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article imageA discussion with former Foxes frontman Nigel Thomas Special

By Adrian Peel     Nov 28, 2015 in Music
The indie rocker recently released his debut solo single, "Fever," a song that has already generated a very positive response from fans and critics alike. Digital Journal caught up with him on tour in Germany.
Nigel Thomas is an English singer/songwriter/actor who has lived in London for the past 13 years, after having grown up mainly in Brighton and Ipswich. From 2006 until 2014, the former mental health care worker was the lead singer of The Foxes, an alternative rock band who put out two well-received EPs and a John Cornfield-produced album, Last of Many, in 2011.
During their nearly 10 years in the spotlight, the cult group, comprising of Nigel, lead guitarist Jonathan Bretman, bass player Alex Douglas and Stephen Wilde on drums, also supported the likes of The Magic Numbers, The Troggs, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Amy McDonald, The Zombies, Newton Falkner and The Animals.
Earlier this month, on November 9 to be precise, the softly-spoken musician released "Fever," his very first single as a solo artist. According to the official press release, the song "explores the theme of madness and depravity" and I was curious to learn that the idea came from a deeply traumatic personal experience involving mental and physical illness.
"Yeah, that was the initial idea behind writing such a dark and slightly despondent song, the time I was ill," confirms Nigel. "I collapsed in the kitchen and was lying there feeling really silly and sorry for myself, but I thought, 'Well, at least I have people around.'
"Imagine if I didn't - all these people who live alone. I thought how awful that would be in that situation and I wanted to write something a bit darker that would trace all those feelings I felt at the time.
"Mental illness certainly comes into it because before I left to do music full time, I worked for a while at a primary care trust doing mental health placements, so I think that's another reason it interested me."
"It's been great - I've been really pleased with all the reviews," says the friendly thirty-something of the buzz the tune has already generated. "I was slightly worried because I haven't had any negative reviews and I was kind of expecting that, especially with the video, but it's all been positive. I'm really happy and tentatively optimistic about how the album's gonna go."
When will the album be out? "Late February, March - it's all finished and ready to go. I'm gonna have it released on vinyl and CD Digital, so I'm just getting all the bits and pieces and artwork sorted. I'm looking forward to having the final finished copy in my hands."
Most indie fans obviously still associate Nigel with The Foxes, so I wondered if the sound of his old band can be heard at all - maybe even subconsciously - in the new music he's making.
"I think there are elements of The Foxes, certainly... Jon, who was the guitarist in the band, also plays on the album, but I think it is a different sound. I think it's a bigger sound - there are a lot more instruments than we ever used with The Foxes.
"One song starts with a harp, there are strings on it, there's piano - there's a whole range of sounds... Hopefully fans of The Foxes will listen to it and enjoy it and hopefully people who haven't heard of us will also enjoy it. I think there's something there for everyone."
What other themes are addressed on the record? "All sorts, really. There's a song called 'Ghost Hunter' that's about fake faith healers who cheat people out of their money by pretending they can speak to their relatives. That's quite a dark song...
Nigel Thomas
Nigel Thomas
Natasha Bennett
"The album's gonna be called Travelling Man and the title track is a slightly lonely song, I guess. It's about travelling and the good and bad experiences you have doing it.
"There's a track called 'Destiny' that questions whether destiny exists, or if you can carve your own path as well. There's a couple of traditional love songs on there too, so it's not all heavy stuff like that."
"Fever" is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes.
For more information on the very talented Nigel Thomas, visit his official website.
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