Q & A Archive - September 2003

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


Q: Hi Guys, Just read the appeal about the tour and have purchased my Astoria ticket already, I will also be attending Portsmouth and I'll bring a couple of people along. My question is that though I know you don't decided set lists until a couple of weeks before the tour what would the chances be of a different or varied set list every night. I am not complaining (please don't tell me off Danny) as I know you guys have to pay for this yourself but over £20 for a ticket is a lot for a student like myself and I don't mind paying it cos you guys are so good live. But if we had the chance to see different sets then I'm sure you could get loads of people to go to all the shows on the tour. Maybe you could have 3 set lists and advertise which set number you'll be playing on whatever night. If you do this I may even try to get to the Watford show as well, even though I am skint!!! Alex, Southampton
L: We may vary the set, we may not but either way it won't be decided until rehearsals or in some cases on the night of the show. We've always worked that way and spontaneity is a large part of what we do.


Q:  On the subject of the tour in November I was wondering if there will be any surprises? I know you generally don't decide on set lists etc.. till much closer to the event but are we going to get anything different from earlier this year. I have already bought my tickets and know that any Thunder gig is well worth seeing as always but there may be some people out there that are thinking "it's just going to be the same set as we got before, why go again?". I know we've just had a superb new album but can we expect any oldies, new covers, pyrotechnics or strange clothing? This isn't meant to sound greedy but it may get a few people sitting on the fence to get off their arses and sort out their tickets. Tim, London
L: We will always play what we believe to be a good set worth the ticket price but we can't please everybody all the time. The set will be different to the May tour but to what extent I can't say until we rehearse.


Q: I was listening through some of your albums yesterday and it got me thinking - If I had to pick two songs that you would play, what would they be?!? My first choice was Empty City, because I saw you play it back in 98... You know when you're listening to music, and you suddenly feel a tingling down your spine, and you just have to smile? Well I had that through all of Empty City when I saw you play it live! I closed off from the rest of the crowd and it felt like I was in some kind of video, it was a truly amazing experience that I have never had with any other band or song! The second choice was a hard one... I wasn't sure what I wanted to hear live, so I had to really try hard to pick just one track... I finally chose Til' It Shines... I'm not sure if you've ever done it live, and I thought that is would be an unlikely track for you to pick as its not such an upbeat track! I think the reason I love this song so much is because whatever situation I am in, I can relate to the lyrics somehow, it is really a magical song for me! Well after the hours of thought I thought I could let you know my choices, and the reasons behind them... I will ask you to consider playing them at the Astoria, but I understand not all songs work well live, or you may not want to play these two... But please have a think about it, try them out in a soundcheck... You'd make me a very happy man if I got to hear them when I see you... Dan Birkett, Southampton
L: Thank you for your comments re. the songs for the live set. As usual we will give consideration to many songs but the final decision will not be made until rehearsals which take place the week before the tour.


Q: I'm a big fan of Golden Earring and I was gutted when they released an album of covers entitled "Love Sweat" a few years ago. Happily this was a one-off in the covers direction. My question is why will you be performing covers? (My understanding is that there will be a few on the forthcoming B&M release). I don't object to ONE being slipped into an album, but I would much rather hear new material. I would urge Luke to consider collaborating with other writers rather than picking a cover. Whilst it's more effort and you don't get the chance to pay homage to another great song, I just feel the band and fans alike will be more satisfied in the long run. Axel Thomas
L: The album will contain a few covers because that's what we want to do. I respect your opinion that one would be better but we do not share that opinion and ultimately we will decide the content of the album. As has been said many times before on this site you have the ability to vote with your money or not.


Q: Friends have heard that this years tour as been cancelled is this true or not? Greg
T: Absolute rubbish. The November dates have not been cancelled!


Q:  What do you think of David Blaine's latest trick? Any of you seen him in his box by Tower Bridge? Margie B., Wales
L: I don't know who's more stupid....him for doing it in the first place or us for being interested!

B: I can't say that I am interested in a man sleeping in a plastic box. It is hardly captivating television - a bit like those "I'm a celebrity..." and "Big Brother" - I am proud to say that I have never watched a single show.
H: Not sure why he's doing it!? I believe him to be a very intelligent and spiritual human being and one who is obviously not afraid to die! He must be a little crazy too......I admire that. The hamburger and golfing incidents have amused me. 
D: Being relatively well adjusted as I am, I can't help thinking it seems a very silly thing to do. For me the antics around it have been far more entertaining (the BBQ underneath was a triumph, matched only by the cheeseburger suspended from the radio controlled helicopter). Having said that I do admire the simplicity of the idea, and it's obviously had the desired effect on the media and The Great British Public. I wonder if he's desperate for attention, or simply desperate to lose weight, or just plain desperate? Still, if it makes you happy...
C: I find him a fascinating character - although completely mad! Why would you do something like that?


Q: Hi Harry, It´s me again, the guy who asked you that strange question about the podium in the Olympic drumming games. You managed to give a coherent answer but that wasn't what I actually wanted to know, sorry. As my English is quite poor, I made a direct translation from Spanish and I said "what would be the podium like", so you misunderstood it and you thought I was talking about what materials would you use to build the podium! No, what I basically wanted to know was who of that three drummers (Bonham, Paice and Moon) is your number one, two and three respectively in your personal taste. See what I mean now? Thanks for finding a time to answer all our questions. See you! Daniel, Barcelona
H: Aah Daniel my friend! In third place would be Mr Moon...2nd......Mr Bonham.......and....cue the roll on the drums.......Mr Paice. Cheers!


Q: Having read the message about the November tour, I had an idea for promoting the gigs. I am guessing that you will be selling T-shirts at the shows that have the tour dates on the back. How about you get some of these t-shirts made up early and sell them over the web site. I am sure many of the hardcore fans will buy one. If the back of the t-shirt says 'Thunder UK tour November 2003' and then lists all the dates, this will give the tour a decent promotion. I am sure that the fans who buy one will wear them to any gigs or nights out to rock venues between now and the tour and so exposing many rock fans to the forthcoming tour. I also have a couple of questions regarding Deep Purple. I have read on these Q&As that you are all fans of Deep Purple. So I was wondering if you have heard their new album, and if so what do you think of it? Also what is your favourite Purple line-up? Distant Thunder
B: I’ve always thought Deep Purple are a great band, my favourite line-up was the classic Gillan/Blackmore although a good friend of mine (Don Airey) has now joined the band so maybe the current line-up may edge it. I haven’t heard the new album yet as Don is obviously not that good a friend or he would have sent me one – Come to think of it I always liked the original line-up best!
H: Great idea! I haven't heard the new Purple album yet but I'm sure I will. As for fav line up.......difficult one really.....I prefer Gillan's singing! What a great band. See you in November.
D: What a very good idea that is. I'll get right on to it. I haven't heard the new DP record, I must confess I haven't got excited about DP for a while, but they are still a great band. I most prefer the Gillan & Blackmore era (In Rock, Fireball etc), followed by the Coverdale/Hughes time and then the Tommy Bolin moment. I saw them on the Come taste The Band tour at Wembley and loved it. I saw them again years later in Tokyo with Joe Lynn Turner singing, and whilst he's not my favourite DP singer, the band was amazing.


Q: Hopefully this is a fairly original question. Are any of the guys interested in playing video games ? If so what type/genre and do they play on PCs or on consoles ?? Whilst were at it, knowing that they have access to the Net, what type of sites do they regularly visit ?? (Ben doesn't need to answer that bit lol !!) Cleggy
H: Don't really have the time or the inclination Cleggy, to be perfectly honest. Use the computer for email, writing songs and normally visit the usual websites (like this one!). Have been known to hog the Playstation on a few occasions though!
L: I used to have one of those pocket-sized Sonic The Hedgehog things but I left it on a tour bus somewhere. Also the band as a whole got very into the arcade version of Sega Rally when it came out. That's about as far as I got really. I tend to use the Net for general information and booking holidays mainly.
B: I have to admit I do like the odd computer game, PC based naturally. I do like the "god" games such as Caesar III, Civilization and the like but they are a bit time consuming. Perhaps I have despotic tendancies.
D: I loathe computer games, they eat time and reduce the player to monosyllabic conversation. I use the internet as a tool for research mostly, so I surf little. I'm not grumpy really, but computer games are my big hate...


Q: Hi guys, I'm just curious, do any of you like Van Halen? If so, what's your favourite era, David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar. I myself prefer David Lee Roth as I think the band had more attitude, better guitar sound and solos and more of a hard edged, raw quality about them. Also I'd just like to say I love Luke's guitar playing and do you plan solos or improvise mostly? Can't wait until November (I've converted my friends so we're all coming) Paul
B:
I went to see one of Van Halen’s first ever shows in the UK. They were supporting Black Sabbath at Lewisham Odeon and they were very exciting to watch. Diamond Dave came out in the first number and said “Lewisham – you are the rock and roll capital of the World” - I’ve never heard such rubbish in my life – fantastic! It was a nice thing that they were so friendly when we played with them and Bon Jovi. All round decent chaps in my book.
H: Love Van Halen and Paul, I agree with you - Dave Lee Roth era-He added so much to the band. A real entertainer!
L: Funnily enough I recently bought VH1 on CD. I think I've got the first 4 or 5 albums on vinyl and I would agree with you that that was their best period. DLR's sense of humour was a very important part of the band's identity. They were also a phenomenal live band in their early days. Solos are usually improvised.
D: I missed out on seeing VH when they first played here with Black Sabbath a hundred years ago, but I remember how everyone raved about them. I saw them with Dave when they toured the second LP, they played the Rainbow in Finsbury Park North London, and it changed my life. Until then almost all the singers I'd seen did just that, they stood and sang, but they didn't really make any effort to perform. For Dave it was all about the performance, more so than the singing. He was amazing, so over the top. The band were incredible too, I decided there and then I had to be a performer as well as a singer. When we did the Bon Jovi shows in 1995, VH (with Sammy) were the special guests and we got to meet them after their final show. They were very nice to us, they even told us they were pleased to be going back to the US because we'd been kicking their collective butt every night. Not surprisingly, we were chuffed!
T: Bah! You're all mad...SAMMY! SAMMY!! SAMMY!!!


Q:  Hi all. I'd like to know is there even the slightest chance that the DVD will be made available to fans from across the Irish sea, or will it have to be ordered from the UK? One more thing, may seem like a silly question but about the Marquee where you did your secret gig, is it the same one as the prestigious venue in central London that was known worldwide, that every band under the sun played or wanted to play, that was closed down in the early 90's, or is it a completely different Marquee venue? DUBLINMKT3
D:
The DVD will be available via our distributor called THE (Total Home Entertainment), they are the biggest in the UK, so I'm sure they must have arrangements in place to sell to shops in Ireland. I suggest asking your local retailer if they can order from THE in the UK. If they can't you could always get it online via our website shop. The Marquee was originally in Wardour St in Soho (that's where all the legendary bands played - including us when we were Terraplane in the 80s). Then it moved to Charing Cross Rd before closing down in the 90s. The Marquee name was sold and a new club was built, opening last summer in Islington, and that was indeed where we played. Sadly the club closed down last Christmas, not sure what happened, but I'm glad we played there, that must make us one of the few bands that played at all 3 clubs.


Q: Hi Chris. How are the new pickups on your Squire precision working out so far? I'm looking to replace the pickups on one of my basses, preferably EMG or Bartolini. Peter Jordan, Dublin
C: They sound great, I'm very pleased to say. I've just used the Precision for the whole of the new Bowes and Morley album, so you'll be able to check it out yourself soon!


Q: Help! Haven't read the Q&A board for ages? It's full of TLA's of or more e.g. BCD, TTOIA and GTGA. I'm too blonde to figure them out. Any chance of a key to these Thinny? Angela, Epsom
T: They are usually just the initials of the album being referred to (it's quicker than typing out the whole title). eg:
BSS = Backstreet Symphony
LOJD = Laughing On Judgement Day
BCD = Behind Closed Doors
TTOIA = The Thrill Of It All
GTGA = Giving The Game Away
TTIAO = They Think It's All Over
MSA = Moving Swiftly Along
SATS = Shooting At The Sun



Q: You say 'bring your kids' to the tour, I'd love to do that but am concerned that the venues may not let a 6year old in, do your gigs carry an age limit? In the past I have been to several thunder gigs and would love my little one to come and enjoy the show - she loves singing and dancing to rock! Nicola, Merseyside
T: Thunder themselves do not enforce any age restrictions, but some venues do. The best bet it to check with the venue or box office before purchasing tickets. There are certainly a number venues on the tour where children are allowed in.


Q: Thanks for the info re the support. I note (as for My Sins I am also A Def Leppard Fan [Yes we all have our vices]) That Must are Supporting both Bands throughout this Autumn, any further Details eg Web site etc? It has been great over the years to have Great Bands as Support to the Greatest Band ever, Thunder!!!! Ps i was in a crowd shot in the Stand Up Vid - about 1 1/5 secs honest Guv!!!!!!!!!!!! See Ya In Watford. Jonathan, Aylesbury (formally Of Bicester)
T: You can check out Must's website at http://www.mustband.com


Q: Greetings, I followed a car with a Marillion.com window sticker today. Why haven't the chaps done these yet? Billy Bonkers
D: All things will come as and when we can afford them, so that's another one for the list once the DVD is out there and selling millions...unless there's someone out there who can get them printed for nothing of course...


Q: The Who song 5:15 that you covered, did you only perform it live or is it on any of your albums? Haven't got it on any of my CD's but having argument with boyf as he says I'm singing Who version and I swear blind it's your (very similar, but better!!) version. Sure I had it on cd but seem to be losing the argument! Please help! PS looking forward to the tour! Becca Runyard, Oxford
T: A live version of 5.15 is available on 'The Rare, The Raw And The Rest'. It also appeared on one of the CD singles to River Of Pain. Check out the discography section for more details...


Q: I noticed in the Q and A section that you were re-releasing 'In Out Put the Kettle On' in DVD format. I have one of the signed videos of this but have always wondered why the promo videos featured were not shown in their entirety - will this be remedied on the DVD? Nick
D: There were legal reasons why we couldn't put the full versions of the promos on the original VHS, and those reasons are still there I'm afraid. The IOPTKO DVD will therefore be the same as the original VHS release, complete with the short promo clips, only remastered for DVD. EMI may release a DVD in the future that will hopefully contain all the promos we made during our time with them, but it's down to them. Because the original release of IOPTKO was limited to 1000 copies, we're constantly being asked about it, so we felt if we included it with the secret Marquee show from last year, it would A) satisfy those who haven't managed to track down a copy on VHS, and B) make it good value. Hopefully those with dodgy VHS to VHS copies will no doubt be glad of something of slightly higher quality, as well as the relief of knowing that they're no longer breaking the laws of copyright (ha ha).


Q: Will the new DVD(s) be released as Region Free? Us yanks would love to enjoy it as well.....I managed to get a PAL player, but still only Region 1. Sam
D: We're doing the technical stuff next week, and I'll be pushing for a region free DVD, as it's better for us as well as you. If it doesn't happen, it will be for a cast iron reason, out of our control, too expensive or something like that, but rest assured I'll do my best. Regardless of whether or not we're successful with the multi-region thing, fans abroad who may be contemplating purchasing the DVD must know it will be in PAL format, so they'll need PAL system compatible equipment to view it. Sadly we don't have the resources to manufacture NTSC or Secam versions.


Q: HI GUYS !!!WE ARE 5 FRIENDS FROM ATHENS GREECE THAT WE ARE GONNA FLY TO SEE YOU IN LONDON ASTORIA ?IS THERE A CHANCE TO SEE YOU BACKSTAGE?THAT WOULD BE GREAT!!! PLEASE ANSWER. JIM GALLIKAS, ATHENS
T: THERE'S NO NEED TO SHOUT!!  Meet and greet details will be announced shortly. Stay tuned...


Q: I am coming to the Northumbria university gig and as I had to have a steel rod put in my head last year I wondered if you had any ideas how i am going to jump up or down or headbang. is there an alternative way to enjoy your great music? Jill Flynn, Tyne and Wear
D: Not having any experience whatsoever in the "steel rod in head" department, I'm afraid I don't know where to begin. I suggest you avoid getting too close to any large speakers in the venue. I'm assuming the steel rod prevents any free movement of the head, and if so perhaps you could invent a new dance that only involves body movement, a bit like Irish dancing for rock music. If you're successful a simple credit will suffice.


Q: Hi guys! I'm very into collecting records from Purple to Whitesnake and of course I am a big fan of you and your music, so which of your albums were released on vinyl?? are they still available? and how about the flexi-promo disc of "She's So Fine", where can I get it? Chris
T: If you check out the discography section you will see that Backstreet Symphony, Laughing On Judgement Day, Behind Closed Doors, Their Finest Hour (And A Bit) and The Thrill Of It All were all released on vinyl. Unfortunately they are no longer available so your best bet is to try record fairs or music collectors websites or maybe even ebay? Same thing goes for the flexi disc...


Q: Do you when you write your songs, sometimes words or phrases spark off an idea for another song? I only ask as in a few songs you mention something and then a bit later on, say the next album or 2 a song sometimes songs appear either very similar to that phrase or is the same. Looking forward to seeing you soon in November, and to buying the new DVD when it arrives (how long before we hear anything about content...?) Antong
L: I guess there are certain words, phrases and images that crop up here and there. To be honest I'm not really a student of my own stuff so when people point it out to me it's always amusing. Spike (Quireboys) told me that lots of my songs have references to doors in them; I'm sure he's probably right but I haven't checked.
T: The forthcoming DVD is to be a 2 disc set. Disc 1 will feature the full Thunder show from last Novembers gig at the Marquee, while disc 2 will feature a fully remastered version of 'In, Out, Put The Kettle On', which was only previously available on VHS in VERY limited quantities from the old Thunder Channel website and fan club.


Q: Luke, just wondering which song do you think is the best constructed song you have written and/or the most technically brilliant (musically speaking) song you've written. Also, out of interest where was that song writers' convention thing you mentioned a while back (I think with regard to "Change") as I've got a mate who's a great song writer/guitar player and I think it would be right up his tree. James Vincent
L: Sorry to disappoint and cop out but I don't really look at the songs that way. Without wishing to blow one's own trumpet they're all well constructed because that's an automatic part of the process when you write songs. There are some songs that I like and others that I'm not too keen on but you can find that info elsewhere on the Q+A page. The songwriting convention thing took place at a large hotel in Devon called Huntsham. The whole thing was on an invitational basis and organized and run by Chris Difford (the chap from Squeeze). Unfortunately it hasn't happened the last couple of years due to the Hotel changing hands although I understand that Chris is looking for another suitable venue.


Q: In light of the recent Darkness interview where a member of the band rated a Thunder gig as the best live show he had ever been to, from a 'business' point of view, what would your opinions be on a 'support slot' with them ? I don't know who invites who in these circumstances or if you can 'tender' for the slot, but lets face it, they are flavour of the moment. Its also interesting that apparently their first single charted at number 43 without any radio play (!) Maybe they could be a route to 'springboard' you back where you belong? Dave F
L: I think we'd have to consider it. We've never been precious about where we go on a bill so anything is possible.
D: They're certainly not my favourite band, but I do wish them well. If The Darkness invited us to play with them we would certainly consider it. If they do you'll hear about it here.


Q: I just went through the archive and didn't really find any questions resembling the one I am about to pose, but apologies if they has been asked before. Firstly, my opinion: Although there are many women vocalists, lead, solo and backup, out there that can more than carry a tune, my personal list of favourites is short when it comes to those who can really "belt it out" singing the style of music I most prefer. Soooo....three questions: 1. What women vocalists are on your list of power voices?
L:
Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Gladys Knight
2. What woman vocalist is your most favourite when taking into consideration all musical genres?
L: Too many good ones to decide...sorry!
B: For me one of the greatest female singers is Aretha Franklyn such a natural talent. She answers both questions for me.
3. Do you like mustard on your pretzels? :-) Hugs and Kisses from the States! See you 'round Pilgrim time! Dana, Utah
L: I shall have to try it!!
B: As for pretzels, they really are the most taste free snack I've ever tried - A bit like spam.


Q: Imagine yourself in the Olympic Drumming Games. You must give gold, silver and bronze to Ian Paice, John Bonham and Keith Moon. What would be the podium like? Why? See you in Barcelona sometime! Daniel, Barcelona
H: Well.......the podium for gold could be a massive bass drum.......silver a floor tom........and bronze could be a big hanging tom.....interesting thought!


Q: How can I get to see or hear the band in the Hawk Kawasaki tent at BSB Donnington. Ride a ZX6R and big Thunder fan. Thought the Thunder girls looked great at Cadwell. All the best on the tour. Dave McCombe, Rotherham
T: Funny you should ask that....there is only one way....head over to the News page now!


Q: I was talking to spike from the Quireboys after a show in Cambridge two nights ago, he said there is a strong chance he will be supporting you on part 2 of the tour, question 1: could you confirm this? & question 2: I have listened to his new solo album on promo, have you heard it & what do you reckon? Martin Porter, Essex
D: Spike has asked me about it, and I have told him the score. There are others in the frame and deals potentially to be done for other tours for us. He's well aware of the facts, so he's a bit of a naughty Spikey for even saying he may be doing it. More than that I cannot say. We'll be confirming the support act in the not too distant future, as soon as discussions are completed and deals done, or not. Sorry to seem vague but much has yet to happen before anything can be officially announced. I had a copy of his album but someone took it before I could listen to it. Ho hum..


Q: Could you guys tell me, why in the LOJD booklet Metallica's drummer Lars Ulrich gets a mention? Michael
L: Lars and I were big drinking buddies for a while when I was temporarily residing in LA thus the credit.


Q: 
Hi guys, after reading Bens WWW, I was reminded of the Loser video that you produced. What chance is there of us being able to see it? Either as a download or on the back of a single/album release? Merry Christmas (in case I don’t write again!) Gordon Hall, Manchester
D:
We're still working on the content for the upcoming DVD release, and the Loser video obviously forms a part of our total collection of band footage. It may or may not end up on the DVD, but if not it will definitely appear on something else at some stage. We know from the experience of the Spin Doctor video, the demand for downloading simply destroys our site, so unless our technology improves (and we're always looking at it), this won't happen. Fear not, it will surface sooner or later, it's purely down to us finding a suitable medium to get it out there.



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