Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Chad Smith and Pearl Jam‘s Matt Cameron have apologised for comments they made in a recent Rolling Stone article about the time leading up to the death of Foo Fighters‘ Taylor Hawkins, distancing themselves from the piece.
The Rolling Stone story, citing Hawkins’ friends – including Smith and Cameron – asserts that Hawkins had grown increasingly uncomfortable with the band’s touring schedule. The drummer allegedly told the band that he was struggling to keep up with the physical demands of three-hour concerts night after night.
Cameron, who played with Hawkins in the side project Nighttime Boogie Association, is quoted in the story as saying: “He had a heart-to-heart with Dave [Grohl] and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t fucking do it anymore’ — those were his words.”
“So, I guess they did come to some understanding, but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that”. In the Rolling Stone article, a representative for Foo Fighters denied that Hawkins had ever raised those issues with Grohl.
Smith, meanwhile, is quoted discussing an incident that reportedly happened in December of 2021 when Hawkins lost consciousness onboard a plane in Chicago. “He just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him full of IVs and stuff,” Smith says in the piece. “He was dehydrated and all kinds of stuff.”
The Rolling Stone article also cites Smith saying that Hawkins had told him “I can’t do it like this anymore” after the incident. Representatives for Foo Fighters reportedly commented “That is not true” when asked about Hawkins losing consciousness on the flight.
Now, both Smith and Cameron have released separate statements about the story, apologising to Hawkins’ bandmates and families and distancing themselves from 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 apologize 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 sensationalized and misleading, and had I known I never would have agreed to participate. I apologize to his family and musical friends for any pain this may have caused. I miss Taylor every day.”
Hawkins died on March 25 at his hotel in Bogotá, Colombia, 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.
“His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever. Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginably difficult time.”
Both Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers have paid tribute to Hawkins recently. Earlier this month, during a concert in Los Angeles, Pearl Jam covered Foo Fighters’ 2005 song ‘Cold Day In The Sun’, which Hawkins sings on. Cameron handled lead vocals for the live rendition.
The Chili Peppers paid tribute to Hawkins during their headline set at New Orleans Jazz Fest earlier this month, after the band replaced Foo Fighters on the bill following their cancellation of all tour dates in light of Hawkins’ death.
In April, when Red Hot Chili Peppers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Smith said: “I have to give a shout out to my brother Taylor Hawkins, who I love and we’ll all miss so much.”