King Princess Reminisces About Getting Taylor Hawkins To Drum On An Upcoming Song: ‘He Was Just So Kind’

Tomorrow marks the release of King Princess’ (real name Mikaela Straus) new album, Hold On Baby. It will also mark the release of a new posthumous track from late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, as he performs on Hold On Baby closer “Let Us Die” (not to be confused with Foo Fighters’ “Let It Die”). In a new interview with Zane Lowe (as Billboard notes), she discusses how Hawkins came to be on the song.

Straus noted she and producer Mark Ronson both thought “Let Us Die,” the album closer, was a terrific song. She said, “He was like, ‘But we really need a drummer who’s going to bring life to this. This needs to be a living and breathing person behind a drum kit and not a programmed beat, not a sample. This is the type of song that needs humanity behind all the instruments.'”

Straus continued:

“So he called [Hawkins]. He called him and he sent him the song and he’s like, ‘Do you want to play on this?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, man! It’s a great song! Yeah!’ And I was like, ‘Are you f*ckin’ serious?’ […] We FaceTimed, so he was recording it at their studio and I was in Brooklyn and we were feeding it through the console. So pretty trippy, too, to be in my childhood home studio, listening to this guy play on my dad’s speakers. And my dad sitting there, watching… I can’t even describe it. I was so emotional. It was crazy.

But in between takes, we’d FaceTime and he was just so kind. […] He was just saying he loves playing drums. And to hear that from somebody who’s lived such a life that, at his age and playing for as long as he has in so many different bands and his own projects, for him to just love to play the f*cking drums, that to me is just what we should all strive to be: Somebody who does not lose that love of their instrument.”

She also said of Hawkins’ death, “To find out, I was just completely in shock, and then a couple weeks later I was like, ‘Guys, I think that what we need to do is reach out to his team and just let them decide whatever they want, because it’s up to them and it’s up to his legacy, but I will include that he did love this song and that’s the reason that I would want him on it is because he loved it.’ But we sent this message and it was very respectful, I think. They came back and said, ‘As long as he wanted to be on it, that sounds great.’ And they were just so kind. And I can’t even imagine getting a message like that during that time. I was just so anxious and sad and nervous to just ask of someone like that. But they felt that it was an homage. And it is an homage. It’s for Taylor.”

Watch the interview clip here.

Hold On Baby is out 7/29 via Zelig Records/Columbia. Pre-save it here.