5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
After touring with Aerosmith for six years, Thom Gimbel joined Foreigner permanently in 1995 after briefly subbing for Scott Gilman in 1993. In Foreigner, Gimbel plays rhythm guitar, saxophone, flute, sings backing vocals, and occasionally performs additional keyboards. The Boston native and Berklee College of Music is glad to be coming back to Boston to perform.
SD: You play the drums, saxophone, and the flute. Was the guitar the first instrument you first learned to play?
TG: After the drums, I got right into the guitar. I wanted to start a band with three of my friends, who all played the drums, and someone had to play the guitar. I jumped at the chance.
SD: How did attending Berklee College of Music prepare you for life as a musician?
TG: I learned how to get my music out of my head and play it through my instruments. I couldn’t get enough. I was immersed blissfully up to my ears in my music education. No matter what your career choice is college is important because you meet people and make friends and all the networking you do will help you later on.
SD: Foreigner is such an iconic band with so many great songs. What is your favorite Foreigner songs to play?
TG: ‘Urgent’ is the one song where I really lose my mind. I grab my sax and go to town. Playing that song always gives me an extra shot of adrenaline. Honestly, every song is special. Foreigner songs are like being in the ocean and getting covered by a wave.
SD: The band has seen many changes over the years. What do you think is the secret to their continued success and longevity?
TG: The music is both timeless and universally. The songs are timeless. I have to use the old cliché, but everyone can relate somehow to each different message. If you’re feeling crazy, you listen to ‘Hot Blooded.’ If you are in love, you listen to ‘Feels Like the First Time.‘ There are so many feelings and emotions that people connect our songs too.
SD: Any plans to release a new studio album in the future?
TG: We may, but I am not sure it would be a whole album. It takes a long time to make an album with 12 to 13 songs. We may release an ET with a few songs. It all depends on what Mick Jones wants to do. Like me, we will all have to wait and see.