Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers Drummers Say Comments on Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins Death Were ‘Taken Out of Context’

by TK Sanders

Two well-respected, veteran rock drummers blasted the newest Rolling Stone think-piece about Taylor Hawkins’ death. Drummers Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) say they regret participating in the publication’s post-mortem for the Foo Fighter drummer who died in South America earlier this year.

The magazine interviewed 20 of Hawkins’ friends in music for the piece, the New York Post reports. None of the late drummer’s family nor bandmates agreed to an interview for the piece. Cameron and Smith both feel like they delivered their comments in earnest and reverence for their dear friend who battled mental health struggles while touring with the Foo Fighters. However, the musicians felt Rolling Stone published their quotes “out of context.”

“He had a heart-to-heart with Dave and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t f – – king do it anymore’. Those were his words,” Cameron told Rolling Stone about Hawkins. “So I guess they did come to some understanding, but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that.”

Taylor Hawkins’ colleagues thought they were memorializing his death when they agreed to participate, not criticizing his choices

Once Rolling Stone published their story, Cameron immediately took to Instagram to clarify his intent and point out that the authors took his comments out of context.

“When I agreed to take part in the Rolling Stone article about Taylor, I assumed it would be a celebration of his life and work,” he wrote on Instagram. “My quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I never intended. Taylor was a dear friend, and a next level artist.”

Smith echoed the sentiments. He believed he was signing up for a tribute piece, not a symposium on mental health.

“I was asked by Rolling Stone to share some memories of our time together, which I thought was going to be a loving tribute he deserved,” Smith wrote via Instagram, as well. “Instead, they wrote a sensationalized and misleading story, and had I known I would have never agreed to participate.”

“I miss him,” Cameron added regarding his late friend Hawkins. “And I have only the deepest love and respect for Taylor, Dave and the Foo Fighters families. I am truly sorry to have taken part in this interview. And I apologize that my participation caused harm to those for whom I have only the deepest respect and admiration.”

A band rep said that the Foo Fighters dispute Hawkins’ friends’ characterizations of his final days.