Q & A Archive - September 2005

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


Q: I have enjoyed your music for years. I was on the radio for 12 years playing your music here in SLC but I have never had the chance to see you live. Any chance that might happen in the near future? Mark, Salt Lake City
D: There are no plans to play the USA at the moment as we currently have no releases in place there. However we are actively working on putting that right, so watch this space...


Q: Hi Guys, I have seen you twice at the Edinburgh Playhouse and both occasions were brilliant, I think they were both sell out events but at the second concert you asked where were we all the last time you played there. You haven't played Edinburgh since then. A lot of bands think report that Edinburgh audience's are quite restrained or lacking in emotion. What do you think? Do you think the audience's are better in Glasgow? Do you make specific venue choices or just cities and then what is available? Love, Love, love the new album and looking forward to seeing you at the academy in January. Danny I have to say you look sexier than ever!!! Sam, Edinburgh
D: Thanks for the nice words. We played Edinburgh a few times in the early days, the shows were always great. The occasion you're referring was to in May 95. The time before was in October 92, and whilst the rest of that tour was fabulous, for some unknown reason the Edinburgh crowd was a bit thin. In 95 the crowd was big again, hence the comment. I've heard it said about the Edinburgh crowd being reserved, but I've never noticed it personally, the Scottish crowds have always been nutty and loud whenever we've played there, and long may it continue.


Q: I've just read the latest issue of Burrn! magazine in which you are featured, and a question popped up. Do you like any of Robbie Williams' songs (I think the Escapology album is pretty good...) or are you sick of him? :) Also, your (fantastic) last show in Japan was recorded, is there any talk of releasing it at some point? And I'm very excited about the EP, great decision you've made, and a big thanks in advance! Fumi, San Francisco
D: I have no choice but to listen to Robbie Williams. Like a great many other 30 something women, my wife is smitten... I think he's talented, and some of his songs are very good, but he reminds me a bit of me in some ways... Power mad...
The last show in Japan was filmed and recorded but only for TV. The audio is a live mix as it went down on the night, no chance to mix and balance it afterwards. Having said that, the recording sounds raw and great, just like a fabulous bootleg. We've not considered releasing our own "off the desk" recordings before, such mixes are often lacking in balance and dynamics, and we've always tried to keep the standard of all output as high as possible. As it's fab, I guess if enough people wanted it we could do it. Glad you like the EP idea, when you get your copy, if you like it please tell everyone you know...


Q: Hi Thunder! When I was on holiday in England only one week ago I always listened  to that great "Ballads" CD. Many of these great songs like "In a broken dream", "Numb", "All I ever wanted", "'Til the river runs dry" ,"A better man" or "Castles in the sand" can't ALL be played live in the concerts or weren't played in the last shows because you have also many other great songs to play. So I thought : "What about some BALLADS - Gigs?" Only the ballads are played....What do think about that idea? Do you think it's good or worth doing something like that? Chris, Germany
L: Interesting idea Chris but I'm not sure if it would work in practice. We've always tried to make our shows as musically interesting as possible and that depends on being able to change tempos and moods. Playing only ballads would restrict that ability.


Q: Well, this one is for Ben and Luke actually...a few months ago I went through this "very important" change in my life which was seeing my old "a project for a lifetime" band split and then starting off a new one. The thing is that while the old one had this "two guitars and a lead singer" line-up, the new one is "one guitar and a lead singer"...I have no problem with that since my favourite bands are Led Zeppelin and The Who, but of course it is a big change since everyone has to work twice as hard in order to fill the gap...so tell me, what do you think are the good and bad things about having just one guitar? Do you know any special tricks to keep the song up whenever the guitar comes into a solo? By the way guys, I´d really love to see you play in Barcelona someday! Would you try it next summer? Thanks everyone at Thunderonline! Daniel, Barcelona
L: The less pieces you have in a band, the more your arrangements have to be spot on as the amount of musical textures available to you is very limited.
Keep it as simple as possible would be my advice.
B: I think they are two different styles of bands. You are effectively a three piece now and that is a different style of playing. There are no tricks you can employ; you need to adjust your solos to suit ad let the band sound like it sounds.


Q: Having read in the newspaper today that G4 and Sir Cliff are collaborating on a reworking of "Miss You Nights" in attempt hit the Christmas No. 1 slot, I wondered if you've ever considered writing or releasing a festive single yourselves ? After all, it worked for "The Darkness"... *Pompey* Paul, Portsmouth
L: To be honest I've never attempted to write a Xmas song. If I came up with a different slant lyrically then I would pursue it. By that I mean something along the lines of 'Happy Xmas: War Is Over' where the song has a bit more to say than the usual predictable, sentimental tosh.


Q: I kinda asked this question a few months ago, but there was no reply, so I thought I'd try again (maybe it's been asked before, or maybe it wasn't a good enough question to make it onto the Q&A Page). In my past, as guitarist in a local gigging band, I used to play a few...Nay many of your songs. Although people who listened thought that the covers ranged from "adequate" to "quite good", one of the questions asked of me stuck in my mind and it was this: "Won't thunder kick our asses if they know we're playing their songs?"... Strangely it was our drummer who asked me this! We were, and still are, HUGE fans of yours, and though I am no Luke Morley (and never will be, I'm sad to say) I  promise that we didn't murder any of your tracks... So eventually my question is this: What are your views on unsigned, amateur bands like us playing your songs? Cheers guys, see you when you return to sunny South Wales! Scott Court, Newport
L: I think it's great that people want to play our songs so go ahead...enjoy!


Q: Hi Danny, two questions about the Plug It Out video. First : After drinking a glass of wine (or cherry syrup ??)in the middle of the show, you have drunk at a Coca cola box. Did they sponsor the evening for being put on the screen ? Second : Why didn't you put the complete AVO session show on the video? Luc, France
D: No sponsorship, just big thirst for sugary sweet cola...We only had some of the show on tape. Simple...


Q: Hang on guys ... don't you think you're taking the piss just a little bit? We all stumped up the cash to buy the Lucky Man download as it would only be available as a download. Lo and behold you're releasing it on an e.p. And don't give me any bilge about the e.p.
having the live tracks blah blah blah, who wants live re-hashes of songs we-ve heard (and bought) a hundred times before? You should understand more than any band how important your fans are and maybe it's also time to realise that one day you'll scrape through the bottom of that barrel. Scrooge, Victorian England
D: Thanks for taking the trouble to compose your witty question. It must have been hard work. We don't think we're taking the p**s, we value our fans, we try to give them what they want. Note that I use the word "they" and not "you". Fans get their facts straight before moaning.
We got flack from some, who could not download it, for releasing a download only song, so we promised to include the tune if we released a single. None of the live tunes on the new EP have been released before.
Considerable technical efforts have gone into getting these live tracks on to the CD.
You don't have to buy it, no one is forcing you, so if it doesn't appeal to you, please do us all a favour and keep your money in your pocket.


Q: I have loved your voice for many years and can think of nothing better than waking up to it every day ;-) I'm young fit and pretty WILL YOU MARRY ME ;-) Tracie Marina, London
D: There are two answers to this question:-
1. If you are young and fit and pretty, you must have been a baby when you began listening to my voice. This means I must be considerably older than you, as I was not a baby when I sang the songs. Assuming the aforementioned is true, to marry you would make me not only a bigamist (for I am already married), but one of those sad old gits with young, fit and pretty wives. Whilst I thank you for your flattering proposal, I feel I must politely decline. Hope you're not too upset....
2. Yes, please, when and where?



Q: Hello Darling! I've just been watching some rock videos, with a rather nice bottle of red for company. Anyhoo, I noticed that for visual emphasize, you guitarist types love to thrust your axe skywards. Which in this not too unpleasant state got me wondering, is this practised whilst recording also? And whilst pondering this, as girls are said to sing in front of mirrors with hairbrushes, did you practise your poses whilst growing up. Or is it just a man thing? Nicola, Kent
L: I really have no idea why I do what I do when performing; it's all a spontaneous reaction to the music I guess. Having said that there have been occasions where I've watched myself on film and thought 'I really mustn't do that anymore'. And then of course there's the compulsory gurning.......what's all that about? Once again I have no idea!


Q: Hi Guys, I have tickets to see you yet again at the Birmingham academy on 31st Jan 06. Could you tell me who is supporting you on this one please? The new album is great and I love "fade into the sun". Kevin Short, Warwickshire
T: Support bands for the winter tour have not yet been confirmed.


Q: Is there a band or artist you wish you'd seen live? and is there a band or artist who still brings out the fan in you? As for that question about hair, Luke (in a totally not-man-love response) your hair is fine mate. Stu, East Kilbride
L: It makes a change for people to be talking about my hair and not Danny's! I went to see The Who earlier this year and they still make me feel like a 14 year old punter so yes!
D: Elvis, and Elvis. I'm in awe every time I see or hear anything Elvis related.
B: Jimi Hendrix and I disagree about the hair.


Q: So what are your thoughts on Sven Goran Erricson after three bad matches against Denmark, Wales and Northern Ireland? Time for him to go? Paul, Kent
L: Definitely not. Sven's record is still very good and you have to go back a long way to find an England manager who's record is as consistent in competitive matches. I think his biggest problem currently is that neither Lampard or Gerrard are playing well and they are fundamental to the team's success. I would put this down to the fact that it's very early in the season and they're not yet match fit or sharp enough. All the arguments about how to correctly deploy our midfield players doesn't matter if they're not playing well. I think we'll still qualify and I believe we'll do very well in Germany next year. It's all about peaking at the right time.
D: At this time they can still qualify if they get their act together in the remaining matches. They have played well, and can again I'm sure. I'm not a big fan of knee jerk reactions, so I'm nervous about big changes at this moment. If he was fired now, someone else would have to take charge for the remaining games, and with the attendant pressure of the whole nation's expectations, who in their right mind would want that job? It could backfire very badly. I say stick with what you've got and get it working the way it can. If they don't qualify it will be a tragedy, and he will definitely go, but the old saying "act in haste, repent at leisure" springs to mind...
B: And to be replaced by whom.......


Q: From this side of the fence, things seem to be on the up and up with Thunder (about bloody time as well!!). I was just wondering whether you are enjoying being in Thunder more now than the 'first time' around? First time you would have had the excitement of getting Backstreet Symphony out and seeing the reaction, but, now that you are all a little older and wiser are you able to appreciate being in Thunder and all that entails more now than earlier in your career? Or are you just glad to be doing it regardless? Looking forward to seeing you in Manchester in February! Paul Ryan, Warrington
L: I've really enjoyed nearly all of it and I'm sure I'll continue enjoying it. The music industry has changed immensely since we've been involved in it and we've had to reflect that it terms of how we run our business but the musical challenges remain the same; do everything as well as you can and hopefully people will appreciate what you're doing
D: Being in Thunder has pretty much always been great fun from a musical and playing standpoint. The business and record company side did get very tedious the first time around, but now we're in control of it a lot of the misery has been taken away. Of course it's a lot of hard work doing it all, and there are times when it would be good to have it done by others, but hard work is apparently good for the soul, or they say.
B: I think being in ultimate control of our own business has made it more exciting for me this time around. However I do miss the EMI limos and helicopters, getting to the shops is a real bind now.


Q: Hi Guys, When I went to see on the Giving The Game Away tour I noticed you  used guitar combo's amps instead of head amps to use with cabs. Which make of guitar combo amp/amps did you use on that tour? And when did you start use the combination guitar combo amps with cabs instead of using head amps? Ben Jackson, Nottingham
L: We've pretty much always used Mesa Boogie combos on tour. I use a Mk III model and Ben uses a MkIV.


Q: If you could have a chat over dinner & a few bottles of the red. Who would be your three ultimate guests (can be anyone alive/dead). Mine would be 1.David Attenborough 2.Micheal Palin 3.Brian May. who's yours? Mart, Essex
L: John Lennon, Jack Nicholson, Marilyn Monroe.
B: Hmmmm, I guess it would be Lee Harvey Oswald (so I could ask him if he did it), Jack Ruby (was he involved) and Kennedy (who really did it?)


Q: In an earlier answer you said you hadn't met Paul Rodgers, you played on the same bill as him in 1991, when yourselves, Bryan Adams, Little Angels, and Paul Rodgers band "Marshall Law" supported ZZ-Top at Milton Keynes. Are there any other "big names" you have missed or "avoided" meeting during your career? Who, and why? David Chapman, Cumbria
L: They were called'The Law' I think you'll find David. We tend to go about our business and if in the course of doing our thing we meet people, we usually get on with them. You won't get any celeb gossip here I'm afraid......
B: I think I have met all those I wish to that are still alive. I certainly wouldn't avoid people; we are a bit old for that sort of thing.


Q: Hi guys, I'd like to reference to a question a gentlemen from Shrewsbury asked about the location the Backstreet Symphony Live Disc from 1990 was recorded. Thinny was unsure about the venues of (1) Another Shot Of Love, (2) An Englishman On Holiday and Girl's Going Out Of Her Head. In order it was (1) recorded by Mike Fraser in London July ´89 and (2) by Luke & Ben at Southend Maritime in November 1989. Hope that helps. Ah besides, i recently unearthed a Song called "I wanna be her slave" on the Gimme Some Loving CD-Maxi. What's the story behind it? Oliver, Germany
L: This was a song I wrote very quickly with Andy Taylor. I don't remember too much about it though!


Q1 : Hi Danny, I don't mean to be rude, but what do you do while Luke is busy writing all the songs?! Do you have another career or is this leisure time for you?
D: I manage the band and run the record label. The plans I make and enact are why and how we get to do the things we do. It keeps me very busy, and it's hard work.
Q2 : Luke - when are you going to cut your hair properly, or are you going to hang onto it as long as possible? Have you considered this? Is it a frightening prospect?
L: I didn't realize my hair wasn't cut properly. Oh my God! You mean I've been running around all these years with improperly cut hair? Oh woe is me.....the shame....my humiliation knows no bounds etc........
Q3 : I'm sure fans have got onto the stage at gigs. How do react to this? Do you weigh them up and decide if they are friendly or do you take the Keith Richard approach of getting them off ASAP? Axel Thomas
L: If I was a fan planning to invade the stage I would bear the following in mind; a musician full of adrenaline wielding a heavy instrument or mic stand is not to be taken lightly and one should take care not to invade their space, especially if you're planning on sharing your opinion on their haircut!
D: It's only happened a couple of times. I'm always surprised at first and then a bit wary (there are nutters), but so far it's always been a case of "hello, what do you want to do now?". To be honest once they get on the stage, they've achieved their goal, so they usually don't know what to do next, and they get a bit embarrassed and go off quite easily with the security person. I have no doubt that if I were in Keith Richard's position (i.e a member of one of the most famous bands in the world), I would probably do the same as he did and take the offender out asap. I hope you're not making any stage invasion plans..........


Q: Just noticed you have gigs in Europe mid December, same time as MAGNUM in the UK. Does this mean Harry has left Magnum, as he also missed their tour earlier this year?. Also, next week is Bernie Marsdens Party In The Paddock, Harry played their last year, but appears to be missing from this years Magnum lineup in favour of Jimmy Copley. Is this the case, and could you not offer your services as I'm sure you would be gratefully welcomed, even at this late stage. Dave Chapman, Cumbria.
H: No I haven't "left" the drummer seat in Magnum. Just sharing it with a great drummer in Mr Copley. As you have noticed, the two tours overlap and this was bound to happen one day. Yes it did happen earlier this year and Jim did the last tour and will be with the guys in the winter. He also plays with Bernie Marsden, therefore it makes sense for him to do the Magnum set too at Party In The Paddock. Maybe I'll be there next year? If you go Dave, have a good time.



Q: Dear Luke, It's been a while since my last question so I thought I had better make
up for it. So here is a little collection...a threesome if you will.
1. I still love listening to Love is an Easy Word to Say but every time hear it raises the old question of why people fade songs out in the middle of guitar solos? Is it just a time constraint thing? Can't figure out and ending thing? an arty thing? or do people do it just to tease us guitar solo fans?
L: There's a point when song has made it's point and to go on too long beyond that is an indulgence in my opinion. I think it's different when you are playing live and you can extend certain passages to up the dramatic ante.
2. In the recent news update there was mention of a new album. Have you started working on new songs? Can you give us any clues on what inspired these new writings?
L: Yes I have started work on new material but it's a little early to tell where I'm going with the songs at this stage.
3. Are you going to the Oval for the final Ashes game? I'm not asking about result predictions this time because last time I tried that we lost! However if you are going and need someone to fetch your beers from the bar I am happy to volunteer my services! Rat, Peterborough
L: Unfortunately I don't have a ticket for the Oval but I shall be watching every ball. Come on England!!!


Q: Hi guys! I saw you in Hamburg. It was a fantastic gig. When I noticed your gig in December in Berlin I ordered three tickets to see you again. Hope to hear "When I'm Dead And Gone". Excellent performance on the DVD. Now my question: Is it possible to buy the "Live At Bedfort Arms" CD in Berlin? In Hamburg I bought "Plug It Out", "Live At Marquee" and "Live At Rock City". It want to complete my thunder collection (30 CDs and singles, 3 DVDs and the tourbook '96). Thanks so much for your music, which is absolute THE BEST!!! Oliver Janson, Hamburg
T: The Live At Bedford Arms CD is sold out and has been for some time. Unfortunately, there are currently no plans to press any more copies...sorry!


Q: After years of trying I have managed to get a copy of backstreet album with the live disc. My question is which gigs did the tracks on disc two come from. various sources give different info. Look forward to seeing you all in Jan. Les Briscoe, Shrewsbury
L: To be honest I can't remember where they all came from but I'm sure whatever it says on the album notes is correct.
D: I'm afraid I have no idea whatsoever. That's terrible isn't it.... The Thin One may know, he always seems to know more about what we've done than I do...
T: Hmm...well, I know that Until My Dying Day, Fired Up and Dirty Love were taken from the London Town & Country club show on March 17th 1990. She's So Fine, Backstreet Symphony, Higher Ground and Don't Wait For Me are from Donington 1990. I'm afraid I have no idea where Another Shot Of Love, An Englishman On Holiday and Girl's Going Out Of Her Head were recorded....


Q: Here's a question that has not been answered and one that gives me and my wife a moment of amusement now and then!!! I was fortunate to be at the B&M concert in Nottingham and saw the Fearless Steve Smith on guitar for Powertripping. On my Bedford Arms CD, the Fearless Steve Smith is there again and finally on my 2004 Rock City CD the truly Fearless Steve Smith is there again. My question is not so much who is he but moreso....why the hell is he Fearless!!!! Explain. Also, just out of interest, did you get any feedback from Brian May regarding your cover of Crazy Little Thing Called Love??? Mike Jackson, Southport
D: Confusion confusion baby...Fearless Steve didn't play guitar for B&M in Nottingham, it was Peter Shoulder. He has also played guitar for us subsequently at the Thunder Xmas shows in 2003 & 2004. Fearless Steve Smith has however played keyboards for us at the same Xmas shows, so I guess the confusion is explained.  As to why he got that moniker, I know not, I didn't give it to him. However, I'm reliably informed by those in the know that beneath his mild mannered exterior, there beats the heart of a wild and savage beast. Perhaps that's where the fearless bit comes from.. To date I've heard zip from Mr May or his peeps about the Thunder version of CLTCL, perhaps he's busy...


Q: I know the next download single was canned, but would there be some merit in offering the exclusive tracks from the recent remasters via this medium? Along with many other loyal fans, I would certainly go for it. In my younger Thunder days I would probably have bought them all, but unfortunately I find it difficult to justify parting with 70 notes (for a mere handful of tracks, albeit of undoubtable quality) as I now have a young family to consider. Keep up the good work. Rich , Sheffield
T: The tracks in question are actually owned by EMI. What happens to those tracks is completely out of the bands hands...



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