MEMBERS of the south coast's best Foo Fighters tribute bands — the Isle of Wight-based Foo Fighterz — have been left devastated by the shock news of the death of legendary drummer Taylor Hawkins.

Hawkins died in a hotel room in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, yesterday (Friday). 

It is understood the 50-year-old — in South America on tour with the Foo Fighters — had been suffering from chest pain and an ambulance had been called. 

Hawkins famously performed on the Isle of Wight Festival main stage with the Foo Fighters in 2006 and in 2011.

Toby Sleight, rhythm guitar player with Island tributers, the Foo Fighterz, said of the announcement: "It was a shock to the system. At first I thought it was maybe another one of their PR stunts. But then to realise it wasn't, was unreal.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Foo Fighters at Glastonbury.The Foo Fighters at Glastonbury.

"I feel totally numb. It's crazy. I was talking to one of our past drummers this morning about it. 

"Having lived and breathed the Foo Fighters solidly for five years now, it feels like one of our best mates has died.

Read: Isle of Wight favourite Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins dies

"All those memories you have as a band, going up and down the country playing their stuff, you think, Christ! I'm just totally gobsmacked.

"I was talking to our current drummer this morning, Luke Steen, who was actually playing the Foos' song, Cold Day in the Sun, which Taylor Hawkins sings, and he just sat there at his kit, numb.

"Hawkins was one of the greatest rock drummers around. I'm a massive fan.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"I can't see the Foo Fighters playing again. You look at the history. Dave Grohl lost Kurt Cobain when he was Nirvana's drummer, which destroyed him. He was never going to pick up the drum sticks again, did a couple of other projects and the Foo Fighters came along.

"Then Taylor Hawkins jumped on board and that's how things started. To lose his drummer and his best mate will do the same to Dave Grohl.

"He's been in two of the best rock bands in the world and has now seen two key members pass away. It's horrible.

"Taylor and Dave always fed off each other live when they're breaking down a song. That's not something that happens overnight.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Foo Fighterz. Photo: Darren HudsonThe Foo Fighterz. Photo: Darren Hudson

"We try it now and it's very, very difficult to recreate. It's total chemistry.

"It's devastating. Not only for us, but so many other Foo Fighters fans, their friends and family, and the band members. Your heart goes out to them."

The Foo Fighterz's current drumer, Luke Steen, who studied at Platform One  music college on the Island, said: "Huge shock. Taylor was an incredible drummer with power, precision and technique, who also had boundless stage presence and passion for performing.

"He was an underrated singer and writer in his own right. Easily one of the best rock stars of the past 25 years."

The Foo Fighterz have already had a conversation wth Newport venue Strings about doing a free tribute concert, with an emphasis on drumming.

Toby added: "We have three drummers, all Island lads, so the idea is to rotate them and if there are any other drummers who want to do their bit, that would be a nice thing to do.

"I was talking to the band this morrning (Saturday) and I think we absolutely will — we really should do as a salute — and not for money, but perhaps for a charity. 

"We will probably roll a couple of Queen numbers in there too. Taylor was a big Queen fan."