’ll head out on the road in North America next month, with tickets for those concerts available here.

In other news, Freese recently rejoined A Perfect Circle for their joint North American headline tour with Puscifer and Primus – 13 years after he last played with the band.

“Due to my schedule with the Foo Fighters, I’ll be having to jump off after the Hollywood Bowl on April 20,” he wrote in a statement last month.

“There’s a chance I’ll be able to show up to another gig or two after that if time allows but for now that’s the plan. A Perfect Circle has always been a very special band for me and I’m really looking forward to getting out and playing these songs again.””

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