Foo Fighters confirm Josh Freese as new live drummer

Josh Freese onstage in 2022
Josh Freese onstage with 100 gecs at Coachella in in 2022 (Image credit: Theo Wargo)

When the Foo Fighters head back onto the road this week, the drummer filling the late Taylor Hawkins' position behind the kit will be session man and longtime friend of the band Josh Freese. The news was revealed during Foo Fighters: Preparing Music For Concerts, a streaming event broadcast earlier today.

The new man was introduced as the band were filmed chatting, their conversation interrupted by a trio of well-known drummers – Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith, Motley Crue's Tommy Lee, and Tool's Danny Carey – before the camera cut to Freese, one of the sticksmen who performed with the Foo Fighters during last year's Taylor Hawkins' tribute shows in London and Los Angeles. 

Freese is also the regular drummer for Devo and The Vandals, and has toured with A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, and The Offspring. He has also played with Guns N' Roses – spending two years in the studio with Axl Rose without ever playing live with the band – as well as The Residents, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Slash, Weezer and many more. He also auditioned for Pearl Jam in 1994. He'll play his first full show with with the Foo Fighters at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, NH, this Wednesday.

In 2011, Music Radar asked Freese about about the importance of a musician's personality when it came to getting work. 

"It's important but only to a degree," said Freese. "Meaning, you can be a nice a guy and not a good player but you won't get many gigs. Also, you can be a great player and total jerk and people aren't going to want to work with you a whole lot."

Other musicians rumoured to be in the running for the job behind the Foo Fighters kit included The Darkness man Rufus Taylor, Eagles of Death Metal and The Bronx sticksman Jorma Vik, Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age, The Bronx, Circle Jerks), Atom Willard (Crypt, The Offspring, Against Me!, Angels & Airwaves), Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden), and Taylor Hawkins' son Shane. 

Foo Fighters 2023 Tour Dates

May 24: Gilford Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, NH
May 26: Boston Calling Music Festival, MA
May 28: Columbus Sonic Temple Arts & Music Festival, OH
May 30: Washington The Atlantis, DC
Jun 02: Nürburgring Rock Am Ring, Germany
Jun 04: Nürburg Rock Im Park, Germany
Jun 14: Rogers Walmart AMP, AR
Jun 16: Pelham Oak Mountain Amphithea, AL
Jun 18: Manchester Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, TN
Jul 08: Quebec City Festival D’ete De Quebec, QC
Jul 12: Ottawa Bluesfest, ON, Canada
Jul 15: Milwaukee Harley-Davidson Homecoming Festival, WI
Jul 29: Naeba Fuji Rock, Japan
Aug 04: Spokane Arena, WA
Aug 06: Big Sky Wildlands Festival, MT
Aug 08: Salt Lake City USANA Amphitheatre, UT
Aug 10: Stateline Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s, NV
Aug 12: San Francisco Outside Lands Festival, CA
Sep 03: Aspen Jazz Aspen Snowmnass, CO
Sep 07: Curitiba Estadio Couto Pereia, Brazil
Sep 09: Sao Paulo The Town, Brazil
Sep 15: Chicago Riot Fest, IL
Sep 17: Asbury Park Sea.Hear.Now, NJ
Sep 19: Virginia Beach Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater, CA
Sep 21: Louisville Louder Than Life, KY
Oct 01: Dana Point Ohana Festival, CA
Oct 03: Phoenix Talking Stick Resort Amphitheater, AZ
Oct 05: El Paso Don Haskins CenterV, TX
Oct 07: Austin ACL Festival, TX
Oct 14: Austin ACL Festival, TX
Nov 26: Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, United Arab Emirates

Tickets are on sale now.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.