Q & A Archive - June 2004 Print E-mail

Colour Code: DANNY, LUKE, BEN, HARRY, CHRIS, THINNY


Q: I understand that you got on very well with Extreme during the 1992 European tour. Do you still keep in touch with the guys? There are constant rumours of them reforming as they are all still friends and have done occasional one-off gigs together. Any chance you could tell them to get their fingers out, get back together and do another tour with you? Kenny, Milton Keynes
D: We said hello a couple of times during the tour, but that was about it to be honest. They were nice enough to us, and we were our usual charming selves, but we weren't exactly going round for dinner after the tour... As for us urging them to re-form, I can't see it helping you very much...


Q: This has been bugging me for 12 years... my mate had a video of Thunder, recorded off the TV on one of those 'early in the morning ROCK programmes on ITV', you were playing live,1989ish and it was the full gig in a smallish venue. The gig was awesome.. I lost contact with my friend, as he turned out to be a git!, but I'd love to get a copy of it! Do you recall the programme? Johnny Gee, Lancashire
D: The only show I can remember being broadcast on TV was filmed at what is now called The Forum in London, I believe it was in late 1989. Back then it was called The Town & Country Club. We were still relatively unknown at the time and were secretly added to the bill to open for FM and Little Angels. I remember I'd injured my knee the night before in Manchester, and instead of travelling down to London during the day with the rest of the band, I'd come home after the show, and had been having treatment in Harley St all day before we did the show. I remained stationary throughout the show, glued to the spot, knee heavily strapped
and full of painkillers. The show was around 30 minutes long if memory serves, and you're correct, the show was very good, it was broadcast very late one night (or very early one morning) soon afterwards. I have a tape of it somewhere in my vault (and before you ask, I'm not going to get it out and copy it for you). Sorry your friend became a git, it's a shame but it does happen. Still we need the gits to make the nice ones look nice don't we...



Q: I just wanted to say thanks for a great night in Munster, Germany when you were supported by the Electric Boys. You stayed around after and had a few beers with me and a mate and autographed our tickets which I thought was above and beyond (even if I did lose it later in a fire!). Thanks lads. My question is you wouldn't happen to remember the year would you? Early 90's. Top ten gig by the way. Martin 
T: Sorry to hear about the fire. The gig was in October 1990.


Q: Danny is that you on the 'STC Films' logo on the last two DVD's? (Which it must be said are both excellent!!!) A strange question I know, but it does look a lot like your, well figure. Glad you hear the op went ok, and your on the road to recovery. Eccles 
D: It's not me, but I thought the same thing when I first saw the design, and the megaphone is a nice touch for obvious reasons. Funny how things happen...the back is fine thanks.


Q: Referring to your last answer about the Donnington show: Is there an address where we may can write to to force the company to release it? I mean it is a shame that such a pearl lies somewhere in some archives of some bloody a......s that do not know their value at all. Maybe the power of the fans and their demand for it could do something against the company's ignorance? By the way: Would you earn something if the Donnington show would be released? I hope so! Joey, Germany
D: This has been tried before, but I feel the power of the fans wouldn't influence the label in this case. It's not down to ignorance, it's down to money (their money, and they usually don't want to spend it), but feel free to write to EMI UK if you want, and don't give up hope, it may happen one day. If it was released it would make no financial difference to the band.


Q: Luke, I bought the Ballads album a while ago and I have to say it was a good investment. I did notice, however, that a few of the songs are faded out before the true ending. It is not until you hear the songs cut off in their prime that you realise how good the final minutes of 'Numb' and 'In a Broken Dream' are. Now, I am not having a whinge as I am fully aware that you have no control over this whatsoever but it did make me think...do song finales take a bit of work or do they just come to you? I have read about writers who have a good idea for an intro - have you ever had a great idea for an ending? Thanks to Mr. Thinny for processing another of my questions without complaint, and fond regards to Mr Bowes and his back. Rachel, Cambs
L: All parts of a song are equally important. The ending will more often than not be a coming together of several themes that have occured earlier in the song. They can sometimes fly off at a tangent as well. I suppose it's all about what feels like the right thing dynamically. As with most things I just follow my nose! 


Q: Quick questions: Who will win the european championship? On a scale of 10: How excited are you while waiting for the game today (UK-Swizerland)? Are you all interested in football? How did you feel when France shot the second goal? Sad? Angry? Luke, won't you write a song about that? Joe, Mars
L: England will never have a better chance to win it and I think they will. When France scored the 2nd goal I was extremely disappointed as was everybody else in the country. I get very excited whenever England play in a tournament.


Q: Hi Luke, Has been a while since I've asked you a guitary type question, I'm well impressed with the Sound of the Tanglewood on "plug it out" wouldn't mind getting my mits on one, to go alongside my White LP Custom!!! They do say "imitation is the highest form of flattery". You any idea what model it is??? Also will you all be available for signings when you play with DP? still got that scratch plate to fill mate. Tony B, Plymouth
L: The Tanglewood is a TW-58 Sundance. Watch the site for details of all future meet + greets.


Q: Dear Luke,I was very sad that the Bowes&Morley shows cancelled. But I'm glad that Danny's op went well. My question is, you are a great fan of THE WHO,aren't you? They decided to come to Japan for the first time in July! Of course I'll go to their show. Did you see their latest show? Which show has impressed you the most? Lastly, Happy Birthday!! Have a  lovely day!! Emi, Japan
L: I saw The Who a few weeks ago at the Albert Hall in London and they were terrific despite Roger having a throat infection. Zak Starkey is a great drummer to replace Keith Moon so well. Thanks for the birthday greeting!


Q: Happy birthday, Luke! How was your this birthday? I hope that you are having fun. Did you have any good or funny birthday memory? Maybe you don't count birthday anymore (for me, birthday is not just happy day), but I'm sending you my love, anyway. Congratulations on this happy day!!! Chikako, Japan
L: Thank you. I spent my birthday travelling home from Dublin, Ireland where I'd been to a friend's wedding. I haven't had time to celebrate yet but I'll try to get around to it sometime this week. As for counting my birthdays, yes I do; every year I make it through is a result!!!!


Q: Apart from the band, who is the most famous person in your mobile phone/phonebook? Also, who is the nicest person in Rock? K, Surrey
L: Harry James and Harry James
C: There are two contenders, in my experience, for the title of 'nicest person in rock'. Russ Ballard, the man that wrote 'Since You've Been Gone' and Paul Young. Having said that, I have the pleasure of working with thoroughly nice people all the time (well nearly).
B: It used to be George Michael but after that little episode in the gents' toilets in America... he's outta there. The nicest person in Rock? - Abraham Lincoln (Mount Rushmore). On a serious note I have met some very nice people over the years and some complete *!**rz too but you'll have to wait for my book.
D: I have a few famous ones but Jimmy Cliff is the most legendary person in my phone book. Harry James is the nicest person in rock.


Q: Just watched your old video tape from Donnington. A big part of the bands history. Unfortunately the video just features some tracks of the set and not all of it. Wasn't the complete show filmed? Is there any chance that someday we will get to see the missing tracks or earlier live footage in general? And how about a "making of" DVD that features studio situations and behind the scenes footage? Just some thoughts. I am sure that there is a demand for such releases. What do you think? Joey, Germany
D: I believe our whole Donington show was filmed, though I've never seen all the footage. Inter-company misery (between EMI and their sister video company at the time) has meant all the footage has been either lost or stored away somewhere (I suspect the former). We have tried and failed many times over the years to get it released. There was talk late last year of an EMI DVD, but it's gone all quiet. There is some studio "making of" footage for SATS, but not sufficient to make a DVD yet. We have loads of behind the scenes footage, but the same thing applies. We hope to film more as we go through the new LP, and if it's OK we'll put it together at some stage in the future.


Q: Hello Danny, I know this one is going to be hard to answer, but I4ll try anyway...Up to this point, do you feel able to tell in which of the Thunder albums your best work on vocals is to be found? In my opinion, even though I love LOJD, it has to be "Behind Closed Doors"...as we say in spanish, "you reached the ceiling"! Thanks again! Daniel, Barcelona
D: This may sound cheesy, but I feel I get better as a singer with each LP, having learned new things from the previous experience. That could be perceived as different to vocal performance I guess, but it's not for me to judge. There are some killer notes on BCD, so if that's what blows your hair back then I suppose you could say that's the one. If you're into the more mellow side of Thunder, then GTGA may be your choice. I suppose what I'm saying in my roundabout way is "don't ask me matey, I
just sing them!".


Q: Further to Danny's comment about his appearance in the Classic Rock Greatest 100 Frontmen list, how do you as a band feel about all these Greatest Band/Singer/Guitarist... etc, polls and lists that magazines and music channels seem very fond of running? Do you like the recognition when your included or does the whole concept make your blood boil? Like it does mine. Mark Cole, Basingstoke
D: Polls don't make my blood boil, far from it, I'm ambivalent towards them. I've always been of the opinion that polls are really only of any use to the people who run them, and as far as I can tell they appear to run them purely to give themselves something to do... Poll positions (high or low) have never altered my life one way or the other, so life
for me goes on without them...


Q: Guys I was just wondering, back in the days when being all glamourous was all important, did any of you have any mishaps with fake tan. Or any other beautifying products? Nicola, Kent
C: One of many major hair catastrophes involved being persuaded to use henna on my hair which turned it bright red, and then being persuaded that bleach would improve it. Orange hair wasn't in at the time....
D: A few incidents have passed under the metaphorical cosmetics bridge, but to protect the (not so) innocent, I won't reveal them, or who they happened to.... No inducement or bribery will get it out of me, well maybe a... No, no I can't do it... Please don't ask again, I may crack next time.
B: I NEVER use any kind of product so I'm afraid I can't help you there.


Q: I was just going to wish Danny all the best with the operation, but then wondered if any other band members had undergone the surgeon's knife and for what reason? Tell Danny not to watch Holby city before his operation, I speak from personal experience, it doesn't help calm the nerves! Steve, Berkhamstead
B: No thanks - The closest I want to get to a surgeons knife is sitting next to one in a restaurant.
L: No, never and long may it stay that way!!!!


Q: Hi guys, thanks for the answer to my previous question, about your differences. Since I liked your answers so much, I have only grown more curious so I hope you'll forgive me if I check some more traits...Who's the most organized, or disciplined as you will? The biggest eater? The one to always arrive the latest everywhere? And my personal fave: the biggest flirt? Thanks again! Jillian
B: Most organized - now I've got the answer to that one written here somewhere... aaah here it is... no that's not it... what about this? ...No that's a shopping list... well I'll have to make it up - The most organized is me.
Most disciplined - Luke - he visits a large lady in the West End apparently.
Eater - About the same really, although I gave up smoking last year and was Olympic eating champion for about six months.
Latest - They'll all say me but it's a lie - It's Danny, well he is a singer.
Flirt - The others, I'm not like that
L: Most organised ? Danny and Harry
Disciplined ? Myself and Danny
Eater ? All of us, particularly Chris....God knows where he puts it!
Latest ? Benny....
Flirt ? All of us.


Q: Danny? Hey, I've got a question. Are you all right? Do you feel better after the OP? Hope you did not lose your voice. So please give me a short information that everything went well without problems. Jo, Frankfurt
D: Thanks for asking. The op went well, so I'm told. I was asleep throughout so I have to go by what they told me. I've been a bit stiff and sore, but much better than I thought I'd feel. I'm sure all will be back (sic) to normal within the next week or so, but for now I'm taking it easy.


Q: So Danny you made made it into Classic Rock top 100 frontmen poll & Mr Hawkins did not! Have you seen this article and did you agree with your placing? Myself while being a big Bon Scott fan would not place him over Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant or indeed any one else in that top ten what do you reckon? Mart "arts", Essex
D: I have not seen the article, and I have no opinion on my placing, I'd prefer to leave that to those who are interested.


Q: I've got a few questions to hit you with so here goes. Will you be doing a full set on the November Deep Purple tour or will it be a truncated set? How do you come up with an album title, is it just the fav track, do you take a vote on it, or is it just what sounds best? Would you consider doing a campaign through your web site ala Marillion recently to get a single into the charts as the first step to Thunder world domination?! And finally, Luke/Thinny, have you ever thought about doing a writing/recording journal for the web site that would give the fans an insight as to how the whole process pans out, maybe updated every couple of weeks or so? Duncan Mackerness, Cheshire
L: As stated by Thinny elsewhere on the Q+A page we will be playing a shorter set (around 50 mins) on the DP dates. There are no rules on how album titles are chosen. It's usually related in some way to something somebody says or something that happens during the recording process. We are planning to release another single later in the year so watch this space! The idea of a recording journal is a good idea and we have been filming various bits and pieces during the recording/writing of the next Thunder album. I've kept a video diary of sorts which chronicles some of the writing process so hopefully some of it will see the light of day at some stage.


Q: Your appearance at beachfest is a very interesting move and I for one am already booked in with the whole family for the weekend. Two questions, other than being asked, why did you decide to play it and secondly can we expect the normal ‘thunder live’ or are you planning on catering for the neutrals who will no doubt be attending the free gig. Either way us real thunder fans can’t lose can we. Kev, Morecambe
L: We're out in mainland Europe playing a few shows anyway so the timing was very good. I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'normal' Thunder.....we only do normal Thunder. I don't know what else we could do!!! 


Q: I DON'T WANT THIS QUESTION TO BE TAKEN THE WRONG WAY BUT YOU HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR PROBABLY MORE YEARS THAN YOU CARE TO MENTION,WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS THAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE 'BRIDESMAID' AND NEVER THE 'BRIDE'? LOOK AT THE LIKES OF 'NICKELBACK', THEY HAVE ONE GOOD TUNE OUT
AND THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW THEY'RE ON AN ARENA TOUR FOR GOODNESS SAKE.YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN (AND STILL ARE) THE BEST BRITISH ROCK BAND IN RECENT MEMORY AND I'VE PROBABLY SEEN YOU MORE TIMES THAN ANY OTHER BAND, BUT THAT IS DUE TO THE FACT THAT YOU ALWAYS SEEMED TO BE SECOND BILLING TO THE MAIN ACT (BON JOVI, DEF LEPPARD). IS THAT YOUR OWN CHOICE, WERE YOU HAPPY WITH PLAYING THE SMALLER VENUES OR WOULD YOU REALLY HAVE LIKED TO BE ON ARENA TOURS EVERY OTHER YEAR OR SO. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE EXPOSURE THAT YOU GET AND THE FAN BASE YOU HAVE OR IS IT DOWN TO SOMETHING ELSE. JOHN WATSON, ST HELENS
L: Thunder have never enjoyed wider media coverage via TV or radio in the UK whereas all the other bands you mention have. We never got to tour in the USA and success in the States has a massive effect on how you are perceived in the rest of the world. Obviously we'd like as many people as possible to hear what we do but that's not up to us. We enjoy playing wherever it happens to be. Large and small venues both have good points and we're equally comfortable in both. Lastly we are delighted to have the support we get from our fans. Without them we couldn't continue. We'd love it if there were another couple of million people that felt the same way of course but once again, how much exposure we get is beyond our control. This is why we depend on those of you who know what we do to spead the word. All we can do is try and make great albums and every time we get on stage, play as well as we can.
T: Please lose the caps lock next time John. Thanks.


Q: Ah the summer season is upon and everybody should be listening to the ultimate summer relaxation album. Anyway my question is, Luke on the song "This Letter" are the people in the background a crowd you are performing to? Or are they people that helped you record the album? Michael Beck, Wales
L: The 'jazz club' atmosphere at the start of This Letter was recorded funnily enough, in a jazz club in Farnham, Surrey very close to Jacobs Studios where we have recorded a lot over the years. The promoter of the club is and was the same guy who owns the studio so we thought it would be appropriate to create the right kind of vibe at the start of the track.


Q: Gents, Firstly..All the best Danny with yer little op (so to speak!)..Secondly a debate has been floating around regarding a few of my other fave bands about the importance of releasing new material. If you forget any economic reasons, do you still feel the desire to write and record new material or would you prefer to concentrate on touring and the live scene?? Just a thought since there seems to be quite a mix out there at the moment.. Thanks again for your replies. Nick
L: I love writing songs and making albums so for me it's not even a question!!


Q: With the possible re-release of TTOIA and knowing that the first three cd's are basically out of your hands would there be any benefits to remastering those first three? Have you always been satisfied with the sonic quality of the discs? Ken K, USA
L: I think that all albums can benefit from re-mastering but I'm still very pleased with the way our albums sound.


Q: Are you going to release all the other albums with extra tracks. If so would you consider releasing them as separate discs .I have got all your albums but I don't want them again. Or perhaps you could sell these extra tracks as mp3 files for people to download from this site .what do you think? Ken K, USA
T: If the other records were re-released with bonus tracks it would be down to the various record labels and not the band themselves. What they do with the material they own and how they present it to the public is completely up to them. They can ask for the bands input if they wish, but they rarely do so. Sad, but true. There are certainly no current plans to re-issue any albums other than 'The Thrill Of It All' right now. All of the others are still available in their original form at the moment, so there seems little point...


Q: What is the meaning of life? God, Heaven
L: I could tell you but I think I'm correct in assuming you already know anyway. Who would have expected such a stupid question from the Ultimate Being?
D: Why are you asking me? If you don't know then I guess we're all up the creek.
B: Ask your mum.


Q: After picking myself up over the sad news of no B&M concerts. I used my refund to get tickets to see Jools Holland at a open air venue walking distance from me. I noticed that Jools helped you out on Terraplanes Black & White album. Do you still have contact with the great man? Mart "arts", Essex
D: I've not seen him since the infamous day Mr. Holland played the "11 finger concerto" on the Terraplane session. Modesty doesn't permit explanation, but it was very funny.


Q: Hi guys, this may sound like an extremely stupid question, but it's been something that's been puzzling me for some time now, and I thought you'd be the only ones who could answer. At the end of the studio version of the song Backstreet Symphony does Danny shout "Van Halen" for absolutely no reason? If not, what was it you actually said as it sounds so much like it. Thanks a lot guys and can't wait for the DVD. Keep up the good work! Dave
D: You are correct, it is a stupid question. However, we're all stupid sometimes so you are forgiven. The simple answer is I really don't know. It was 15 years ago after all, but I'm pretty sure I've never shouted "Van Halen", apart from in 1978 when I saw them at the Rainbow in London, when I may have done it a few times between the show and the encore...


Q: Luke and Ben, how many guitars do you have in your collection, both acoustic and electric? Is there a guitar you really want but just cannot justify the expense - I know some vintage Les Pauls go for an absolute fortune? James Vincent
B: I’ve never been great collector of guitars, I tend to buy and use only those that I need. The current collection is about ten. I think the price some vintage guitars go for is a problem in that many end up in the hands of collectors as museum pieces instead of with players as instruments. 



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