MEMBERS of the South Coast’s top Foo Fighters tribute band – the Isle of Wight based Foo Fighterz – have been devastated by the shock news of the death of legendary drummer Taylor Hawkins.
Hawkins died yesterday (Friday) in a hotel room in Bogota, the capital of Colombia.
It is understood the 50-year-old – in South America on tour with the Foo Fighters – was suffering from chest pains and an ambulance was called.
Hawkins performed on the main stage at the Isle of Wight Festival with the Foo Fighters in 2006 and 2011.
Toby Sleight, rhythm guitarist of island tributes the Foo Fighterz, said of the announcement: “It was a shock to the system. At first I thought maybe it was another of their PR stunts. But then to realize it wasn’t, was unreal.
“I feel totally numb. It’s crazy. I was talking to one of our former drummers about it this morning.
“Having lived and breathed the Foo Fighters soundly for five years now, I feel like one of our best friends has passed away.
Read: Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters’ favorite drummer on the Isle of Wight, has died
“All those memories that you have as a band, traveling around the country playing their stuff, you think, Lord! I’m just totally stunned.
“I was talking to our current drummer this morning, Luke Steen, who was actually playing the Foos song, Cold Day in the Sun, which Taylor Hawkins sings, and he was just sitting there in front of his kit, numb.
“Hawkins was one of the greatest rock drummers around. I’m a huge fan.
“I don’t see the Foo Fighters playing anymore. You look at history. Dave Grohl lost Kurt Cobain when he was Nirvana’s drummer, which destroyed him. He was never going to pick up the drumsticks again, a did a few other projects and the Foo Fighters arrived.
“Then Taylor Hawkins jumped on board and that’s how things started. Losing his drummer and his best friend will do the same for Dave Grohl.
“He’s been in two of the best rock bands in the world and has now seen two key members die. It’s horrible.
“Taylor and Dave have always fed each other live when they break down a song. It’s not something that happens overnight.
“We’re trying it now and it’s very, very difficult to recreate. It’s total chemistry.
“It’s devastating. Not just for us, but for so many other Foo Fighters fans, their friends and family, and the band members. Your hearts go out to them.”
Current Foo Fighterz drummer Luke Steen, who studied at Platform One music college on the island, said: “Huge shock. Taylor was an incredible drummer with power, precision and technique, who also had a presence. on stage without limit and a passion for the show.
“He was an underrated singer and writer himself. Easily one of the best rock stars of the last 25 years.”
The Foo Fighterz have already had a conversation with Newport venue Strings about doing a free tribute gig, with a focus on drums.
Toby added: “We have three drummers, all island guys, so the idea is to rotate them and if there are other drummers who want to do their part, that would be a good thing to do. .
“I was talking to the group this morning (Saturday) and I think we absolutely will – we really should do this as a form of salvation – and not for money, but maybe for charity.
“We’ll probably add some Queen numbers to it. Taylor was a huge Queen fan.”