Taylor Hawkins was a music fan, first and foremost. Although he made a living and a legend by holding down the drum throne in the Foo Fighters for more than two decades, Hawkins didn’t stop playing once the Foos tours ended. If you were in or around California at any given time, chances are you could have seen Hawkins continuing his love of music with his cover band Chevy Metal or his side project, Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders.
Around the release of the Coattail Riders’ self-titled debut album in 2006, Hawkins sat down with Modern Drummer to discuss the influences that filtered into the album’s creation. He was candid about the bands that he listened to during the album’s writing, even mentioning that they aren’t necessarily the coolest or most hip bands to be championing.
“I know some people will think the album sucks,” Hawkins explains in the interview. “But it’s the music I love. A lot of people do think it harkens back to the ’70s. The Eagles is comfort-food music. I like vocal harmonies. I love Deep Purple.”
While explaining which bands were instrumental in inspiring his latest work, Hawkins even brought attention to a classic live album that helped shape his own drum sound. “I have to admit, I’m in a prog phase,” Hawkins added. “I love early Genesis, like Trick Of The Tail and Seconds Out, with Phil Collins, Chester Thompson, and Bill Bruford on drums. Actually, Seconds Out is one of my drum bibles. It’s one of my favorite-sounding drum records too.”
In fact, for the album track ‘Louise’, Hawkins admitted that he basically lifted the pattern from Collins’ style, only this time from a different Genesis record. “I kind of ripped it off from Genesis’s ‘Wot Gorilla?’ from their Wind & Wuthering record,” Hawkins said. “I wrote the song on the guitar and didn’t think about the groove. Then I was listening to that Genesis record. I loved the way Phil Collins’ groove is so hyper there.”