Q & A Archive - January 2009


Q: Very sad to hear the end is nigh for Thunder, but so glad that the final album was so accomplished and you retain so many fans til the end. 3 questions ! Any inkling that BANG would be the last when you wrote it, as its seems ironic as a title choice? Will you be continuing song writing, maybe solo again? Finally, can we see YOUR selection of 'best' tracks for a 20 year anniversary album? Andrew, Cornwall
L: No, I had no idea 'Bang!' would be the last Thunder recording at the time of writing. Yes, I will continue writing songs and maybe some will be for solo recordings although I don't intend on deciding any time soon. 20 years of Thunder? Now, let me see.....

Q: Out with a Bang, eh? I'm in tears as I write this. I just cant believe it! Completely selfish of course as I'm sure you have good reason to seek pastures new. Just to say I've had such a great time listening to your music (and will continue to) and seeing you play live - just the best live band I've ever seen! You will always feature in the most frequently listened to playlist on my ipod. Your music is just the best and your creativity as Thunder will be missed. Luke, can you tell us what you plan to do next and how you'll  let us know if any new music or gigs (perhaps with some of the band members) are scheduled (she asks hopefully...) - pass me a tissue please. Kathy, London
L: I will continue to make music in some shape or form as it's what I do. I'll consider the future while enjoying the remaining six months of being in Thunder. Once I know what it is specifically I intend to do I'll make sure everyone knows about it via our site or whatever extension/continuation of it remains. Basically, watch this space!

Q: Hi Luke! Such sad news-- the world looks bleak for us fans right now, but I believe every cloud has a silver lining, and we will be here when you have good news in the future! By the way, I read your Young Guitar Magazine interview, and in it you talk about the unusual time signature in 'Retribution.' You also mention that there's just one other song in which you used the 5/4 time signature. If you don't mind, will you please tell us which one it is? Don't worry, we won't tell! The suspense is killing me... And oh, I'll see you in April ;) Fumi, San Francisco
L: I think something may have been lost in translation here....I was referring to 'Living For Today' (which is in 6/4) because certain sections of 'Retribution' are also in 6/4 (it is mainly 5/4 but it changes here and there). See you in Japan!!

Q: You can imagine my astonishment when my wife and I went to a Karaoke night at our local and I found both Better Man and I Love You More Than Rock & Roll in the song pages. I promptly got up and performed the latter!!! However, it was not your original recording but a very acceptable instrumental. This was on a Sunfly system so do you guys get any royalties from my efforts!!! As a further question, do you partake in a bit of Karaoke and if so...what's you poison!!! ( I reckon there is a Tom Jones fan or 2 in you lot based on the last couple of Xmas shows!!!). Keep up the good work
lads and come to Liverpool soon!!!  Mike Jackson, Merseyside
L: We do get a small royalty from Karaoke but I couldn't retire on it! I have been known to take on 'Your Song' by Elton John or 'Rikki Don't Lose That Number' by Steely Dan when a little worse for wear.

Q: Hey guys, how's life treating you? I have a couple of questions. first off, I would like to know why you never made it big, I mean you are big but not world famous as you should be. and secondly may I be so bold as to ask where the inspiration came from for the song, a lover not a friend, because it's a very spiteful song. Moff, Cardiff
L: ALNAF didn't have any special inspiration apart from the weather! I remember writing it on a particularly cold, grey day so maybe my mood wasn't great. Why are we not world famous??? A million reasons but I would say the biggest are i) we never had a worldwide crossover hit single, ii) we never had the opportunity to crack the USA and reap the rewards of the knock-on effect that that would've had everywhere else.

Q: Hi Chris, I'm a little bit confused about the Illegal Eagles tour news cause they'll be on stage in England when Thunder is touring in Europe. I wonder who's gonna play the bass...in which band? Love your bass playing especially the more funky style on the Bowes & Morley records. Sven Lessmann, Oldenburg, Germany
C: Fortunately I have a guy that stands in for me when I'm not able to make it to Illegal Eagles gigs, so I'll be there in Europe with Thunder. Glad you like my playing - the style of the Bowes and Morley albums are right up my street.

Q: Hi, Can's stop listening your last album, very fascinating! Awesome indeed. Here is my 1st. question: Argentina is still a non-profitable place to include in your tour? 2nd. question. As a home brewer I tasted a lot of beers. What are your favourite style of beers? Walter, Argentina
L: I doubt whether there's enough demand for us to come down to Argentina which is a shame as I really enjoyed being there in 1992. Any cold lager (as long as it's not too strong) works for me in the beer department.
D: Argentina is a place we have never been asked to play, apart from once in 1992 when we toured there with Iron Maiden. We loved it, but have never been asked to return.. As to beer, I don't drink much of it, but when I do it's usually cold fizzy yellow lager beer.
B: I really enjoyed our tour of South America with Iron Maiden but it is a very long way away and would cost a fortune to tour again. My favourite style of beer is free beer.

Q: Hey guys, wanted to tell you that I've finally learnt all of Fade into the sun from your go mad in Japan concert. Bloody hard work. Wanted to ask if any of you guys have ever played drunk or under the influence of anything, coz I jammed with a pa when we were shitfaced and we played horribly. Congrats on great new album. Richard Lawton, Adelaide, South Australia
L: Only played drunk once and hated every minute of it!

Q: Hello, this will bring you back to a time when Tony Blair was voted in yes it was a recording of 'The thrill of it all' a  vibrant time a renewal seemed inevitable. Any way my question is whose ingenious idea was it to feature a double vocal on cosmetic punk on the 'Drinks at he bar' section with the almost free styling bar atmosphere chat in synch with the lyrics this was excellent first time I have ever heard it done, very creative indeed, was it Danny who was at the bar? Colm, Northern Ireland
L: I wanted to create a bar atmosphere and outside of that, detach the lead vocal so it felt like somebody watching what was going on, almost like a narrator in a film. I think we just invited a few friends to the studio, got drunk and recorded it.

Q: Hi there and Happy New Year. I've been a bit tardy in getting around to writing this although with Christmas and all that....Anyhow I just wanted to say what an absolute pleasure it was to meet you all after the Cambridge gig. I was the guy with the little boy (Ben) and was so overjoyed that after seeing you for the best part of a quarter of a century when I finally got to meet you all you were so friendly, approachable and down to Earth. I was so tongue tied on the night that all the questions I had planned for you fell apart so I thought I'd have a go with them now. Danny: When Luke comes up with a song, do you ever suggest transposing it into a different key, up or down which maybe allows you to really belt it out or not strain the ol' voice live? Chris: have you always played Fenders? I reckon if I could play bass I'd be tempted to play a Gibson Thunderbird if only because they look so cool! Harry: (and probably others) Do you have the one drum kit and like the rest of us, when you're not playing do you just stick it in your garage or shed?!! For all or any of you: Do you generally agree with which sons to play live or argue over it? I was wondering if some things just don't seem to work live which is why you don't play them or haven't for years. I'd love to hear "The thrill of it all" or "Future Train" for instance live but I can't really remember doing so and wondered if there was a technical reason? Finally, do you expect to do a second British tour this year? A night in Shepherd's Bush in the late Autumn would be great! Adrian, North London
D: Nice to meet you too. I don't suggest, I leave the keys to Luke. He knows my voice, and 99% of the time he is spot on. Some songs work better (for me) in a lower key when we do them live, especially in an acoustic setting. However, most songs are buggers to sing, and singing them one after another 5 nights a week is tough on my mind, body and soul. We have hardly ever argued about anything. Luke chooses the setlists, and we occasionally pitch in with ideas and suggestions.

Q: Having read in the wit, wisdom, and whiskey section that you are a fan of Stan and Ollie and I was wondering if you have ever read any of the many biographies about them, I recently read one by Simon Louvish called Stan and Ollie: the roots of comedy. It was very interesting to see the real men and how Stan was the driving force behind their work, I particularly liked the fact that on certain films where Stan had production control he insisted that they filmed in Canada (costs allowing) because Canada didn't have prohibition, my kind of guy. Lee, Belfast
L: I haven't read anything on them but I did see an excellent made for TV drama called 'Stan' a couple of years ago which was very revealing as to the nature of their partnership and Stan's ability as a deal maker.

Q: Sooo!!, the question is to anyone who can help me. I was woken up by my alarm at 5.00am the other morning to Thunder singing a song I recognised but couldn't place. Song was "I'm a Lucky Man" and doesn't appear on any of my vinyl, CD's DVD's or even old video's but since purchased the "Six Shooter" EP which has it on. Where have I heard this song before? Have I heard it played live at one of the many concerts I've been to? Please help!! It's driving me crazy!! Catherine, Bradford
T: I'm A Lucky Man was a stand alone download only single a few years back and Planet Rock do like to play the track a fair bit, so you may have heard it on there. Failing that I've no idea where you might have come across it...it's certainly never been played live.

Q: Did you support 'Heart' at Wembley arena and if so when? Sue, Hampshire
T: Yup. on May 10th, 11th and 13th 1990. Full details here!

Q: Hi, great new album! Congratulations!! Here's my question to all of you (except Harry): any of you had the problem of losing your hair? How did you face it? Walter, Argentina
B: No, I always know where I put my hair.
L: Ha ha ha ........I still have most of mine although it's not as luxuriant as it once was. If I did start losing it I think I'd keep my hair very short.
D: I lost a few hairs the other day when I pulled my hat off quite quickly, but apart from that I don't think I've got any bald spots. Then again, I can't see it all over, so I guess I'll have to rely on someone telling me if it happens. I wouldn't try to save it if it started going, wigs, weaves etc would not do for me, I can't stand all the mucking about and worrying that people know must be terrible. I think I'd just shave it all off and wear more hats in the winter..

Q: Driving home from work the other night I followed a car for quite a distance that had "RJT" as the last 3 letters on its numberplate. This got me to thinking about personalised numberplates, I have one myself and was wondering if any of you guys have one too or, indeed, what you think about the whole personalised numberplate thing? If any of you do have one, is it really personal or band-related? Andy Lacey, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
B: Got to be the biggest waste of money I can think of, every number plate is unique the rest is just vanity
D: I have one, though it is not related to anything, band or otherwise. It was my wife's, and when I replaced her car a few years back, rather than simply sell it with the car, she asked me to retain it. When the retention period expired I transferred it to my car rather than extend or lose it. I think that's what I did at least, I'm a bit hazy on the subject. You can tell it's not of major interest to me can't you?. To be honest I can't even remember why she got it in the first place, but I do know it's not special and definitely not worth anything.

Q: Are your DVDs "Scenes of the behind" and "Thunder go mad in Japan" going to be available at the merchandise spot during the european tour? I don't have a credit card so I can't buy them online. Bang! is absolutely brilliant by the way. Looking forward to seeing you in Germany again. And finally: Can You blame me if I think my English sucks? Sven, Oldenburg, Germany
D: There will be CD and DVD titles galore on sale at the February shows, along with tee shirts. Glad you like the record and your English doesn't appear to suck as far as I can tell.

Q: Ace gig at Wolverhampton! Shame I didn't get to go backstage, though I have done before so im happy! Quick question. I have seen bands like iron maiden and megadeth remastering their older material giving their music fantastic quality for its age. Backstreet Symphony is my all time favourite album, ever considered remastering it? I would set up camp outside hmv to grab my copy! I cant believe you weren't keen on Love Walked In!! Just this week i noticed it on a new greatest rock compilation!! Its amazing song :) cheers. Martin, Cheltenham
T: I'm afraid any remastering of Backstreet Symphony would be down to EMI who own the recordings. Toshiba-EMI in Japan did release a remaster a few years ago, but I certainly couldn't tell the difference. I think that compared to a lot of recordings made in the early 90s Backstreet holds up very well and isn't in need of a remaster as much, although a nice 20th anniversary set, including all the B-sides plus a bonus DVD would be a nice little package...why not write to EMI and ask them?

Q: At the recent Manchester meet and greet you gestured with your hand that you get a feeling for a song with your gut rather than your head, instead of responding like a normal person I squealed like a 16 year groopie, I'm sorry about that, but, you are so much sexier close up. I've now come back down to Earth and would like to ask if you've ever written a  song you haven't had "the feeling" for but someone has persuaded you otherwise, maybe one that's become a classic?Anne, Leeds
L: Normally women think I'm sexier when I'm further away!!! To be perfectly honest I wasn't that keen on 'Love Walked In' when I'd written it. Andy Taylor convinced me it was a hit song although at the time I wasn't convinced. Just goes to show how much I know!

Q: How would you feel if one of your songs was used on the X factor? Dave, Tunbridgewells
L: Slightly soiled but wealthier!!!!

Q: Hi guys, and happy christmas day to everyone!!!! This one's for Luke... I was taking a look at your personal data and I  have read with joy that alongside with your good taste for guitar players, actors and footballers, you name John McEnroe as one of your idols!!!! Being a long time tennis player myself I would like to ask you which ones are your reasons for that, apart from his incredible genius...I began playing tennis in 1984 when I was seven and he ruled the tennis world and he is very inspiring to me...On the other hand, being Jimmy Page another one of your idols, I would like to know what is having your picture taken with one of you idols like...must be amazing, to say the least...Thank you very much and forgive the mistakes in my English!!!! Diego, Palencia, Spain
L:  John McEnroe was very exciting to watch because he was unpredictably brilliant. I liked the fact he demanded very high standards of himself and hated losing! Jimmy Page is a very nice man and not at all 'starry' so being in his company is a pleasure. The first time we met him he came into our dressing room at Hammersmith Apollo in 1992 and we were very impressed that he liked Thunder. Benny was genuinely overawed and could barely speak!

Q: Hi -Wondered if you'd heard the new AC/DC album? & what you thought of it? Mitch Capaldi, Cheltenham
L: Only heard bits but it sounds pretty good.
D: I've heard most of it, and I think it's very typical AC/DC mk2 (with Brian). I'm sure fans love it, but it's not really been my cup of tea since Bon died. I have great respect for them and what they've done, I'm just not a fan.

Q: I have been listening recently to the Japanese version of RJT and enjoying The Girl is alright. I think it's superb. Brilliant production. After listening to Bang, with its variety of styles, how do you go about deciding what makes the album? Is it a team effort or does Luke, as songwriter, swing it? Also when it comes to recording, what mics do you use as it's a great sound? Danny, when you record, do you stand and sing or have the opportunity to do your recognised and different dancing? James Vincent, Caterham
D: We bought a load of studio mics for the recording of Bang! Most of them are Sennheiser ones and they do indeed sound fab. I tend to do a bit of mild jiggling whilst recording, rather than the full on live show DB dance. It's a bit of a different experience all round really, but the intensity has to be the same, so there has to be a degree of jiggling.
L: What constitutes the album and running order are part of my job but if the other guys feel strongly about something they'll let me know. All the mics used on 'Bang!' were made by Sennheiser apart from an AKG for vocals. Mics do influence sound but the shape and type of room you record in also makes a big difference. We all like to dance while recording obviously; doesn't everybody?

Q: Hi Danny, great show at Nottingham simply brilliant fun! my question is what happened to the "Don" tag you used to have on the first few Thunder years? Mart, Saffron Walden
D: Glad you enjoyed the Xmas show. Don was my nickname for a few years, but it was replaced by Daz around the time of the LOJD LP in 1992. This was mostly down to the influence of one Mr Andy Taylor, who referred to Harry as Hazza (after Gazza the footie player) during the recording. This name was eventually shortened to Haz, and I became Dazza and then Daz. Strangely enough several of my friends from the early 90's still call me Don even to this day. I have to be honest, I wasn't too sorry to lose the Don monica, as the "Hello Team.. Hello Don" pantomime greeting got a wee bit tiresome after a couple of hundred shows. Oh no it didn't, oh yes it did etc...

Q: Hi, I came to see you guys at Rock City on the 17th (you were ACE by the way) and you had a lush looking dude in a groovy hat and leather jacket combo supporting you on guitar. Being slightly inebriated that night (!) I can't remember his name/why he was there! Can you help me out? It'd be much appreciated thanks xxx Ali, Sheffield
T: That would be Peter Shoulder. He's been an extra guitarist at the Xmas shows for a long time now and has been a friend of the band for even longer. He used to be in a band called Winterville and is now just starting out as a solo artist. For more information on Pete please check him out at http://www.myspace.com/petershoulder

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