- READ MORE: Inside the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert: “A gigantic fucking night for a gigantic fucking person”
Hawkins, the band’s drummer since 1997, died aged 50 at his hostel in Bogotá, Colombia on March 25, where Foo Fighters had been scheduled to perform later that evening. No cause of death was given.
In late March an initial toxicology report found that multiple drugs including opiates, antidepressants and marijuana were found in Hawkins’ system at the time of his death. “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of Taylor Hawkins,” a statement from the band read upon Hawkins’ death.
Speaking on The Plug With Justin Jay podcast, Shiflett discussed the “disrespectful” internet speculation into Hawkins’ death, saying: “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… it’s all wrong. They’re wrong about everything and that’s been really strange to watch”.
He added: “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 shit like Dave [Grohl] killed Taylor by making him get the COVID vaccine. It’s just shit like that. It’s like, ‘Ah fuck you’re going to turn it into that? Fuck you!'”
He added: “I try not to pay attention to any of that stuff, because who gives a fuck?” Shiflett, who recently said he believes Foo Fighters will make another record after Hawkins’ death, added. “It’s just some yahoo on Twitter, but it does make you angry because that shit is just disrespectful if you ask me.”
Listen to the full podcast below.
After Hawkins’ death a Rolling Stone story was published with a number of the drummer’s close friends stating that Hawkins had grown increasingly uncomfortable with the band’s touring schedule. With the article then receiving significant criticism, Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Chad Smith and Pearl Jam‘s Matt Cameron apologised for comments they made in the article.
“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,” Cameron wrote in a message shared on social media. “My quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I had never intended.
“Taylor was a dear friend, and a next level artist. I miss him. 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 apologise that my participation may have caused harm to those for whom I have only the deepest respect and admiration.”
Shortly after Cameron released his statement, Smith shared his own – also via social media. “Taylor was one of my best friends, and I would do anything for his family,” the Chili Peppers drummer wrote. “I was asked by Rolling Stone to share some memories of our time together, which I thought was going to be the loving tribute he deserved.
“Instead, the story they wrote was sensationalised and misleading, and had I known I never would have agreed to participate. I apologise to his family and musical friends for any pain this may have caused. I miss Taylor every day.”