Q & A Archive - May 2005

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


Q: Hiya Luke, I'm 15 and I was introduced to Thunder by a friend who saw you supporting Deep Purple. Ever since he played me 'Love Walked In' at ear drum bursting volume I've been hooked. I've been introducing Thunder to my friends and you've been a big hit. I get really annoyed that people my age don't respect such skill and hardcore talent in bands such as yours. Why is it that they listen to such poor music nowadays, there's no more hardcore Led Zep or The Who fans in today's youth! What do you think about the dying out of such amazing bands in today's youth? We need some rockers! See ya. Seth Coombes, Cambridge
L: I don't think good music ever really dies; it's always out there and hopefully people will go looking for it. I think the biggest problem is today there is so much music thrust into our faces that sometimes people don't look beyond that. When we were kids there was no cable TV and very few videos so we found out about music via word of mouth  mainly. There were also a lot less bands around so finding good ones was easier!


Q: Hello, I got Flawed To Perfection delivered last week - fantastic, cos I was at Donington & it brings back great memories! However, for the vid of "In A Broken Dream", there is footage of Danny singing the song, but all the other clips of the band are from other vids, so my question is - did the other guys not agree with the song / vid, was it just something that Danny wanted to do, or was shooting the vid just not convenient due to time constraints etc for the rest of the guys? Also, is there a majority vote on releasing songs, does it have to be unanimous or does anyone have absolute say on what is released? John Matthews, Manchester
D: It's funny how a lack of information can inspire so many conspiratorial theories... The simple truth of the matter is that when we came to make the video for IABD, we were on our way out of our contract with EMI. They were getting ready to release the song as a single but it was very much a parting gesture. In these moments, record labels don't spend vast sums on videos. The video was made on a shoestring budget by our good friend Nick Morris, who also directed most of the Thunder videos at that time, so with minimal money to spend, he had to use old footage and shoot me only (on the roof of his office in Soho). So you see there is no misery, no argument, no drama, simply a lack of record company money! We make release decisions as a band, and we tend to agree most of the time on most things, so I hope that's answered all your questions.


Q: On the inlay leaflet to the new flawed to perfection DVD there is some printed cuttings of some quite nasty old reviews about you. Wondering if you are aware of this and if it is a dig from EMI just to be nasty? Anonymous
D: We saw the artwork, and we gave them the pictures, so it wasn't EMI's doing. EMI have never been nasty to us, and I'm sure they spend very little time thinking about old bands no longer on the label. We've had our issues with labels over the years, but it's only business, and business is purely about money. As a point of order, we feel that lots of reviewers are merely failed musicians with computers who can't spell, so we don't really see them as qualified to pass judgement on us or our work. Consequently, we've never been very concerned about bad reviews. After all, the mags have to write about something in every issue, and the rubbish heap of rock is littered with the remains of plenty of bands with fabulous reviews who are now long gone. And yet we're still here, along with more bad reviews, and still we're not bothered, strange isn't it?


Q: Hi. just booked tickets for Chepstow - can't wait ! was wondering what merchandise will be on sale there. Since it will be summer, any plans to have any vests for us girls on sale? Liz Stewart
D: Nice suggestion. The summer range of merchandise is not decided yet so we'll look into it.


Q: Francis Rossi from Status Quo said at a gig last year at Wembly Arena, that if all 12/13 thousand people go out and buy there new single, they will be number one in the singles chart for the next two months. I was just wondering what you think to the current state of the singles chart and if you agree with what Mr. Rossi said? Paul Nicholson, Sheffield
D: He's probably right. The singles market has been shrinking steadily for years, but somehow it still appears to be the best way to promote an LP. I guess when it ceases to do that job the singles market will be done away with. Download singles are rapidly becoming the way to buy individual songs, and of course record companies favour this because they don't have to manufacture physical CDs, so I suspect it's only a matter of time before the CD single disappears from the shelves.


Q: Hi Danny ! Back in 1991, you had to share a show with David Coverdale. He didn't make it. Do you think that he was afraid to be in a "voice" competition with you? And, have you planned a set-list together? (Thunder's songs, Whitesnake's songs, Deep Purple's songs ? or anything else ?). Bye. Luc, France
D: I understand Whitesnake were set to headline the Icelandic festival we played in 1991, but David was ill and Quireboys ended up headlining it. We had David and Adrian Vandenberg guest with us on stage at Hammersmith Odeon in 1990 during the encore. We played Bad Company's Can't Get Enough, but apart from the above, we've never been scheduled to play on the same bill with Whitesnake or David since then. David has always been very nice to us, and me especially, he's been very complimentary about my voice, but I have no idea if he's afraid of it... I suspect not.


Q: Hi just a quick question regarding the new DVD release 'Flawed to perfection the Videos 1990-95' I know this DVD has a great running time of 150 mins but what I want to know is are the tracks full versions? eg. the promos and live tracks (did you do a video for empty city)? I was reading your very informative news section and I read that on the Japanese version there is a bonus Interview from Japanese TV show with Harry and Luke. I was wondering if it is worth importing this DVD edition or should I just go for the Uk edition which would be handier to get?? oh and just one more thing, see at the end of 'They think its all over...' what is the movie that Danny refers to? Colm Farren, N. Ireland
T: Yes, the tracks on the DVD are all full length. No, there was never a video made for Empty City.  The U.K. version will be cheaper than importing the Jap version, but the Jap version does feature bonus footage of Luke and Harry. No extra music though. It's up to you which version you go for!  The movie that Danny refers to is 'In, Out, Put The Kettle On' (which you can find on the Live & Uncut DVD - available now from www.thunderonline-shop.co.uk). It was originally planned that the movie would be shown between the band's acoustic and electric sets at the Dingwalls show, however, due to technical problems, this didn't happen...


Q: Hey guys, your mobile shop is a great idea, but has a very limited amount of songs on it, are there going to be any more ringtones added in the near future, like from your very old albums?? Love the music, keep it up!! Laura Harvey, Suffolk
D: The range of tunes will indeed be extended in the future, if the ringtones concept proves to be popular enough with you lot, and you buy enough of them to warrant the additional costs involved.


Q: Hi Thinny, just wanted to know if you could give me some information about the Chepstow - rock 'til you drop festival thing....is it like the Guilford festival where there a loads and loads of bands playing and other entertainments happening?? I've tried searching all over the internet to find some info about chepstow but I can't seem to find anything. Laura Harvey, Suffolk
T: I'm told that the Rock 'Til You Drop folks are currently putting together a website - once it's ready I'll add the link to the gigs page  There won't be as many acts at Chepstow as there is at Guilfest. At the moment, there are plans for Thunder and 2 other acts to perform.


Q: Hi, another quick question, you know the competition to win a set of remasters and a promo Thunder beer glass, well do we have to come up with speach suggestions for Danny, Ben AND Harry, or just one of them?? Laura Harvey, Suffolk
T: It's totally up to you Laura. If you only have ideas for one, they just send in one, but if you want to have a bash at all three, by all means do so!


Q: Hey guys. Still on my life-long mission to bring you back to the US. I've noticed that I have a new partner, as several tracks from the Magnificent Seventh are being played on XM Satellite Radio. Wanted to know if you were aware of this, and if this is to be taken by yours truly as at least a tiny, faint glimmer of hope? Brian, New York
D: This is (fab) news to us here at Thunder Towers. It just shows you there are radio people out there who understand good music. Hurrah! Please let us have any contact or web details you have for XM (more specifically the jock(s) who are playing our tunes) and we'll get in touch with them.


Q: Hi Thunder, I am a new fan and your band is great, please keep up the good work. I  now know that you do not have a record label in the USA, is their a way that us fans in the USA can help? Hugh
T: Welcome aboard Hugh. Of course there is a way you can help - simply spread the word! Tell you friends, family, neighbours, cat, dog, etc, etc about how great the band are! Point them in the direction of this website and don't forget to request Thunder on the radio! Some  stations in the US may not have any Thunder to play yet (some most definitely do though), but if you point them in our direction we'll happily send them some CDs over. It's all about creating a buzz and getting the Thunder name out there. It's not an easy task, but you never know what fan power can do...


Q: Being a fan in the US, I would love to see Thunder touring here, at least once. I never got to see you live and envy your fans there. However, I know that a big tour on our side of the pond is expensive and all, but if it were possible, are there any particular arenas or clubs you would want to play? Also, what American bands (if any) have you heard that you like or listen to? Please keep making the good quality music that only you can make!! Jeremy, California
D: Anywhere there are rock fans open to our brand of music is where we'd want to play. As to US bands to play with, we don't care who it is, we would simply love being there. The trouble is we have no label in place in the US, so to play without being able to sell the records would not be practical.


Q: Having been out and about with work this week I have noticed that when driving the music you listen to can have a serious influence on the way that you drive. For example, The Magnificent Seven appears to influence me to drive at 95mph in the fast lane at all time (great can cut up to 20 mins off the journey time.) Whereas Moving Swiftly Along has a more calming influence I manage to keep to the speed limit and stay calm even when  other drivers annoy me (the journey takes a little longer but no road rage.) The music I listen to even appears to have an influence on my car. Today listening to The Thrill of It All influenced my car to become invisible at a roundabout and influenced the person behind to use my car to stop rather than their own brakes. Probably best I take Motley Crue s Music To Crash Your Car To out of the auto-changer before tomorrow. My question is what music makes you drive like sinners and what music makes you drive like saints?
Kim, Cheshire
L:  For speed it would have to be 'Back In Black' AC/DC and for serenity in congestion either Nora Jones' first album or Best of The Carpenters
B: I used to like driving to Boston's "Long Time", it used to make me drive like Damon Hill. Anything classical, especially the piano usually slows me down to a crawl.


Q: Tonight is a B&M "Moving Swiftly Along" night. A mix of 80/90's funky-groovy-tinted & 70's rocky tracks (ok, here goes the Luke kind of stuff). What AAA mix! Probably a good synopsis of who Luke is and made him ever play the guitar? Love you even more for that!!! However, never realised before tonight how sad the title list is really, even on cover-tracks level - talking about lost loves, depending on someone, regrets, time wasted. Ouch?! And Danny's voice doesn't help distract you from these "ouches"! What ever happened to you? However, you're no musician for nada. And I just love it. DON'T CHANGE! Playing music is a therapy, for all of us, excellent! So, whatever you do, keep on producing these great B&M albums! PLEASE!!! Where's the question, I don't know... Except maybe, when's the next album planned? Valou, Brussels
L: Glad you like the B+M stuff and can I have a pint of whatever you're on please! We don't have any future plans re. B+M at the moment but I'm sure we'll get around to it in the future.


Q: Two questions. Got to talk to Ben quick in Manchester. I didn't think you had ever been to Aarhus in Denmark. Ben did. Is that anything anyone can answer? And do you go through the night with the guy who does the spots? Always wondered how he can keep track of everyone and knows who to "shine" on... Ditte Lambert, Aarhus
D: No idea about Aarhus, I tend to think not. It depends on the size of the production, but the spot operators are usually assigned a specific person to stay with, and then they're given cues by the lighting designer.


Q: Have just been doing a bit of web trawling and noticed that the Japanese 'Flawed to Perfection' dvd is going to be a double release. From the HMV Japan site, I can't work out what is on the extra disk ... do you know ? Can you tell me ?? Is it worth waiting until June 15th to buy this version ? Cheers for any info. Paul, Sydney
T: Funny you should ask...check out today's update (17th) for more info...


Q: Hi all. While talking (once more...) about you, we asked ourselves 3 questions. 1. Luke; how much time did it actually take you to write your latest album (a real piece of thunder jewellery. The more you listen to it, the kind that sticks to you). 2. Luke again, how many hours a day do you practice guitar playing (my friend - pretty good player himself if I may say - believes it to be an awful lot of hours a day) and last but not least, how often do you get together to rehearse before a gig? If you do rehearse... An awful lot of questions I admit but so much fun to be able to address questions online while having these come up! Thanks & greetings from a couple of faithful fans! Valou, Brussels
L: TMS was written over a three month period. Sorry to disappoint your friend but I don't actually practice my technique; the only practice I get is when I'm writing or rehearsing with the band. We normally rehearse for 3 or 4 days when rehearsing new material. If not, we'll just have a long soundcheck at the first gig!


Q: After Danny's almost Ronnie Corbet-esque re-telling of the assault on the folically challenged barman, I reckon the rest of the band should follow suit. Tell us one of your most memorable tour misdemeanours, tricks played on other bands etc. We used to knock on people's doors and run away. Oh how we laughed! P.S. Saw you in Bristol, stunning gig, however my wife now fancies Danny so I've got the hump (or not, it seems). K, Surrey
D: Well I've given away one of my touring moments, but given the reaction I'm not sure it's a good idea if anyone else does... Sorry to hear about your hump, it must be very uncomfortable. Send your wife my best.


Q: hi Ben, I am lover of Les Pauls and was wondering how many you have, and do you have a favourite model you would recommend? love the new album by the way!!! Jonathan Lee, Paignton
B: I have five at the moment including an oldish 1970 Les Paul custom. My favourite model probably Elle McPherson but I guess that's not what you meant. My favourite guitar is the one you will usually see me playing on stage; it is hand built by Gibson and is a 1950's reissue, great to play.


Q: With the difficultly in getting guitar tabs printed (to which I have responded by adding my name) everytime I read a question about this I cannot fail to be confused as Thunder are no longer under a record label, presumably the material belongs solely to the band. Surely with this in mind, the most recent album and SATS should be easily available in TAB form should the band decide it is marketable? It would be great to get hold of the TMS and SATS in tab form. Ian
D: In the past the publishers were those in the position to publish the sheet music. It is not a record company issue, they make records. Most of our publishers didn't make sheet music available mainly because there wasn't sufficient demand to warrant the time and expense required to make it happen. The Japanese publishers of the first 2 LPs did it for a limited period, before abandoning it. Since then we've been largely unpublished, so there has not been a publisher to do it. The band are not in a position to instigate it (book publishing is expensive), and even if it were, the demand is not likely to be high enough to warrant the cost. We're a band and a small record label, and we have quite enough to do right now. Sorry to disappoint but these are the facts.


Q: I'm a huge Fan since I was 11 yrs old and I'm now 25,it was my dad who got me into ur music which I LOVE!!! But the main Question is regarding the old Thunder fan club and why cant any of the old members get to see and meet you like before? Its just I get annoyed by dad asking Me questions after a gig and I got the chance to meet you all at the carling academy in Glasgow which I spent most of it with Luke xxx so can u please answer my question is there a chance that u will ever set up the old passes again which the original old members can get the chance to meet and greet you?? Kat, Glasgow
T: As the fan club is no longer in operation (and there are no plans for that to change) it was unfair to let only people with old fan club passes into the meet and greets. Since the band have reformed there has been a lot of new fans surfacing and it is unfair to them to only let in people that have passes for a club that closed 5 years ago.  There isn't room for everybody and to let the same people in time after time just doesn't seem right. The way we do it through the site, everybody gets as much a chance as the next person, and a lot of fans that have never met the band before get the opportunity, as well as the old faithful.


Q: Which band members are appearing at the club night at Jillys in Manchester on Saturday 7th May. look forward to Saturday as it is my birthday 34yrs old and still alive. and full permission off the wife (for once) to partake in some alcoholic refreshment. p.s. are you guys there all night or is it just a flying visit???? Shane, Manchester
T: Luke and Harry will be in Manchester (Luke and Ben in Liverpool). They'll be there at some stage during the night. They'll do a guest DJ spot, then some giveaways, sign some stuff, hang out and drink loads!


Q: I have followed you guys since seeing you support Foreigner in the mid 80's. there are 4 things which stand out for me, the excellent guitar's and the way you mix acoustic and electrics, the lyrics are awesome, I think you have wrote some of the best ballads ever produced, the unforgettable and outstanding voice of Mr Danny Bowes and the live shows, man those live shows. when I or should I say we coz I think from people watching at your gigs every one seems to feels the same way, I get shivers down my spine, tears of joy in my eyes, the butterflies and that's just for the support band!!! To many people it was the king( Elvis) or The Beatles for me its you guys, I pledge my heart and sole to you and never stop doing what you do. Enough of that. I have just purchased El Gringo Retro and I think its a fantastic easy listening experience, so I got another for my mate al who I have converted, in fact I have converted four of the chaps who work for me so I think we will be having our firms xmas party @ rock city this year if you are there again. My question is when you Write lyrics for a song do you write specifically for Thunder, your self, Bowes & Morley etc or do you adapt the lyrics and the music for one or the other and do you write for any other artist's. (I Got there in the end!) Colin Vale, Leicester
L: I tend to just write songs and not think about it too much. When I'm developing an idea it usually becomes apparent what's going to make a good Thunder tune and what isn't. I haven't written specifically for other artists as it's hard to find the time although it would be an interesting thing to do.


Q: Fade into the sun has made a big impact. It is the number one choice for the next single, and reviewers have described it as more 'urgent' - great word! - you yourself have said it's fun to play live. So first of all - well done, I love it!! Second - What do you think? is the response to it giving you any ideas on the direction for future writing for thunder? I wonder if you're going to 'hype up' the thunder sound along these lines, which i think might work. Chris D, London
L: Writing is instinctive for me. I can't contrive a musical direction; it has to happen naturally. I think not knowing where you're going is what makes it interesting.


Q: When you are giving birth now, you are allowed to take music in with you. Now I think they probably meant calm soothing music (y'know that new age pixie fairy crap) but I decided whilst having my third child that I would take back street symphony with me. Unfortunately now I cannot listen to the album without crossing my legs and wincing. I am getting to a question honest! music has the power to take you back somewhere, sometimes to a world of hurt and sometimes to a brilliant sex sesh. My question is do you know how much your music touches people or are you too modest? see babies have been born to songs you have written, people have got married to songs you have written etc etc. you are a very brilliant man and I am trying to listen to BSS all the time at the moment so that maybe it can remind me of something else. love ya!!! Anonymous
L: Thank you for the nice comments. I think anybody who writes for a living, be it in film, books or whatever, is in the business of trying to move people. I never really know what I'm doing to be honest. I just hope people like what we do.


Q: I would like to say thank you to all of you, my marriage broke up this weekend and your song Till The River Runs Dry reflects exactly my life and believe it or not it has been a god send to listen to and again. I would like to Thank you so very much, songs always stick in your head and I'm glad that its one of yours that stuck in mine....thanks guys. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Victoria, Cornwall
L: I hope everything works out for you and good luck. Look after yourself and thanks for the positive comments.


Q: With the UK election, Welcome to the party was a song written about Tony Blair and New labour. Would you consider writing a follow-up if another party got into government? Lee Friend, London
L: 'WTTP' was written out of a sense of hope that TB and New Labour offered after 18 years of Tory rule. Whether or not they've delivered what they promised remains to be seen. The trouble is all the parties seem to have turned into one indistinguishable mass without any great difference between them and that kind of blandness isn't exactly inspiring!


Q: Do u think Rooster have copied your sound? Steve Cain, Oldham
L: They've definitely listened to a lot of English bluesy rock so I wouldn't be suprised if they'd borrowed a thing or two. Mind you, we borrowed a lot of it from The Who and Zeppelin and Free etc..........


Q: Any idea whether you'll be releasing the 1990 Monsters Of Rock set on CD in the U.K.? Paul Booth, Blackwood
T: That's another one of those questions for EMI. They own the recording, so it's up to them whether or not it gets released outside of Japan. As far as we know there are no current plans.


Q: Slight problem with you guys playing the Guilfest gig. My other fave artist, Paul Weller is headlining the same night on the main stage! How do I manage to see both of you? What could be my greatest ever gig, has now become a nightmare. Can you advise what I should do???? Neil Parsons, Southampton
D: Given the question I would say you have to clone yourself and attend both shows, then have a cup of tea with yourself when you both get home and compare notes.


Q: Luke - Your album is amazin'! I love everything about it - your vocals are as great as Mr Daniel Bowes! Will you ever make a new solo record in the near future? If so, what will you change about it? Luke Megginson, U.K.
L: Glad you like the album but I'm afraid I can't agree with you about my vocal ability; at best I can interpret a lyric and get the meaning across relatively tunefully but the comparison with Danny would definitely lead me to believe you have a sense of humour!!! Making another LM album is a long way from being a priority at the moment but in the future it's a possibility.


Q: Hello everyone. I saw you 2 weeks ago at the Bebob. What a great show that was ! Thank you for sharing so much fun & energy with us  (and for the compliment, Danny...). Looking at the audience, I was surprised to see so little female attendance. You certainly are no head-bangers band and your strong ballads and songs sure should attract more  ladies. Is it the same in every country you play? Valou, Brussels
L: I think we probably have maybe 40% females in our audience usually although obviously we'd like more!!!


Q: Hi all, I was just reading the latest news on the site and saw that TMS is available to download and then I remembered hearing a few weeks ago that the charts are now including downloaded stuff. Do you ever get to find out how much of your music is downloaded? and if so, will it make a difference now that these sales count towards chart positions? Do you think we'll be seeing more thunder in the charts in future? (hope so) Next question: I'll be at the guitar show again this year and was wondering whether Chris will be playing with the Illegal Eagles there? Maria Savva, Hertford
D: It's a bit soon for us to know the impact downloads are likely to have on our sales, but we're not too concerned about that at the moment. As time passes and we get some data we'll be able to make informed decisions about how to use it as a possible tool for the charts in the future. The most important thing for us right now is that the music is up there and available for all who want to download it legally. Chris will indeed be doing the LGS with the Illegal Eagles, but more than that I know not. Best to check their site for the up to date info.
C: Yes, I will be at the Guitar Show on Saturday and Sunday.


Q: I asked this on the message board, so I thought I'd ask you. What book are you reading at the moment & what's your favourite book ever. Thanks. Oh, and any chance of playing The Tiv in Buckley again? Jan K, North Wales
L: I'm reading 'Samuel Pepys. The Unequalled Self' which is a biography of sorts but it's really interesting as an account of life in London in a very different time.
D: I just finished A Metropolitan Murder, which was fab, all about a Victorian Murder on the tube just after it was opened, though I guessed who the killer was half way through, it was still very good.
B: I'm reading Clive Cussler's Trojan Odyssey; my favourite book ever is my cheque book, we're good friends.


Q: Hello again lads. I've just returned from my round of golf, started reading the q&a and saw that Ben plays golf as well, I know Luke likes a round of golf but didn't know Ben did, anyway my question is, having just had another nightmare hacking it all over the place, I've got home and can't wait to play again, just wondering is it only me who fells this way or do you feel same when you've had a bad round, and don't say you don't have a bad round because if you do you're liars! Ian Helliwell, Rotherham
L: Golf is the hardest of all sports because just when you think you've got it sussed, it all goes to pieces. I've had some dreadful rounds where I've been losing the will to live and then one terrific shot to turns it around again. Golf really is a wonderful thing!
B: I am very lucky, even if I have an awful round of golf I only remember the good shots, it's called selective memory or something... I can't really remember - still never mind - FORE


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