Q & A Archive - July 2002

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


Q: Can you tell me if there's any chance of the Monsters of Rock tour visiting Dublin at all? If its not I'd definitely go to the London show. Peter, Dublin
T
: Book your ticket for London, mate!  The Monsters Of Rock dates already announced is all there is...


Q: Hi guys, brilliant news that Thunder are playing with AC...got ma tickets for Glasgow already:0) Been a fan of yours for years (first concert was with ma Dad when I was about 11!)Would there be any chance of you doing a Bowes and Morley tour next yr and coming up to Scotland??? Hardly any decent bands come as far north as Aberdeen and that's where I study so would be great if u played a gig there?!! :0) Danny you've got an amazing voice and would love to see you live again. Cant wait for November :0) Alison, Kinlochewe
Q: Cannot believe you guys are getting back together for the 'Monsters of Rock' gigs. This is the business!!! I now need to do some serious organising to get all the boys together that spent our (overactive) teenage years singing to Thunder with one arm over a mates shoulder the other with Cider bottle raised aloft. Sorry, my question...are you guys planning any solo dates in Glasgow in the near future. Carlo, Glasgow
T: It's really too early to say what will or won't happen next year - but anything is possible!  The best I can say is....stay tuned..... 


Q: Thanks everyone for deciding to release Thunder Live on DVD, my copy of the video has just about had it. This is definitely the year for spoiling myself with such a lot to choose from: Bowes and Morley CD, Bowes and Morley tickets, Monsters of Rock tickets and now the DVD. Great news all round, but I have to ask, where did the idea come from for the DVD? Ann S
T: The fans!!!  The DVD has been something that the fans have wanted to see happen for some time - I guess Eagle Vision finally listened.


Q: I see Thunder have reformed and are doing the recently announced Monsters or Rock tour with Alice Cooper. I'd love to see it. When did the idea for this tour come about? Also, when I started playing bass back in 1989, Snake was quite an influence for me. Is he still playing and does he by any chance have a website? Peter, Dublin
L: All the info regarding how the Monsters Of Rock tour came about is available in the message from Danny on the News page. Snake is no longer involved in the music biz.


Q: I think that genius is an over used these days but how else would you explain Eddie Van Halen? Alan Hamill, Motherwell
L: I don't think there is another word for Eddie apart from 'Git!'. People as talented as him are rare indeed. He's also a nice chap which is even more annoying.


Q: Danny, Luke - a non Thunder split question - what's your favourite colour? Taff
D: This is my kind of question. Blue.
L: Blue........sorry, that's films again. Let me see...........underwear-black (or none), jeans-blue, shirt-white, shoes-brown, hair-don't care as long as there is some, socks-black. I hope this helps....


Q: Dan & Luke, Are both of you having support on your 2 UK dates? Ben Jackson, Nottingham
L: There will almost certainly be a support act but we don't know who as yet.


Q: This is a question for Luke really; I love this Q&A section and the 'wit.....' pieces, as I always think you write so eloquently, and with such thought and intelligence. I was wondering whether you had ever written seriously, or thought about writing, apart from song writing, as I think you'd be well suited to the profession. Oh and glad to hear we will be seeing you again soon..... Rhiannon, Bucks
L: I would like to have a stab at writing at some point but it is dark and lonely work !! Writing music and lyrics is a lot more fun and the interaction with an audience isn't something you would be able to enjoy as a novelist. I do fancy writing a screenplay and I've even discussed doing it with a friend of mine but right now we're both too busy. However, who knows what will happen in the future.


Q: Do you think Childhood Sweethearts can last FOREVER??? Tomo
L: Childhood sweethearts ? Well, let's put it this way; none of mine lasted, although the helpless romantic in me says love will overcome any circumstances if it's strong enough. Wow, I feel like Clare Rayner.


Q: Boring one for Luke, When you do studio work how do you mike your amp up? Or is that your own little secret? Matt
L: The most important aspect of miking a speaker is where you position the mike in relation to the speaker cone. Get the amp sounding like you want it to and then take the mike and move if in tiny increments across the face of the speaker. You'll find that the sound coming through the studio speakers changes radically so you just have to be patient and keep doing this until you find the sweet spot.


Q: Guys, wow. Heard about this and have just read Danny's message. The idea is excellent! Only there's a black clouD: what happened with The Wildhearts? Who told them they couldn't be Special Guests? The reason I ask is that Thunder used to be one of my few most-favourite-ever bands, and The Wildhearts still are... it would have been a fantastic line-up. Waah. Jason Knight
T: Ginger had a problem playing below Thunder on the bill.  Thunder offered to drop below The Wildhearts to keep the peace, but the promoters insisted that Thunder were second on the bill, as they would pull the bigger crowd.  Ginger wasn't happy...


Q: Is there any chance you will also be supporting Alice Cooper in Sweden. I would love to see Thunder again even better if you come here!  Ian, Sweden
T: Sorry Ian, but that dates in Sweden (and the rest of Europe for that matter) are not part of the Monsters Of Rock tour - they are Alice's own shows - therefore, Thunder will not be involved.  


Q: I am is SHOCK... A wonderful shock though. Since you guys are getting back together for the Monsters Of Rock Tour , we you be doing some NEW work or just the Thunder songs ?? Thank you , Thank you for coming back. Only wish would be to see you guys LIVE. But I will have to wait to see what develops from the Tour. Ronald J. Gula, Swoyersville , Pa
T: The Monsters Of Rock gigs are Thunder gigs.  People will be there to hear Thunder songs.  Thunder songs is what they will get...


Q: Dear all, How can I get hold of some Thunder goodies? I've got the tickets for the Monsters of Rock concerts in November and now I would like something to wear to show where my loyalties lie. Is it still possible to buy the plain Thunder t-shirt that you wore on the UK tour in 1998.  If nothing is available yet and you want merchandise for your tours, then ring my boss and we will gladly cost out the stuff for you. We can do embroidered or printed t-shirts, sweatshirts, scarves, baseball caps etc. We already supply the Smokie fan-club and Burnley FC among many others. It would be a dream come true for me to work on an order for you all. Ann S, Blackburn
D: Sadly, as the band split up two years ago, there is no Thunder merchandise available anywhere at the moment. There will however be Bowes & Morley merchandise on sale at the shows in September, and Thunder stuff on sale at the Monsters Of Rock (including a 4 track EP of brand new songs if we can get it done in time). If demand is high enough, we may manufacture a limited range between now and then but it's really down to good people like you to ask us. Thanks very much for wanting to declare your loyalty on your chest (where better to have Thunder than on your chest?). See you soon.


Q: I am stupidly excited at the forthcoming Rock City and NEC dates - I'll be bringing my kids to the NEC gig - it'll be their first gig. How cool is that later in life when my kids are asked who their first gig was and they can say Thunder and Alice Cooper at Monsters of Rock - my own makes slightly less cool reading - Adam and the Ants! I am deeply ashamed .....but my parents weren't as cool as my kids parents! What were your first gigs? Paula Turner
D: The first band I saw live was Bad Company at The Rainbow Theatre in London in December 1974. I remember every second of the show, including getting my tour poster caught and subsequently ripped in half in the doors of the tube going home..... I sobbed....


Q: I've been wondering for a while about something to do with the 'They think it's all acoustic' album. What happened to Harry's version of 'New York, New York'? As when this CD was released it was to put back the missing tracks what weren't on the bonus CD from 'They think it's all over'.  Jamie, Norfolk
L: As I recall I think there might have been a problem with the recording at that point of the set which was why we didn't include it.


Q: Hi Chaps !. Is there any chance you could re-release "I CAN STILL HEAR THE MUSIC" on CD. It was definitely your most underrated track !. Also which Queen song would u like to cover, if any. Rock Dave, Stockport
L: I'm afraid it's not up to us Dave. You could try writing to EMI though.


Q: I read in the MSA book that you played bass on one of the tracks....so which one is it? And props to who ever laid down that sick bass line for POWERTRIPPING. MSA is my favourite CD at the moment! Sam, Florida
L: I played bass on 'I'd Take The Stars Out Of The Sky' as we decided to change the key at the last minute and Chris had gone off on tour somewhere so I had to replace his part. It was Chris who played on 'Powertripping' but the original version by The Power Station had the late Bernard Edwards playing on it. He wasn't a bad bass player either !


Q: When you say Thunder never toured the U.S do you mean literally, not even as a support band, and if not why not. How does it work with support bands, do they need financial backing from their record labels to fill a supporting slot on a tour and do they make no money themselves from the concert ticket revenue. It's a god damn shame if you never got to do your thing in America, I've seen you many times in concert in Ireland and England and you are for me the best band I've ever seen live. The first time I saw you was during the Back Street Symphony tour when you played the Ulster Hall in Belfast, an Irish band at the time called No Sweat were supporting you. It was a perfect gig and nothing has ever touched it since for me, even all these years later. Anyway I'm waffling, it would be great if the Quireboys were the other act on the Monsters of Rock tour. Jason Parr, Holland
L: The USA is such a large territory that touring as a support band you need to be supported by your label cash wise and at local radio or nobody knows you're there. Support bands do not get a cut of gate money although the promoter will occasionally pay them a nominal fee. Some headline bands even charge the support act to play, the rationale being they get to play to a lot more people than they would if they did their own tour.


Q: Thank you very much for letting me get a last chance to experience Thunder live at the Monsters of Rock. The question is, what do you think about Alice Cooper ?? & do you know who is going to be the special guest ? And could you please let there be a competition or something to let some lucky winners get backstage passes.... Inge Hassel, Norway
L: I bought 'School's Out' in 1973 and I loved a lot of AC's work in the seventies; some really good albums. Arrangements are still being made re. M.O.R. so it's difficult to be specific at this point.


Q: Any truth in the rumour you will be using Alice's snake on stage? Paul Allen, Peterborough
L: What exactly do you envisage us using Alice's snake for ?????


Q: Welcome Back!!! Thunder touring again, brilliant. Who decides on songs for the sets? Does areas of the country make a difference? Ever thought of playing any old Terraplane, especially 'Talking To Myself'. See you on tour. Graham Hayward
L: We won't be playing Terraplane songs as I believe most people there will want to hear Thunder songs. Picking the material we play is my job and the other guys trust me to do it. We wouldn't change the set list for regional reasons but when we do bring in a different song it's usually because we fancy a change, simple as that.


Q: Going to see you at Wembley on November 16th - any chance that you are going to play my favourite song "Love Worth Dying For" please? (cliff says hello). Gemma Kemp, London
L: Hi Gemma. It's a bit early to decide which songs will be in the set as we usually rehearse more songs than we need and then pick the ones that we feel are working best. I'll bare your request in mind though. Say Hi to your Dad.


Q: My friend and I are making the trip from Paris to Nottingham for the show so there rather be a meet and greet. But we won't come with empty hands, I'm pretty sure you guys will enjoy fine bottles of French wine so my question will be red or white? Vincent, Paris
L: Definitely red old boy !


Q: You say the reason Thunder split was that you can only play to the same people for so long. Don't you think though that your audience now consists mainly of (loyal I might add!!) Thunder fans anyway, but because Bowes and Morley is lesser known than Thunder was, you will still play to the same people but in smaller venues instead? Don't get me wrong, I think you deserve a far greater audience than some of the bands you have "supported" recently (mentioning no names of course ;-) )but the nature of this industry isn't fair is it? Keith Singleton, Stockport
T: I'm not quite sure where you heard that the guys were tired of playing to the same people, but that wasn't the case at all.  If you look back through the Q & A archives the real reasons are all there, but in short - it was time to move on and Luke wanted a bit more freedom as a songwriter. Now please - no more Thunder split questions....  :)


Q: Do you have something against the steel city (Sheffield) you didn't play here on Thunders farewell tour, you're not playing here on Thunders reunion tour, you're not playing here on the Bowes and Morley tour, you haven't responded to the 2 e-mails myself and my partner have sent you, (early July), so there must be a reason! is it the show you cancelled at short notice in Sheffield? I had tickets for that show and had to compromise and see you in Newcastle, I would gladly do it again but I have a 3 month old daughter now and cannot. any thoughts? (p.s. My mate was not so forgiving at the cancelled show and retorted "I want Danny on stage in 15mins or a signed note from his mum!") Andy, Sheffield
T: Nothing against Sheffield, at all Andy.  In fact the guys have played in Sheffield a number of times over years.  It actually has nothing to do with the band what cities they do and don't play on a tour - it is all arranged by the promoters.  I'm sure there will be a visit to Sheffield again one day in the not too distant future.  We can't respond to every mail that we get about playing this city and that city as we simply get too many and it would take too long, and as far as tour dates are concerned someone is always going to be disappointed anyway!  Unfortunately, it's impossible to please everyone...


Q: Can you please tell me what your car is that is too big to park? If you could have any car (money no object) what would it be? Keith Singleton, Stockport
L: It's not my car that's too big....it's my lack of ability! My dream car was always a Jaguar XJS so I bought one and the bloody thing was nothing but grief. It spent more time in the garage than on the road. Having said that it looked very sexy on my drive.....


Q: I play bass in a band and I know you have dabbled with it too. Can you tell me if Chris played a 5 string on any of your albums as it sounds too deep to be his Jazz or was it just studio trickery? Keith Singleton, Stockport
L: Yes he did play 5 string on El Gringo on several tracks.


Q: I am a patient American fan of Bowes/Morley and Thunder. I don't have a lot of cash, so flying over to the UK for any Bowes/Morley shows or the UK Monsters of Rock tour are out.. Any chance you guys (Danny/Luke &/or Thunder) will be taking a vacation over to the US (DC is nice in the fall)?? (if you do.. please bring equip!. hint hint!) David R, Washington DC
D: Both Luke and I would dearly love to play a million and one shows anywhere in the U.S. It is a source of some misery to us all that Thunder never got to tour there. Sadly the labels in the US are not particularly interested in B&M or Thunder these days. The facts are inescapable, and no amount of wishing and hoping can change it. My approach to these situations is to adopt the Sinead O'Connor approach and say "I do not need what I do not have", which helps, a bit... Still, things change all the time, and who knows?


Q: Hi Danny and/or Luke. I recently got hold of your Back Street Symphony and Donington video through an ebay auction for £7 (which I thought was very cheap), yeah very good and quite funny. Perhaps a stupid question, but was the bar filming actually set up with the owner before hand, as he did look clearly annoyed at the start like thinking you were a bunch of thugs about to trash the place and telling you where to go? In addition, who's idea was it to shove your own tights commercial in the middle of the live action? (perhaps an untapped talent there for the performer concerned!) Tim, Suffolk
L: The man at the door of the club is a good friend of ours actually. His acting abilities obviously fooled you. The stocking commercial was one of many stupid moments we filmed during the recording of Backstreet Symphony largely for our own amusement but as we all found this funny we decided to include it.


Q: I'm just interested to know how the business of royalties works when it comes to cover versions. I presume an artist such as yourself has to pay a fee every time you play a cover version live or record a studio version for release. I also presume it can't be prohibitively expensive otherwise you'd never do it, but would someone like the Rolling Stones make a small fortune from the likes of the Counterfeit Stones for example, bearing in mind that they tend to slip more than just the odd cover version into their set? Mark Burton, London
L: We actually don't have to pay a fee as such but moneys owed to the writer/s of the song due to performance or airplay are collected by the publisher of the work or agencies like PRS and MCPS and then paid to the writer.


Q: Not a question, but an amusing observation. If you go to www.thunderchannel.com (previously one of my favourite websites), you are now presented with an invitation to sign up to someone's porn site. Nothing to do with you guys I hope?!!!! Chris, Herne Bay
L: Thanks for pointing it out the stylistic changes to the website Chris. I only wish we'd thought of it !!!!!!


Q: The band I own most of (8 albums) is Thunder and if Danger Danger had released more material they'd be up there with you!  The most recent album I've bought is Harem Scarem's 'Weight of the World'- which in the field of hard rock I would class as outstanding. Danny, Luke, Thinny...What are your most recent purchases and which band/artist do you own most of? Aaron, Belfast.
L: Either The Beatles or Led Zeppelin......I'm not too sure.
T: At the risk of sounding cheesy - probably Thunder....although my Chas & Dave collection is quite extensive! (just kidding). My most recent purchase was the new Goo Goo Dolls album, Gutterflower.


Q: Hi all! Sometimes dreams do come true! For me to get a chance to see Thunder again at Wembley on my birthday sounds to good to be true! Plain tickets and hotel reservations are already in the mail. As someone that hasn't been to Wembley before (sorry, your pubs are just too inviting) I have to ask this (maybe) stupid question. I thought that Wembley was closed for rebuilding, is this already done or is there a separate venue next to the stadium? Will this then be an open air concert? Thanks for making my birthday complete! Rob, Netherlands
T: The gig is being held at Wembley Arena.  Wembley Stadium in the one that has closed.  Wembley Arena is an indoor venue.


Q: Hi all. I know you say you will not answer Thunder reunion questions, but according to the Harry James web site Thunder are reforming for 7 dates in November, is this true? Shall I get tickets to see you guys or is it not true. Steve Crooks
T: It's true, Steve!  I suggest you check out the message from Danny on the News page of this site....


Q: Luke...I know recently you were talking about new talent...I recently bought an album by a band called 'Five For Fighting'...the albums called America Town (yes unfortunately they are American)....but if you haven't heard it you should really check it out...fantastic melodies/arrangements ,acoustic guitar driven,, and the singer makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up...You would love it. Paul K
L: Thank you Paul. I'll look out for it.


Q: Likewise to a previous posT: Great news and what a great end to a year - Bowes and Morley in September and then a mini Thunder reunion in November!  Just wondering, have you considered having an online vote on the songs that the fans would most like to hear at the Thunder show in November? I believe the Stones (I think) have done something similar. If it were advertised enough then you won't get all the regular online geeks and you can make sure there's only one vote nowadays to avoid rigging. I only say this because it's surprising what Thunder songs are popular. You have proven that you can play live the majority of your material - didn't you end up playing 48 different tunes (I think I read that) when you were recording the Thunder Live album over those 4 nights?  There are some absolute classics you have recorded which you didn't regularly play live. Personally I would vote for, if I had 5 to choose, "Forgotten town", "Castles in the Sand", "Til the river runs dry", "Low Life..." and "Preaching from a chair" - I would vote for "Love walked in" but I assume you would play that! :) James, Croydon
L: In theory it's a good idea James. It's just that I'm far too much of a megalomaniac to let anybody else pick the set !!


Q: At the Thunder concerts are you, or would you like to, play any tracks of 'Moving Swiftly Along'? Michael Hodd
L: I have no idea what we'll be playing yet but I think there's more than enough Thunder material to consider first....


Q: Hi guys. Just wondering what kind of response you had from your Japan shows? Hope your not to jet lagged. Dave
L: The shows went very well thank you Dave. The band were excellent and the new material was fun to play. Jet lag is for wimps!!!


Q: What great news - B&M gig in September and then Thunder in November! The new album just gets better and better with every play, so thanks again. Here are my questions:- Do you have any pre-gig rituals or superstitions e.g. the 'Madonna Huddle', do you sit and jam for a while, have a couple of beers etc.? Also, why did you decide to only play a couple of UK dates as opposed to a longer tour? John
L: Before a gig we are always very relaxed. Danny might do the odd warm-up in the shower and I just tend to have a quiet drink or two. We have both been known to sleep up until 15 minutes before we go on. I think it's probably because neither of us gets nervous anymore. The audience always supplies us with all the adrenalin we need so we never have to fire ourselves up with some dodgy American chanting or praying. Damn it man, we're English !!!! We are looking at a longer B&M tour in the early part of next year if all goes well.


Q: I always thought that "Pilot of My Dreams" from The Thrill of it All would have made a great single. The song had a killer hook and was so up tempo it was infectious. How did you choose which singles to release from the albums and do you ever look back and think you should have released different singles at different times? Doc', Ireland
L: We always agreed on single choices and then we had to convince the label we were right. We normally won the argument if there was one. The singles market is a bit of a lottery as you're never guaranteed airplay so the best you can do is hope a few radio shows start playing it and people react by buying it. It is not an exact science I'm afraid.


Q: Sorry to keep bothering you but I am very interested to see your own view on your own material.Just wondering if there were any B-sides, or bonus tracks from either the Thunder days or Luke's solo project or from MSA that you thought should have been promoted to album status? Was there any unreleased tracks from the Giving the Game Away sessions? Doc', Ireland
L: There are definitely no extra tracks from 'Gringo' or 'MSA' hanging around. There are some Thunder live tracks but there's already been enough versions of them released.


Q: Hi guys, your new album is brilliant! There are rumours flying around that you'll be supporting Status Quo again on their huge 40 date UK tour 2002. Is this true? Tom, Hamburg
L: Not as far as I know Tom.


Q: About a month ago I went to see a Del Amitri gig at the Shepherds Bush. This revived fantastic memories of more than one incredible night at Thunder shows at that venue over the years, not least the show recorded for the Live Video. Del Amitri were very professional and did a good set but I couldn't help but feel all the way through the show that it was lacking something special. I couldn't put my finger on what it was, but it definitely wasn't as lively and the crowd didn't get as involved as they used to at Thunder gigs and I just wondered if you ever felt that there was a special rapport or X-factor with the fans? Also, Del Amitri didn't play some of their biggest hits on the night. All Thunder fans will know that the band were always incredibly consistent in producing top-notch shows every time you got on stage and I think that a small part of this was due to the fact we always knew with some certainty some of the tracks that would be on the set list, and there were some songs (like Dirty Love and Love Walked In) that you could never really get away without playing every night. With this in mind, were there some 'regular' songs that you used to dread having to play by the end of a tour and are there some that you never tire of playing again and again? And in the same way, which tracks off of MSA are you really looking forward to getting up and performing live? Kevin, Middlesex
L: I think bands are duty-bound to play a good percentage of their most popular tunes. The art of putting together a well-balanced live set is getting the mixture of new stuff and old stuff right. With every new album we made as Thunder there were some songs that came to be indispensable live numbers so the task always becomes more difficult but that's what we get paid for !! With MSA it's like starting again so we'll be playing almost all the album plus a few other appropriate tunes. Thunder's relationship with the punters was something we were very proud of; we always gave 100% and so did they. I really believe that if a band makes an effort to entertain without being self-indulgent an audience will respond. We always try to send people home happy and feeling like they've had their money's worth.


Q: Hi Luke and Danny, are you playing in Germany next time or must we travel to U.K.? We want to see your show, too!!! greetings from Germany. Sonja Steiner, Germany
L: There are no plans to tour Germany currently


Q: We all loved Thunder, but I hope people let you play what you want during the new shows and don't spend the whole of the time shouting for 'Dirty Love' etc. How will you feel if (and most likely when) that happens. Dave
L: If people shout for Thunder songs at a B&M show they will be disappointed. I'd like to think that any supporter/fan of Thunder then would be smart enough to understand why we think it disrespectful to the band's memory and the other guys that were in it.


Q: to Luke : your guitar style has changed drastically in my view from older albums to the present.....what REALLY inspired you to do so..?? Wayne Camilleri, Malta
L: I actually have to disagree with you here Wayne. The style of the song writing may have changed but I'm still the same guitar player. It's a question of playing what's appropriate within the boundaries of the songs and arrangements. The B&M album covers more musical styles and I have to appreciate that in what I play. A huge wall of Les Pauls a la Thunder would not be the right way to approach a song like Freakshow whereas it WAS the right thing on Dirty Love. It's a matter of economy dictating what's necessary.


Q: Love the album! MSA has a similar feel to it as a lot of Simply Red's better numbers. I was wondering whether Mick Hucknall is someone you could see yourself writing/ performing with. And if not, who would be your favourite writers/ vocalists to line up alongside? Steve, Stevenage
L: This is the kind of business where anything is possible as far as working with other artists goes but I have a feeling I wouldn't necessarily get on with Mick Hucknall. If you look through the Q+A archive you'll see who we admire and who we would like to work with.


Q: Hey Luke, are you by any chance related to the Animal Health Minister Elliot Morley? Just wondering, as yours is a surname I have only ever come across once before, as in Eric Morley who did the Miss World contests? Cake
L: Not relations of mine I'm afraid.


Q: How would you sum yourself up it 3 Words??? Tomo
L: Obsessed, addictive, sociable.


Q: Which Stadiums Did You Both Enjoy Playing When You Went On Tour With Bon Jovi In 1995? Ben Jackson, Nottingham
L: All of them but especially Wembley as it's in our hometown and we're both football fans.


Q: What was songs did you both enjoy playing in Japan? Ben Jackson, Nottingham
L: They're all good to play and I don't think I have a particular favourite


Q: Myself and fiancée Sarah are getting married 26 April 2003 and we are having A Better Man played at the wedding.  I was wondering whether you would be available / like to attend and perform it for us? Andy Nash, Bournemouth
T: Believe or not we actually get several requests a week along these lines.  If Luke & Danny were to go to every wedding they were invited to perform at there would be no time left for making records, writing, touring, playing golf, etc. Congratulations though -  we wish you all the best for your big day...


Q: This Sunday just gone, I went to see Mike Tramp play at a small bar in Sydney - mighty fine evening it was too !   He was quite vocal during (and afterwards) on how rock music is still being pushed further and further out /  is an endangered species / urging everyone to support live rock music as fully as they can etc etc. A lot of mates back in the UK are reporting an distinct upturn in rock fortune of late - some great names playing UK shows (albeit small ones) for the first time in years etc. Do you guys see things improving / staying the same or even getting worse (please no!) in terms of rock exposure in the UK (and worldwide).    Why do radio stations in the UK seem to not play any tracks that have guitar in it (unless it's an Aerosmith or Bon Jovi ballad )? What can be done to set the world to rights ? P. Bloxsome
L: All things in the music industry are cyclical i.e. everything comes around again and I'm sure rock will, albeit in a slightly different form to previously. As to your airplay question I'm afraid I don't have a clue !!


Q: Hi there, I just got my copy of MSA and I must say - Hey Danny it is just great to hear your voice again and to have you both back. What I like to know is have you heard about the project Ritchie Blackmore is running and what do you think about it. I'm asking just because you were scheduled to support him in Düsseldorf back in 1995 and I thought that there is a kind relation. Karl, Germany
L: If you're referring to Blackmore's Night then I would have to say it's not my cup of tea. That doesn't stop him being a fabulous guitar player though.


Q: Hey, How's it going? Do any of you like kebabs!?!? if not, why? Do u have like chilly sauce or anything on it!? I reckon its best plain, what about you guys?
L: Kebabs must have been invented by a very drunk person because only when I'm drunk do they seem like a good idea. I did consume a few in my twenties (with chilli sauce) but these days I don't think I could face eating one because I know I'm going to wake up with a taste in my mouth resembling a French prop-forward's jock-strap after a particularly hard match.


Q: Gonna be around for a drink after the gigs? Tomo
L: No...I'll be off to bed with a cup of cocoa....ha ha ha ha !


Q: It's sex, is there loads of it in your position? John Gaskell, Manchester
L: And what position would that be ???????????? Your question is a little ambiguous to say the least ! Let's just say we've had our moments............


Q:  I was delighted to see you added a couple of UK dates and then horrified to see that the London one clashes with Bad Company at Hammersmith. I'm surprised the guys weren't tempted to go to that show themselves! As this sort of "clash" happened quite often in the Thunder days (e.g. performing at the same time as Status Quo, Magnum, Little Angels, etc elsewhere in London), my question is do you or the promoter look and what other shows are on in a town which may attract your fan base away before choosing a date or is it all done completely independently? Matthew Bradshaw, London
L: Obviously we're aware of the Bad Co. gig but it's just one of those things that occurs occasionally. If we weren't playing the same night I would have definitely gone to see them and I'm sure they would have come to see us if they weren't playing !
D: We share the same agent and promoter with Bad Company. We sought their advice when we heard the shows clashed, and they weren't concerned. Also getting slots for shows is very hard, and finding slots that don't clash with anyone is even harder. This means that whilst you would always prefer to play when no one else is playing, it's not always possible. Much happens behind the scenes of the music business, and whilst it really is sometimes gross stupidity behind some decisions, if you want to play, sometimes you have no choice.... Sorry if the clash of shows makes your life difficult, for me there's no conflict, I know where I'll be...


Q:  Dan, which is your fave song off MSA and why? Ben Jackson, Nottingham
D: My favourite song from the album is Don't Take Your Love Away. Purely and simply because it has a beautiful melody, and structurally it's quite unlike any other song Luke has written before. It feels like the kind of thing Otis Redding might have done.....


Q:  Do you feel your career is a bit like Page and Plants, in that guitarist and vocalist have recorded together after a great rock group finished? What next, Luke to tour with the Black Crowes doing old thunder songs, and Danny doing an album of obscure covers? Mick Hodd, Luton
D: Wow, there's an idea, thanks very much....


Q: I was listening to MSA again today and wondered how did you go about writing 'Change' with messers Tempest and Braidie? It's quite a singular theme how do you come up with the lyrics collectively as a song-writing team? What sort of form was it in by the time you got to Danny and did he make any changes to it before it became the song we hear on the CD? Does Danny make changes to your songs at all, either lyrically or vocally? Karen, Essex
L: It's almost impossible to analyse songwriting in the creative sense. Obviously there are certain mechanics that all writers use but when you're writing with other people it's really just a case of sitting there with a couple of guitars or a piano, throwing ideas at each other until something pops up that you all instinctively react to and taking it from there. The way we go about making records/CD's is; I make a demo of the song in my home studio, send it to Danny who lives with it for a few days and then we get together and record his vocal. Danny doesn't write songs so he tends to trust me on the lyrical content. Obviously when we're recording his vocal spontaneous things will happen that add something to what we're doing but things don't change a great deal usually.


Q: What do you think of the state of British rock at the moment. In my opinion there are only a few great rock bands such as Oasis and U2 after them you are really struggling. back in the 60s you had great bands like The Beatles, Stones, Kinks and The Animals that gave each other inspiration. what do you guys think? Mick O'Brien, Glasgow
L: I think the talent and potential is always there somewhere but the industry is in such poor shape that precious little of it gets through. 'Popstar' may have been great for TV viewing figures but it did nothing for the British Music Industry long term.


Q: Luke, A few questions about the song writing course/seminars referred to in previous emails if I may? From the few names you have given, it appears as though the attendees possibly fall into a couple of categories: Those people who have had a fair degree of success previously (Rick Astley), and then left the limelight and are now brushing up on their skills: Those (such as yourself, Joey Tempest) who have continuously written for several years and have reached successful levels, but without being 'household names', and are not too egotistical as to think they can't continue to improve. My question is that have you ever encountered a huge 'star' (not huge in the Pavarotti sense) at one of these affairs who has a massive proven songwriting history, but still attends such an event and remains humble about their talents (eg a Brian May, Paul McCartney sort)??? Any thoughts as to why the media have created this fairly new category of "singer/songwriter" to describe the likes of Sheryl Crow, David Gray, Paul Weller, Eva Cassidy etc...etc... In my opinion, Freddie Mercury, Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, Dave Gilmour, Madonna, Robert Plant to name but a varied few are all singer/songwriters by definition, so why do people only get considered in this bracket if they have an acoustic guitar and are featured in wanky, pretentious arty farty mags like 'Q' every month?  Why should the aforementioned Ms Crow always be referred to as "the singer/songwriter...." as if this puts her on a musical high ground, and, for example, you as "the former Thunder rocker...", delivered usually almost as an insult??? By the way, in my opinion you are easily one of the most excellent (and always consistently so) British songwriters (something the music press continually say we are short of) of the last dozen years or so. Finally a question for Thinny: what sort of capacity is the ULU venue for the forthcoming gig? Never been there, so just interested. So sorry to bang on... Chris Smith, Herne Bay
L: I've only been to the one songwriters forum and there wasn't anybody there of stellar proportions. The 'singer/songwriter' tag is symptomatic of the media's obsession with compartmentalising artists and leaving them there. I used to get frustrated with all the unimaginative descriptions of Thunder that were constantly dragged out every time there was a review or whatever (cheeky cockney rockers, diamond geezers, Sarf London rockers etc.), and there are many reasons why this occurred. The press love something when it's new and shiny (see all Thunder's press from 1989-1991) and they strive to analyse it and then categorize it. The problem comes when having already filed it away mentally, every time they come across it thereafter they refer back to the same old hackneyed phraseology without any attempt to re-evaluate what they're listening to. It's basically laziness on their part. I agree with your point that anybody who writes a song, plays it and sings it by definition is a singer/songwriter, regardless of musical genre. There is also a lot prejudice in the music media when it comes to hard rock; it's OK for an urban/hip-hop artist to have large amounts of gratuitous tit and crotch shots in a video but if a rock band take a similar approach then everybody at MTV screams 'sexist rubbish' and refuses to show it. The fact of the matter is that the 'serious' music press in the UK don't like or understand rock and see it as a kind of ugly relation they try to keep locked away in a dark room. On more than one occasion our records were taken to radio stations who loved it until they found out who it was. If that isn't discrimination I don't know what is. I take great strength from the fact that we're still here selling albums and tickets after all these years with bugger all help from the media. As Freddie Mercury once said "Talent will out my dear."
T: The ULU holds around 850 people.....


Q: To Luke : If you had to use one particular guitar for a whole tour what would it be and why? I remember seeing you using Les Pauls with Thunder and then seeing you again the next time and you were using Teles was there any reason for the change? Have you ever thought about having a guitar custom built to suit you? One more thing have you ever found yourself playing air guitar with out knowing it to any album if so what? Great news on the U.K. dates, got the tickets see you at Nottingham. Matt
L: I love both Les Pauls and Teles so either would be fine. I've had a Les Paul Re-Issue and a SG Twin-neck 6/12 built for me by Gibson and a couple of acoustics by Bob Whiles. The Who doing 'Won't Get Fooled Again' is possibly the only song that could make me play air-guitar.


Q: Luke what was the first song you learned to play all the way through - was it a Hendrix number? Tomo
L: The first song I learnt to play from start to finish was probably 'House Of The Rising Sun', a traditional song which was done brilliantly by The Animals. I think a lot of people learning guitar begin with this song as it is so simple.


Q: What was the first Thunder song you wrote? Tomo
L: The first Thunder song I wrote was either 'Dirty Love' or 'Girl's Going Out Of Her Head'. I'm not 100% sure as they were both written around the same time.


Q: Do u like The Simpsons? Tomo
L: I LOVE The Simpsons....doesn't everybody ?

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