Wolfgang Van Halen Defends Josh Freese Against Backlash From Foo Fighters Fans

In a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Wolfgang Van Halen talked about his experience during the Taylor Hawkins tribute show in 2022, where he performed two Van Halen songs. The singer recalled how things went during and after the show by saying:

“I was just suicidal with nerves. I couldn’t really focus on anything else. But after that, I met John Paul Jones really quick. He shook my hand and said, ‘Good job.’ I could not believe it! Watching Them Crooked Vultures play for a little bit was super cool.”

He also reflected on Josh Freese‘s performance and supported Freese’s selection as the new Foo Fighters drummer:

“It was [also] really amazing to watch the revolving drummers for the Foo Fighters set. I knew in my heart the second that I saw Josh [Freese] on the stage and just playing with him if he wasn’t the guy [to replace Taylor Hawkins in Foo Fighters], I was going to be pissed off. Because he’s perfect.”

Referring to the criticism the drummer received, Van Halen went on:

“I say that to everybody who maybe doesn’t like him: You do like him; you just don’t know it. He’s played on everything! Josh is the perfect guy for the job. There’s no one better.”

He also mentioned Paul McCartney’s performance at the tribute show by adding:

“And being that close to Paul McCartney was pretty crazy. Just to watch a Beatle perform a couple of feet in front of you, that was quite an experience. It was definitely a highlight for sure.”

Foo Fighters announced Josh Freese as their new drummer during the ‘Preparing Music For Concerts’ live stream, which was set to promote the band’s new album, ‘But Here We Are.’ Shortly after this, The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins shared his view on the drummer change in his YouTube series.

Having similar thoughts to Van Halen, he said:

“The thing to remember is he was in Nine Inch Nails for a long time, and in order to be the drummer of Nine Inch Nails, you must be great. That’s the only thing you need to have is just greatness, and he’s got that. This is a brilliant appointment under, you know, it’s bittersweet obviously because we’d all prefer it if Taylor Hawkins was still alive, but in the absence of Taylor Hawkins, Josh Freese is a good call that’s a good call.”

Freese gave his first show with Foo Fighters back in May to start their summer tour in New Hampshire. A month later, he joined the band for their first Glastonbury performance since 2017. The drummer is currently touring the US with Fighters and will be on the road until January 2024.