Words: Philip Giouras
Featured Image: Taylor Hawkins with NME’s Charlotte Gunn – Credit: Carsten Windhorst
The Scotch Of St James in Mayfair was an infamous hangout for the rockstars of the 60s such as The Rolling Stones and The Who as well as hosting the first ever UK performance from Jimi Hendrix. It’s a fact referenced by Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins as he – interviewed by NME Editor Charlotte Gunn – talked a small gathering through a mini playback of his upcoming new album, his third with the Coattail Riders, Get The Money. As the sound system cut one track short, he joked that Hendrix’s ghost perhaps wasn’t too pleased with the sound his latest record was making. We’re sure Jimi would approve, though; Hawkins is certainly part of modern rock royalty and his new songs and his entertaining storytelling gave LDN plenty to riff on.
The album’s title, ‘Get The Money’, was inspired by Hawkins whining about his touring life
While on a gruelling tour with the Foos – who regularly play three-hour shows – Hawkins began to feel tired and pained, and wondered if he should continue. Mentioning this on the phone to guitar legend Joe Walsh, Hawkins was told the story of the time Walsh himself complained about the exact same dilemma to BB King about touring with the Eagles. Walsh passed on King’s response: “You got a nice house? You staying in nice places? You got lots of money? Stop complaining… shut up and get the money!” When TWO rock and roll legends say that… it’s hard to disagree. Incidentally, Walsh plays lead guitar on the track with Chrissie Hynde on vocals and G’N’R bassist Duff McKagan guesting.
Country superstar LeAnn Rimes appears… on a psychedelic rock monster
Worlds collide as one of Taylor’s neighbours (their kids go to school together), country superstar LeAnn Rimes breaks out of her comfort zone for an appearance on the surprisingly-titled ‘C U In Hell’ a wild-as-you-might-imagine psychedelic rock song with a rampant pace. As the song fades out it’s difficult to discern whether Hawkins is joking when he hints at a stoner album collaboration between the pair in the future.
There’s a sweet, yet roaring tribute to the Hawkin’s own offspring in ‘Middle Child’
Hawkins had written a song for his eldest child, Oliver, but had only received threat of a punch for its soppy nature, his son saying, “I want a heavy song like Metallica!”. So Hawkins focused on his middle child, his daughter Annabelle. Hawkins described his unique relationship with her as one of his strongest bonds, and this shone through clearly on the chorus: ‘How I love you middle child, I see angels when you smile.’ It’s no ballad, though, featuring one hell of a groove, with a Thin Lizzy-styled rhythm propelled along by some roaring riffs from Dave Grohl and thundering percussion from Hawkins himself.
There are SO many special guests and surprises in store
Whether it be Hynde duetting with Hawkins on the raucous reggae-infused rock of title track ‘Get The Money’, Grohl taking a backseat and ripping guitar riffs reminiscent of Foos classic ‘All My Life’ on ‘Crossed The Line’ or even Janes Addiction’s Perry Farrell singing the crude and colourful chorus of ‘I Really Blew It’, it’s fair to say the album isn’t short of memorable moments. That’s all without mentioning other incredible guest collaborators such as Queen’s Roger Taylor, Nancy Wilson from Heart, childhood pal Jon Davison (currently lead singer with Yes) and Germs/Nirvana man Pat Smear, who all make thrilling appearances.
This album is both a celebration of rock and the different directions you can take it in. Check it out for yourself when it’s released on November 8 via SME/RCA. In the meantime, listen to the title track here, and find out more at www.taylorhawkins.com.