If you're Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins, you hear a lot of people ask about pounding the skins in the shadow of former Nirvana stickman Dave Grohl, arguably the world's most visible drummer since Keith Moon. Must get old, right? "I didn't really think about it until after I joined," Hawkins says on the phone from Munich. "But [after a while], it really did get to me, and it led to some other really destructive things in my personality. You just have to let go of your ego a little bit. You have to realize that it's Dave Grohl's band, and the band members are like the messengers of his music."
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Yes, Virginia, even drummers have egos. But maybe that messenger thing works both ways. "On the acoustic record," Hawkins says of the Foos' latest, the two-disc yin and yang called In Your Honor, "one of the songs on that record is my song, which just goes to show right there that [Dave] is not the control freak that a lot of people kind of think he is." While on tour with fellow rock-radio lords Weezer, the two righteous rhythmmakers often swap places, and the lesser-known Hawkins assumes lead vocal duties on the surprisingly melodic "Cold Day in the Sun." But do the constant queries-- "What's it like to play drums behind the world's most famous drummer?"--bother him anymore? "No, it's totally fair," Hawkins says. "I mean, that was the only question for a long time and for good reason. What else are you going to fucking ask me, you know?"