Matt Cameron has responded to a Rolling Stone story this week that reported that Taylor Hawkins, the late drummer of Foo Fighters, wanted to tour less with the Dave Grohl-led rock band before his death.
The Rolling Stone article, “Inside Taylor Hawkins’ Final Days as a Foo Fighter,” featured parts of an interview with Cameron, the Pearl Jam drummer also known for his work in Soundgarden and who collaborated with Hawkins in Nighttime Boogie Association. It included further quotes from others said to be close to Hawkins, the musician who unexpectedly died at 50 in March, all seemingly supporting what was reportedly his desire to cut back on Foo Fighters shows.
But in a statement Tuesday (May 17), a day after the story emerged, Cameron suggested his words from his interview were used against him, and he apologized to surviving Foo Fighters members and their families.
“When I agreed to take part in the Rolling Stone article about Taylor, I assumed it would be a celebration of his life and work,” he says. “My quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I never intended. Taylor was a dear friend, and a next level artist.”
Cameron adds, “I miss him. I have only the deepest love and respect for Taylor, Dave and the Foo Fighters families. I am truly sorry to have taken part in this interview and I apologize that my participation may have caused harm to those for whom I have only the deepest respect and admiration.”
“Taylor was one of my best friends and I would do anything for his family,” Smith says. “I was asked by Rolling Stone to share some memories of our time together, which I thought was going to be the loving tribute he deserved. Instead, the story they wrote was sensationalized and misleading, and had I known I never would have agreed to participate. I apologize to his family and musical friends.”
In the story Monday, Cameron told Rolling Stone that Hawkins confided to him he “had a heart-to-heart with Dave and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t fucking do it anymore’ — those were his words.”
Cameron continued, “It just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that. … He tried to keep up. He just did whatever it took to keep up, and in the end he couldn’t keep up.”
Singer Sass Jordan, who Hawkins backed early in his career, added, “I think he was just so tired. Tired of the whole game.” Another Hawkins friend, who remained anonymous for Rolling Stone, agreed. “He finally spoke to Dave and really told him that he couldn’t do this and that he wouldn’t do it anymore,” they said.
Smith confirmed it was Hawkins who was the then-unidentified member of Foos rushed to a Chicago hospital after boarding a flight last December. “He just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him full of IVs and stuff,” Smith told the magazine. “He was dehydrated and all kinds of stuff.”
To Rolling Stone, a representative for Foo Fighters denied the story. “No, there was never a ‘heart-to-heart’ — or any sort of meeting on this topic — with Dave and [Foo Fighters’ management],” they said. They added the plane incident was “not true.”
The cause of Hawkins’ death is still unknown after he was found dead in Bogota, Colombia, on March 25, before Foos were to play Festival Estereo Picnic. A preliminary toxicology report suggested he had 10 different substances in his system when he died. Both Cameron and Smith paid tribute to him after his death. Cameron is currently out from touring with Pearl Jam after testing positive for COVID.