Josh Freese Reveals His Nine Inch Nails Connection to Dave Grohl

The new Foo Fighters rhythmist recently shared what it's like "playing drums behind one of the world's greatest drummers"

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jul 5, 2023

Between Josh Freese's well-documented session stardom and Dave Grohl's L.A. exploits (delicious BBQ among them), we imagine the two had crossed paths long before Freese joined Foo Fighters on tour this summer following the tragic death of longtime drummer Taylor Hawkins. As Freese now shares, his connection to Grohl has less to do with six degrees of separation, and more with Nine Inch Nails.

On Instagram this week (June 30), Freese shared something of an NINside scoop in highlighting a bit of referential rhythm from a show in Columbus, OH, pointing to a shared history surrounding Trent Reznor's fourth album with the project, 2005's With Teeth.

Sharing a clip from a drum cam, Freese notes, "Middle section of 'Breakout' on my 3rd @foofighters show about a month ago Columbus, Ohio. Out of nowhere, I decided to reference the NIN song 'You Know What You Are' that I used to play every night on tour, but Dave recorded it on the record."

Grohl's drumming can be heard on six of With Teeth's songs, including new wavy lead single "The Hand That Feeds." Freese, meanwhile, recorded and toured with NIN between 2005 and 2008, making contributions to follow-up albums like 2007's Year Zero and 2008's The Slip and Ghosts I–IV.

Watch Freese's clip closely, and you'll see the moment Grohl clues in to what his drummer is playing. "I love when he hears it and lights up," Freese continued. "At the end, you can see me making sure he caught it. Yes, he caught it. Duh. BTW, playing drums behind one of the worlds greatest drummers is a TOTAL trip. Surprisingly not nerve wracking but really just inspiring and fun."

"Fun" is what we hope the Foos are having as they continue working through loss on the road behind But Here We Are. The band recently added a Montreal date to their ongoing 2023 summer tour.

Read Exclaim!'s recent ranking of the 20 best Foo Fighters songs.

A post shared by Josh Freese (@joshfreese)

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