Colour Code: DANNY, LUKE, BEN, HARRY, CHRIS, THINNY
Q: In your un-biased opinion as main songwriter, is 'Giving the game away' worth buying? It's the only Thunder album I haven't got. I'm sure your bank account won't influence you. Just bought Laughing on Judgement day on CD. Danny really pushes his voice on one part of 'Does it feel like love'. A new limit!! Does he do it live? Dave, Newcastle
L: Hard as it is for me to be unbiased I would say that it's one of my favourite Thunder albums and there's a couple of songs on it that I'm very proud of in 'Numb' and 'Suicide'. It may sound arrogant and it probably is but I don't think we make bad albums; some may not meet with everyone's approval but that's life. Take a listen to the live album and I believe you'll see that Danny does indeed 'do it' live.
Q: I saw you at Sheppard's Bush Empire on the Thrill or Doors tour, but I remember seeing out side a BBC outside broadcast truck and you said during the show you were recording.....well, what happened to the recording. Will we see it on DVD ever. and I know this is a repeat q but when are we getting a decent 2 disc dvd live.? lets face it you are the main event when it comes to live entertainment, so give us what we want....DVDs live. Simon, Little Hampton
T: The gig at the Empire was from the Behind Closed Doors tour, and it was indeed recorded by the BBC. Several tracks from the show did air on Radio One's Rock Show in 1995, but other than that the material has never been used. Video footage from the same gig was used in the promo video for the 'Stand Up' single. It's unlikely that the show will ever be released in any shape or form as the recording is owned by the BBC, not the band. The content of the forthcoming DVD is still being put together - once the band are ready we will announce the details of what it will include on the website.
Q: Harry, Can you settle a bet with me and a mate? Did you play at the Queens gig last year? I say you did. Also, are you still assisting on the drums with Magnum? Also, what's your view on Palace for next season? G. Hayward
H: No it wasn't me-It was Phil Collins-Although I had to look twice to see if it was me playing! I can see a resemblance there. What a great looking guy he is !!! Yes I will be playing with Magnum. Check out the website for the news. There's an album and tour planned for next year. As for Palace - I think/hope we have a good chance of doing well next season. We have the players so it depends on whether Mr Kember can make them play as a team.
Q: Harry, excellant new album, do you still have time to drum with Bad Influence?? Chris, Chesham
H: Yes Chris - I will be back drumming with them in September. Check out the website for details.
Q: Thanks for a superb album and tour guys - roll on November! I've got a couple of questions for Harry; You've done a bit of song writing with Thunder - was that lyrics or melody, and would you like to do more song writing, either within the framework of the band or as solo/other ventures? Also, there's a phrase you use a lot in your playing, an example is at the start of 'She's So Fine', after Luke's opening riff, sort of a punctuated roll after the big guitar chords, using, and I'm guessing here, toms and bass drum - do you know what the hell I'm going on about and if so, how is it done and what is it called? Sorry to be so bloody vague!! All the best. John
H: Mainly melodies, riffs and a few drum patterns thrown in there - I'm always working on new ideas and if they are good enough, they will finally evolve as a song-normally with Luke's help. No plans to release the Harry James solo album but who knows! Now that would be fun ????? No idea what your talking about regarding the drums in "She's So Fine" but on the November tour, please feel free to bug me about it and I'll demonstrate whatever it is you have on your mind. Cheers John.
Q: Harry, As a fellow tub thumper, (self taught though) how do you go about structuring a drum solo, do you just start mucking about and see what happens? I have been playing on and off for about 12 years and have never really known where to start in achieving a good solo. I have read articles and had debate that some folks find these old hat and dated, but when I saw Whitesnake recently the drum solo was about 10 minutes long and halfway through discarded the sticks and played with his hands, amazing! Thanks for all the inspiration you have given me as a drummer and keep on keeping on my friend! Dom, Southend on Sea
H: Exactly right Dom. I just muck about and see what happens, but I have to say, I'm not really one for the drum solos. Not a big fan!
Q: Saw you at Manchester Academy (19/5/03). Superb gig and the band was as tight as a knat's chuff but, we had the pleasure of meeting you all afterwards (all very pleasant chaps!) and I noticed that you write with your left hand but play drums and guitar 'right-handed'. I'm not going to lose sleep over it but why is this? Any reason? Ta! Paul Ryan, Warrington
H: Thanks Paul. I never write with my left hand unless my right one is holding a drink??? Are you sure??? Had you had a drink???
Q: Hi Guys. Congratulations on the the comeback and the recent success. I first got in to the band back in 89 and saw you at Donington 90 and 92 plus several other concerts in between and after. My question is that around the same time that I was getting in to Thunder I was also a big fan of Little Angels who sadly split up a few years later. I wanted to know your opinion on the band as they were not unlike you musically and if you ever did anything socially with them either then or now or indeed if you got on with them at all? I was at one concert where you played on the same bill which was supporting ZZ TOP at Milton Keynes in 91ish so I assume you must have met them all at least once. Phil Stark
H: I thought they were a pretty good band, but I always felt that there was something missing. And to this day, I don't know what it was! Yes, we got on - had a pint or two with the boys on a few occasions.
L: I thought they were nearly a very good band. They played very well and certainly both of their drummers went on to do good things. I couldn't put my finger on why they didn't float my boat but it's only my opinion. They all seemed like nice geezers though.
Q: Hello Boys...Your professional lives seem so loud, so I imagine peace and quiet can be very restful sometimes. Is it easy to find silence, or do you always have some noise or other flitting about? Have you tried the isolation tanks where you just float around? I guess I'm asking are you restless peeps, always humming; strumming or drumming, even perhaps when you're unaware of it? Nicola, Kent
H: There's always noise around me. If there isn't, I create it. There's always a TV on, computer spewing out weird sounds, radio on or a CD in the player.
B: I am always tapping my foot or drumming my fingers, it used to drive my mother mad and even got me thrown out of a chemistry lesson at school. I don't like the sound of the isolation tank didn't they used to call them "solitary confinement"
C: When I'm at home, and not working on anything, I never have the TV or radio on - as you say, silence is very restful.
L: I'm actually addicted to having some sound or noise going on. Whenever I can't sleep I put the TV on and it always does the trick. Silence is a very difficult thing to find when you live in Central London.
Q: Guys. I've seen a previous question where someone asked who you prefer - Iron maiden v Def Leppard etc. I read in Thinny's diary entry that you used "Thunderstruck" as the PA intro. Just wondered who you prefer - Bon Scott or Brian Johnson. I think that to sing stuff like that, Bon is top's - great voice, and sly sounding too!! What do you think? Kieran
H: Definitely Bon Scott!
L: I think they're both good for AC/DC as you can tell because their best two albums are 'Highway To Hell' and 'Back In Black'. I rest my case Mi'lud!
D: Bon would be my choice every day of the week, but the material was written very much around his voice, as the later stuff was written around Brian's. Hard to compare the music and the effect, but I saw them with Bon and they were fantastic.
B: It's not really a fair question to ask, Brian Johnson had an enormous task to fulfill by stepping into Bon Scotts shoes, not one any singer would envy. Not only did he do the job well - the band then went on to make one of their finest albums (Back In Black). I suppose as I grew up listening to Bon Scott I am slightly biased but this doesn't detract from what Brian has added to the band now. Gotta go now as I appear to have a fence post up my backside.
Q: I am glad to see that you guys are still around. Being in the States, the last big album that was pushed here was "Laughing on Judgment Day." After that, I thought that the band had parted ways. A friend of mine went on a trip and came back with "Shooting at the Sun", and let me tell you that the music scene here in LA being mostly rap and rock, I am glad that Thunder is still putting out great music. I am still in the process of getting all of the other albums you have put out. I’ve even got my wife, who is not really a rock fan, listening. (she even started singing along to “Today the World Stopped Turning” on the way to Vegas!) My question is for the band in general. After putting out so many great albums, which one was the most fun, and which are you the most proud of? Please continue to put out the great music that you make! Jeremy Jones
H: I would say that all of them were fun to make in different ways and I'm proud of them all!
B: Making an album is always good fun and each one has it's own highlights, BS was a party from beginning to end. LOJD was done in exceptionally grand surroundings, BCD was an adventure in the US, TTOIA was done in a studio owned by a madman, GTGA revived my interest in red wine and SATS was ours, all ours!
L: Nice to know that there are some people listening over the pond! There's things about all of our albums that I like and a few bits I don't like, all of which are catalogued elsewhere in the Q+A section. Spread the word in the USA!!!!!
Q: With the youth of today forever bored if they cannot get onto a computer, what were your favourite/memorable childhood pastimes? (Danny, Please note that this DOES NOT include spending time at the nearest A&E !! )..... Paul, Charlton
H: As a youth I spent a lot of time in the local park-playing football (jumpers for goalposts!), riding my Chopper (erm... that's a bike!), climbing trees and scrumping! Then at home there was the obvious music interest- I used to practise on the drums for hours and hours-next door neighbour soon had a nervous breakdown! Sorry about that.
B: Ahhh, pass me my rose tinted spectacles, my pipe and slippers and let me tell you about Worthers originals and how Mars bars used to be the size of Bournemouth. I used to ride my bike for miles when I was a kid, that is until I discovered the petrol engine. I also used to read voraciously as a nipper something that I still do now.
D: For me it was climbing trees and being out on my bike. As a kid I was never in unless I had to be, regardless of the weather. After an unfortunate and emotionally scarring incident aged 8, with a pensioner and a set of electric hair clippers, I always had an aversion to having my hair cut, and would run away at the mention of the words hair and or cut. I would return at bed time.
C: I spent most of my childhood playing outside - I lived in the country, so there was never any shortage of trees to climb or dens to build.
L: Predictably listening to music, football, ornithology (seriously!) and as a teenager playing my guitar was my single biggest pastime next to chasing girls.........some people never change really!
Q: Hello gents...What was the first thing you treated yourself to, when you received your first cheque from a record deal ? Paul, Charlton
H: A pint!
B: I'm still waiting for it.
C: I've never actually had a cheque from a record deal....
D: God, I really can't remember. Knowing me it was probably either a new hi fi or a power tool of sorts. Can't honestly say my little grey cells work that far back... Actually when we did the deal with EMI, the first thing we did was go on holiday. We sent them a postcard, it simply said "thanks for the dosh, what album?"
Q: I always hate this question at interviews, so I thought I would ask you guys. "Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?" Mazdaz, Slough
H: Ask me in 5! No idea but I'll hopefully still be playing drums and wearing silly wigs! Who knows what the future will bring.
B: It's a question we've been asked many times and I've yet to predict the outcome correctly yet, I'd like to have a lower golf handicap though.
C: In ten years time I'll probably be doing pretty much what I'm doing now - perhaps a bit slower...
D: I'd like to be healthy wealthy and wise, and living somewhere nice in the sun, but a sad lack of the pre-requisite crystal ball means I'll have to wait to see if I'm right.
L: I really and genuinely have no idea......sorry. All I've learnt is that the more I see, the less I know.
Q: As you don't seem to plan to come back at the Biebob (Belgium) in a near future, I had to buy some tickets for the UK tour in November ! :-) But the problem was to convince my girlfriend. So, I've promised to stay in London for the whole week-end. Now, the question : What is your favourite place in London that we could visit during the week-end? Olivier Monnard, Belgium
H: Ben's house - You get a lovely cuppa and the cuisine is most delightful. Check out the gardens there - the views are spectacular!
B: I've always liked Harry's house, a decent cup of tea at a reasonable price and the art gallery puts the Tate Modern to shame!
L: I would recommend Greenwich as it has Greenwich Park (great view of London), the Maritime Museum and Royal Naval College (both designed beautifully by Christopher Wren) and there's lots of nice pubs overlooking the Thames!
D: Here is your itinerary for the day and night you'll not be attending a Thunder show. Visit all the museums, then art galleries, then a football match, then an Italian meal, back to hotel for freshen up followed by drinks in the bar and bed. The rest is up to you.
Q: Before I get too far...THANK YOU, in advance, for putting up with this lengthy query! (Jules...shut up, please! LOL!) Most of us are aware that Luke and Danny met at a rather tender age at school (I love the hair story! During registration, was it?) My questions posed now are as follows...
To Luke, Danny, Ben, Harry and Chris:
1. At what age did you first begin tinkering around with your musical instrument of choice (And, for clarification purposes, I am referring to your voice box, Danny! :-) )
H: Think I was about 8 when I found out I had some rhythm in me.
B: I started tinkering with my organ ... nah sorry that's cheap. I got my first guitar when I was around eight years old and my parents always had a piano in the house (my mother's an accomplished pianist in actual fact).
D: My love of music began around the age of 13 when I went to stay with my Aunt while my younger Brother was sick. She had a huge and varied stack of 45s (for the younger readers, these were 7" vinyl singles), I played them all day every day. From that moment my life changed and records were purchased with every penny. I began singing in the bath around the same time, but never sang out loud until my audition for Luke's band at age 15. This audition is covered in depth elsewhere in these pages.
L: I was 10 or 11 when I first picked up a guitar.
C: I started playing 6 string guitar when I was about 12, bass when I was 15
2. Approximately how old were you when you sat down and wrote your first song? And, were there any preludes to it - such as words-but not music, or music-but not words?
L: I can still remember the first proper song I wrote. It was called 'Man In The Sky' and musically it was a complete rip off of 'Your Time Is Gonna Come' by Led Zeppelin.
To Luke and Danny:
3. After that initial school chum encounter, when did you first become aware that the other was musically inclined in the manner that you are, and that you had something worth pursuing when you intertwined your talents?
D: From the beginning Luke and I seemed to agree about pretty much everything music wise. He was fairly dominant on material as he had to learn the chords. I only had to learn how they went. Once he started writing tunes I was always in awe of the fact that they came from within him. He will be the first to admit some of his earliest offerings were shall we say.. Crap! Mind you I've got the tapes and we didn't play the songs that well either.. Let's say we were slow learners. There's hope for all.
L: Before we were in a band together we hung out with the same gang of friends and music was always very important to all of us but I had no idea that Danny could sing until he convinced me to give him an 'audition'. Luckily he could sing and to this day I guess we've never had to think about our relationship too much and that's why it's endured.
4. I think this might have been asked before, and if so - my apologies, but it's sort of popped in me head and seems relevant to my line of questioning...Do you know how to play any instruments in addition to those glorious pipes?
D: I'm pretty much musically inept. I can play 3 chords badly on both piano and guitar, the problem is I can't tell which is which so I try to strum the piano... Bottom line, as a guitarist I would starve.
Finally, (as you all wipe your brows - sorry about that!)
To Ben, Harry and Chris:
5. How did you come to be acquainted with everyone else and subsequently become an integral, yet individual, lightning strike in the Thunder mix of things? And...approximately what year did each case of this serendipity occur? Dana, Utah
H: I got to know Luke and Danny in the Moon Tier days. Tony Myers (guitarist) was an old acquaintance of theirs. I joined Luke and Danny in 1981 - That was Nuthin' Fancy that evolved into Terraplane then came Thunder. Known Ben for a number of years from local gigs we did with Nuthin' Fancy and Chris I'd played with a few years earlier. When it came to the auditions for bass players we were looking for candidates for the job-A mutual friend recommended him and the rest, as they say, is history!
B: I had know the boys ever since I was at school and we appeared in the same talent contest in different bands, they also asked me to engineer a few of Terraplane's demos .. come to think of it I've never been paid for that.
C: We had a number of mutual acquaintances in the music business, and I joined in November 1996.
D: Ben played in the band we stole Nick from when we formed Terraplane, so we knew him a long time before he joined the band. Chris was known to us when he played with Andy Taylor and Mark Shaw. He actually auditioned for us once before, but we gave the gig to another geezer who actually never got to play with us. Chris got the call and like a fool he came back for more. Just shows what we know doesn't it, he's far and away the best bass player I've met.
Q: Hi chaps. What do you think of vinyl? I know one of you (Luke?) said he loved the crackles but what about the etching and stuff that you used to be able to get? I always swore that CD would never replace it but I do admit that CDs are so much easier, but they aren't nearly as interesting. This is prompted by the retrieving of a stash of my vinyl from the oldies and a little reminiscence to my November Rain etched disc....... Izzy Jo, Bedford
H: The big thing I miss about vinyl is the album sleeves - But you're righT: CDs are easier but not as interesting.
B: I think the only downside with CDs is that the artwork is so much smaller, this limits what you can do conceptually. "Dark Side Of The Moon" looks fine as a CD but "Houses Of The Holy" should be renamed "Bungalows of the Tiny". I always said twelve inches is a good size.
L: I do miss the physical size of the artwork on sleeves. CD's are as you say more convenient and durable but I'll always have a soft spot for vinyl.
C: There was definitely something about vinyl that CDs don't have - you had to treat them with care, there was so much more artwork and packaging involved, you felt like you had something more for your money, and it was a great feeling getting a new album out of it's little white paper cover for the first time! The whole 'vinyl experience' was much more organic.
D: I love vinyl. The scratches, the sheer size of it, the feel (hang on I'm getting a bit gooey), the etching round the outside of the label, and the most important thing, the sound of it. I agree it's nowhere near as convenient, but I wish it would come back. I play my old vinyl LPs every now and again and they transport me right back to my youth (sigh).
Q: What would be the first thing you would save if your house was on fire (family and pets not included)? Mark, Swindon
H: The phone......so I could dial 999..........My computer, drum kit and car keys I think!
B: My unused smoke detection system and fire extinguishers.
D: The Photo albums, then the computers, then the golf clubs, then the car keys.
Q: First of all happy birthday to Ben, maybe you should celebrate tonight with a drink for each year you have accumulated. Have been watching MTV cribs and just wondered who out of all of you has the best house and what's your favourite item in it? keep up the good work. Stu Smith, Halesowen
H: Ben has the best house and when I'm there, I'm the best thing in it! Seriously though....everyone has the best house! The best house for them!
L: Our houses are all different so who has the best house is irrelevant....we all have the best house for ourselves! My favourite item would have to be my studio as that's where it all happens...
B: I have the best house and I'm the best thing in it. But then again we're all going to give that answer aren't we.
Q: What would you say is the best part of your jobs? i.e., Recording, Live, Money?!?!, or the whole package? Kevin, Kent
H: Every part of the job is pretty happening really - My fav bits are live and studio.
B: They've all got there upsides and downsides. but I guess playing live is hard to beat.
C: The whole thing.
D: I have to say it's the whole thing really. I always feel very weird when I think that we take thin air and make something from it that gives people pleasure, and once made, the songs last forever.
L: I enjoy all of it really. Recording is great because you can see a song coming together slowly but surely and as a writer that's very satisfying. Playing in front of an audience is great for a different reason in that you get a reaction to what you're doing right there and then and that creates a different kind of buzz, probably due to the adrenalin involved.
Q: Hi guys. Is there any confectionary (sweet or sour) that you just couldn't live without. Mine would have to be a Kit Kat or cheesy Doritos crisps. Cake
H: This week I have been mainly eating....Haribo Tangfantastics Sour Mix - Can't live without 'em!
B: Never really had a sweet tooth but life without toast is unthinkable.
L: Can you have sour confectionary? Anyway I'm more of a savoury fan myself. I do have a weakness for salt + vinegar crisps but most of what I eat is boringly healthy.
C: My weakness at the moment is Walkers Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli crisps - I can only eat 3 or 4 packets of those at a time.
D: I'm not ever in desperate need for anything, except a nice cup of tea. I like sweet things and I love chocolate, but I can do without it no trouble. The cup of tea in the morning, however, is vital to my very existence, and I have to have it, I even take it on tour if necessary.
Q: After watching a very cringing interview on French TV with Jimmy Page - I suppose we all have to sell our souls at some point - there were a serious of 'Which do you prefer? questions. When asked the final question 'Which do you prefer your Wife or your Mistress? he replied 'My Guitar is my Mistress..' gave a wry smile got up and left. So which do you prefer.
Iron Maiden v Def Leppard
Dark side of the Moon v Wish You Were Here
Black Sabbath V Dio
Muse v Feeder
Placebo v Suede
Magnum v Solero.
H: Iron Maiden v Def Leppard
Dark side of the Moon v Wish You Were Here - Dark Side of The Moon
Black Sabbath v Dio - Black Sabbath
Muse v Feeder - Feeder
Placebo v Suede - Placebo
Magnum v Solero - Magnum-You're having a larf !!
D: Iron Maiden v Def Leppard - Not mad about either but if I had to choose I guess DL would shave it.
Dark side of the Moon v Wish You Were Here - Dark Side of The Moon, WYWH is great, but DSOTM is a classic.
Black Sabbath v Dio - Black Sabbath
Muse v Feeder - I like these equally, I'd choose both over any other band you'd mention.
Placebo v Suede - Hate them both.
Magnum v Solero - Don't know Solero, void contest.
C: Iron Maiden v Def Leppard - Def Leppard (don't like either of them very much)
Dark side of the Moon v Wish You Were Here - Dark Side Of The Moon (one of my favourite albums ever)
Black Sabbath v Dio - Black Sabbath
Muse v Feeder - What? Who? Sorry
Placebo v Suede - See previous answer
Magnum v Solero - I'd probably go for a plain old raspberry split....
B: Iron Maiden v Def Leppard - Either
Dark side of the Moon v Wish You Were Here - Dark Side Of The Moon
Black Sabbath v Dio - Black Sabbath
Muse v Feeder - Neither
Placebo v Suede - Suede
Magnum v Solero - Both
Q: Being the main song-writer, I want to ask you some advice. Ho do you come up with 'riffs from hell' like on 'Loser' and great melody ideas like on 'If I can't feel love'? I am a guitarist and constantly find myself ending up playing other people's stuff out of frustration with my own ability/originality. If you can't give me any advice, would you like to buy a Gibson Les Paul Studio (right handed, but I'd swap the strings round for you!) and a Marshal Valvestate 8080 Combo? Only joking about the last bit. I need some inspiration. Lessons don't work. Hope you can help. Dave, Newcastle
L: I'm afraid that the only advice I can give you is don't give up! The trick is not necessarily coming up with an idea but being able to spot the good ones. If I haven't written for a while it always takes me a few days to get into the right place mentally before I start coming up with anything good and that is terribly frustrating but you just have to push on through it. Paul McCartney said it all about songwriting; 'Writing songs is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration' so always keep that at the back of your mind and you'll be alright.
Q: I've been a fan since 1996 when I picked up "Backstreet Symphony" on a whim. Greatest thing I've done. I've spent hours tweaking my own percussive abilities to Thunder Tunes. Do you ever stop the United States on tour, if you had any backing in the states would you? As a DJ (selling the show right now, should have an offer by fall) I would shove Thunder Right down the throats of everyone out there. Vince Wylde, Lancaster, MA USA
L: As we've said elsewhere on the site we'd love to come and play in the States but we would need help in the shape of a label or some kind of support to be able do it. I hope you get your DJ spot sorted out and you do manage to play some Thunder tunes. Good luck!
Q: Which of your own songs is the hardest to pull off live or which do you dread playing the most? John Pullin
L: Some songs are impossible to play live due to the amount of musicians needed to reproduce them properly but I've always felt that the two mediums are different. You have to be a lot more precise with arrangements in the studio but live you can exaggerate all dynamics and create a sense of drama that adds a lot to the material. I wouldn't want us to attempt to play a song that didn't really work in a live sense.
Q: Have you had a chance to hear Jane's Addiction new single "Just Because" and have you noticed any similarities to Backstreet Symphony's bass line? Ken, Maryland, USA
L: Can't say I've heard it yet but I will check it out.
Q: Luke, I'm delighted to hear that you are a golfer and cricketer and as a mirror image to you believe that the stronger dominant hand should be the the top hand for both disciplines. It's the other people who are 'cack-handed'.
L: Certainly in golf the top hand should be dominant although I actually play both golf and cricket right-handed. Don't ask me why....
Who else graces the fairways from the band and what are their handicaps? Golf is a great parody for life. A great escape and lots of fun.
L: I'd say I'm currently playing off about 18, Danny and Ben would be around 22 and Harry and Chris 28!
Despite failing to ever get hold of Moving Target I must commend you on Terraplan's Black and White album. How on earth did your collaboration with Ruby Turner evolve? Danny and Ruby absolutely 'mullered' those notes!! Fantastic.
L: I can't remember to be honest but she is a great singer. She even sang on the first demo version of 'Dirty Love'. Not a lot of people know that.
It's refreshing to hear your comments and read your well balanced lyrics as a sensitive Londoner myself. Before I see you all at the Astoria, are you allowed to play songs from Moving Swiftly Along and El Gringo? Mr. Fiesal Bacchus, Teddington
L: We're allowed to play whatever we want but there's so much Thunder material to choose from and B&M is a seperate project as far as we're concerned.
Q: First of all, stonking album!!!! Welcome back!! On the 'Back for the crack' E.P. it says on the back that track 3 is not available anywhere else but the E.P. Wow, 'an exclusive rarity' I thought. Then I bought the album and it's on there!!! How come????? Change of heart? Well done at the Alice Cooper show at the telewest arena, Newcastle. You stole the show!!! Good to see you recording again. I hope you get the support you deserve from your record company and promoters!! The fans won't let you down. Danny, are you still accident prone? Dave, Newcastle
T: It's a misprint. The back of the sleeve is actually supposed to say that track 4 (When Tomorrow Comes) is not available anywhere else - which it isn't, so you do still have 'an exclusive rarity' on your hands.
Q: Hi Danny, just some trivial info for you...did you know you are on a list of famous people that have come from Brockley? You are on the list next to Lord Brockley and Kate Bush...fame or what? Check it out on www.brockley.com/famous.htm I'd never heard of Brockley before so you have put it on the map for me, anyway! Margie B., Wales
D: How interesting...I lived there for a few years, I tried to stay in the flat all the time, I wonder how they knew I was there? Note to self. Do not go out, ever.
Q: Its been a while so I thought I would drop you all a line. Firstly, I could swear that I saw Chris in Uxbridge just the other day,
but probably not, second, I have heard a rumour that Thunder are back in the studio again, is this true? and finally, for Ben and Luke, how do you rate Brian May as a guitarist. See you in November, and Danny! I will buy you that beer in November as well. Dale, Uxbridge
L: Thunder are definitely not currently in the studio. I don't envisage that happening until next year. Brian May is a fabulous musician and writer, a true individualist.
B: Thunder are not in the studio, that wasn't Chris and you can't argue with hair like that.
Q: Hi Benny!! Happy birthday to you!! I have a quite simple question for you how will you spend your birthday, just relax for a while or see some friends of you?? Or maybe you will go and drink with members of THUNDER to St.Moritz??? Wish I were there with you, would like to you say happy birthday to you and hope your year will be very enjoyable and comfortable one... Tak (the crazy woman) LOL, Tokyo
B: Thanks for pointing out that I'm even older now! I'll spend the day relaxing and drinking after all at my age what else can you do?
Q: Ben I see from a previous question that you would have Skynyrd & Purple on your festival line up. Did you go & see them last week? What did you think? I went to Glasgow, Purple were good but Skynyrd were excellent. Whats your opinion on the modern day sort of southern supergroup Skynyrd as opposed to the pre plane crash group.I think they both have their place and both make quality records although the modern day version leans slightly more towards a sort of AOR sound. Did any other members of the band go to the gigs? David Boyd, Kilmarnock
B: I'm afraid I wasn't able to see the show but I have it on good authority that it was a great bill. I think you have answered your own question in as much that both have their place. Of course we will never know what the pre plane crash line-up would have sounded like today so it's a fairly pointless exercise in comparing the two.
Q: Dear Benny, I think about in what may make this question you on on-line. However, This is an indispensable question in order to keep a promise with you in May, it dares ask a question for you. Please let me know your hips size (centimeter) or jeans size (inch). See you November! :-) and...Happy Birthday! Benny! Best of luck on your birthday and for the future. Yukiko, Japan
B: I'm a 30inch waist and 31 inch inside leg - I think. Thanks for the beautiful shirt Yukiko
Q: Luke/ Ben, I don't know whether you have heard but Gibson have developed a digital plug in so you can directly link up to a computer and add digital effects etc. What do you think of this idea? Will you upgrade one of your Gibsons with the new technology? It's an interesting idea.http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/1/hi/technology/2737331.stm James Vincent
B: As I'm sure you all know I love a bit of technology and embrace it in all it's forms but... I guitar with a ethernet connection? I can't see any advantage. After all the beauty of the instrument is that it's a guitar pure and simple - the rest is down to the player. I've heard Jeff Beck make a simple strat make more unusual sounds than any piece of software could. It's not for me (yet!)
L: Digital technology is the future whether we like it or not so we may as well embrace it or at least try it out! Those lovely people at Hughes And Kettner have developed a digital amp that sounds very interesting so I don't think it'll be too long before we're using it in some shape or form. I don't know if I'd modify any of my guitars though. I'd have to buy a new one I think!
Q: Two daft questions; who would win a ruck between all of you? (My money is on Danny as I think he might be a bit 'tasty') . And your favourite Viz characters please? Nick
B: I guess Harry after all he hit things for a living.
C: I think your money would be well spent - I would certainly be the first on the floor. Haven't read Viz for a while, but my favourite section is always The Profanosaurus.
D: We've never even come close to fisticuffs, we all get on very well indeed (it's true). No one would deny I am the most outwardly aggressive, but it's all front, I'm a pussycat really. As a kid I got into scrapes a-plenty, but you know as time passes etc etc. The rest are mostly non-confrontational, though Benny is guaranteed to shout if you try to get him to do anything before the crack of 3pm....
Q: I just want to say that I have been a Thunder fan since Backstreet Symphony was released under Geffen records here in the US. Sadly only the Symphony and Judgement Day were released here but I have been able to import the other albums over the years. I was very sad to see the band part ways after the last album but I am thrilled to see you guys storming back with the new "Shooting at the Sun" album. The album is amazing, but I am wondering, after "Giving the Game Away", what brought you guys back to the straight ahead rock of your earlier albums on "Shooting at the Sun?" I personally think it's the best album you guys have done. And with the pathetic music scene here in the US as of late, it's such a breath of fresh air to see something great again that I can pop in the CD player and listen to from beginning to end! Keep it up and I'll keep listening. I'll convert as many US listeners as I can. Take care! Corbie Dillard, Crane, TX USA
L: To be honest it was I think being away from Thunder for a while was good for all of us and for me as a writer it allowed me to pursue other musical styles with 'El Gringo' and 'Moving Swiftly Along'. I guess that after those two albums I felt refreshed and I was definitely looking forward to writing new Thunder material not having done it for a couple of years. A change is as good as a rest so they say.
Q: Hi guys. I've been a fan since buying BSS in 1990 (by the way, my first ever CD), and I'm chuffed to bits that you've returned with such a great new album. Anyway, my question is regarding the new 'Ballads' compilation. Why is the chronological order of the tracks not maintained for the album's entire length? Or put another way, why is the track from 'Shooting at the Sun' before the two from `Giving the Game Away'? Only a trivial point I know, but I just can't understand it, was it a mistake? Anthony, Coventry
L: To be honest I can't remember..........sorry to not be more helpful.
Q: So tell me, in the company of Ian Gillan, David Coverdale & Jon Bon Jovi (all of who I've seen over the past month or two) You were the best live vocalist, by a fair old stretch actually, any secrets to keeping your larynx (sp?) in trim? And give yourself a pat on the back! Richard A, Colchester
D: Thanks for the praise, much appreciated. I've never smoked, I drink in moderation when working (harder when day off next day), and I try to confine my shouting to the stage only and not in the after show or in the hotel bar. In addition I spend rather a lot of time in the steam room, or hotel shower, I find the moisture and gentle warming up exercises help reactivate the tired vocal chords. Adrenalin plays a big part in my show and over the years I've got better at controlling it, but it has been very hard. My problem essentially that I can sing twice as loud as is healthy for me, so if I get excited I do that thing and then it hurts next day. I know it'll happen while I'm doing it but if I'm "in the moment" and the show is great, I can't always stop it! As a kid I used to get so hyped up that I couldn't remember anything about the show afterwards, consequently I lost my voice rather a lot. Touring is therefore a bit of a psychological battle for me, and it gets harder with each record as the songs people want always seem to be the hardest ones to sing. One after another, night after night, it can be quite tough mentally as well as physically, but the payoff of the show is invariably worth all of the angst leading up to it.
Q: Oi Morley !! Whatever happened to that acoustic you used to play on "Low Life" that had your name in mother of pearl along the fret board ?? I think you had it custom made about 1992. I'll give you £50 for it, if you are not using it ......... :o)) Cleggy, Bucks
L: The guitar in question is currently residing in my studio but unfortunately in two pieces! This was due to my girlfriend tripping over it one drunken evening. I was obviously delighted and very understanding about the whole affair..............
Q: Guys, was starting to get used to my spanky new PC (oo-er) and set about putting every Thunder track I own onto my system so I can listen to Thunder whenever I like (yay!) and I noticed the composer details for "Ball & Chain" - according to Windows Media Player, it was composed by Ben Matthews, Daniel Don Bowes, Luke Morley and Tommy James & the Shondells??? First, has Danny ever knowingly called himself Don??? and who are Tommy James & the Shondells? Is it just mistaking 'Arry's name for something else? Not exactly important on the grand scheme of things, but it's bugging me now :) Tony C, Glasgow
L: I'm afraid I have absolutely no idea what Tommy James and the Shondells have got to do with it! If you look at the album booklet you'll see that the writing credit is Morley, Matthews, James & Bowes. 'Don' was Danny's nickname for a while but I can't remember why; probably something to do with Harry as most things are!
Q: Hi guys, thanks again for a great day at Brands Hatch! I'm still grinning! I just got my copy of the Ballads album and it's great! I was just wondering if any of the songs were re-recorded or remixed... somehow the songs sound "fresher" than they do on the other albums, but maybe I've played them so many times I've worn them out! :-) Ingrid, Hampton
L: The songs were re-mastered so they do sound slightly different. Well spotted!
Q: Question: Mr. Chris Childs, take a bow sir, you are a true star. I had the pleasure of attending the 10th Blues & Soul Charity gig at Great Gransden on Saturday night, and what a great gig it was too. I was wondering what your general opinions of the gig were as you onstage all night? Andy B, Cambridge
C: Glad to hear you were there and enjoyed the show. Personally, I had a great time - wonderful musicians to play with, fantastic audience, beautiful sunny evening, and we made shitloads of money for charity!
Q: Firstly just want to say, love the Ballads CD and also BCD, great album got both within the last 3 days and am spreading the word about the tour and Thunder to as many people I can:-) Anyways my question(s) is, do you have any plans to convert and then relase BACKSTREET SYMPHONY - THE VIDEOS (1990) onto DVD? Or even a DVD / video of all or as many Thunder videos you've done and can fit on? Also Luke, were you influenced by The Beatles on writing, Here in Your Arms? It sounds like a a very similar style to them. Antong
L: We were recently approached by EMI about a DVD release but as yet nothing is scheduled or decided content-wise. We will definitely be releasing a DVD later in the year but once again we haven't decided the content as yet. Good to hear you're spreading the word; keep up the good work! 'Here In Your Arms' does tip it's hat to The Beatles in terms of it's arrangement but I don't think that's any bad thing!
Q: Hi Thinny, Danny and the rest of the band, Firstly I wanted to know how much I admire your recent effort to raise money for clic. The amount you raised was fantastic, and shows the level of support the fans are prepared to give, for a very worthwhile cause. Well done to all involved. Which leads to me my idea/suggestion....How about selling/auctioning a small number (say 10 per venue) of passes for fans to see the sound check at each of Novembers gigs. Then donate the proceeds to a local charity, this could generate some funds for worth while causes, and provide you guys with some good publicity, which may not generate extra gig ticket sales, but would raise the profile of the band to a wider audience. What do you think? Magic Dave
D: This is a good idea, we'll look into it, though if this recent experience is anything to go by, we'll need a huge staff to deal with it (which we don't have), so it may not be practical at this time. Either way it's still a good idea. If not now then perhaps it may work in the future...
Q: I see that one of the auction pressies is an advance copy of a forthcoming DVD - can you let us in on exactly what this will contain (please tell me it's the WHOLE Marquee gig), and when we can get our mits on it? Chris Smith, Herne Bay
D: The final content of the DVD is still very much up in the air. We have loads of footage which we're gradually working through, once done we'll get it into the editing suite and see what comes. Sufficed to say we'll make it as comprehensive as we can. Sorry to be vague but until we're sure it's dangerous to speculate. We hope to have it ready for release by October.
Q: A question for Luke, Danny and Chris regarding the forthcoming Bowes & Morley album. I'm assuming that the main people who bought the first album were Thunder fans and that quite a few would have been disappointed that it wasn't just Thunder under a different name with regard to the musical style. (I could be wrong but that is the case with most of the people I know) My question is would you like to tour as a support band to a more mainstream pop act or any other band that are not considered rock as a means of promoting it and making it commercially viable. If so who do you think would be a suitable band? David Boyd, Kilmarnock
D: I guess you're probably right that some may have been disappointed by B&M's MSA not being a Stealth Thunder LP. Having said that we've had a lot of very positive feedback on the record, certainly enough to make us believe it's right to make B&M2. I've always felt Thunder fans knew what they liked about us, and we've been pretty open about our desire to try different things whilst maintaining a high level of quality control. This has meant some fans have inevitably been taken into some musical places they may not have previously thought of going to, but I like that. We know we can't please everyone with everything we do but provided we feel it stands up musically, we're happy. After that it's down to the fans to decide whether or not they're into it. If B&M were to get a shot at opening for a more mainstream act we'd take it of course, for all promotion is good and helps the cause for both B&M and Thunder. As to who that act might be, I have no clues right now, so your guess is not just as good but probably better than mine.
Q: Great to see Thunder back. Just wondering if you've got anything against Yorkshire as you are nowhere to be seen for the tour in November (and we were missed out during the recent tour)? Great memories of your performances at Bradford St George's and York Barbican. Not to mention Don Valley Stadium. Anything you can do to rectify this horrendous omission? Stu, York
D: There's no plot to exclude Yorkshire, it's all down to availability of venues. The band's agent was briefed as to time of year, and he approached the venues and promoters. The tour dates are the result. We always try to go to different places each time we play, but it's not always as easy as you might think. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Q: I saw you at Don Valley 1993 and haven't missed a tour since. Three questions please. 1. Luke, in my humble opinion you write the best songs of your "genre" does it frustrate you that you have not had the huge hit that you deserve and in hindsight would you have done anything differently?
L: Yes and no respectively!
2. Danny, you talked in an earlier reply about cover versions. I remember the Danny and the do wops tour and your voice so suited some of the old soul songs. I particularly remember the old Jackie Wilson song Sweetest Feeling - any chance? 3. Finally, I have a video of you performing the live piano version of Satellite from somewhere in Europe, where did it come from and what was the purpose of it's release. John, Durham
D: Glad you've enjoyed so many of the shows and a big thank you for the support. I love the Jackie Wilson song, not suitable for Thunder, perhaps not even B&M, but one day D&TDW will return (I know not when, but it's inevitable), and on that day I'm sure it will be there. Patience is a virtue. However I must point out that the singer in D&TDW is Danny Ocean, and not my good self. It's true we're the same height and build and have very similar sounding voices, but he is American with a moustache and I am English without. I hope that's cleared that up.
Q: I just found out that Luke, Danny and Ben had made an appearance in Germany on the 16th of June. I happened to be in Germany at that time but had no idea you'd be showing up there. After not being able to meet you after the Astoria gig, I would certainly have come to meet you at this jamming session. Was there an opportunity at the Hughes and Kettner show to meet you guys? I hope not. I would hate to think that I missed yet another chance of shaking hands and shooting a photo with you. Whereabouts is St. Wendel anyway and I was wondering via which airline do you guys fly abroad? I think you should have a Thunder jet liner but i'm a dreamer . . . A final question to Danny: you have mentioned previously that you were born in the Mediterranean. Were your parents sailing around or they were living in some Mediterranean country? (Why don't you publish your biography so we won't bother you with all these questions?) Bled, Albania
D: The Hughes & Kettner day was I believe an invite only event, though I think some tickets were given out by H&K. St Wendel is 90 minutes drive from Frankfurt though in which direction I know not. I was driven and wasn't paying attention I'm afraid. Like most we fly the airline that costs least when we pay, and usually the same rule applies when someone else pays. We do not have our own jet (ha ha, the very idea). I was born in West Ham in East London, which is quite a long way from the Mediterranean. Not sure where you got that idea, but it certainly wasn't from me. Urban Legend?
Q: Hi guys, well last night I went to an Alice Cooper gig in Wolverhampton. It was wicked but the thing that really made my night was seeing a Thunder poster outside for November. I couldn't stop smiling. Anyway, my question is: Danny, have you ever got really bored of singing one song? Samantha, Macclesfield
D: The answer is yes, I do get bored with some songs, but usually a little break makes it OK again. Strange thing is I start to miss them after a little while. Aaah. Bless 'em.
Q: As a HUGE fan of the boys since the very beginning I cannot express my orgasmic joy at seeing them on stage again for MOR and in Wolverhampton in May (roll on November is all I can say)! They're back & as utterly awesome as ever!!!! Now for my question - is thunder channel the 'fan club' still up & running? I lost touch with them when I changed address in the midst of the bands' breakup & have never really managed to sort this out. Since the new meet & greets rely on membership, how do I join again, or will (very) old cards suffice!?!?!? Loubi, Worcester
T: The Thunder Channel fan club is no more. Details of how to gain entry to the meet and greets in November will be posted on the site nearer the time...
Q: While searching for something entertaining to watch this evening, my gaze fell on my "An evening with Bon Jovi" vid and it struck me that this is just the sort of thing a lot of Thunder fans, myself included, would part with our hard-earned dosh to see - a video of an 'unplugged' event. We all loved the acoustic section of the Dingwalls gig, the unplugged promo events for past tours, and the daft banter that goes on between songs, so what better than an acoustic gig in an intimate setting, recorded for posterity? I reckon it could be a lot of fun for band and audience alike, especially if it included some of the less well-known but much-loved songs eg. Montana Mountain Woman (a stunning song) and Every Word's a Lie. Is it something you would ever consider doing, if the cost were not too prohibitive? You know us lot, always hungry for more, more, more video footage to keep us going between tours! Jules, Glos
D: This is yet another good idea, and without blowing our trumpet (parp) too much, we've already thought of it! This comes under the heading of "to be arranged at some stage", so well done and watch this space...
Q: Firstly, Congrats on the recent tour and the new album, thanks for 2 great nights in Wolverhampton (special thanks to Thinny for passes at Wolverhampton) and the Astoria. Now for my question - Have just read on a website for Pearl Drums that a certain Andy Treacey has played some gigs with Thunder. Is this true? Was it at a time when Harry was unavailable? Has Harry ever missed a gig? By the way, get well soon Harry. Don Airey told us you had a lucky escape when we were talking to him backstage at Deep Purple's NEC gig recently. Mark Besley, Somerset
D: Andy Treacey played drums on both the B&M UK shows last September 2002. A splendid fellow he is too, who stepped in at the last minute after our B&M regular (if 2 shows in Japan can be called regular) drummer Mario Goossens was called away on Hooverphonic business. Nice to see he enjoyed it enough to give us a mention. Nice man.
Q: Danny. If your solo venture had taken off with EMI (?), what would have been your choice of material? Paul, Charlton
D: My solo deal with EMI was a strange experience from start to finish, and though not written by Luke, the material was not unlike Bowes & Morley in style. Having said that none of it ever got finished and I'm content for it to stay that way. I did have some nice covers though, who knows they may end up on B&M2.
Q: Some years ago I met a very well known musician who had at the time just retired from the music business. I asked him what he hated most about the industry and his reply was the business aspect. He said that 80% of the time was spent dealing with business issues - i.e. dealing with lawyers/accountants etc. As he put it; "making sure that no-one is trying to shaft me". The remaining 20% of his time was actually being a musician. He felt it should have been the other way round. My questions are; you hear of these horror stories of bands being apparently "ripped off" by management, labels, accountants etc, but in your experience is the music industry really that cut-throat and ruthless, or is it simply a case of the musicians trying to blame someone else because they have taken their eye off the ball? In your case, how much time do you have to spend dealing with business issues in comparison to being an actual musician? Don G
D: I have always spent most of my time concentrating on the business and much less of my time doing musician type things. To be honest I believe you gravitate to the things you're most interested in. Don't get me wrong I love singing and making records and the whole shooting match, but I was always more interested in how it all worked. For the rest of the band I'd say it's the opposite. In my experience I am something of a rarity in that regard. There are times when I wish it were different but only very occasionally.
Q: How soon is 'soon' for the more dates to be announced for the November tour? Sorry but really can't wait after the last one!! Rae, Salford
D: It's all going on behind the scenes, not much longer now, honest....
Q: Luke, You are a great songwriter and musician, this we know, and we all know you play all the necessary instruments (with the exception of drums maybe?) to play all your compositions yourself, so is it frustrating trying to get the rest of the band to learn your songs, and not to cause any friction between the band, do you secretly think, "I can play that a lot better myself!" or am i just simply causing trouble, sorry! Rick, Manchester
L: You are talking about a very talented bunch of musicians and I'm delighted to have them playing/singing my songs. I did think I was a good bass player until Chris joined the band!
Q: Is it true that Harry and Chris will be back out on the road soon with Mr Bonnet and Mr Airey banging out those old Rainbow tunes again. According to JBs in Dudley they could be ?. If this is so are there any other dates? Andy, Bristol
C: The tour has yet to be confirmed - I'm sure you'll hear about it if it goes ahead.
Q: Hello, I have been following with much interest this Q&A page for some time and I often have to envy people who have written "thanks for the great show the other night" or "I am looking forward to seeing you" - I happen to live in Japan. I can't see you on stage or TV, and as far as I understood I am not even allowed to ask you when you are coming to Japan again. So instead I would just like to express my love and thanks to you. It's just the best way to relax when I put on my earphones in my bed and turn the CD player on after another hard day taking care of my three little kids. A pity that I can only learn the first couple of songs in every CD by heart, because after that I slip into a deep sleep (sorry! but even the strongest love cannot resist the exhaustion when you got a 3 year old boy and twin girls who just turned one - are any of you fathers?) Now by the way, my question is: Do you see your music and yourself "British" beside having a British accent? If you do, in which way? Eriko, Yokohama
L: I think our 'Britishness' does permeate our music and our personalities. The band's sense of humour is particularly British and we often fall back on that when things aren't going so well. I'm not a father and neither is Ben but Danny, Harry and Chris all have kids. Maybe you should try starting your CD's from track three!
Q: OK then!!! Luke comes up with a song and some lyrics, what happens then? does the band get together have a listen to Luke strumming away on his own and think Yeah!! that will work and beef it up between you? there's got to be a point where you all start to like a song and play together, How does the process work from pen to album track? Tony Bye, Plymouth
L: Basically I record a demo of the songs in my studio and send it out to the others. We then convene in a 'proper' studio to record the song properly although we do sometimes keep bits and pieces from the original demos.
Back To Main Q + A Page
Colour Code: DANNY, LUKE, BEN, HARRY, CHRIS, THINNY