Chad Smith And Matt Cameron Apologize For Comments In Taylor Hawkins Article
Yesterday, Rolling Stone published a feature about Taylor Hawkins’ final days, which featured interviews with friends and collaborators of the late Foo Fighters drummer. Among them was Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, who also recorded music with Hawkins under the name Nighttime Boogie Association, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.
Today, Cameron and Smith both issued statements apologizing for participating in the piece. “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 the statement, which was posted on his social media accounts. “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.”
Smith, meanwhile, wrote: “Taylor was one of my best friends and I would do anything for his family. 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.”
In the article, Cameron and Smith echoed concerns voiced by an anonymous source that Hawkins felt overworked by Foo Fighters’ intense tour schedule and expressed as much to Dave Grohl and management. “He had a heart-to-heart with Dave and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t fucking do it anymore’ — those were his words,” Cameron told Rolling Stone. “So I guess they did come to some understanding, but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that.”
Elsewhere, Cameron was quoted as saying, “[A band like that] is a big machine [with] a lot of people on the payroll. So you’ve got to really be cognizant of the business side of something when it’s that big and that has inherent pressure, just like any business” and “He tried to keep up. He just did whatever it took to keep up, and in the end he couldn’t keep up.”
“[Foo Fighters] were the first ones to go back at it super hard, and [Taylor and I] definitely had discussions about that,” Cameron also said in the article. “He was a little apprehensive, understandably, just because of all the Covid bullshit that was going on. So there was all these different factors that were weighing on him stepping back into the ring.”
Meanwhile, Smith recalled the December 2021 incident where Hawkins lost consciousness on a plane in Chicago, which news reports at the time described without using Hawkins’ name. “He just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him full of IVs and stuff,” Smith told Rolling Stone. “He was dehydrated and all kinds of stuff.” After the incident, the Chili Peppers drummer said Hawkins told him, “I can’t do it like this anymore.”
Smith also told the magazine that Hawkins had spent the last few months “getting into lifting weights and drinking these electrolytes and was really trying to do things to help play at the level that he wanted to play at.” Last year, Hawkins told Rolling Stone that a doctor had told him he had an enlarged heart and sleep apnea, and he also likened his “major, major, major” stage fright to being “in hell.” The drummer said he was “trying really hard to figure out how to continue to keep the intensity of a young man in a 50-year-old’s body, which is very difficult.”
Foo Fighters representatives issued a denial to Rolling Stone, saying that “there was never a heart-to-heart — or any sort of meeting on this topic — with Dave and [Silva Artist Management].” They also denied reports that Hawkins was rushed to the hospital in December 2021 after losing consciousness on an airplane in Chicago.