Hayley Williams reflects on Taylor Hawkins and Foo Fighters’ influence on Paramore

“I think about Taylor Hawkins a lot, when I think about Zac [Farro]'s playing"

Hayley Williams has spoken about the influence that Foo Fighters and their late drummer Taylor Hawkins have had on Paramore during the latest episode of her radio show Everything Is Emo.

Williams is currently presenting the weekly 20-part series for BBC Sounds’ Back To Back Sounds: Amplified, where she is sharing “her love of the music that shaped the 90s through to the current day”.

In this week’s episode of Everything Is Emo, Williams spent time discussing the influence that Paramore have drawn from Foo Fighters over the years.

“[Foo Fighters] are a really important band to everyone, the whole world,” she said. “But such an important band to Paramore. When I first met the guys, there were a few albums that we talked about a lot, that we referenced a lot, Foo Fighters was a band that always came up.”

Williams then recalled how their drummer Zac Farro was in need of “a good drum kit” when Paramore first began playing shows, which resulted in him being gifted a kit that was previously owned by Hawkins.

“A friend that lived in town leant him a drum kit – which he ultimately gave to him – and it belonged to Taylor Hawkins first,” she said. “For our first shows and tours, it’s like we stole a blessing from Taylor Hawkins. It’s like we took it as him saying, ‘Yes, go forth and continue’.”

Taylor Hawkins
Taylor Hawkins, who tragically died in March 2022 (Picture: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Williams then spoke further about Hawkins, who passed away in March in Bogotá, Colombia where Foo Fighters had been touring.

“I think about Taylor Hawkins a lot, when I think about Zac’s playing,” she said. “I don’t want to centre myself or Paramore in the conversation around Taylor Hawkins’ death, but it’s just to say that he meant a lot to so many people and there are so many stories I’m sure we’re yet to hear about him, and things that he’s done for people, ways that he’s touched peoples’ lives.

“But I think, more than anything, as a music fan and as a Foo Fighters fan, I love what [Hawkins] did for Dave Grohl. I listen to his album ‘There’s Nothing Left To Lose’ and I know it’s the first record that Taylor played on. He joined the Foo Fighters and they made this record together. And you can hear the difference; I think that it brought out something in Dave Grohl’s voice and the way that he wrote, all of it.

“It just really resonates with me and I loved this record so much as a teenager.”

The likes of Joan Jett, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam have all paid fresh tribute to Hawkins this week.

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