‘We Gotta Be a F-ckin’ Arena-Rock Band’: How Taylor Hawkins Helped Foo Fighters Conquer the World

Taylor Hawkins tells the entire story of his years with Foo Fighters and his brotherhood with Dave Grohl in never-before-heard audio on the new episode of Rolling Stone Music Now. It includes the time early in his tenure when Dave Grohl told the late drummer, “This is how it is. It’s my fucking band. If you don’t like it, fucking beat it,” and Hawkins actually quit the band — for all of 24 hours.

To hear the whole entire interview, which was Hawkins’ final in-person conversation with Rolling Stone, press play above, or listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. (You can also read it here.)

Among many other subjects, Hawkins explains how he pushed the band to go bigger as a live act. “‘We gotta be a fucking arena-rock band,’” Hawkins recalls telling his bandmates. “We can do it. And Dave already did it with Nirvana without even thinking about it. And the Foo Fighters were getting there.” Hawkins also talks about drugs, stage fright, the difference in drum styles between him and Grohl, and much more.

Download and subscribe to our weekly podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on Apple Podcasts or Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts), and check out three years’ worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth, career-spanning interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Halsey, Neil Young, Snoop Dogg, Brandi Carlile, Phoebe Bridgers, Rick Ross, Alicia Keys, the National, Ice Cube, Robert Plant, Dua Lipa, Questlove, Killer Mike, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Scott Weiland, Liam Gallagher, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, John Legend, Donald Fagen, Phil Collins, Justin Townes Earle, Stephen Malkmus, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Eddie Van Halen, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, the Zombies, Gary Clark Jr., and many others — plus dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions, debates, and explainers with Rolling Stone’s critics and reporters. Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. ET to hear Rolling Stone Music Now broadcast on SiriusXM’s Volume, channel 106.