Hayley Williams has been delving deep into the history of emo music in her podcast series, Everything Is Emo, and in the second episode released on Friday (May 6), the singer discussed Foo Fighters‘ late drummer Taylor Hawkins and the impact that the band had on Paramore.
Williams explained that Foo Fighters were “such an important band to Paramore,” and were a band that they often referenced when writing songs. “I think any band that puts a lot of emphasis on drums — which, the three of us all played drums so it’s a very important aspect of our songwriting — you have to think about Foo Fighters,” she said.
The “Simmer” singer went on to share a sweet memory of when Paramore began playing live shows, and drummer Zac Farro needed a drum kit. “A friend that lived in town lent him a drum kit which he ultimately gave to him and it belonged to Taylor Hawkins first,” Williams recalled. “Taylor had sold his drum hit to a place called Fork’s Drum Closet in Nashville that has been a staple in our city for a really long time. It’s always been a great source. So the fact that somehow Zac ended up with Taylor’s kit for our first shows, our first tours — it’s like we stole a blessing from Taylor Hawkins. It’s like we took it as him saying, ‘Yes, go for it and continue.’”
She added, “I think about Taylor Hawkins a lot when I just think about Zac’s playing, and I don’t want to center myself or Paramore in the conversation around Taylor Hawkins’ death, but it’s just to say that he meant a lot to so many people and there’s so many stories I’m sure we’ve yet to hear about him. Things that he’s done for people, ways that he touched people’s lives.”
Williams shared that “as a music fan and as a Foo Fighters fan, I love what he did for Dave Grohl,” before referring to Foo Fighters’ 1999 album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose, which was the first album Hawkins played on after joining the band. “You can hear such a difference. I think it brought out something in Dave’s voice and the way that he wrote,” she said.
Hawkins died unexpectedly in March at age 50 after he was found dead in his Bogotá, Colombia, hotel room, according to local news reports. His death was announced via a social media statement from the band’s accounts on March 25, with no immediate cause of death given. “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the statement read. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever.”
Listen to the full second episode of Hayley Williams’ Everything Is Emo below, with the Hawkins conversation beginning around the 7:30 mark.