TAMA: When did you first start playing drums?
Hawkins: When I was 10 years old. My neighbor Ken was a drummer and a guitar player. He saved me from complete obscurity and utter boredom in life. I really dug music, like Star Wars soundtracks when I was a kid. I was pretty hyper. I first tried to play guitar, but it took too long to learn. I was a pretty hyper kid. So, I started playing drums, which came naturally to me.
TAMA: What was your first professional gig?
Hawkins: I played with a band for my high school prom.
TAMA: How did you land the gig with Alanis Morissette and what was it like playing with her?
Hawkins: I just auditioned. I had the right hairdo, the right licks, and the right drum set. Everything worked out well. At that point, she was just putting the finishing touches on her record, Jagged Little Pill. Next thing you know, we were out in clubs, and then started playing in giant stadiums and MTV award shows.
TAMA: How did you get the gig with the Foo Fighters?
Hawkins: I met Dave Grohl at a festival over in Europe while I was still playing with Alanis. When the original Foo Fighters drummer failed to work out on the second record, Dave got a hold of me. I think that I had mentioned to him a few times that I'd like to jam with the guys to see what it was like. I really didn't think I would get the gig because I was so different from the original drummer. I was more into the Copeland sort of polyrhythmic stuff. I didn't really have the solidness for straight-ahead rock drumming. I wasn't used to that. It's taken a while for me to grow into the gig.
TAMA: What is it like being in a band with Dave Grohl?
Hawkins: It's very cool. I learn a lot. He's my mentor.
TAMA: Can you tell us what other projects you have worked on?
Hawkins: I did some playing on Brian May's solo record. I do my own thing in my home studio. That's what I work on when I have time. I live on the Foo Fighters mostly. I also jam with friends and stuff like that. I'll be getting a cover band together eventually just for fun.
TAMA: When did you first become interested in Tama drums?
Hawkins: I always thought they were great drums whenever I played them in a music store. I liked the way the drums and the logo looked when I was a kid. I always thought the Tama logo was the coolest. Also, Stewart Copeland and Neil Peart played them.
TAMA: What do you like best about your Starclassic maple set?
Hawkins: I think it sounds awesome. It's the nicest kit I've ever had. It's a well built kit. The Starclassics are more organic looking than the old Tama drums. They have more of a Grestch kind of vibe to them, but they still have that hard-core vibe as well. I don't know if it's the lugs, but they have a more traditional, organic vibe to them.
TAMA: What are the Foo Fighters plans for the rest of the year?
Hawkins: We'll be making a record.
TAMA: Would you like to add anything in closing?
Hawkins: I'm finally home when it comes to my experimenting with different drum companies. I've finally found the drum company that I want to stay with forever.