Source: Gretsch Drums
The driving force behind the drum kit for the legendary band, Foo Fighters and the rockstar of rhythm, Taylor Hawkins is one of the most well respected and talented drummers in rock music to date.
Also a pianist, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, Hawkins is a versatile musician who plays in multiple genres including alternative rock, punk rock, progressive rock, post-grunge and alternative metal.
Hawkins was born as the youngest of three siblings on February 17, 1972 in Fort Worth Texas. His family quickly moved out to Laguna Beach, California in 1976 and he spent most of his childhood years there.
In 1982, he saw Queen playing a show and he was immediately inspired to play the drums and make it as big as them. The same year at 10 years old, he started learning to play the drums.
He attended Laguna Beach High School and graduated in 1990. This is where he met his good friend, Jon Davison who grew up to become the lead vocalist of a band.
Inspired and influenced by the Police’s Stewart Copeland, he spent some time honing his skills with the experimental Orange-County band, Sylvia.
He moved on from there and became the drummer for Sass Jordan and Alanis Morissette. He quickly gained a reputation especially after his tour with Morissette for Jagged Little Pill.
In 1997, Foo Fighters found themselves in a position where they didn’t have a drummer. Their previous drummer, Dave Grohl ran into some conflicts during some recording sessions and he decided to part ways with them. Being friends with Hawkins, Grohl called him up to see if he knew anyone who would be interested to take over his position.
Instead of recommending someone else, Hawkins leaped at the opportunity and became Foo Fighter’s official drummer as of March 18, 1997. This became the start of Hawkins rocking history with the Foo Fighters.
A wild legacy that will likely live on forever, Hawkins continued to rock with the Foo Fighters and created up to 8 albums and 1 LP with them. He was a restless musician with incredible talent. Not only was he their drumming powerhouse, he also occasionally served as the band’s vocalist.
Despite thoroughly enjoying his time with the Foo Fighters, it still wasn’t enough for him. He would continue to write songs with his other friends and release albums and LP’s including self-titled LP, Taylor Hawkings and the Coattail Riders in 2006, Red Light Fever in 2010 and Get the Money in 2019.
He even created a second band for hard rock and heavy metal with Wiley Hodgen and Mick Murphy called Birds of Satan in 2014. The band itself released its debut, self-titled album in that year.
As an extremely versatile musician, Hawkins never really stuck to the same set of drums. He would often switch sets on tours and recordings.
Some of the drums he used include:
Hawkins would sometimes switch out the snare drums and use others such as:
Hawkins was known to mostly work with Zildjian cymbals including their:
Hawkins mostly used his own Signature Series drumsticks - the Zildjian Taylor Hawkins Signature Drumsticks.
Hawkins was a confident man who showed himself on the screen multiple times such as when he was a performer on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2010.
He didn’t shy away from the spotlight and continued to become an actor on films such as Music Box, Guitar, Drum and Bass, Foo Fighters, CBGB, as well as Studio 666 of which he was its executive producer.
He also then made several appearances on films such as:
Being a successful and famous musician, Taylor Hawkins received numerous accolades. One of the most prestigious awards for musicians, The Grammys has nominated him up to 27 times for their ceremonies and he has rightly won 14 of them in his career.
His wins would include Best Rock Album in 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, Best Short Form Music Video in 2001, Best Hard Rock Performance in 2003 and 2008, Best Rock Performance in 2012, Best Rock Song in 2012, 2018, and 2022, Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance in 2012, and Best Long Form Music Video in 2012.
With all good things coming to an end, Hawkins passed away on March 25, 2022 while the Foo Fighters were on tour in Bogotá, Colombia.
It was discovered that Hawkins was suffering from chest pain in his hotel room. Health personnel found him unresponsive and did what they could to aid him but unfortunately, Hawkins was declared dead at the scene.
The band understandably canceled what's left of their tour dates and took some time off to grieve. In September 2022, the band returned to the stage and held two tribute concerts to honor Hawkins in Los Angeles and London. Hawkin’s son joined in on the drums to perform “My Hero” in a heart-rending tribute to his late father.
Taylor Hawkins started playing the drums in 1982 at the age of 10.
Taylor Hawkins died on 25 March 2022 at the age of 50.
Taylor Hawkins played the drums for 40 years.
Throughout his career Taylor Hawkins has used Gretsh, Senheiser, Slingerland, Fender, Brian May, Orange County, Remo, Shure, Gibson, Rickenbacker, Hagstrom, EVH and DW.
He is known for playing Alternative Rock, Post-Grunge, Prog Rock and Punk Rock.
Counting all his Albums, Taylor Hawkins has been featured on at least 86 recordings.
AboutDrumming.com is run by a group of drum teachers, drumming professionals and hobbyists. We love all things drums, and when not drumming we spend our time adding more awesome content to this website!
Affiliate Disclosure: When relevant AboutDrumming.com uses affiliate links (at no additional cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.