Who Is New Foo Fighters Drummer Josh Freese? Career, Musical History and More

The Foo Fighters are gearing up for a bustling touring season — their first without drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died tragically in Colombia last year — that kicks off with a date in New Hampshire in the coming week.

Taking on the challenge of filling Hawkins’ role, as Variety tipped back in January, will be Josh Freese. Although the name might not seem entirely familiar at first glance, it’s more than likely you’ve either heard or even own a record that has him listed in the credits.

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Freese joins the group after having played alongside a star-studded lineup for the Hawkins tribute concerts that the Foos put together in London and Los Angeles last fall. He’s also a longtime friend of both Grohl and Hawkins and is a seasoned session act who has performed and toured with rock bands Guns N’ Roses, A Perfect Circle, Puddle of Mudd, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer, Paramore, the Replacements, Sting and the Vandals, to name a few. Freese was most recently drumming for Danny Elfman and the Offspring, with whom he was touring up until last year.

He grew up in a family of musicians, with his father working as a musical director at the Walt Disney Company and his mother being a trained classical pianist. He’s also released numerous solo projects where he’s credited as the singer, songwriter and instrumentalist.

As his experience clearly depicts, Freese has no trouble switching up styles. Over the years his resume has expanded to include more than 300 recordings in genres ranging from pop to country, co-writing songs with Queens of the Stone Age, Devo and Sting. With a pristine reputation as one of the most in-demand session drummers in the business, he has also recorded for Katy Perry, Michael Bublé, Nelly Furtado, Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne, Social Distortion and others.

“It’s not like I woke up one day and said, ‘I’m going to be a session drummer.’ It just sort of happened,” Freese told the blog Drummer’s Journal in 2016. “Aside from having multiple sources of income, I like the
variety of playing music with different people in different situations. Maybe if I was the drummer for Muse, I could say, ‘Ok, I’m successful enough where I don’t have to do anything else except concentrate on my band.’ … Being in just one band… I honestly fantasize about that sometimes. I’m only human.”

You can catch Freese and the Foos on the band’s upcoming tour that starts May 24 at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, NH.

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