Q & A Archive - November / December 2005

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


Q: Were my eyes deceiving me or did I see "Fearless" Steve Smith on GMTV on 24/11/05. He was playing his keyboard at an ice rink in Cardiff with Keith Chegwin. Mick, Desborough
D: I am told Fearless SS was indeed there. He must be truly fearless if he's working with the ever chirpy KC at that time in the morning....


Q: At the beginning of your career, did you ever played in a club which was half-filled (or half-empty :-D) or where some people left during the gig ? If so, how did you feel like? Olivier, Belgium
H: Yes of course we did. Everyone has to start somewhere and hope that when you
return, the audience has swelled!! Thankfully that WAS the case with us.
L: Every band in history has played to a small audience, us included. There were always more there the next time we played though!
D: Yes we did of course, everyone does at the beginning (and sometimes again at the end..). It's not nice when it happens but it must spur you on to greater things, always did with us.
B: I remember the first Thunder show in Southend, there were three men and a dog present, but I've subsequently met fifty or so people who swear blind they were there.


Q: I have a friend who has never been to a Thunder gig and who has never listened to any of your music. (Yes why he's a friend is a mystery to me too sometimes!) Anyway he has said he will go to a gig with me if I do something for him....... (no smutty comments please... well not bad ones anyway!) The deal is; if I go to his local pub and watch a "Man U" versus "Arsenal" game he will come to a Thunder gig with me. I'm a girlie and don't 'do' football.....So, do I do it? Anna Macpherson, East Kilbride
H: It's a no brainer Anna....Do it! It'll be a great game, full of passion and one not to be missed. See you both at a gig then?
L: If it is a Man. Utd. v. Arsenal game it will definitely be worth watching. My advice would be 'do it'. Lots of women watch footie these days so you won't be alone.


Q: I've recently listened to a bootleg of Extreme's "III sides to every story" tour (I really appreciate the horn section). I know that you did the first part of their European shows, so : Do you like this album (or their music in general) and, Luke, what do you think about Nuno's guitar technique? See you in December at the Spirit of 66. Can't wait to be there. Olivier, Belgium
L: I think Extreme made some great singles in the course of their career. I have to admit that I'm not familiar with their albums. Nuno is a great guitar player.


Q: 2 questions in fact : Found in a closet a cool metal promo pin representing LOJD album cover and was wondering if it is a rare item among Thunder collectibles ? Also like to know if you guys think that the Japanese Thunder CDs actually sound better than the European ones (the way Japanese encode CDs is supposed to be of higher standard...) ? Will definitely make the trip to London for the Hammy O show as it is on a Saturday night which is quite a miracle as schedule goes. Vincent, Paris
L: I have no idea about the LOJD badge, sorry. I haven't noticed a difference of quality in the Japanese CD's although next time I listen to one I'll listen out for it.


Q: Hi Guys, Going to the Colston Hall show on the 29th Jan, can't wait! Paul Rodgers and Danny Bowes are the 2 best vocalists in rock music, just wondering what you guys thought of Queen + Paul Rodgers CD/DVD?, if you went to one of their shows? and if they were to cover a Thunder song (I can only wish!) which one would you suggest they do? See you in January. 
L: 'Don't Wait For Me' as I'd love to hear Brian play the guitar solo.
D: I think they should do all of them, back to back... He he.


Q: You are all looking and sounding more stunning than you did 16 years ago, and we are looking forward to seeing you in January and February - so good we will have to come twice. As you are what we would consider 'highly intelligent men', we would appreciate some feedback on an article we recently read in Cosmopolitan, that men are more susceptible to flattery than women and the real way to a mans heart is through flattery? Do you agree or do you think that the traditional route to a mans heart through his stomach is a more reliable method? Kim and Sasha
L: Tough call......I do love my food but we all enjoy flattery also. As to whether men are more susceptable to flattery than women, I think it's about even. There are of course those who believe that the quickest way to a man's heart is through his fly but as this is a family board I won't pursue it........
D: Thanks for the flattering "intelligent" compliment. I think men are much more prone to flattery. Average man doesn't get many compliments, so when it happens it's more likely to turn his head. I believe that in the main, men are simple souls, and women are infinitely more complicated creatures. I've always believed women know what we're up to when we flatter them, and decide if they want to take part. We men think we're "in" when you compliment us. The food thing definitely works too though, so I guess if you cook him a great meal then tell him he's gorgeous and clever etc, you're on to a winner. I wonder if that would work the other way around?
B: What highly observant women you are and I am pleased to see such candid opinions being expressed here you only let yourselves down by admitting to reading such an awful magazine. The stomach is a circuitous route the best way to a mans heart is through the breastbone with an axe, or so my ex told me.


Q: First of all I would like to thank everyone at Thunder for making next year's tour bigger than ever with probably the 2 best support acts anyone could wish for (well done in talking round Tobe). My question is (after seeing Luke in the crowd at Roadstar) do you mind when out with your friends, fans coming up and disturbing you, or do you prefer to fade into the background (or the sun in your case). Michael, Oxford
L: Most people that come up and say hello are very friendly and well-intentioned so I have no problem with them at all. Obviously if someone is a bit too pushy it can be irritating but thankfully that rarely happens. I think rock fans are very civilised.
B: I don't mind at all just as long as it doesn't distract from the band playing at the time, that would be just plain rude.


Q: Whilst the real rock'n'roll is not so popular as it used to be, does any of you like modern music? What do you think about this generation of rock? Which bands are able to "save" rock'n'roll in the future? Me myself, I don't trust young musicians. I still prefer the older ones because they have never disappointed me. I'm glad that the bands that exist for 20 years and more (like you guys) still perform and release records. Even if it's really hard to get to them. But I don't know why is it so hard to trust someone new. What is you opinion? Katarzyna, Poland
L: I think there are great young bands around but sometimes they don't get heard by as many people as they should. I know this to be true based on young bands I've worked with that don't ever get the opportunity they deserve. The problem is there are so many things standing between a new band and their potential audience and to circumnavigate all these things takes not only talent, but a bit of luck as well.
B: I have to agree with you, I think we all tend to fall back on the oldies to provide us with the music we really feel comfortable with, mainly due to familiarity. This is not to say that there is no new talent out there, it's just they have to prove themselves. Just as every successful band before them had to - Only time will tell.


Q: 2 Questions for you guys n 1 statement, q1..are there ever any plans to release long lost or rare stuff i.e. tracks that were released elsewhere but not England...q2 at the Notts gigs you give out live recorded cds to people who attend...but what happens to the guys who can't get there or can't get a ticket...what about selling them through the site !
Andy Scott of Sweet is a big fan of yours he's got most of your CDs....wat a statement. Steve, Nottingham
T: 1) Most of the rare stuff is actually owned by various different record labels...so the band have no control over whether these ever get re-released or not. 
2) The Xmas CD debate is an old one which has long since been solved. People that attend the show will get a CD of the highlights of the show. At a later date another CD will be released via this site for everyone to buy - this will include some of the same songs that were on the first CD, but some tracks will be replaced with different ones. Therefore, everyone that was at the show still gets some exclusive tracks, and everyone the wasn't there still gets to hear what a great night they missed! Check out the Live At Rock City 2004 CD in the
discography section for last years offerings.


Q: Hi Luke. I've been listening non-stop to the Six Shooter EP and have decided that `I'm a Lucky Man' is one of the finest songs you've ever written. Is there any chance of you guys playing it on the January tour? I'd love to hear it live. See you in Bristol, hopefully this time without getting the speeding ticket! Andy, Wiltshire
L: Whenever we tour we try to make it special and good value for the audience but it is impossible to play everybody's favourite tune. All I can say for sure is you'll have to wait and see........


Q: Dear Gents, I'm a 39-y.-o.belgian with an addiction of 30 years to rock and hard-rock. I'd like to tell you my grateful for keeping on breaking the waves while trends leave few chances for those playing their own -not 100% business driven-music. Sometimes I wonder why you wrote more less "socially-engaged" songs on your last CD's. Positivism, hazard, age-related, another reason ? My wife and me let us try to attend each one of your gigs in our home-town area: beside the compositions, we really appreciate the modesty of your thanks as the audience congratulates your shows (I hope to see you in  my back-yards, at the SPIRIT OF 66 on 6th of Dec). My brother-in-law will also be there: he moderately appreciated Ben's and Dave's kisses to his wife on Dave's birthday gig in Holland lest spring. Not that he was so jealous (even if his family is from Sicily) but because she refused to soap her face for a week! Even if I'd personally prefer more songs (OK, can't play them all) and less "animation" during gigs, I have to recognise that Your way to warm-up an audience works like no other! Your opening at the ARROW-festival last summer contributed to strengthen our well-shared conviction that THUNDER is one of the best bands ever seen on stage. Keep on warming our hearts! M.B., Belgium
L: The subject matter of the songs isn't ever pre-meditated. The lyrics evolve from whatever nonsense is flying round in my head on any particular day. I do sometimes think around certain ideas for a while but like pretty much everything else in this band, spontaneity counts for a lot. Glad you like the gigs and see you next month.


Q: Hi, I'm already looking forward to your show in Bonn in December. I am wondering if there will be a Meet & Greet afterwards and how I can get there. I would also like to know if there is a chance to buy the Six Shooter EP at the show. Peter, Germany
T: Yes, Six Shooter will be available at the shows. Keep checking the news page - meet and greet details are set to be announced this week...


Q: Hi Harry, I have been playing the drums for 15 years now but have not masterd how to play the cowbell and hi hat at the sametime also wot is ur feelings on electronic kits I tried sum out the other day I was amazed but I could never play one live you can't beat the sound and feel of an acoustic kit. Mark, Bedford
H: Mark-To be honest me neither! Electronic kits are ok if you're practicing and you have other people to consider but acoustic kits win the day for me too.


Q: Hello, one of my wisdom teeth is erupting at the ripe old age of 48. My question is do any of you have any wisdom teeth? Susie, Sussex
H: Last time I looked I had none. No fillings either! Sorry-didn't mean to come across as smug.
L: Yes thanks but I haven't had any trouble with them so far (touch wood).
D: I had a couple removed when I was 13. I was put to sleep with an injection. It's another one of my childhood pain and suffering stories I'm afraid...When I came round in the dentist's after the extractions, they asked if I was OK to stand up. I said I was (I wasn't), so they stood me up against a wall while they put stuff away, and I promptly fell through the glass table next to me...First thing I knew about it I was walking along the road with my Mum, half way home and mumbling incoherently. It took me 20 minutes to realise my mouth was stuffed full of cotton wool. One of my least satisfactory days at the dentist..
B: I am going to avoid all the obvious jokes but I do have one wisdom tooth left, the others were extracted by an overzealous dentist. Still the morphine was fun.
C: I don't even have any wisdom.


Q: Had a surprise viewing of you guys whilst lying in bed last night!! The programme Passport to Passion happened to follow whatever else I'd been watching when I heard someone say 'Thunder' so my ears pricked up & I sat up & watched. I knew that you had a keen Japanese following, but had no idea it was that intense. When the article began, you were announced as 'ageing rockers'. Do you feel that you have aged, or that you are still as young spirited as when Thunder began? Leanne, Derby
H: On the outside yes. A few more lines...loss of hair!!! It's inevitable isn't it but on the inside I still have a similar enthusiasm and spirit as I had when the band first started. Just armed with a little more wisdom and experience.
L: The fact is we're all ageing no matter how old we are. I certainly don't know anyone that's getting younger! I don't think you can play the way we do without keeping in touch with the teenager inside.
B: Fortunately we are all aging at the same rate including the ageing narrator of that show.
C: I certainly don't feel 9 years older than when I joined the band, but the mirror tells me otherwise. And let's face it - compared to kids who are just starting out on their musical careers, we are ageing, but that's not necessarily a negative thing because age certainly brings wisdom, and you really need your head screwed on to achieve longevity in this business.


Q: Hi I go to our local spiritualist church, I believe in life after death, spirits etc. What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you believe in life after death? Also I am so pleased you are in Nottingham this year. Do you have any idea on ticket prices? I plan to bring my sister to the gig as she is a Thunder virgin! Look forward to seeing you guys in December. Donna, Nottingham
H: I believe in something after death. Not sure what..... but if believing brings comfort to people, that's fine by me.
L: I believe that we live on in the memories of everyone that knew us but above and beyond that I'm not sure....
D: I believe in the spirit being present after physical death, whether or not it's true I know not, but it suits me to believe, as I find it very comforting. Full Xmas show details are coming any moment...
B: I'm not sure that I believe in life before death.
C: I can't say I firmly believe in life after death, but it would be such a shame if everything stopped when we finally shuffle off this mortal coil, wouldn't it? It would all seem like such a waste of time!


Q: Hi, A question which intended solely for Harry, but which can be adapted to cover all of you - Harry:-when you joined Magnum did you simply get offered the job based on them knowing your playing, or did you have to audition, and if so do you know who you beat to the position? To you alD:-either before Thunder formed, or during your hiatus before getting back together, did any of you audition for (or get asked to join) any other bands, and if so who? (I won't ask about any bands you may have tried out for whilst actually IN Thunder in case it leads to fisticuffs!!) I know you may not want to embarrass anyone currently in a band when you may have got offered their role without them knowing, but go on, you can tell me, they won't find out!! Chris, Kent
H: Chris-I was offered the position at the time thankfully because of my playing and not my good looks.
D: I've always been up for doing other stuff, and never made a secret of the fact. I've been offered a few things over the years, before Thunder formed, after we split up in 2000, and even since we got back together, but in truth none of them blew my hair back (perhaps it's because it's so short). I'd rather not go into detail as to what they were, it would serve no useful purpose for anyone and some may get upset, but let's just say I've got to get excited about the songs to be able to do my thing. Who knows, something juicy may come along one day... I'm waiting...
B: I was asked to audition for Depeche Mode when Vince Clarke left the band, but I didn't like the haircuts so I turned it down - ooops!


Q: Who did you have a schoolboy crush on at 15 ??? Sasha & Kim
H:
Just about any fabulous looking woman on the TV at the time!!!
L: Farrah Fawcett Majors, Caroline Monroe (a model who featured in the 70's billboard ads for Lamb's Navy Rum. She's also in the Adam Ant video for 'Goody Two Shoes') and one of the first page three girls Jilly Johnson.
B: Her name was Julia Brett and she was a babe. For those who have never had a schoolboy crush; take two medium sized schoolboys, fresh fruit, plenty of ice and a blender...


Q: I came across and have just given a listen to an interview on Spaze, featuring Mario Goosen of Winterville et al. I didn't understand a word of it because he was speaking Belgium-eze. I admit to giving it more than one play tho! It was not to attempt to decipher any of it as I knew deep in my heart that there wasn't a prayer of that happening from round one! I merely and rather enjoyed the lilt and expression in his voice. :-)
Working recently with three darling young men from Bulgaria, I have learned a phrase or two that might come in handy if I were to ever find my way there. "I Love You" is one of the phrases they felt compelled to teach me.
The other is quite rude, so I shan't continue with this story....
Anyway! I've been thinking how nice it would be to know more than one language fluently. Living where I do, I don't see an opportunity to use another language much tho, which might make it difficult to maintain the skill. As you all know, I have difficulty, but ONLY occasionally, with the language that I should know!
So, my question is twofolD:
Are any of you cunning linguists in a language other than that of the Queen, which would provide you the means of "getting by" up whatever creek that you might find yourself without your trusted paddle? (¿Dónde está el cuarto de baño y puede yo por favor tener otra cerveza sobre mi vuelta? is NOT getting by, BTW!)
And...
What language, when spoken or sang, do you personally find has a soothing appeal that you never tire of listening to even if you haven't a clue wot is being said? Dana, The land of crickets and multiple wives
H: Dana-I remember a goodly amount of what I was taught in my French lessons and could get by if roaming the streets of Paris. I find Italian, Spanish and Cockney to have the most soothing appeal when sang or spoken!
L: I studied French and German at school and I do remember a reasonable amount of German. I like to think I could get by if it ever became necessary. The problem is that every other country in the world (or so it seems) speaks English and that has made us lazy. I think Spanish sounds fantastic when sung or spoken and I know it's a cliché but French is definitely the most seductive sounding of all languages in my opinion.
B: I'm afraid I know a little bit of several languages, just enough to get me into trouble but never enough to get me out, oh that and how to order breakfast. As an American have you ever thought of English as your second language, it's very useful and not that difficult to learn - honest. Did you wash your hands?


Q: Hi Guys: Can't wait to see your xmas show!! Anyway, I once saw a Fleetwood Mac documentary where Mick Fleetwood said he always loved checking into a hotel when on tour and getting the little soap bars found in the bathroom! What I would like to ask is what do you love/hate about staying in hotels and how do you cope being away from
your families so much? By the way if you need somewhere to stay while you are in
Birmingham in January...! Reita, Birmingham
H: I love staying in hotels. It can be like moving from one home to another but it's normally always clean and tidy. And there's a bar downstairs! As far as family are concerned, I do miss them BUT.......absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that and everyfing.
L: I love the fact that I can make as much mess as I want and I don't have to clean it up! That and the interesting array of por.....sorry, movies.......
B: I love - Breakfast served until 11am, good showers, big beds with fluffy pillows, lost bar bills when I check out, staff that are willing, management that don't fire them if they were willing. I hate - everything else. "... away from my family"? - But Thunder are my family.


Q: Hi guys! I just recently heard about you (a friend of mine played one of your albums on a party last summer) and I can't stop listening to your great albums. I was wondering like the rest of your devoted fans (but not all of them are 20 yrs old, blond and swedish as I am -laugh-) are you thinking of playing in my country some day (Sweden that is) Two tumbs up for the greatest band ever!  Frida, Sweden
D: We've always loved playing in Sweden and would like to return, but as with all things we need a promoter to offer us shows to make it happen. Our agent is always on the hunt for shows for us so hopefully it will happen sooner or later.


Q: Something About You is one of my favorite Thunder songs, was it based on a real guy called Johnny? Lee Friend, London
L: No. It's actually about Mikael and him deciding to leave the band. Damn it; I've given his identity away now..........


Q: Hi, not really a question; just thought I'd let you know that spotted a Thunder T-shirt on prime time TV yesterday!! 'What Not To Wear' on BBC1 was just finishing and they showed a clip from next week's show which will feature Trinny and Susannah showing middle aged men 'what not to wear', and one of the men they were interviewing was
wearing a Thunder T-Shirt!! (Well, he obviously won't get chosen to get through on the show, as he obviously knows what to wear!!) But, there you go, some publicity... well, it's probably not the best programme for someone to be wearing a Thunder T-Shirt, but all publicity is good publicity right? You might wanna check out next week's show so you can see the T-Shirt in all its glory!!! Maria, Hertford
D: I heard about it. I think it will probably be fun to watch, but you can bet your sweet doo dab those vile witches will rip the poor sod to pieces for wearing that shirt (which I understand is approximately 14 years old). As you say all publicity is good, but I feel very sorry for the guy already. Having said that they may transform him into a love god, in which case he may well need a brand new modern Thunder Tee shirt to go with his new look. We shall see...


Q: Listening to FITS on Six Shooter, I recognised the tune that you and Ben went into, but couldn't for the life of me place it. But I knew it had something to do with jewellery boxes. I did a bit of hunting around and satisfied myself that it was 'Where do I begin? (Theme from Love Story)'. I know this has some connection to 'The God, The Bad and The Ugly' so on this occasion it was apt, but how do you two normally come up with these tangents? Is it just playing around or is it all in the masterplan? Nicola, Kent
L: Many years ago Benny played in a band called White Noise and they had a song which I think was called 'Burning'. It had a similar chord progression to FITS so Benny suggested the 'Love Story' thing and it worked. Sometimes things occur naturally but on this occasion it didn't!


Q: Being a artist & a fan of hard rock owning 3,000 odd Cd's by various artists. I find it sad that Mp3 will in the end kill Album art, to me Album covers are a genre of Art which is very interesting & says a lot about its products. It would be sad to see it go. What do you think? Mart, Essex
L: I must admit that I do still get misty eyed when I think about album sleeves when they were 12" square. It undoubtedly gave the sleeve designer a lot more freedom to express him/herself. I do feel lucky that we've worked with one of the greatest there is in Storm Thorgesen. I don't think mp3 will necessarily destroy album art. I think we live in an audio visual age and creativity will always find a way to put pictures to music whether it's CD, mp3 or DVD. It's then just a question of how it gets to us. There's also the endless inter-active possibilities that technology allows us nowadays.
B: I think the demise of album artwork started with the advent of CD's. We went from a very acceptable 12" canvas to a less acceptable 4" canvas. I remember when Laughing On Judgement Day came out and I saw how marvellous the vinyl version looked because it was nine times the area. The Mp3 format could be the saviour though because you can offer people downloadable artwork of any size you like, it can even be animated or personalised - the world is your oyster. Of course this raises the question "is it album artwork" as you no longer have the restraints of a fixed size; I, of course, leave this to you to debate further...
D: I agree that artwork for LPs is an important part of what defines a band, but I don't think digital music distribution will destroy it. There's always going to be demand from music buyers to be able to read lyrics and song information, so if the music carrier (CD or vinyl) changes, there's no reason why the artwork and information carrier (vinyl sleeve, cd booklet) shouldn't evolve too. I suspect the way things are going, the E-book (electronic booklet) will eventually become the norm, so you'll be able to view all the info while you play the music on your music player or computer.



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