Chris Shiflett talks "disrespectful" speculation on Taylor Hawkins' death

2 October 2022, 21:03 | Updated: 2 October 2022, 21:16

Foo Fighters' Chris Shiflett and the late drummer Taylor Hawkins
Foo Fighters' Chris Shiflett and the late drummer Taylor Hawkins. Picture: 1. Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images) 2. Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for ABA

By Jenny Mensah

The Times Like these rocker has touched upon the internet's fascination over the death of his bandmate, who died aged just 50.

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Chris Shiflett has discussed some of the reactions to the loss Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and the prospect of the band releasing more music.

The Foos are continuing to mourn their beloved drummer - who tragically died on 25th March, aged 50 - and honoured his memory with tribute shows at London's Wembley Stadium and the Kia Forum in Los Angeles.

Speaking ahead of their Forum gig on The Plug with Justin Jay podcast, Shifflett revealed that while most people have been "respectful" about the drummer's tragic passing some internet speculation has been not only inaccurate, but "disrespectful".

Asked what his experience has been with the onslaught of questions about Hawkins passing, he replied: "This one is very different because of the public side of it and there's so much internet sleuthing that people are doing and especially right after he died. All these Twitter private investigators [...] and it's all wrong. They're wrong about everything and that's been really strange to watch".

Asked if he found people have generally been respectful, he said: "Yeah, I think people are pretty respectful, but it’s made me reconsider everything I ever thought I knew about Jim Morrison dying, or f***ing Randy Rhoads dying or any of those kinda rock and roll tragedies.

"I understand people's fascination with it. Taylor was this big character and he meant a lot to millions of people all over the world, so on one hand I get that fascination with it, but it's like so much of what I’ve seen out there is so completely wrong.

"I mean, there’s people out there saying s*** like Dave [Grohl] killed Taylor by making him get the COVID vaccine. It's just s*** like that. It's like, ah f*** you’re going to turn it into that? F*** you!

"I try not to pay attention to any of that stuff, because who gives a f***? It's just some yahoo on Twitter, but it does make you angry because that s*** is just disrespectful if you ask me."

READ MORE: Here's what was played at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute gig in LA

Shiflett recalled joining Foo Fighters in 1999 and remembered having to watch journalists contort themselves when approaching Dave Grohl with questions about his late Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain, who lost his life to suicide in 1994.

Though the guitarist hasn't witnessed much of this so far, he feels it will probably be similar to this when the band get around to promoting new music and doing interviews again.

Quizzed if he feels Hawkins' passing has become an elephant in the room, the Learn To Fly rocker mused: “It probably will be when we ever get around to putting out another Foo Fighters record and go back into the promo boogie woogie.

“Because I remember that when I joined Foo Fighters. It was 1999, so it was a while after Kurt Cobain had died but I would watch interviewers twist themselves in knots trying to ask Dave [Grohl] about it but not ask."

The rocker added: "I would think it will probably turn into that kinda thing."

Talking about the Taylor Hawkins tribute shows and asked if he felt the nervous or emotional at the enormity of the gigs, he said: "Well, when we very first walked out I was just trying to focus and remember to play the songs, because we were backing up loads of people, so you don't want to be the guy that f***s up (AC/DC's) Black in Black or whatever.

"So I was just trying to be in that space, but when we were walking out I saw one of Taylor's best friends Hans [...] and he was crying and that just broke me up. I just had to suck it back".

Asked if there was one part of the show that drove home why you were there, he said: "Well, certainly when his son Shane came out and played percussion. It was heavy. He is such a mini-Taylor, you know."

He added: "It was like an uplifting moment. That's probably the one that sticks out the most."

READ MORE: What was played at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert in London?

The LA leg of the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert saw performances from the likes of Queen, Alanis Morissette, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith, P!nk, Wolf Van Halen, Them Crooked Vultures, Def Leppard and Joan Jett.

Dave Grohl's daughter Violet Grohl opened the show with a cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, which was accompanied by guitarist Alain Johannes.

Alanis Morissette, who gave Hawkins his first big break on her Jagged Little Pill tour, performed her iconic single, You Oughta Know, joined by Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith.

Foo Fighters went on to play a 12-song set, with help from the likes of Travis Barker, Justin Hawkins, Dave Chappelle, Pink and Taylor Hawkins' son Oliver Shane Hawkins.

Dave Grohl ended the incredible 53-set gig with an emotional performance of Everlong, accompanied on the drums by Taylor Hawkins close friend and fellow drummer Chad Smith".

READ MORE: Who is Foo Fighters' My Hero about?