Foo Fighters reveal new drummer ahead of Outside

Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters perform during BottleRock Napa Valley in Napa on May 28, 2017.

Photo: Scott Strazzante/The Chronicle

Foo Fighters have finally revealed its new drummer ahead of the band’s upcoming headlining appearance at San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival this summer.

During a pre-tour streaming event titled “Preparing Music For Concerts,” on Sunday, May 21, the platinum-selling rock band revealed that the veteran percussionist Josh Freese will fill the seat behind the kit previously held by Taylor Hawkins, who died of sudden cardiac arrest last year, for its upcoming shows. 

Josh Freese performs with 100 Gecs on the Sahara stage during the 2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 23, 2022 in Indio, California.

Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Coachella

The announcement came after a video montage featuring frontman Dave Grohl and the band members deliberating over potential successors. Among the names considered were renowned musicians Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tommy Lee of Motley Crue fame, and Danny Carey of Tool. 

With an extensive and impressive musical resume, Freese has collaborated with acts such as Guns N’ Roses, Devo, Nine Inch Nails, Paramore and Sting. His remarkable talents were on full display at the 2022 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, where he performed alongside both 100 gecs and Danny Elfman.

On Sunday, Freese seamlessly integrated himself into the Foo Fighters’ lineup during the streaming event, joining the band on familiar hits like “Times Like These” and “All My Life,” as well as a handful of tracks from the group’s upcoming album, “But Here We Are,” including “Rescued,” “Under You” and “Nothing At All.”  

Set for release on June 2, the album represents “the first chapter of the band’s new life” Grohl said in a statement.

In an unexpected twist, Foo Fighters treated viewers to a thunderous cover of Huey Lewis and the News’ “Working’ for a Living.” 

For those who missed the event, the stream is available for replay on Live Nation’s Veeps service until Tuesday, May 23. 

Foo Fighters perform on the JaM Cellars main stage at BottleRock in Napa on September 5, 2021.

Photo: Dana Jacobs/Special to The Chronicle

Hawkins died on March 25, 2022, at 50, in Colombia, while the band was touring South America.

Freese will be behind the drums as the band kicks off its summer tour in Gilford, N.H., on Wednesday, May 24, with appearances scheduled at festivals like Bonnaroo, Louder Than Life, Austin City Limits, Riot Fest and Outside Lands.

Reach Aidin Vaziri: avaziri@sfchronicle.com

  • Aidin Vaziri

    Aidin Vaziri is a staff writer at The San Francisco Chronicle.

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