Taylor Hawkins: Chad Smith and Matt Cameron apologise to Foo Fighters over drummer comments

Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron and Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s Chad Smith have both issued an apology for their quotes in a new Taylor Hawkins article published by Rolling Stone.

In the article published on Monday, 16 May, friends and colleagues of Hawkins, who died earlier this year, gave interviews about his final months.

It claims that Hawkins privately discussed his discomfort about Foo Fighters’ extensive tour schedule.

“He had a heart-to-heart with Dave [Grohl] and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t f***ing do it anymore’ – those were his words,” Cameron told Rolling Stone. “So I guess they did come to some understanding, but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that.”

Cameron was also quoted saying: “[A band like that] is a big machine [with] a lot of people on the payroll. So you’ve got to really be cognizant of the business side of something when it’s that big and that has inherent pressure, just like any business.”

He added that: “He [Hawkins] tried to keep up. He just did whatever it took to keep up, and in the end he couldn’t keep up.”

“[Foo Fighters] were the first ones to go back at it super hard, and [Taylor and I] definitely had discussions about that,” Cameron added in the article.

“He was a little apprehensive, understandably, just because of all the Covid bulls*** that was going on. So there was all these different factors that were weighing on him stepping back into the ring.”

Taylor Hawkins performs onstage during the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on 12 September 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City (Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS)
Taylor Hawkins performs onstage during the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on 12 September 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City (Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS)

Meanwhile, Smith recalled a December 2021 incident where Hawkins lost consciousness on a plane in Chicago. “He just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him full of IVs and stuff,” Smith told Rolling Stone. “He was dehydrated and all kinds of stuff.”

When contacted by Rolling Stone, a representative for Foo Fighters denied that Hawkins ever raised these issues.

Ever since the article’s release, Cameron and Smith have issued separate statements apologising for their contribution to the story.

“When I agreed to take part in the Rolling Stone article about Taylor, I assumed it would be a celebration of his life and work,” Cameron wrote. “My quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I had never intended.

“Taylor was a dear friend, and a next-level artist,” he added. “I miss him. I have only the deepest love and respect for Taylor, Dave and the Foo Fighters families.

“I am truly sorry to have taken part in this interview and I apologise that my participation may have caused harm to those for whom I have only the deepest respect and admiration.”

Smith also expressed love for Hawkins and said he “was one of my best friends and I would do anything for his family”.

“I was asked by Rolling Stone to share some memories of our time together, which I thought was going to be the loving tribute he deserved,” Smith wrote in his statement.

“Instead, the story they wrote was sensationalised and misleading, and had I known I never would have agreed to participate. I apologise to his family and musical friends for any pain this may have caused. I miss Taylor every day.”

Cameron, Smith, singer Sass Jordan and an anonymous fourth source were the ones who discussed Hawkins’s anxiety and concerns about the Foo Fighters schedule.

The Independent has contacted Foo Fighters and Rolling Stone for comment.