Colour Code: DANNY, LUKE, BEN, HARRY, CHRIS, THINNY
Q: Ben!!! Happy Birthday!!! Hope you have a great day, but if you're anything like me you'll be thinking 'Oh my God! Another year older' and (in my case) not much wiser! Oh well, there's always the sun, as The Stranglers would say (just seen them at Guilfest last weekend) It was funny actually cos they had the Stranglers' singer with his new band on Saturday and then the actual Stranglers on Sunday and they both did practically the same songs!! It was good though. When I walked past the stage where Thunder played last year, I couldn't help wishing you'd played this year. You should make sure you always play Guilfest cos I get free guest tix to that! I know a man who knows a man who knows the man who organises the event!! Anyway enjoy your day. I'm off to my non-air-conditioned office to battle it out for another day! See you in November at the Forum! My tix have arrived and I'm very happy. Oh, and I forgive you for not inviting me to your birthday party! I mean how could you not invite your own sisters; The bookends??? (Ha, ha!!) Maria, Hertford
B: Thank you very much for your kind felicitations, I had a wonderful birthday with a barbeque on the beach - and your question was ......?
Q: From your The Rare, The Raw and the Rest album the Cd's booklet provides some insight into what each song has been written about e.g. experiences you've well... experienced! I was wondering if you would ever consider publishing a book giving an insight into each song off every album you have released? Steven Alexander, N. Ireland
L: Interesting idea although I'm sure I've forgotten what some of them were about by now!
Q: Hi Luke, I've got the new DVD, it's fantastic because it's one of the most impressive show I've seen, especially in Japan. But also because I was in it, which really surprised me - Thank you so much, I'm very happy! My question is: There's been a lot of music DVD's released recently. Which one do you like the most? See you in November! Emi, Japan
L: Do you mean Thunder DVDs? If so then definitely the new one because I think we played very well that night. When you are filming and recording a show it's always impossible to predict how things will go musically and visually but I think this one at Club Citta was very special.
Q: Hello Chaps! I've just discovered a new-ish band called 'The Feeling' (Indie / Classic Rock / Pop (ish) sounding with hints of ELO, Queen, The Beatles, 10cc and Supertramp). The lead singer has a cracking voice, IMHO and occasionally he sings a bit cockney (yummy!) Within the space of 12 hours I rushed out, bought their debut album and tickets to their gig in November! The only other band which has grabbed me by me wassits recently, was the fantastic Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band who were at Guilfest last year, just before your fine selves. My questions are: Have you heard of 'The Feeling'? Do you like, or just not your bag, baby? Has any band grabbed you like this and forced you to buy their album, tickets to gigs, etc immediately?! See you all soon! Piddy_Po, Naaaridge Boiye
D: I have heard of them, like them, and have the LP. I really also like a band from Wigan called Moco, who seem like they must be the best kept secret in the world, oops...
L: I've heard the singles and they're very good. Last thing I heard that made me jog down the shops was 'Get Born' by Jet.
B: Spending time in recording studios working with other bands I love discovering great new bands - A few I haved worked with are "Must" - sadly no longer together, "Dekko" - who may have changed their name now and Breed 77 - doing very nicely. The bonus is I don't have to go out and buy the record.
Q: What's the strangest question that has ever been asked on Q&A, keep it clean boys!!! Ele, Chesterfield
D: Read through them all and you decide which is the strangest, then let me know. I'll tell you and we're all square.
B: Someone asked me to marry them, not sure if she meant it as I did reply in the affirmative - never heard from her again.
Q: I have just bought a very tasty 1979 Gibson SG - much lighter than my les paul with much the same 'grunt'. With this in mind have you ever considered an SG for stage work? Nick, Leicester
L: I've never played a leftie SG but I know they're nice guitars. I just prefer the look of a Les Paul or a Flying V.
Q: Ok, I asked you all a question last night, and now that I've slept on it, (and been jamming to L.O.J.D, as I am prone to do on a Sunday morning), I've noticed that at the start of the second verse of "Fire To Ice" the track seems to slow a fraction, which drops the tempo and the pitch by a fraction, which is a bit of a pain as my guitar sounds out of tune for the rest of the track. Can anyone tell me why this is? P.S. I've checked both the CD and cassette versions and they both do the same! Scott, South Wales
L: No idea but I will have a listen when I get five minutes. It's natural for tempos to ebb and flow a little. Most good rock bands tend to speed up slightly during the chorus and settle down into the verse.
Q: Hi guy's. I submitted a question about a year ago but I guess it didn't make the cut (or the question was crap!)... I thought I'd enter the question again to see if I had any more luck. I have to say that I was a huge Def Leppard fan and thought no-one would ever knock them off my favorite spot, until I bought L.O.J.D. Your music has touched me in so many ways, and "You Don't Know What Love Is" is the only song to have ever made me cry. Keep doing what you do, guys, as the rock world will be a barren place when you call it a day.... Oh damn.. the question... Ok here it is: How do you feel about unsigned bands covering your songs at gigs? I used to be in a band that played predominantly Thunder songs. Scott, South Wales
L: When we started playing in bands we all played covers of other people's material so I have no problem with other bands covering our songs.
Q: Looking forward to the tour - we dragged two people along last time, and they're back for more this time - one of them is planning on attending 3 gigs in a row... spreading the word works! Anyway, there's a question here, honest - I saw in a previous question Luke mention Later with Jools Holland - have the BBC ever approached you guys, or vice versa to be on the show? If not, is there anything WE can do to try and make it happen? Tony Cottam, Glasgow
D: Not been approached by Jools Holland's people, and to be honest they would not usually contact a band direct, it would be done via the band's promotion person and/or record label. I don't think fans lobbying the program producers is likely to have the desired effect, but thanks for asking.
Q: I've recently discovered the site www.fabchannel.com where you can see (completely free) complete gigs filmed (professionally !!!) at the Paradiso or Melkweg (Netherlands) online. Did they ever asked you to film one of your gig ? What do you think about this way of promoting music? Olivier, Belgium
D: Free live shows via the internet is a nice way to find out about a band, and if they're good it will hopefully contribute in a positive way to sales of concert tickets and records. We've been filmed by several companies over the last couple of years, all for the net, but so far not by Fabchannel.
Q: Ben, Do you enjoy playing the Hammond, as opposed to other keyboards, and is it more difficult to set up and get the correct sound out of one? I would imagine its really rather "special" to play the Hammond, but impractical. I know for sure they are REALLY heavy to lift! Alan Keetley, Granada Spain
B: I love playing the Hammond, I think it is the most wonderful keyboard ever invented as, sound wise, it resembles the guitar so closely. It is relatively simple to set up and get a sound out of if you have the right model organ and Leslie speaker. It can be a real physical thing when you play it as long as you don't have a guitar hanging round your neck. The down side is the size and the weight of the thing but that's down to our crew!
Q: A few years ago I used to buy all sorts of things from Amazon.uk, QueenOnline and Marillion's website, among other UK sites, and it wasn't too bad. But my country isn't very bright, and for whatever reason the exchange rate has gone to shit in the last couple
years, and it's probitively expensive to buy CD's and DVD's from UK retailers. So my question is, is there any chance that your online merch will ever be sold on a U.S. site? "The Magnificent Five do Xmas" CD costs over $25, which is about twice as much as a regular CD, and the DVD's are even scarier. I'm just wondering if Thunder or Townsend Records will ever partner with a U.S. website to possibly make the new Thunder releases more accessible. (and to the guy asking about NTSC DVD's, buy a digital TV, a lot of them
can play both formats...its expensive, but definitely worth it) Steve, Chicago
D: This is a fair question, and normally I shy away from direct money speak for fear of seeming too money grabbing, but in this case I'll make an exception and risk it. I'll be brutally honest with you, as a band who control our own career and all our output, we have to conceive, write, produce, record and manufacture, then market and promote the things we sell. This is not a hobby for us, it's our profession. Doing it all takes considerable time and effort, so we feel it's only right and proper that if and when people buy it, we should get a reasonable return on our investment. We give away a lot of music CDs, DVDs & merchandise to charities, for promotional reasons, and as competition prizes, but I see no common sense reason for us to make US retailers rich(er), for our items are produced in the UK, so they will sell them as imports at premium prices (this doesn't work for you or us). We've been approached by a few US e-tail type websites, but they seem to want everything we do and pay no money for it. The things we make are quality items, and we work extremely hard to ensure they're the best we can produce. All the data suggests that for bands that are not being regularly exposed to music lovers via the mainstream media (and I think we can say we qualify), reducing prices does not result in increased sales. I'm sorry our prices seem expensive compared to other items, but it's not likely to change in the near future, and we like to think they're worth the extra. Having said that we're constantly talking to US labels about licensing them our titles. So far we've not managed to strike a fair deal, but if and when we do, they'll produce the titles there and the retail prices will no doubt be in line with the local competition (then UK shops will sell US imports for extortionate prices).
Q: Hi to you all. First of all, I am busting a gut to hear the new album, I am sure it will be of the highest rockin' standard as usual. My question is this. If money was no object what item would you purchase? Steve, Belfast
L: If money was no object I could afford to purchase everything anyway so picking one item seems a bit daft........
B: I'd buy one of those mad Swedish cars the Koenigsegg CCX, then a race track to play with it on, then an F1 instructor to show me how to drive it, then a helicopter to take me home to my island in the sun.. this is getting silly
Q: Hi there, as the holiday season is upon us I was just wondering what kinda holidaymakers you guys are - do you just like to crash out at the beach / pool and relax or do you like to get out there and do loads of sightseeing? So excited to hear the new albums finished and cant wait to see you all in November! Happy Summer! Juliet, Clevedon
D: I try whenever I can to do a bit of everything on my hols, but mostly I like to lie around and relax near some water, preferably the sea rather than a drainage ditch.
L: I like a mixture of lounging by the pool or bar and a spot of taking in the culture. My favourite thing of all though is definitely sampling the local cuisine.
B: I'm not much good at sitting on the beach as I get bored easily so I like to swim, dive or jet ski then take in a little of the local culture followed by dinner and an early night - Sure!
Q: Hello Thunder! Great to hear the new album is finished. Are there any plans to release a single before the album, to try to get in the charts again? Oh, and on the subject of charts; as artists what is your reaction to the news that 'Top of the Pops' is being axed? I think it's quite sad really - end of an era etc...bye for now. Maria, Hertford
L: It's a bit early to say for sure what the release schedule will be so as usual it's a case of watch this space. I think it's very sad that TOTP has come to an end as we all grew up with it and dreamt of being on it as young kids. Luckily enough we did get to go on it a couple of times. I don't think recently it has been the show it used to be so maybe that's why viewing figures are down. Oh well.......there's always Jools Holland's show I suppose.
B: I guess it is a bit of a shame as it used to be a great show but really lost direction in the latter years - They should have insisted all bands play live and no backing tracks, that would have sorted the men from the boys. Funnily enough it was not until my Grandmother saw us on TOTP that she decided we were famous.
Q: Juergen Klinsmann's old VW Beatle is up on eBay at the moment, and he's said that people shouldn't bid on it, as it was covered in rust when he sold it 10 years ago. Have you ever seen anything of yours on eBay, or anywhere else for that matter, that you wouldn't have imagined having any monetary value? And have you ever sold anything VIA eBay? George, Tonbridge
D: I'm always truly amazed when I see that people sell some of the things we've signed over the years, like tour flyers, or small inconsequential magazine pages clipped and stuck on boards with our signatures on them. I suppose it must be worth it to those guys who camp out in the wind and cold, waiting for the band to come. Seems a strange way to make money to me. I've sold a few items on eBay, the last was a gas powered Paslode finish nail gun, a lovely item (if you like pro power tools that is). Funny thing was it was 2 years old and well used, and the guy who bought it paid just short of the price of a brand new one. Odd really...
B: I've seen a few Thunder items for sale on Ebay, it never ceases to amaze me what people will buy and sell on the worlds largest boot sale. Saying that I have bought one or two things on Ebay but never sold anything yet.....
Q: Hi Thunder, I am a huge fan and I hope someday that you will come to our side of the pond again, this brings me to my question, I see that a new dvd is out, but once again it is in pal format, I know that it is not the bands fault, but all your fans in the usa are once agian left out, is there anything that can be done to change this ? You do have fans here in the states, why not build this fan base? Thanks for all the fine music, I am looking forward to your new CD !!! Hugh Bailey, Bangor PA USA
T: It's too expensive for our label to manufacture NTSC versions of our DVDs, we simply don't have the resources (to be honest if we got hundreds of emails like yours from US fans every day we'd try to remedy that, but the truth is we don't). However, all is not lost with the new Japanese DVD. I'm told the band will license it to JVC Records in Japan, which means they will be releasing a full on NTSC version with Japanese subtitles (in the autumn), and it will contain bonus footage and a photo gallery. We are hoping to obtain a supply of stock of same to sell via Thunder Shop. Keep an eye on the website, we'll announce it when it's ready.
Q: Luke, have you ever written a song and thought, "That's brilliant, even if I do say so myself". Then, demo'd it, took it to the rest of the band all made up and had them all look at you with open mouths and say, "Luke, I'm sorry mate but that songs cack"? See you in Manchester in November!! Paul Ryan, Warrington
Q: Hello Chaps, I know some of you are golfer's, so please take a minute read my woefull story. Having purchased a new driver (good brand P**G, as not to advertise to company!), next day took it to the driving range, hit about 5 balls with it and see the head of the club flying down range side by side with the ball. So I have to go out and retrieve the club head( cue much hilarity among the people on the range!), then I send the club back, get it reshafted and had no problem with it until about three weeks ago when, teeing off on the 2nd hole same thing happens again, ball flying down the fairway, but head flying into the rough (cue much hilarity from my playing partners!) So my question is has this ever happened to any of you? P.S This little tale of the unexpected does not detract from the quality of the said product, if any of you were thinking of getting a new driver ,they are excellent! Ian Helliwell, Rotherham
D: Can't say it's happened to me, I have had some P**gs and they have always performed splendidly (can't say the same for the owner mind). I've let go of the club once or twice, and seen it sail over hedges and roads, but never had the club fall to pieces in my hand. I've seen someone throw the whole bag into a lake, seen another snap his iron in two and throw it into the trees, and whilst I have felt like doing both on a few occasions over the years, I have yet to do it. Still, good game..
L: Not exactly that but I did have an odd experience with a Ping (oops) three wood. There I was at the top of my backswing, just about to bring the club head majestically through the ball when the shaft (calm down everybody) bent itself in two about halfway along. Everybody thought I'd bent it over my knee (stop tittering at the back) in frustration. I have done that as well but that's a different story.
Q: Great Wit and Wisdom, Ben. I seem to remember a certain guitar player with an Ibanez guitar which a straight through neck. It was like one of the ones pictured in your Wit and Wisdom piece. He also had a black Les Paul copy made by Satellite.. or was it Avon? Any idea what happened to these legendary axes? What do you do with your old instuments. Is there a Thunder graveyard or do you all have Pete Townsend moments in private. Best wishes. Jon Haskoll, Charlton
B: The Ibanez is the one in the picture; it's on loan to the Cash museum. As for the Satellite Les Paul, you've got it haven't you?
Q: Hi Ben. Thanks for your anecdote in the WW&W section. It is possible that one day you will show us your guitar collection? Luc, France
B: I'll show you mine if you show me yours. It is certainly possible
Q: Most people have artwork in their homes, be it an original oil painting, a watercolour, an IKEA print etc. Can you describe an item or two that you have in your home that you are particularly found of and where did they come from? Axel
L: I have paintings by both my parents (both art teachers) and one by my little brother who did a degree in painting. They're probably all worthless but they all have meaning to me obviously.
B: I have a watercolour of a beautiful house my parents used to live in – It was painted by my father who is rather good at that sort of thing.
Q: An Englishman On Holiday: Luke, you’re in Europe somewhere, but not on Thunder duties. You meet someone and a conversation starts up. You’re asked, “what do you do for a living”. How do you reply? “I’m in a band”, “A musician”, “I’m a guitar player in Thunder”, “I’m a writer and performer”, “I compose songs” etc. Does it depend on who’s asking!!? What does it say on your passport? Axel
L: It depends on who's asking. If it's somebody who appears to be a decent human being I would probably say I'm a musician. If it wasn't somebody I wanted to talk to I'd tell them I'm a drummer (sorry H, couldn't resist it!).
Q: Now that you are operating under your own steam (so to speak), do you have control over all your own marketing etc? With Marillion doing most of their business over the Internet, I was wondering if you guys had similar aspirations to use the internet in the same way or are you quite tied as to how the new album etc will be marketed? (I understand that most of the sales prob come through the website already and we of course do our bit to spread the word!!) Emma, Leicester
D: Yes, we run our own label and release our own records, so we're in control. We don't aspire to it, we're already doing it, our way. We're tied only by the spending limits of the budgets we set. You understand it wrongly. Most of our sales are via retail. Correct. Fans help considerably in the spreading of the word. Without them and their stoic devotion to the Thunder cause, we'd have lasted a shade over 5 minutes (16 years ago). In return we've always striven to make the best records we can, and played the best shows we can, every time we play. I like to think that's a fair exchange.
Q: Come on then gentleman. World Cup Final 2006. France vs Italy. Result predictions please..... P.S. For what it's worth I'm going for a 3-1 win to the Italians. Stu, Jersey
L: France 2 Italy 1
D: I agree Italy look like winners, but I think the margin will be less.
Both want to win but neither want to lose, and both are very good defensively, so whilst a hatful of goals would be great, I think it could end up being a very tight 1-0 result. No matter who wins, poor young "don't touch me or I'll fall over and cry to the ref" Portuguese Ronaldo's not there, so I for one am extremely happy... There, I think I've made my feelings plain, I just wish I could say I felt better for it. Grumble, mumble etc....
H: My prediction is that the Italians will win 2-1. They were fabulous against the Germans the other night. Still very disappointed the England team aren't there!!
B: I predict 1-1 after extra time, then Italy win on penalties with only one French player missing a penalty, also Zidane will be sent off. Next weeks lottery numbers will be....
Q: I am having a bit of Hypnotherapy at the moment. What are your views on the subject and have you ever been hypnotized? Donna, Nottingham
D: First of all I want you to lie down on this comfy leather couch and relax..... Ha ha. Seriously, I went to see a spiritualist once a long time ago, and though I had no proof positive, I had the distinct feeling I'd been hypnotised when I left. It was quite disturbing. I've never felt the inclination to be hypnotised or the need to have any kind of therapy, apart from the physio kind (and I've had absolutely loads of that). I hope it works for you.
L: I've never been hypnotised but I guess if it works for you then that's ok.
B: I think it is an extremely powerful tool but we have too little understanding of the human mind to make full use of its potential. I have never been hypnotized but I have been to see a show where it people were, that stopped me ever wanting to be hypnotized; one guy swore he was in love with a broom - it wasn't even a good looking one.
Q: I fear my last question may have been a bit serious, for me anyway, so because all things need balance. Have you ever over indulged in something you just couldn't get enough of? And more importantly did you regret it afterwards, or would you happily eat/drink it all again? Nicola, Kent
L: Errr.... yes, no and yes. Now, what about food and drink?
B: I do it all the time but as the old saying goes "Everything in moderation and plenty of it"
D: I drank very hard and very often when I first left school. After suffering back pain, I was tested then warned against this in both horrible & graphic detail by a doctor at the age of 19. I have drank very carefully ever since. I have my moments, but never by accident, always by design (I choose my drunken evenings, and they're very occasional rather than regular). He definitely did me a favour, I've met a great many music business drink casualties over the years...
As to food, I try to eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm approaching full. As a kid I was raised (like lots of my generation) to clear my plate at meal times (starving kids etc), and that's always been a fight. I did eat a whole chocolate fudge cake once, a long time ago. It was a case of "just one more slice", and then again and again, until suddenly it was gone... I had to go buy another one and pretend I hadn't had any when the others arrived. To keep up the pretence (and avoid the inevitable smell of rat), I even had a bit when the second cake was cut up. I felt so unpleasant afterwards, I've struggled with eating even a small piece of chocolate fudge cake ever since...
Q: I read in the news yesterday that in a bid to boost CD sales and make them more appealing, older albums will be sold in cardboard sleeves. (A bit like paperback books they say.) There would then be a variety of formats to buy newer albums in, starting with your bargain basement cardboard sleeve, moving onto a modest plastic case and ending up with the supreme sturdy casing with artwork and extra bonus features. Prices would of course be scaled accordingly. Do you really think this will work? And from your point of view is it just a load of unnecessary faff, or could it really give you guys extra revenue? Nicola, Kent
D: It looks like a record industry response to supermarkets taking over the sales of CDs and driving prices downwards (and of course hurting record company profits). The bizarre thing is cardboard sleeves have traditionally been more expensive to manufacture, but I guess this move means there's a new way around that. I'm all for a move towards more sustainable packaging (rather than plastics from oil) that can be made from recycled paper etc, but I seriously doubt it will result in more sales, but it could save the major labels some money (which has the same net result, only it doesn't go into bands' pockets), and allow them to put the prices back up again for the "premium" items. For us it's less of an issue because we're not manufacturing millions of copies, and not being all over the radio, we don't sell very many of our LPs via supermarkets. There are clearly some benefits to being a cult band (this is the correct spelling)..........
Q: Having recently been heartbroken, I played all my thunder CD's to try and cheer me up. I found that a lot of the lyrics could be related to the situation I was in which helped me cope with the recent upset. I was wondering how you guys have dealt with heartbreak in the past and do the lyrics relate to situations you have been in for instance songs like "Dirty Love" and "Lover Not A Friend"?? Steven, N. Ireland
L: Some of the songs do refer to things that have happened to me or other people I know. I don't think it's possible to get to my age without having experienced some kind of emotional trauma!
Q: An interesting tale by Benny “not on the ball” Matthews. Ho, ho. Stars and their guitars, eh! I don’t get it really since I’m not a musician! I mean, they all have 6 strings, a body, a neck and a head, don’t they? My question is for Danny – just like Luke and Ben could talk all night about “Gibson this”, “Ibanez that”, do you have the same fetish for microphones? Do you have a “tech” that has a box of special mikes at the ready if your lungs were to rupture one at a critical point? Do you have a collection of mikes like Ben and Luke probably have a collection of guitars? Axel, Marple
D: Not playing an instrument, I have no equipment that I could say is my own, and I use whatever microphone is provided. The nice Sennheiser people occasionally loan me a lovely mic for touring, but it's really made for TV, so it's not always suitable in some venues. I don't have a special microphone, and no one to switch it in and out, so if my lungs do ever rupture (nice mind you have), I'm afraid the audience will hear it. I sing, I shout, I wave it all about. It may be all the rage, but I do not mime on stage. Wow, a little poem, that's good value...
Q: What happened to England guys?!! Somehow i was expecting it!! What's your views? Magz, Back Yard
H: We basically underperformed. We had the players but did they have the right direction? In my opinion NO but let's give the new manager a chance to prove himself at international level. SM wouldn't have been my choice but the FA know what they're doing..........don't they? I'm still quite gutted we didn't do as well as I thought we would.
Still........there you go!
L: We didn't play well enough until Rooney was sent off in the Portugal game.
For the rest of that match I thought we were heroic, especially Owen Hargreaves who got through the work of three players. I think it was very cruel that we lost on penalties to a team that couldn't break us down and against whom we were unlucky not to score in extra time. Football isn't a fair game unfortunately. Still, onwards and upwards......roll on Euro 2008!!!
D: I'm afraid to say it was the usual story. Too much media hype and unjustified expectation. There's no denying they had the quality, but in my opinion, with a few notable exceptions (Hargreaves, Terry and both the Coles were consistently good) they quite simply underperformed. Whether that was due to the formation, the system, or the German food, I know not. I'm no expert, but to my eyes they simply never looked good enough to take on the best in the world and win. I'm gutted, and what's worse, whilst I'm usually an optimist, I fear McLaren will fare no better... Doom misery woe etc.
Q: Hi - Looking forward to the new album! Here's a Q for you! IF you went on "who wants to be a millionaire" - How much do you think you'd win? (realistically). See who the brainy ones are!! Mitch C, Cheltenham
H: n the occasions I've watched it, I've managed to get up to 16k a few times but that's with no pressure. It must be a different kettle of fish actually being on the programme itself.
D: If I went on I'd win the car or the holiday, unless there were any general knowledge questions, or maths, or famous people, or films and television show questions, in which case I'd be rubbish, but to be honest I'd be happy with the brass log box or the Bully, or even the Dusty Bin. What's this show called again? I am the Weakest link, goodbye.....
L: I'm sure I could get up to £16K but after that all the questions would have to be about British music 1970 - 1985, British birds (no jokes please) or football; sad I know....
B: Well of course it depends on the questions that are asked, if I knew the answers I'd win a million but if I didn't I wouldn't. Unfortunately the answers are not predictable, unlike this one which is - Am I making sense?
Q: You may have noticed there has been some debate about the alleged use of backing tapes by a certain band of late. I know you wouldn't want to comment on any one band/artist but I just wonder what your views are on the use of backing tapes either to fatten the sound during choruses etc. or of singers who allegedly mime live, either because of energetic dance routines that would leave them too breathless to sing or simply because they can't hold a note? Are we, the punters, being cheated, or if we don't notice is it ok? My feeling is, if it's 'live' then that's exactly what it should be, with nothing added. John, Shepshed
L: I went to see Madonna a couple of years ago and she was definitely miming during some parts of the show which would have irritated me had I paid for the ticket!
Perhaps if an artist is miming or backing tapes are being used then the audience should be made aware of this before they buy their tickets. Somehow though I don't think it would keep people away from gigs they wanted to see.
D: I understand why bands/singers do it, but I believe it's wrong to misrepresent a show as live if it's not. As far as I'm concerned it's very simple, if it's not entirely live it should be stated somewhere on the ticket that there may be use of backing tracks in the performance. That way fans can make up their own minds as to whether or not they want to attend that kind of show. If it's not mentioned it reeks of deception to me.
Now that brings me to the next Thunder tour....... Ha ha.. As if? We've just learned how to plug in! It's bad enough when an amp blows up, so to be perfectly frank the idea of being any more reliant on technology scares the shit out of me.
Q: Hi guys, I've turned lots of women onto Thunder in the last couple of years so I was wondering if i get a special award for that? LOL. Gav, Wales
D: If you'd have just left it that you'd turned a lot of women on, I'd have been very impressed. As it is I'm grateful that you've turned them on to Thunder, hopefully we've done some turning on too.. As for a special award, I get the distinct feeling you've probably already had something good...
Q: Since around 1986 I've seen all the top rock acts live. I'm a guitarist and of all the guitar legends, drummers and stage effects enjoyed in that time, my favourite spine jingerling moment is donington 1990 when you sang the high note in the middle of until my dying day. since then I've been a massive thunder fan. My question is I've not heard
you play it for a while, can you still hit it and do you change the set around when you voice is not on top form? Shaun, Barnsley
D: I can still hit it. We don't do it much nowadays as there are loads of songs from which to select a set, and we try as much as we can to actively promote the current LP at the time. If my voice is feeling a bit tired we sometimes drop one song in favour of another but we tend not to change a set wholesale, it interferes with the flow baby...
Q: Hi there! I'm big fan of Thunder as well as of Iron Maiden. I really like the song "Reach out" which is the b-side of their Wasted years-single from 1986. The song is written by a guy called Dave Colvell and since I like it so much I have been trying to find out who this guy is. I haven't found out that much though, but I read somewhere that he was a member of the pre-Thunder-band Terraplane. Was that before you released your albums
with Terraplane since he doesn´t seem to play on the albums and do you have any idea of what he´s doing now or what he has been doing since? All the best. Victor Kinnhammar, Sweden
D: I have no idea if it's the same guy, but we know a man called Dave Colwell (with a w). He did some shows with Terraplane before Rudi joined. He was in Bad Company for while, then in recent times he was in The Jones Gang. He's currently making an LP under the band name of The Buccaneers. I know because I sang one of the demos for him.
Q: Just a quick and hopefully interesting question this time guys, Having stolen the show at Milton Keynes this year, are Thunder the record holders now for most appearances at a "Monsters of Rock" event? Dale, London
D: No idea, I don't even know who to ask... Someone somewhere must know...
Q: Will you be doing any more engineering / playing with Mostly Autumn? A friend of mine was very impressed with you when she saw you on tour and thought you were fab. Cheers. Emma, Leicester
B: I haven't been asked as yet but I am in contact with both Brian and Heather so I wouldn't rule it out.
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