FOREIGNER multi-instrumentalist Thom Gimbel is planning to leave the legendary rock act.
The news of Gimbel's departure was broken by his bandmate, FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson, in a new interview with Rocking With Jam Man.
Speaking about the fact that FOREIGNER occasionally plays shows without any original member members — including founding guitarist Mick Jones — Pilson said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It is really all about the music, and especially with FOREIGNER. FOREIGNER was never any kind of an image band at all, and that's actually worked to our advantage now in these later years where can tour — and we can tour without Mick — because the music is so strong that it is more about the music than it is about the personnel. And I think that's kind of cool."
Asked if Gimbel is now the longest-serving member of FOREIGNER, Pilson said: "Besides Mick Jones, yes. [But] Mick doesn't do all shows with us. So when [Mick's] not playing, Thom is [the longest-serviving member]. However, Thom is actually gonna be leaving the band. He's had some experiences. I mean, he's ready to get off the road at some point. So, maybe then I'll be the longest-serving member."
Gimbel is known as FOREIGNER's jack-of-all-trades guitarist, saxophonist, flutist and keyboardist. He initially joined the group in 1992 but left to tour with AEROSMITH before returning to FOREIGNER in 1995.
FOREIGNER's last album, "Can't Slow Down", was the only full-length collection of new songs to have been released by the band since Kelly Hansen took over vocals after original singer Lou Gramm left the band for good in 2002. The album entered the Billboard Top 30, driven by the radio singles "In Pieces" and "When It Comes To Love". The band also has released a series of live albums and compilations, including 2016's "In Concert: Unplugged" and 2017's "40".
FOREIGNER's current lineup is rounded out by Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Chris Frazier (drums) and Bruce Watson (guitar).
Pilson — one-fourth of the classic DOKKEN lineup — joined FOREIGNER in 2004.