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Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins: 5 Songs I Wish I Wrote

Drummer/songwriter on the weirdness of Jane’s Addiction, the genius of Jeff Buckley and more

Taylor Hawkins Five Songs I Wish I Wrote

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins discusses five songs he wishes he'd written, including classics by Queen, Jeff Buckley and Jane's Addiction.

Rex

In November, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins released his debut solo effort, KOTA, on which he plays nearly every instrument. “I’m trying to make catchy music,” he said in an interview about the project. “That’s the trick always. … Can you make catchy music that’s interesting and not just fucking [sings like Drake], ‘You can call me on my cell phone.'” Below he discusses five of his favorite songs by other artists.

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Queen, “We Will Rock You”

I’ve heard Brian May makes, like, 5 million a year off that song. There’s your retirement plan: “We Will Rock You.” “I don’t need to do anything this year because I’m going to make 5 million dollars a year off ‘We Will Rock You.'” “Fuck you.” “Really? Go fuck yourself. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve got 5 million dollars for ‘We Will Rock You.'”

I think it’s one of those things you had to believe in it to get it started. Can you imagine coming into the studio with your friends like, “OK, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to clap our hands, stomp our feet and be like, ‘boom boom cha’ and chant ‘we will rock you’ over and over. Then I wrote these lyrics like, ‘Boy make a big man some day.'” I guess he’s talking about life, the trajectory of life, I suppose. It doesn’t matter because it says ‘we will rock you’ over and over again. Every fucking football game, baseball game, basketball game they play that motherfucker.”

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Jeff Buckley, “So Real”

I wish I could sing it like him. I love that guy’s voice. That was my “getting some business” CD back on the Alanis Morissette tour [in 1995.] I’d put that motherfucking CD in and it was happening. I like it when he whispers, “I love you, but I’m afraid to love you” in this song.

What a fucking bummer he died. God, that guy would have made some great music had he lived. I think he was really searching for what his next move was going to be. That first record, Grace, nobody knew about it. It took so long. Now everybody is like, “Ah, I’m such a big Jeff Buckley fan.” People really started loving it after he fucking died. I think Page and Plant were on tour and they did a couple shows with him. Those guys aren’t scared of anybody. I heard he opened up for them once and Robert Plant was like, “I’m not fucking going onstage.”

Some people aren’t meant to be here a long time, I guess. It was weird because he was a continuum of his dad, but dare I say it, better. There’s people that would be really upset with me for saying that, like Tim Buckley fans. I’ve listened to him and can’t get into it like Jeff Buckley. That Grace record is just a masterpiece. That’s one of the 10 best records ever, up there with OK Computer and Nevermind and Ritual de lo Habitual. That’s one of the 10 greatest records of the 1990s. 

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