Former Kaiser Chief, Nick J.D Hodgson launched his Debut Album, ‘Tell Your Friends’ at Headrow House, Leeds last night.
The event was free to fans and attracted an enthusiastic crowd for the former drummer’s first solo outing. D & A’s Tom Rogers interviewed Nick prior to the launch..
T: Hi Nick, Can you tell us a bit more about the journey you went on making this album and what you wanted to achieve with it?
N: At first I thought I’d write a couple of songs and just put them out online but as I continued to write I started getting more excited about it. I imagined at first that the songs would be similar to the ones I’d sung on the Kaiser Chiefs albums, like Boxing Champ and If You Will Have Me, delicate and understated. But I started surprising myself with some actual bangers! After I wrote RSVP I thought, OK let’s see how far this can go. So the goalposts have changed and now I’m totally into the idea of being a solo musician, playing gigs and making more records.
T: Obviously Leeds is an important place for you, but how influential do you feel the city is in your career?
N: I think that without the song I Predict A Riot my musical career wouldn’t be the same. The song is specifically about Leeds city centre so I owe it a lot. As well as that, the city’s music scene was always really inspiring. There were so many bands around the late 90s early 00s and the friendly competition was important to me. Being a big band in Leeds was the first goal.
T: How was it for you after leaving Kaiser Chiefs? Did you find the journey from band member to solo artist hard? Was there a defining factor musically that fuelled your change?
N: I left 5 years ago and went straight into writing and producing for other artists. I don’t like repeating myself so this transition was perfect for me. I was writing about three songs a week with totally different artists and going home every night, it was the opposite of life in the band. Then one day in March last year I felt like I was bored of this life too so I decided to make a change. I don’t like repeating myself (that’s a joke). The defining factor was simply writing a song and thinking, how about I sing this? The song was Thank You which is on the album.
T: And finally, what’s next for you after the album launch?
N: I’ve got some more live dates, then I’ll have a little break and do some more live dates. After all that I’ll go back to my studio and see what happens. I’d love to just make albums for the next ten years.
‘Tell Your Friends’ by Nick J.D Hodgson is out now & will be @ The Wardrobe, Leeds and Deaf Institute, Manchester in April.