Taylor Hawkins Recalls His Performance With Geddy Lee Replacing Neil Peart


During his recent interview with Prog, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins discussed his admiration for Rush and Genesis. Hawkins also recalled his performance with Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson and how he replaced Neil Peart on the drums.

Taylor Hawkins played with Sass Jordan and Alanis Morrissette before joining Foo Fighters. Hawkins chose to join Foo Fighters over Morrissette as he wanted to be a part of a band rather than a solo act. The band was playing just at clubs or they were opening for other bands when Hawkins joined but over the years, they became of the biggest acts of the 1990s.

Besides his drumming skills, Hawkins is also a competent singer, guitarist, and pianist. He started playing drums at a fairly young age and has a wide spectrum of drumming styles. He was mostly influenced by the classic rock drummers and developed his own style following them. During a recent interview, the drummer was asked about how he got into progressive rock.

Hawkins explained that he got into it when he began drumming. He was either 10 or 11 years old when he first heard Rush. He remembers that he learned so many things by listening to Neil Peart. Then, Hawkins recalled playing with Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson thanks to their producer’s help. Taylor performed ‘YYZ’ with Rush members and he was very nervous as he was replacing Neil Peart, who was one of his biggest influences.

Here is how Taylor Hawkins recalled his performance with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson:

“I got into prog when I started drumming. I must have been 10 or 11, and the first band I heard was Rush. It was the live album ‘Exit…Stage Left.’ I picked up so much from listening to Neil Peart. In fact, I got the chance to play with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson when I was in Toronto not that long ago.

The guy who produces us, Nick Raskulinecz, also worked with Rush on their ‘Snakes & Arrows’ album, and he called them up and arranged it all. You can imagine how nervous I was, but I got through ‘YYZ’ with them. Even though they told me I was playing too fast! The nerves I was going through; here I was replacing Neil Peart in Rush – well, almost!”

As Taylor Hawkins pointed out, he was so nervous that he couldn’t perform very well. Rush was one of his childhood heroes and thus, it was like a dream-come-true-moment for him. Later on, Hawkins talked about his other major influence, Genesis, by revealing that he started to listen to them thanks to Rush. He was immediately impressed with Phil Collins’ both drumming and singing styles.