You can’t be following the punk scene for any significant amount of time and not heard the name Josh Freese dropped at least a few times. Not just known as the drummer for The Vandals, this dude has also hit the skins in a LOT of big name acts including Devo, Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, The Replacements, Weezer, Sublime With Rome and even Guns N’ Roses. He’s also acted as a session drummer on releases by The Offspring, Bruce Springsteen, Social Distortion, Suicidal Tendencies, 3 Doors Down, Seether, Ween, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Tenacious D and many other artists.
For some extra punk creds expand your knowledge on a few more things you probably didn’t know about this prolific drummer below.
1. Prior to The Vandals, he drummed in a Top-40 cover band at the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage at Disneyland.
2. Although he has been a member of The Vandals since 1989, Josh did not play on their 2000 album “Look What I Almost Stepped In…”, due to commitments with A Perfect Circle. The drum parts on “Look What I Almost Stepped In…” were handled by current Bad Religion drummer Brooks Wackerman.
3. He is the brother of Jason Freese, who plays keyboards in Green Day.
4. By the time he was 16, Josh had quit school and started touring and making records, first with Dweezil Zappa and then with The Vandals.
5. Freese has been a session drummer for The Offspring since 2003, having played on their last three albums (“Splinter”, “Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace” and “Days Go By”).
6. Although he was only in Guns N’ Roses for about three years (1997-2000), Josh is credited for performing the drum arrangement on at least four songs on their 2008 album “Chinese Democracy”, which had been in the works since 1994. Josh also played drums on “Oh My God”, which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1999 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “End of Days”.
7. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and their five children.
8. Freese filled in for an injured Claude Coleman, Jr. on Ween’s 2003 album “Quebec”.
9. Josh is the son of Stan Freese, a tuba soloist and Talent Casting & Booking Director with Disney Entertainment Productions (The Walt Disney Company).
10. Freese began playing drums at the age of 8.