Taylor Hawkins caught up with Billboard’s Chelsea Briggs and Lele Pons on the red carpet at Billboard’s 2019 Women in Music event on Thursday (Dec. 12), chatting about his friendship with Alanis Morissette, who he was presenting with the Icon Award later in the evening.
Asked how he was first introduced to Morissette, Hawkins tells Billboard that he had the opportunity to play a gig with her when he was around 23-years-old, back in 1995, after meeting Morissette’s manager. He was then invited to play drums on her record and, as he explains, “That was it.”
“We started rehearsing,” he continues. “I got three songs on a cassette, it was back in the day. And I heard ‘You Oughta Know’ and I heard ‘You Learn,’ and these three or four, no question… I just knew it. And so we started rehearsing, and then the first song came out and it just went completely bananas.”
Asked what it was like to work with Morissette and what he learned from her, Hawkins replies, “She was young, and I was young. And she was younger than me. And she had to become this sort of boss of this massive industry, like within a month. And she did it very gracefully.”
“As a musician, she gave all of us a lot of space. I mean, I said it before, I’ll say it again. I destroyed her songs by putting all sorts of crazy drum stuff all over it,” he adds with a laugh. “But she dug it… She was really open to that and… she’s an artist first and foremost, but giving. And she gave us a lot of space to be a cool band within that. And then I watched her just become this like amazing front person.”
You can watch the full interview above, and watch Hawkins presenting Morissette with the award below.