Josh Freese, whose drumming credits include Guns N’ Roses and Nine Inch Nails, was surprised when Dave Grohl invited him to join Foo Fighters, despite speculation from almost everyone around him.

In a recent chat with Rick Beato, Freese revealed that he had not expected the invitation, especially since he had made no moves about joining the band.

Instead, at the 2022 tribute concerts for Taylor Hawkins, Freese said he kept his distance, respecting the band’s space and mourning process, rather than positioning himself as a potential replacement.

Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins, Pat Smear, Dave Grohl, and Chris Shiflett in February 2022.

Grohl, who had been working on new material post-tribute, didn’t reach out to Freese until the Christmas season approached.

When he did finally call, their initial conversation was casual, filled with small talk about family and holiday plans. However, the call eventually turned towards Foo Fighters’ recent recording sessions, leading Grohl to reveal his intent: he wanted Freese as the band’s drummer.

The offer, according to Freese, was both shocking and overwhelming, leaving him momentarily winded rather than elated.

“I didn’t go, ‘Wow, yippee, this is so cool!’ I didn’t get excited like that,” he said. “It was almost like I got the wind knocked out of me. And I was like, ‘Oh my God.'”

Freese’s respect for Grohl runs deep, not just for his songwriting or frontman capabilities but his drumming, which Freese and the late Hawkins had often admired.

Picking up the sticks from Grohl, who still very much influences the band’s drumming style, was not just a job offer but a significant personal and professional milestone. Since joining Foo Fighters in May 2023, Freese has sought to channel inspiration from Grohl’s legacy rather than succumb to intimidation.

Reflecting on his role, Freese sees himself as much more than just filling a vacancy; he is stepping into a legacy of powerful drumming marked significantly by Grohl and Hawkins.

Despite the high stakes and big shoes to fill, Freese approaches his role with humility and confidence, driven by the camaraderie and chemistry he shares with Grohl, which has made his transition into the band feel natural and invigorating.

And really, it’s exactly this kind of cohesion and collaborative attitude that continues to define the Foos.

Catch the whole chat here: