Nick Hodgson explains his exit from Kaiser Chiefs

The drummer/songwriter says he always intended to quit by the age of 35

Former Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgson has explained his departure from the band, saying that he had simply always planned to get out by the time he was 35.

The drummer recently quit the band after 15 years in the fold, having turned 35 in October 2012. The others have pledged to continue, despite Hodgson having been their primary songwriter. He will now work full-time as a producer and songwriter at his ‘Chewdio’ studios in East London, as well as setting up a label, Birthday Records.

Now, speaking about his exit for the first time, he told NME: “I’d always thought I’d do it. I like studios a lot, I like producing, I like finding bands, I like working with bands, I like writing songs. And now I can do them all. It’s been 10 years on the road. When I was a kid I reckoned I’d love to be a drummer in a band, and then a record guy.”

He insisted that the split with Kaiser Chiefs had been amicable: “I’d said a year ago that this was what I wanted to do, and that was it really. No-one was surprised, we’d talked about it for a year and everyone was happy. I feel good and I’d like to think they do to. It was obvious really, because they know I love the studio and I love writing and I’m not mad about touring. I loved touring at some point, but I didn’t love it all the time and I didn’t love it as much as everyone else.”

I thought it’d be good to get out by 35, because 35 I think is a good age to start being in the studio.

However, he said that for his final dates with the band last year, he enjoyed the “element of freedom.” Hodgson added: “There were a lot of lasts. When you start a band there’s a lot of firsts, there were a few ambitions I always wanted to achieve. Silly things, I always thought you’d made it if you’ve got St John’s Ambulance at your gigs, and one day I saw St John’s Ambulance and I thought, ‘That’s it, we’ve made it!’ There were all these other firsts, and then last year there were a load of lasts: last recording session, last gig.”

The band announced the departure in December under apparently amicable terms, with Ricky Wilson tweeting at Hodsgon, “the door is on the latch and the key is under the mat,” while Simon Rix added: “I can exclusively confirm we will still be collaborating on pints in pubs.”

Hodsgon told NME it was carefully planned. “We worked it out together,” he said, “we just thought that would be the way to do it, because there’s no beef at all, and nowadays you’ve got to be so definite and leave no grey areas or people will jump in and make something up. So we talked about it.”