As it is to be expected of a die-hard rocker, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins says the electronic dance music (EDM) and pop music that dominate the charts these days have no soul.
“To me, the things I don’t love about EDM and pop music is the lack of human feel. I get sad to think that the human feel of music is going to be gone from the mainstream and it’s all just going to be sort of this clicking and popping of computers with Auto-Tuned vocals. To me, that sounds so depressing,” he says.
Hawkins, 45, admits that even his 11-year-old son is not into rock music and likes hip-hop acts such as Drake and Lil Yachty instead.
But he is hopeful that a new wave of rock bands will come to rule the charts again in the future.
“These things are always cyclical. I think it will come back. I’d like to think there’s a Kurt Cobain, a Jimi Hendrix or someone in his parents’ basement getting ready to explode it all again. I’d like to think it’s someone with a guitar and bass and drums.”
While he was discussing the lack of rock bands in general on the music charts these days, Foo Fighters – formed in 1994 by frontman Dave Grohl after his iconic former band Nirvana disbanded following singer, guitarist and songwriter Kurt Cobain’s suicide – is an exception.
All its albums since 2003’s One By One have charted in the Top 3 in the United States. The band has also consistently remained popular among critics and have taken home 11 Grammy Awards. It is also the only band to have four Best Rock Album Grammys to its name.
Hawkins says he and his bandmates, who also include bassist Nate Mendel, guitarist Pat Smear (also from Nirvana), guitarist Chris Shiflett and newest addition, keyboardist Rami Jaffee, are more than happy to show the younger upstarts the ropes.
“We had our time to be new. Now we’re sort of enjoying our ‘elder statesmen of rock’ status and are happy to teach the kids what it’s like to play the guitar and drums.”
Foo Fighters, who is currently touring the world, will also be releasing its latest and ninth album, Concrete And Gold, on Sept 15.
Hawkins’ reservations about pop music notwithstanding, the new work sees the band work, for the first time, with Greg Kurstin, a Grammy Award-winning producer known better for his work with artistes such as Adele, Sia and Kelly Clarkson.
Grohl has hinted that the album features backing vocals from “probably the biggest pop star in the world”, triggering speculation that it could be anyone from Adele to Taylor Swift.
Other guests who appear on the new album include some unlikely names, such as jazz saxophonist Dave Koz and Shawn Stockman from R&B group Boyz II Men.
Hawkins also confirms that ex-Beatle Paul McCartney plays the drums, not his usual bass, on a song called Sunday Rain. Hawkins wrote and sang on the song, unlike the rest which are written and sung by Grohl.
Hawkins says: “To play with a Beatle is amazing, I love that. I’m blessed – it’s yet another amazing thing that’s happened to my life.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network/Eddino Abdul Hadi