Q & A Archive - November 2006

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


Q: Thanks for a stunning performance on Friday in Manchester. The Manchester Evening News newspaper thought so too - they don't often give 5  stars! http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/. Do you see your popularity increasing with album and ticket sales? If so, how close are you to using a bigger venue like the Apollo? At least  Harry's wigs won't be in danger from the lights there!! You mentioned the heat in your tour diary, did you notice the girl that feinted near the front - who said it's cold up north!! Duncan Mackerness, Cheshire
D: I thank you for sending through the review. We were already aware of it, and it's fab to get such a nice review from someone who can write so well. The profile and popularity has been building steadily since we cam back in 2002, and if things continue the way they are there is no limit to what we can achieve. I like the idea of us becoming a massive band almost 20 years after we started. Ironically enough I've said more than once that we were slow learners. I love The Academy in Manchester, despite the heat, it's always such a fantastic gig, the crowd are always so up for it, we could play The Apollo, but we prefer the atmosphere at The Academy.


Q: Firstly, great show in Manchester and it was excellent meeting you after the show. Secondly, an outstanding show in Sheffield, but one question remains unanswered from the Sheff gig... Who won? the a team or The B Team? (capitalisation done on purpose - be careful with your answer...) Shaun Leeds
D: It was dead heat in Sheffield. I've had it confirmed by my technical guys in white coats. Glad you enjoyed the shows.


Q: Great show at Portsmouth by the way, my friend recently bought a CD of Robert Johnson's and found a track on it called "Terraplane Blues",was this a track that influenced the name of your 1st band Terraplane, or just coincidence? Andy Knight, Slough
L:
The name came from our manager at the time. He suggested Terraplane because his father had owned a 'Hudson Terraplane' car.


Q: Just wanted to say a big thank you to you guys for a great show in Manchester last night. The material from the new album sounded sublime and it was great to hear the crowd all singing along to them with the same gusto as the established favourites. Dare I say that RJT is you most accomplished album to date! Question for Luke from the missus. Where did you get the shirt from that you were wearing last night as she thought it was great? Stuart, Bolton
L:
I actually bought the shirt on the day of the gig in a small designery-type shop on Deansgate in Manchester. Sorry but I can't remember the name........


Q: Thanks for a great show at Wolverhampton. I wondered whether you made a conscious decision not to play songs from "Thrill of it All", "Shooting at the Sun", and "Giving the Game Away", or whether it was just the case that other songs fit the set better with all the new material? Dave, Worcester
L:
Please see below one of my answers from October Q+As; As stated before on the Q+A page many times, the set is constructed bearing in mind that we need to play a number of songs from the most recently released album, a selection of our most popular material and a few old songs we haven't played for while. It also has to be balanced in terms of tempos and moods so that there isn't too much of any one thing.


Q: Hi Luke and Danny. I'd like to tell you something that you never had heard before but I think it's impossible. The new album it's fantastic and I love it!! And I'd like to know what kind of perfume do you like for a woman sweet, fresh...? Anonymous
L: I don't really have a preference as long as she's not wearing too much of it!
D: I like clean fresh citrus smells. I like Issey Miyake for women, but there are a few that are nice.


Q: Hi guys, saw you in Portsmouth on monday and you were awesome! I managed to get to the front for a change and was infront of Luke when his strap broke and sat at the front of the stage! I love the new album epically 'Dirty Dream'. Are there any plans to release a new Live album with songs from the current tour? Also are you going to do a RJT tour part 2? as I'd love to see you guys in Brighton again and not have to fight for 2 hours through traffic on a 1 hour journey! Preston, Brighton
D: We've recorded several of the shows on the current tour, but not with any real intention of releasing them at this stage. I guess we'll listen through later on and make a decision. There will be a second leg of the tour, but not for a while as we have a lot of places to go. There may be some isolated outdoor shows in the summer, but there's nothing confirmed at this stage.


Q: Saw the show in Oxford last week. Amazing. Bought back memories of when I used to book you guys as Terraplane to play the Pennyfarthing in Oxford over twenty plus years ago. That prompted me to dig out my old photos of you. Danny those curls!...Luke those cheek bones!...Harry, hair!. I also found some Riders, not one box of green tea or smoked salmon was asked for!! So guys, my question is what's on a Thunder Rider...I want to see if your tastes have changed!! Carly, Oxford
D: The Thunder rider is pretty normal nowadays. Loads of water, nice red wine, vodka, beer, softies, mixers, fruit juice, cold meats, fruit, chocolate, tea, coffee etc. Nothing too demanding, we're nice people you know.


Q: How do you warm your voice up before shows? I'm a singer who's just trying to get his rock voice back after a few years 'off the circuit', so any tips would be great!! Anakin Skywalker, Bedford
D: I spend as much time as I can in a steamy environment, which on tour usually means the shower. I hum gently to myself for a long while, then build up to mild singing throughout the day. Nothing strenuous until the soundcheck, then I find out how much more work needs doing. Then I'll get back in the shower or use a personal steamer to inhale as much moisture as possible, it frees up and muck and relaxes the pipes. Tom Jones uses humidifiers, as do plenty of opera singers. I like the shower, I love getting hot and steamy, it's a great way to relax both before and after the shows.


Q: I would like to say how much I'm enjoying the new album and especially the tour. Love the set you are doing live and very glad 3 have made a comeback from the last album. RJT is a real gem live - I just love it! Now the question is - you have many dedicated fans that come to the gigs with their cameras. Does flash photography irritate or put you off while you are on stage? I confess to have taken pictures myself, flashing away and feeling guilty (but the Devil makes me do it). Kaf, London
D: I must confess that I do find flash photography irritating. If it's every now and then it's not too bad but when it comes thick and fast it's quite off putting.


Q: Hi Guys, Firstly may I say, Love the new album!! Good luck with the tour - looking forward to seeing you next Tuesday at Wolverhampton. Now for my question: My daughter Beth is in a band. They are beginning to get a name for themselves now (a good one I hasten to add!) and perform mainly covers although they are starting to write their own songs now. They are talking about getting a demo disc put together and I was wondering what happens about copyright - do they need to get permission or is that only when recording a c.d. to sell? By the way, Thinny - love the new web-site. Sue Hemming, Stourbridge
L:
If your daughter records her own songs, to copyright them she should post a demo to herself by recorded delivery and put it somewhere safe without opening it. If she records a version of somebody else's song with the intention of selling it then theoretically she should obtain permission from the song's publisher so that any resulting royalties can be collected. If in doubt try looking at the MCPS/PRS Alliance website (www.mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk). Good luck.


Q: "Monday morning blues, Monday evening ROCKS" - Hello guys more of a thank you than a question. I saw you at Portsmouth last night and like always you guys ROCKED! You are like a mature bottle of wine, you get better with age. The set list was great the usual mix of old and new songs and the new songs sounded excellent live. It was my father in-law's first Thunder gig last night and lets just say it won't be his last. Again, a massive thanks for yet another brilliant night out, and hope to see you in Bournemouth again soon. Nash, Bournemouth
D: Thanks for the kind words, it was indeed another fab night. Glad you enjoyed it.


Q: Given the quality of Thunder's live shows, and the constant nagging you get from us for a live album to update us die hards everytime you tour, have you looked into a company called 'Concert Live'?? I've been to several gigs recently where they were recording and offering official recordings of that nights show from 10-15 minutes
after the last note was played, for £15 for a double CD. I can imagine that it might be costly to get them on board, but if you set up a pre-order via the website, you could gauge interest before hand and see whether you get enough interest, and that's before 'walkups'. Their website is www.concertlive.co.uk, and before you ask, no I don't work for them or represent them in any way!!! Serena, W. Sussex
D: We've been approached by them before, but they mix the shows in real time and "on the fly", and experience has taught us by their very nature, these kinds of mixes are usually inferior to those done afterwards. Mix and sound quality is a big issue with us (Ben is an engineer as you know), so we've always erred towards a proper after the fact mix environment, where we can mix the whole show properly rather than risk someone missing something and end up selling what could be deemed an inferior product to fans.


Q: Hi guys. Thanks for another fantastic night at Portsmouth.  Sorry but the A Team were the loudest last night, the B Team only sounded louder cos they had more people!!!!!! No seriously they did I counted!!!! Something I've always wondered how does it feel to have such power that when you tell us to scream, jump, clap etc we do it? I just find it amazing how perfectly sensible people do as requested! Thanks again for a great night, enjoy the rest of the tour. Serena, W. Sussex
D: I'm afraid you're quite wrong about A Team being louder than B Team. I have an in ear monitoring system, which is directly connected to the onstage monitor system, which in turn is connected to an audience monitoring system (a bit like a clap-o-meter). I get an audible signal sent through to my ear piece on a scale of 1-10 for every bit of audience participation, so I always know precisely who is the loudest. A Team were given a second and final chance to redeem themselves (not something I usually do) but they still fell short of B Team. I rest my case M'Lud. Seriously though, it's not about power, it's about encouraging people to be nutty by example. I wouldn't ask a crowd to do anything I wasn't already doing, I just don't want to be the only one being nutty.


Q: As the new theme seems to be the devil, luke, will you consider wearing a nice velvet vicars coat on Sunday at sheff, we would be forever in your debt. XXX. p.s Bless me father. Ele and Madame Patrice, Chesterfield
L:
Only if both of you dress up as naughty nuns!!!!!! 


Q: Hey guys, several questions and comments:
1) I've become a big fan very quickly recently (I'd heard one song on a metal anthems CD and bought more when I heard you were coming to Plymouth which is near me). I loved the show, just wondering do you guys plan on when you might retire? I'm not saying you're too old (most of my favourite bands predate you anyway) but you might have enough money to pull out and spend time doing other things or whatever...it'd be cool to know if I'll get a chance to hear you again a few times or if I'm gonna have to savour every moment I spend in your presence.
2) The artwork for the new album/single and also posters for the new tour don't feature the band much at all. Is this something like the way Iron Maiden use Eddie as an image so they can stay out of the public eye? I was just wondering, since at your Plymouth show one group of about 10 kids (the ones you said were miserable as it happened) thought Thunder was a concert not a band based on the poster. They all thought Vitriolic had set the tone for the night and there would be more acts of a similar style. I thought I'd mention that as I was answering the
question, in case it helps you with future advertising. 
3)Is there any plans to expand on advertising at all, especially overseas? I would desperately like to see Thunder become better known. I went to the gig with 4 people, all of whom I introduced to the band by letting them hear about 6 songs I particularly liked. They instantly fell in love with the band and requested I lend them the CDs to hear more. Your sound is ideal for a modern audience, and Iron Maiden's just proven that just because you didn't start off in the last 5 years you can still do great commercially. Because of the way music stands in the UK now, Maiden only charted at number 4 with their new album despite being number 1 in Europe and about 10 countries or something...how does Thunder's foreign success compare to here and are there efforts to improve this? North/South America and Australia are continents where Thunder's sound might be more appreciated than it is at home.
Thanks lads - have one on me next time you're at the pub. Richard W, Devon
D: 1. There are no plans to retire. We're all enjoying ourselves way too much.
2. Thanks for the comments, but we're perfectly comfortable with our artwork.
3. It's great that you brought a load of people to the gig, and that you're spreading the word, it's very powerful and should never be underestimated. Advertising is very expensive so the opportunities are very few and far between when you run your own label. It's a bit complicated, but I can assure you that if we could afford a huge marketing campaign, we'd have one.


Q: What do you think about Rick Parfitt's "Guitar facelift" idea?  (He designed Re-Usable Guitar Body Overlays for Fender Giutars) More details  at www.guitarfacelift.com Vries, Germany
L:
I think it's a neat idea to be able to customise your guitar easily although I probably wouldn't use it.


Q: Hi Guys, I'm going to the UK Music Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Being inducted are:  Brian Wilson, Led Zeppelin, Prince, Dusty Springfield, Rod Stewart, George Martin, Bon Jovi, James Brown (I may have forgotten some). Most of these will be performing, plus also Patti LaBelle, Joss Stone, and a special band doing a George Martin tribute featuring Roger Taylor of Queen on drums. With the exception of Bon Jovi, would you consider this a pretty  good bill, and are any of you going to this? - if so I 'll keep em peeled for ya! Chris, Kent
L:
Yes, it is an amazing list of talent. We won't be attending as we'll be on our way to Plymouth for the first show of the tour.
B: I won't be attending as I'm picking up my OBE that afternoon however, I would consider that a very good bill indeed but I wouldn't like to handle the backstage arrangements, would you?
D: Not going I'm afraid, rehearsals are in full flow.. I think most deserve to be there and I'm sure it will be a great night. Have a nice time, and think of us rehearsing...


Q: I shall shortly be having a party to celebrate reaching the ripe old age of 40. This will include having a disco and I know there will be a large part of the audience who will need educating in the delights of Thunder. If you could choose one song from your career to play at the disco what would it be? Michael Hales, Cambridge
D:
The Devil Made Me Do It. Hopefully it will be our biggest hit, and it's a great dance floor song, and thus worthy of being played at such an auspicious occasion.
B: The new single of course "The Devil Made Me Do It" - Available at all fine record stores and by exclusive download. Shameless plug over.


Q: Hi, firstly i'd like to thank you for another amazing album, this one really rocks like a mutha. My question is about guitars. I noted a while ago that you had switched to the Flying V partly because the weight is much less than that of a les paul. Have you considered one of the new les pauls with the weight reduction. Parts of the body have been hollowed though there is no visible difference. Also knowing that your a telecaster fan. I converted my tele bridge pick-up to a Seymor Duncan Hot Rail, and that gives me an almost identical tone to a les paul bridge pick-up sound. I recommend either, because although i love flying V's,  les pauls and tele's are more confortable to play. (its only an opinion). Jonathan Lee, Torquay
L:
I haven't tried the lightweight Les Paul but next time I visit Gibson I will investigate further.


Q: Hi Luke. Brilliant new album. I was just wondering how you decide on the running order of the songs through an album. It seems that what one might term the `epic' song of the album gets placed right in the middle. By that I mean 'Last Man Standing' has 5 songs either side of it, as did `The Pride' on the last album. Is this a conscious decision on your part or pure coincidence? See you in Portsmouth. Andy, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
L:
There aren't really any hard and fast rules for the running order. The only thing I really agonise over is the opening song although this time it wasn't a problem as RJT was so obvious. After that it's all about the way the  songs flow into each other.


Q: Just a quick one to ask if you have started rehearsals for the tour yet? and have you got any surprise songs in mind? (last time we were all treated to Ball & Chain, which was fantastic!). Looking forward to hearing the new material live - Especially The Devil Made Me Do It!!! - Have a great tour! Dan, Southampton
L:
We start rehearsing very soon and I've got a fairly good idea of what we'll be playing but you'll have to wait and see!!


Q: Hi, I was listening to the new album (again) and couldn't help but notice that I had never heard of Robert Johnson and never heard that Andy Warhol said every1 will be famous for 15mins! Did you have any ideas about this before writing the songs or did you just happen to type in google 'People who are great blues musicians and had there soul taken by the devil' and stumble across the website that led you straight to it? Martin
L:
Martin - see my comments below from the RJT album page.
Robert Johnson's Tombstone.
This song doesn't have a verse, a bridge or even a chorus but it's one of the best and most exciting things we've ever done. It's all about the mythology surrounding the legendary and influential bluesman. I knew a bit about him as a big influence on Eric Clapton but it wasn't until I was driving back from the West Country one evening listening to a programme about the Blues on Radio 2 that I heard about the legend and the myth. Nobody actually knows exactly how and why he died so young or where he's buried but everybody agrees it had something to do with drinking and womanizing. His ability as a guitar player caused many of his contemporaries to claim he'd sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for  his extraordinary technique. Either way all the ingredients in his story, true or false make it a great story to tell and embellish.
Andy Warhol Said.
You would have to have been living under the sea or on another planet to have not noticed the explosion in 'celebrity' media over recent years. I know we've always had a fascination with the supposedly opulent lifestyles of the rich and famous but it's now got so out of control that the press  are having to invent new 'celebs' on a daily basis to satisfy a demand that  they themselves created. This means literally anybody can claim the dubious mantle of celebrity, even Jade Goody! This song ponders the possibility that Andy Warhol's prediction 'everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes' has come true.


Q: Hi Guys, first off all thumbs up for the fantastic new album. What's your favourite TOP 5 Rock Intros (guitar riffs) My personal TOP 5 is
1) Deep Purple - Smoke on the Water
2) Status Quo - Whatever You Want
3) AC / DC - Thunderstruck
4) Eric Clapton - Leyla
5) Status Quo - Down Down
Keep on rockin' boys! Timmy, Germany
B: You've been watching too many Channel 4 & 5 shows...
5 Burning - White Noize
4 Back In Black - AC/DC
3 Paranoid - Black Sabbath
2 Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
1 Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple (As every guitar player learns this riff first)


Q: Danny, Do you ever have any problems remembering the lyrics of the songs when playing live? Apparently as you get older your memory starts to fail ! Brilliant new album - see you at Llandudno ! Andy, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
D:
I've always had trouble remembering the lyrics so it doesn't bode well does it? Glad you like the new LP, please tell the world as you go along your way...


Q: First of all: The new album is fantastic. I listen to it every day! Hope to see you as soon as possible in Germany ;-) Also the song "I'm In Heaven" from the forthcoming single sounds great! An argument to order the single. (I've done already... the multi-buy) Here is my question for you Danny: Have you ever played a B-Side at a gig?! Oliver, Hamburg
D:
You know something I don't know if we've ever played a B-side at a gig. There have been a few gigs you know and I'm getting old now so my memory is going. I have a feeling we may have but I don't know why I think that. Not very helpful is it...
T: I can probably help with this...my memory still seems intact for the most part. On the 'Backstreet Symphony' tour 'Fired Up' was played at most of the shows (it was the B-side to 'Dirty Love'). If the Xmas shows count, then they played 'The Damage Is Done' (B-side of 'Like A Satellite'). There may have been others, but off the top of my head that's all I can think of...


Q: Hi guys, LURVE the new CD (& acoustic 2nd CD)!!! Have finally got passes for the meet & greet in Llandudno, but am afraid I will make an absolute fool of myself in front of you as I did in front of Luke at the Hard Rock Cafe in March. Anyway, my question is : have you ever been tongue-tied in front of someone you have admired for some time? Reita, Sutton Coldfield
D:
Glad you lurve the new record. I've never been tongue tied in front of someone I've admired for a long time, but I have been tied up and admired by someone for a long time. Does that count?
B: I've never been tongue-tied in my life - More's the pity I hear you cry.
L: Being the old grizzled veteran that I now am, I don't think anybody would have that effect on me any more. If this business teaches you anything it's that everyone is just another human being with all the usual neuroses and insecurities (sometimes a hell of a lot more) that we all have.


Q: Thanks for delivering the wonderful songs! I love the new album, and my recent favourites are 'The Devil Made Me Do It '(love the groove!) and 'It's All About You'. Everytime I listen to 'It's All About You', I feel the centre of my heart is squeezed. I'd love to hear the new songs live in Japan in the near future! My English teacher sometimes shows us English newspapers (The Guardian, The Times etc...). Every newspaper has "Sudoku". I think it was given this name by a Japanese publisher. He said that it's become popular in England. I'm totally a long way from being maths or numbers person but I think I have to try to use my loaf. I'm just curious, do you like Sudoku, crosswords or any other puzzles? I'm really sorry if this has been asked before.. Yukie, Japan
L: I must admit to never trying Sudoku but now I will. Crosswords don't really interest me but Chris and Ben always enjoy doing them.
D: This is a Chris & Ben question. They do them, I pitch in occasionally, but they are the crossword and quiz men.
B: Sudoku is very popular at the moment but I have to say I don't really find the puzzles very interesting, I prefer the Daily Telegraph crossword.


Q: Heya guys, what do you's think of the reality tv shows such as American Idol and X Factor? Do you's ever watch it. There is 3 lads who  stick out in my mind....Bo Bice and Constantine from American Idol and Ben Mills from the X Factor this year. Have you heard of them and if so, how do you think they influence the rock scene? Sim, Ireland
B:
Never watched one - Never will.
D: I loathe talent shows, so I guess it's no surprise that I know not who these people are. Sorry.


Q: Having just checked the Q&A section, you answered one of the questions...I listen to some 70s stuff like SWEET...Having meet Andy Scott a couple of times n chatted about music, He said he owned quite a few Thunder cds, and he classes you as one of the best English rock bands,...my question is how did you rate the Sweet and what stuff if any do you own ? Oh and by the way Harry you sound more like Mick Tucker every time I here you so I know who you learnt from hahahaha....the Best! Steve, Nottingham
D:
I bought all the singles in the 70s, as they came out, every one. I loved them, even the b-sides. They were a rock band trying to get out, but I only realised this later on. Harry also had all the records I believe, and he had Mud records too...


Q: Hi guys, not a question just a massive WELL DONE! Not only is the new album fantastic but the Tombstone Acoustic Sessions CD has to be one of your best as well. I have always thought the greatest songs are ones that can be stripped down to basics and this has proved my point. On listening I don't know which I enjoyed more - Danny's fabulous singing, the harmonies, the muscianship or the great song writing. The good thing is I don't have to chose, just sit back and enjoy the whole package. If any Thunder fan did not buy the acoustic CD my advice is to do whatever it takes to get it. Cheers and see you in Portsmouth. Kevin Wheeler, Wiltshire
D:
Thanks for you nice words, and we're all chuffed to pieces that both the new CDs have gone down so well with so many people and DJs and journos alike. The response has been universally fab. The idea to add the TTAS CD turned out to be inspired, as the 2CD online only bundle is literally galloping off the shelves, so much so that stocks of the TTAS CD are almost gone. As previously mentioned it's not going to be re-manufactured, so you're one of the fortunate ones. It may be advisable to lock it up in a safe...


Q: Hello Danny: First of all i told you that THUNDER was my favourite band and I will follow from the beginning. Now I want to ask you if you know Spain and when will you went here to make a concert, and the other question is if you or a member of the band acts like the guy of the song 'Englishmen On Holidays'. Thank you for your great music,your energy concerts,your strong and unique voice and your ¿kindness? attitude with your fans. I Hope I will see you soon.And excuse my poor English. Carlos Sanz, Madrid (Spain)
D:
We love Spain, we made the new record there.. We've asked our agent to book shows for us for 2007, so far there's no news on where they'll be, but I hope Spain is in the schedule. We'll post all shows on the gigs page on the site when we have confirmation. We don't behave like the Englishman On Holiday in the song, we're much worse ha ha!!


Q: Love the new record, it's not been out of my head since I got it early through Townsend. Really looking forward to the live shows, which awkwardly bring sme to my question. I love the way you guys interact with the fans during the shows - do you go on stage with any ideas of what you're going to do or how and when you're going to do it, or is at all spur of the moment? And if you do something that works, does it stick in your mind for future gigs - I remember Danny really picking on some poor guy a few years ago for not having bought SATS and being daft enough to put his hand up when DAnny asked the gig in Glasgow who hadn't bought it, I was wondering if that sort of thing was a nightyl occurance! Thanks guys! Tony Cottam, Glasgow
D:
It's something that happens all the time, I tend to pick up on things or things just pop into my head. Once I get something that seems to work, I tend to stick with it for a bit, provided something else doesn't occur to me, in which case I do that instead. I think the word is spontaneous.


Q: Fantastic album! well done again boys it really helped me out at the moment laid up after landing on my back! How's you're back  now Danny? I'm now trying to revise my home mixed Thunder greatest hits CD (What stays, what goes, What new goes in) I thought to myself it must be harder for the lads with the issue of rights on these songs & thought. Q. Would you buy up the rights the various companies have over earlier songs if possible? Mart, Essex
D:
Thanks, glad you like it, the reaction across the board has been fantastic, so we're extremely chuffed! With earlier records the irony is simply that if we weren't releasing brilliant new records and making a big noise by being so active, the rights to previous recordings could be probably purchased for reasonable money, and we'd be in a good position to make the most of them, but as it is, the more we do the more they'd ask, so the less likely it is to happen. Silly isn't it.. Still, old records helped us then, new records help us much more now, so my path is clear.......


Q: Hi Danny, how are ya keeping? Was wondering...and don't be laughing when I ask you this. your asked all the time about who you like in the rock world. So moving away from rock.... tell me, do you like Take That? :-) I'm a Take That fan as well as a massive Thunder one. What's your views? Most other bands out there, I don't really connect with their  lyrics, but with Thunder and Gary Barlow's its different. See u on the 24th Nov...and cant forget to say (again, like in every email)...don't forget a better man :-) See you on 24th Nov!!! Simeon, Ireland
D:
Sorry but with the greatest respect I don't see the connection between us and Take That. They did really well, and I'm sure they deserved it, and good luck to them and you, but whilst there are loads of different ones, there are no Take That CDs in my collection.


Q: Just been listening to your 'Donington '90' CD again. There is a bit in 'Don't Wait For Me' when the first guitar solo is over, and Danny has sung the half verse bit, then everyone stops and the vocals finally come back in with "Don't wait for me............Goodbye", and you all come back in on the b' of "bye" (you know the bit) - this still, after 16 years, give me goosebumps everytime. Chris Smith. Herne Bay
B:
There is a song called "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James and I have version by Koko Taylor which always sends a shiver down my spine. She really sounds like she means it when she's singing.


Q: Spent the whole weekend listening to RJT and thoroughly enjoying it I might add. It made me think, I learn all the words and tunes by repeatedly playing the album (at full volume, as instructed) and it made me wonder how you guys learn them? Do you listen to Luke's demos repeatedly and just pick up when you can and join in? Maybe Luke writes down each and every note of music for each of you, but that must take him forever! What's the best way you have found of learning each new track? Roll on my Thunder weekend in November .. Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield, can't think of a better way to spend a weekend. Hurrah! By the way, if any of you need somewhere to stay between these gigs, then you must come to mine, because a) my house just north of Leeds is "fairly" central to all 3 venues, b) I'm bound to be cheaper than a hotel and c) it would be much appreciated if you could do at least one sound check at full volume in my front room. That'll pay the neighbours back for the all night party on Saturday, for which I did not receive an invite! What do you say? Kate, Leeds
B:
I find having recorded them and then spending several weeks mixing the songs I have heard them several hundred times, this is usually enough to have learnt the basics!


Q: Hi Danny!!! I wrote a couple of days ago and i got my question answered by you...thank you very much!!! But you are right, I made a mistake and now i feel like a fool...of course, what i meant was that i was hoping you to be still excited when the time of making a new album  arrives...i'm sorry, but the thing is English is not my main language. I suppose you won't answer this and i understand, but i just wanted you to know...and by the way, as now i know you enjoy reading, did you check jonathan strange & mr. norrell out???? i guess you know which that book is,as the writer is english (susanna clarke)...thank you!!!! Diego, Spain
D:
You are not in any way at fault, believe me your English beats the hell out of my Spanish! Your enthusiasm is what counts and that is clearly fantastic, so all is well. I've not read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell but I'll check it out in the future, thanks.


Q: Thinny,when will the latest CD be available via itunes? Graham Seymour, Sussex
T:
Soon. Very soon. Hopefully next week, but we'll keep you posted...


Q: Hi, have the meet and greet tickets been issued for the Portsmouth gig? I did apply but have not heard and wondered if there is  still a hope I will get some. Thanks. Kevin Wheeler, Wiltshire
T:
No, not yet, but it'll happen any day now, so keep checking your email account! All successful applicants should have heard by the middle of next week...


Q: I was recently introduced to a man who seemed to fit all the criteria I look for in a man, and to top it all off he was drop dead gorgeous. We got chatting and the conversation turned to music, so I asked what he liked to listen too - to which he replied Lionel Ritchie and Celine Dion. I just didn't know how to respond to this, because I realised if he was actually straight there was absolutely no way I could ever see this man again. Have you ever been in the position where you didn't see someone again for an equally shallow reason? Jenny, S. Wales
B: No, no, no definitely not, every time I have done that it has been for sound, sensible reasons. After all I am a musician and we are to be trusted implicitly when it comes to affairs of the heart....
H: Jenny-I was only joking! Give me a second chance?
L: Yes, frequently but I don't want to go in to it in case they're reading!


Q: My favourite band is Queen and along with yourselves I love what is generally referred to as classic rock. However, my favourite single is Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes by Edison Lighthouse because it was always on the radio when I was about 3 and my favourite female singer is Doris Day. I am also looking forward to seeing Barclay James Harvest soon. My question is this : You have often been asked about your musical influences (Stevie Wonder etc) but do you have any musical tastes which may be seen as embarrassing or uncool. Mike, Cambridge
B: I would never regard any kind of music as embarrassing or uncool. If you like something then who cares what other people think. The great thing about music is that it is subjective and one person's opinion is as valid as the
next. That is of course discounting Simon Cowell.
D: My Dad loved Doris Day and made me listen to her all the time, along with Frank Sinatra. Having hated it with a passion at the time, I now listen to them both for pleasure, on occasion. I must be slightly older than you as I remember when LGWMRG was released, and I agree it's a great tune. To be honest I really like a lot of those releases from the 70s, you know things from the likes of Sweet and Mud and David Cassidy etc, they're generally considered to be dodgy nowadays but I think a lot of the tunes stand up really well, unlike some of the trousers and haircuts, which have not proved themselves to be as timeless. I don't share your enthusiasm for Barclay James Harvest, I saw them once in the 70s and fell asleep half way through the show.


Q: Hi guys!!! I ordered your new album with the acoustic session almost 3 weeks ago, along with the six-shooter e.p. (almost impossible to find your stuff in Spain, so...),and the e.p. was delivered only 5 days after that day...fantastic!!! But knowing that the new album was due to be released on October, the 30th, I was expecting it to be delivered a little bit later but it came home yesterday, on the 31th!!!! and I live in Spain!!! thank you very much, great job!!! I would like to congratulate you and the people (townsend records, I guess...) who work for making such > things that easy... by the way I could not listen to the whole album yet, but I am impressed with RJT, dirty dream and I don't wanna talk about love...dirty dream, especially, put me in a really good mood... sorry for beating around the bush but my question is if after all these years of writing, playing and touring are you still eager and thrilled when the time of making a new album comes, or is that just mere routine???? I'm sure, and I hope, the answer is the latter one, but just in case...and again...thinking about coming to spain soon???? thank you very much and congratulations for the new album!!! Diego, Spain
D:
You seem very excited and possibly a little confused. You appear to be hoping that we find it mere routine when it comes to time to make a new record, I'm sure that's not what you meant, and it's not routine at all, we all love it, and we especially love it when fans love the result. We're hoping to come to Spain with this record, our agent is setting up shows for 2007 as I type..


Q: Thinking of getting some badges made for the tour, should we go with, 'BIG RED MADE US DO IT' or 'KING SQUIRREL MADE US DO IT' ???? nibble nibble. Ele and Patti, Sunny Chesterfield
L:
Not entirely sure I understand the question but Big Red does it for me??!?!?!?!


Q: I have my head buried in 3 books at the moment. One book is about world war one, one is a Terry Pratchett book and the other is a Rugby book. Very eclectic! What are you reading at the moment and do you have a couple of favourites? Emma, Leicester
D:
Hard to speak of favourites as I simply go from one to the next and so on, but one of the most absorbing books I've read for a while was The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night (Mark Haddon). It gives a very real sense of what it's like to be autistic, sounds grim I know but it's far from that, and I loved it. I recently (finally) got round to reading The Da Vinci Code, which I found very interesting and really good on a fact vs fiction level, but a bit patchy plot wise. I've literally just finished a fascinating book called Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (recommended by Chris actually), about the power of our unconscious thought process and why it's so important to us. Now I've gone the other way entirely and just started a very gentle but brilliantly written novel called Arthur & George by Julian Barnes.


Q: Hi Harry. I am currently in a French lesson just board so was  having a long day dream and was wondering in "gimme some lovin" and various other songs your stick grip is different, just wondering if there is a reason for this or is it the most comfortable for you of something? thanks for your time! see you on the 17th of November!!!!
wooooooo!!!!! Bruan Forbes, Shrewsbury
H: AAh! Comment allez tu mon ami? No particular reason. Sometimes it's just more comfortable I suppose. Half the time I don't realize I'm doing it.


Q: Thought I'd start by saying I'm loving those drums on R J's Tombstone sample. Being a drummer myself I have a Mapex Mars kit and was wondering how to stop the snare from rattling when playing live, its a right pain in the bum when the drums are suppose to be quite for example, during a guitar solo. The bass guitar is the worst culprit. Any hints would be useful (bearing in mind I don't have loads of money two buy a new kit) coz I got 15 kids and 3 wives. Cheers matey. Dangerous Brian, Shrewsbury
H: Blimey - 15 kids and 3 wives. You are dangerous Brian! Either tighten the snares or set up behind the band's amps, and tell the bass player to turn down(?). That may be a bit dangerous to do though?


Q: Hello!!! I've just been listening to the new album. You've probably had thousands of emails about it already. I just wanted to let you know what I thought. I've heard it twice so far and I think it's fantastic - possibly the best yet (and I'm not dissin' the other albums by saying that!!) It's great because each song seems to be so different in style, yet it sounds like 'Thunder' - don't know if that makes much sense? One song that stands out because it's different to anything you've done on a studio album is 'My Darkest Hour' which is very dark and almost makes you want to slit your wrists!! - it's a great song though - and all in all I agree with Luke's comment on the biography page of the web-site that it is an uplifting album! I don't have a favourite song because at the moment they are all my favourites!! I love it!! I've been listening to a lot of Iron Maiden recently because I'm in training for their gig in December (!), and so I noticed that 'Last Man Standing' sounded a bit Iron Maiden-like in parts, it could almost have been one of the songs from their new album. Are any of you Maiden fans? Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing some of the songs played live in November. You've obviously put a lot of thought and effort into the album and I hope it sells millions. Maria, Hertford
L:
Glad you like the album. I'm very pleased with it so it's nice that other people seem to like it too! I admire Iron Maiden greatly for their longevity and everything they've achieved. They are also nice guys. Their music isn't really my cup of tea but they've inspired so many of the metal bands around today and I can see why they are great at what they do. Bruce has the perfect voice for the kind of material they play and they put on a great show.


Q: Hi Guys, Seriously looking forward to the Llandudno gig. We were there in 98 and can't believe its been so long. Its nice not to have to travel far to see you. Though we would travel to the far corners of the globe to see you live, and have done several times. Glasgow is a corner of the globe isn't it? Anyway, our question is are you planning to do any promo in North Wales, such as a session at our new HMV in Llandudno? Enjoying the new album as we write this email. Acoustic CD even better. Hoping to be word perfect by the gig. Can't wait!!. Ian and Angie, Denbigh, North Wales
D:
We're also looking forward to getting back to Llandudno, and the nutty crowd I remember from last time. I'm afraid this time of year is not a good time for instores, as the shops tend to be concentrating hard on Xmas and loathe to undo their displays and racking. So the show will have to suffice, besides I'm not sure how much excitement we can all take in such a short burst.... 


Q:
When I'm at home or traveling, I'll listen to my favourite album of the moment or a collection of my favourite songs. I just wondered, when you want to chill to some favourite music, do you go for the Thunder albums or something different? I believe it's quite common for actors to never watch their own films or shows, so wondered if that worked the same for musicians! Kaf, London
H: I tend not to.
L: I don't choose our albums to listen to because after the process of writing the songs, recording demos and then the album itself I don't want to listen to it again for a while!
D: I very rarely listen to our records for pleasure, it's too much like work..

B: I get to listen to our albums a lot when I record and mix them so I leave it for a long while before I revisit them and I hate watching myself on video or DVD.


Q: I'm a huge Elvis Presley fan and I would like to know, if anyone of you has been influenced by his music or if you can't stand the man at all? Also, if you were in one way or another influenced by Elvis, which was the most memorable event and or song? Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Alex, Germany
H: I can honestly say that he didn't influence me personally but I do recognize his influence and immense importance.
L: When I was around 10 years old I went to stay with a relative who had the original single of 'Hound Dog' and the b-side was 'Don't Be Cruel'. I played both of them to death and they're probably still my two favourite Elvis songs. Having said that, there is a very obscure band from the Southern States called Danny and The Doo Wops who cover both these songs brilliantly.........
D: I have always been fascinated by Elvis Presley. When I was a kid, my uncle was a huge fan, had all his records, and seemed to be playing them every time we visited him. Those particular childhood memories stand out as some of my strongest, and I'm sure it's got a lot to do with both the music and his voice. I still love lots of his records, and his 1968 Christmas Comeback Special is one of the best bits of music TV I've ever seen. His films however, have not worn quite so well........
B: I do like a bit of Elvis every now and again, I can't say he has influenced me except in hamburger avoidance. Suspicious Minds was always a favourite of mine.


Q: Following the triumphant success of the listening party ,can anyone recommend a hangover cure?? or do you just do a hair of the dog? would appreciate an answer as we will need it for Manchester and Sheffield. p.s the devil made us do it!!!!!! Patti and Ele
H: In an ideal world plenty of sleep, water, sleep, water, lunch, a bit of "how's your father", water and more sleep then....? Sorry I was off on one there!
D: Really physical full on hard sex works wonders, so I'm told, if you don't throw up during or afterwards, it apparently does the trick... For me it's a couple of resolves and some flat cola or lemonade every time.
L : Wherever possible ignore the fact that it's the morning after and stay in bed. If that's not possible, take a couple of pain killers, eat something then take some exercize. If that doesn't do it, find a time machine, set the controls to transport you back to the night before and don't drink!
B: Just stay in bed until it's gone, failing that go back home.


Q: Looking forward to the new lp snipits sound outstanding well done again boys u never let us fans down ok question im a big melissa etheridge fan i think she is a great songwrighter and wondered whwt you thought to her music also wondered what you thought of pink the singer not the couler i read one of the questions on her web site were she said she new you guys first album and and loved your soundon it i nearly s-i- myself
when i read it how cooooool just thought u would like to know. John, Edinburgh
H: I love Pink-The singer not the colour! I love her even more after her comments.
D: I know Melissa Etheridge's name but not her work, but I think Pink is great. I like her records and her attitude, and now I know she liked us I like her even more...
L: Thanks for the information. I really like Pink and think she's got a great voice. I must admit to not hearing a great deal of Melissa Etheridge but what I have heard has been good.
B: Having read that comment she had written her website I can safely say I am a big fan of hers now - what a great lady


Q: Now that we have our perfect excuse, 'the devil made us do it???' which has worked so far.Whats the worst excuse you have ever used??? Ele and Patti, Chesterfield the Man City slayers!!
H: Erm....The room span round! That's all I can divulge at this moment of time.
D: Beware of using the devil as your excuse. He/she is not always best pleased... I've always used "I'm bang to rights, it's a fair cop, slap the bracelets on, but society's to blame"...
L: I'm not telling anybody in case I have to use it again!
B: Some big boys did it and then ran away.


Q: Today, an heading article published in the "Independant" tell that the result of a poll is that one Englishman of 5 would be French! You are five in the band, but who is the Frenchman? Luc, Neuve Eglise, France
B: So you think that's Fabian Barthez in goal - wrong, it's Harry's other persona.
D: C'EST MOI! HA HA!
L: Definitely Harry because he looks great in a beret!
H: It's true I do look good in a beret (thanks Luke!) and Fabian Bartez does resemble me..............il va sans dire que c'est possible moi?.........


Q: My name is Abigail and i am 7 years old. i am coming to see you in Sheffield and really hope you play I love you more than rock and roll. It is my favourite. I hope to come and meet you all afterwards too (especially Danny) . It will be my first gig and I wanted to know what your first gig was? Thank you. My mummy helped me type this. Abigail, At Home
H: First band I went to see was "Budgie" when I was 11 years old. Will always remember it and hope you enjoy the gig in Sheffield.
D: Thanks for your email, I hope you like the show in Sheffield. My first gig was a band called Bad Company, at The Rainbow Theatre in London. I was 14. It was very exciting, and although it was a long long time ago, I can still remember lots of the songs they played. I hope we make the same impression on you.
L: T.Rex at Lewisham Odeon June 1971.
B: The first concert I went to was in Crystal Palace Park with my parents when I was very young, it was Tchaikovsky 's 1812 overture, it was fabulous and had cannons and fireworks at the finale. The first rock concert I went to was BeBop Deluxe at Hammersmith Odeon, it was rescheduled as the bass player (Charlie Tumahai) had previously been deported for having the wrong kind of visa. They recorded a live album that night called "Live In The Air Age"


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