Q & A Archive - June 2009

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


Q: Hi Luke. Just listened to the Peter Shoulder download and think it's brilliant. Thunderish but with a Shoulder 'twist'. Can you tell me though who are the other musicians on the track and is there going to be a tour? If there is (a tour) can you come to Brighton!!! Take care and good luck with the your Tour and with all future projects! x Sarah, Lancing
L: The only musicians on the demo are Pete and myself. We were assisted by a Mr D. Rummachine as well!!!!!


Q: Luke, good job on the demo, I am so pleased there is a future after Thunder for you and more songs to be written by you and Pete. Have you thought of a band name as of yet? Do Harry and Chris form part of the band? Finally, is the demo a taste of the genre the music will follow? Looking forward to seeing you in Wolverhampton. Ian, S Wales
L: We've really just been concentrating on writing songs so other issues like a name and musicians haven't been fully considered. As you may have noticed I've been a bit busy with all things Thunder! Come August time we will be giving it our full and total attention. As to where the music leads us, ask me in a couple of months time!


Q: Hi, listening to your live cds the common thread is the little interludes between songs with Mr Bowes getting the already syched up crowd to higher levels like only he can especially on the LIVE album, whose idea was it to them, and can you remember when they first featured in your sets before tracks such as 'higher ground' and in particular 'Dirty love', is it just a natural thing, the electric vibe the energy in musical form, and I do like the way Ben always throws in thee odd riff here and there be it ..sandman or 'nobodys fault but mine' its genius adds to the quirky but cool thunder vibe, have you ever played lyceum Strand in london does it still exist as I have a free 1971 tour tee and its on that was curious what about the wall in Bergholt Cresent, Amhurst Park, London with kossoffs name painted on does it still stand? Colm, N. Ireland
B: A lot of these kind of interludes grow from touring and playing with each other for such a long time, some are previously thought out. I think the record is a twenty minute excursion during Dirty Love which included Nut Rocker, the theme from Hawaii-5-O and Soul Limbo by Booker T & the MGs. Thunder have never played at the Lyceum as none of us own a Lion costume. Out of curiosity I had a look for the wall in question using Google streetview but could see nothing there.


Q:  Oi Danny :-) Seems like I now might make it to London if I can get 2 tickets. Yes I know I was late about this, but going from Norway to UK for one night only is not a lightly taken decision economically for me... anyway I now hope that I can get a pair of tickets without needing to feed the sharks (e-bay-silly-prices). ok... now the question... I listened to the donington (1990) show again and you said "your all invited for tea at my house". I cant remember if you answered this before, but how many did actually show up? Who's hair is Harry busy combing then? Inge Hassel, Heimdal
D: I believe about 200 came to tea a week later. It wasn't very successful, as I didn't have enough cups..


Q:  I was reading through an account you gave sir of how you got into a band and you said you and Luke went to Haberdashers' aske's in New Cross! I was born and lived in Deptford and after some careful research (Google maps!) I realised I used to live about a mile from where you went to school! I attended Childeric Primary School up to year 5 and was just wondering what time frame you left the area as may parents may have seen yourself and Mr. Morley roaming the area! I am of course too young....! Listened to a lot of Thunder during my A-level Biology revision, let's hope it payed off! Looking forward to Hammersmith so much! Louise, Bedford
D: I attended Haberdashers' Askes from 1971 to 1976. I didn't live in the New Cross area during that time (though I did many years later), I used to sit on a bus and/or train every day. I hated the commuting, and I'm sure that was part of what drove me to join a band (I figured rock stars didn't commute, though we did take the drum kit on a bus for our first gig. Honest.). Luke lived a few hundred yards from our school and could literally fall out of bed and walk up the hill. He was late almost every day... Go figure..


Q: Hello! Like many other people asking questions on this site, I would like to add my thanks for some of the best if not the best shows I have ever been to and for music that has meant so much to me over the years. It is hard to put my finger on exactly why your music seems to hit a chord with so many of us. I think for me it is because the songs are so diverse and have seen me through so many things from getting me to work in the morning to helping me cope with in some of the harder times. From the first show I saw (DeMontfort Hall early 90's - last night of the tour I think, you brought a wheelbarrow thing full of booze onto the stage). To what will be my last Rock City, every show has been a night to remember. My question to you all is, is there a band or artist from who's music you can select a song that can capture a moment, a feeling good or bad, and that has never let you down? Its a tricky one! I know who mine is - which is why you are all so special! Take care of yourselves and all the very best - looking forward to whatever comes next. Helen Watson, Leicester
D: I've always been fascinated by the power of music to transport us back to specific times and events in our past. Whenever I hear the song Bad Company (by Bad Company strangely enough), I am instantly transported back to their show at the Rainbow Theatre in London, December 1974. It was my first ever concert (£2 ticket with a 20p booking fee), and it was one of the most magical occasions of my life. I can remember almost every detail of the show, even now 35 years later.. I bought a massive poster at the gig, and got it crushed in the door of the tube train in the post show scramble. When the doors opened at the next station, all my Bad Company members had been decapitated. I still put it on my wall though, it was a like a hunting trophy...


Q: I have part question and part praise. I have just downloaded the Japanese show downloads and I am mightily impressed. I have been to close to 40 shows and despite having practically everything you have released, I think these downloads highlight how tight you can be when playing live. I hate to use the words 'can be' because you are nearly always on top form, but some of these versions are absolutely top notch. My question is did you feel these were some of your best shows ever, hence the release? Notes are certainly hit and all the vocals sound great. This has just re-affirmed my dedication to one of the best live bands on the circuit. It's such a pity, and yet I understand the decision, that this has to be the last tour - you are truly departing on top form. Harry and Chris, haven't heard from you in a while - what is your best memory of all things Thunder? And to you all, I am sure you will miss it but what things (apart from music related
activities) are you most looking forward to once Thunder are no more? James Vincent, Caterham
B: I'll look forward to not having to answer all these questions.
D: To be honest, we knew the shows were great, but we didn't consider selling the recordings until the numbers of emails from Japanese fans started to get silly. The reason was simply down to the fact that they were sound board mixes and not proper multitrack ones. We've always been very concerned about the quality of our output, and tried to maintain a high standard with every release. As they were the final Japanese shows, and fans obviously wanted them, we decided it was probably the right thing to do.


Q: Hi Guys, I have a 16 week old daughter called Danni. Other than educating her in the world of rock music, what parenting tips would you offer? Really looking forward to catching you guys in Manchester, thanks for all the great memories! All the best, Paul. Paul, Cumbria
D: Never go out with a musician...


Q: How did it feel to play Donington (sorry Download!) again, which was the best I've been to in years? A great show which made the entire weekend. Did you get time to check out any of the other bands on the bill ? Thanks for the last twenty years lads and good luck to you all in the future. Can't wait for (but in some ways dreading !) Nottingham ! Richard, York
B: It was a nice thing to do, to say goodbye at the festival that certainly helped us on our way all those years ago. I'm afraid we didn't get to see any other bands as we went back to the hotel and got horribly drunk.
L: Thanks. It was great to play there again and the audience response was overwhelming at times. Unfortunately we didn't really get a chance to see any other bands due to all the interviews we did and the fact that we were only there on the day we played!


Q: Just out of curiosity, who do you think would make the best touring partners ? And your reasons ? Thanks a lot and see you in July ! Chris, M'Bro
B: AC/DC - they could play Thunderstruck live before we came on.
L: Girls Aloud....do I need to give a reason?


Q: Hello again, as we run a village pub what would the lads choice be if I allowed them to choose 1 meal each to put on the special board. Andy, Thornford, Dorset
B: Panda steaks in a marsala reduction?
D: When it comes to lovely pub grub, I can't resist a good old fashioned beef & Guinness pie... Yum..


Q: Hi Guys the Question is this!! When u arrive at a city do u get the chance tae visit anything?? like the town uz are in (ie Glasgow) (wink wink) lol so that I can bump in2 u guys in case I don't get a back stage pass lol xxxx. Kat, Glasgow
B: I do try and get to have at look around places we visit, especially if I have never been there before.
D: Yes we do like to have a walk around in most cities, time permitting of course.
L: I always like to take a walk around town and see what's going on, usually with Chris as we are both early risers. I go a bit mad if I can't stretch the old legs during the day!


Q: If you're doing nothing this Friday night is there any chance could you get down to Wembley stadium to step in for Thin Lizzy who've pulled out of their support slot with AC/DC due to injury ? Richard, York
D: Shame for TL, I bet Scott & co will be miserable, but I'm sure AC/DC will find someone. We're all busy washing our hair..


Q: When I lived I London back in the early 90's my favorite restaurant was the St. Moritz on Wardour St (even before I had discovered Thunder). You can imagine my delight when I later purchased Thunder's "BACKSTREET SYMPHONY : THE VIDEOS (1990)" to find the St. Moritz featured along with a hilarious intro with Sweety the proprietor saying something along the lines of "you are Thunder, why didn't you say ...come on in!" Is this clip, along with the associated band interviews (and awfully pretty Thunderbirds), available on DVD as my copy of the tape will not play in Canada and conversion to PAL will be really expensive :) Looking forward to seeing you in Wolverhampton! BTW any plans to sell Thunder guitar picks in the future? My tiny collection of picks would then be complete. Warren McCulloch, Coquitlam, BC Canada
T: No, those segments from the BSS VHS have never been released on DVD (Thankfully, some might say...). There are no plans to release Thunder guitar picks I'm afraid. As the band is now coming to an end we are not really looking into releasing any new merch other than the various bits associated with the farewell tour...sorry...


Q: Danny, that interviewer actually look for you after the download show for the contribution to the competition prize? if he did, did you give in to him? best interview of the weekend by the way! Martin, Cheltenham
D: No, I assumed he got scared, or the heat got to him, or perhaps his silly tee shirt got him befriended by a big hairy metal fan...


Q: Download eh?? Are you going to check out any other acts at Download? I personally only like about 1/5th of the line up so I am going to Sonisphere (thankfully going to see you play in London!) Also, you seem to be getting huge press from the forums everywhere on your announcement at Download! Was there no opportunity for an appearance at download before this? Martin, Cheltenham
D: The idea of Thunder appearing at Download 09 was discussed ages ago, but once the split announcement was made, and the UK tour in July was agreed, there was a direct conflict for the promoters (Live Nation are doing both).
It was agreed we would have to wait until we had sold enough tour tickets to warm the promoter's cockles, but there was always a danger all the best slots would be gone by the time that happened. And it did. We were a bit fed up as we wanted to go out at Donington the way we came in, but you can't always get what you want, and we eventually had to accept it wouldn't happen unless one of the secret bands pulled out. Then that happened too. There was some serious whooping when Mr Copping called me. We really don't give a rat's arse where we play, or on what day, we've never been bothered by that kind of thing. We're chuffed to pieces.


Q: Hello Danny, Thanks for your reply to the question I submitted in May. Further to which, I can confirm the songs at number one in the charts when you were born and on your 18th birthday were; 'My Old Man's A Dustman' by Lonnie Donegan (which according to our Hit Singles book was recorded in Doncaster), and 'Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs' by Brian and Michael (inspired by the northern painter LS Lowry). I hope I've got my facts right. Perhaps
you'll find yourself singing them after a few "lemonades", in your own inimitable style! I wonder if I could end by posing another question (it'd be a shame not to!). If you had to choose only 5 albums to go on your iPod, excluding your own and compilations, what would they be? Angela, Sheffield
D: Thanks for the information. I know the Lonnie Donegan song very well as my Father sang it all the time when I was a boy. I know the other one too but I'm rather sorry that I do. Not really my cup of tea at all. As for the 5 albums only question, the 5 would be Songs In The Key Of Life (Steve Wonder), Fulfillingness' First Finale (Stevie Wonder), Let's Get It On (Marvin Gaye), Abbey Rd (Beatles), Quadrophenia (Who). You'll note I have cheated somewhat with a triple and a double album in there, but what can I say, I'm a cheat!


Q: Hi I was just wondering why you guys are playing a gig in Germany two weeks after the last gig in Hammersmith. Malcolm Hissey, Oxford
D: When we announced the split we made it clear the July UK tour would be the last shows in the UK, and that we could play some festivals up to the end of July. This was because we agreed to do the German festival last August, long before we made the decision to split up. To be honest we always intended to add some more festivals to go with it, but it didn't turn out that way. Having agreed to do the show, we didn't feel it would be right to pull out, just because it ended up being on its own.


Q: Hi guys! I don't expect there'll be many more chances to send you messages in the future, so before I ask my question, I just wanted to say thanx heaps for all the absolutely amazing memories that you have given to my girlfriend and I over the years. I'm glad that the, for want of a better word, disappointment, seems to have gone from people's messages, and that hopefully everyone, yourselves and us, can enjoy the last few gigs together. I remember seeing you guys back on the Heart tour after and being seriously blown away. I have been very lucky to have seen more of your gigs that I can remember, (every UK tour), and can't remember a gig where you didn't blow me away, whether top of the bill or support, (Nottingham Arena July 2008 for example). I'm amazed, as is everyone who knows you, that you didn't make it bigger than you did, but glad that you still seem down to earth guys and humbled by the adulation that you get. I wish you all success in whatever future venture you take, and look forward to the reunion gig whenever it is, (ha-ha!). To my question, I understand that you are much loved in other countries also, but was there nowhere on the calendar to do a final gig here in the UK? Steve, London
D: Thanks for the nice words, you're very kind. We agreed to play the German festival last August, long before we decided to part company, so as with most things Thunder, it kind of chose itself, rather than being part of a complex grand plan. All the shows since the announcement have taken on an extra final dimension for me, each feeling like the last time we'll play that place, but not in a sad way, as all the shows have been amazing. It has to end somewhere, and to be honest I think we're all pretty ambivalent about where, so why not in a German field? Seems as good a place as any, and as luck would have it, being Germany, the beer will be good...


Q: Danny! no much of a question, more a response to a recent reply. You said you used to be disappointed when singers didn't hit notes, and so you felt you must hit every note perfectly. Well I think you should know that you hitting every note has made me disrespect many bands out there that miss notes live! (my chemical romance is a prime example!) You  outclass everyone live! Cheers for the music and great shows! see you in london! Martin, Cheltenham
D: OK so now I have my self inflicted pressure, and the blame for other singers not being as good as they should be. Thanks..


Q: As you have a wealth of music knowledge, who would you recommend to look out for in the future? Ade C, Manchester
L: Definitely my new band project with Peter Shoulder! Apart from that everything else is rubbish obviously!
D: With all my wealth of music knowledge, I'd suggest you look out for a really good live band with great songs that can play really well, look great, take a lovely snap, and give witty/entertaining/funny/serious interviews. Please let me know when you find this band.


Q: Now that the end is near, is everything falling into place for you all for life after Thunder? (I'm not going to ask what you will be doing because you are ALL being elusive at the moment ha!!) Ade C, Manchester
D: To be honest my main focus is on making sure all is well between now and the end.
B: After 20 years in Thunder everything is falling off.


Q: Just a few little questions going round my mind really. As a guitar player you're often cited to be a huge influence to a lot of up and coming bands, I remember speaking to Tokyo Dragons and they said your playing had influenced them and the heavens basement guys have always held you in great esteem. Looking through your list of influences, your own style seems to be completely unique, you don't kind of have a set sound, its inspiring ( bit of ass kissing necessary). If you were to just pick up a guitar a week after not playing, what's your comfort zone, what kind of stuff is just effortless and
 natural to you? Also was I right reading somewhere that they did a custom LP of yours back in the early days? If so are they a bit like rocking horse shit these days? See you in Manchester and London... I ain't missed a Manchester gig since the reunion! now I'm seeing it as you split! Ian, Brighton
L: As I've said many times before, I don't try too hard with the guitar. As long as I can play what I hear in my head I'm happy. Technique is not the most important aspect of music as far as I'm concerned; it's the ability to articulate an emotion or a feeling that moves people. There has never been a guitar with my name on it as far as I'm aware.


Q: More a comment than a question...just wanted to pass along that I think the lyrics for Stormwater hit the nail on the head. As a native New Orleanian, I was touched to hear the song, granted we always take I10 our rather than Airline (what we call 61). Great song that really hit home. Only 2 members of my family were spared damage from Katrina and as I was living in CA at the time the storm hit, I was the "point person" for the family keeping track of who was where, etc. Thanks for the song. Kari Bourgeois, Austin, TX
L: Thanks for your observations and comments. I hope your family is over the associated trauma.



Q: I wondered why you hadn't answered my Q&A from back in February, asking if there was any chance you could sign-off the same way you came in, with a fantastic gig at Donington...and now I know!!! I bought a Download ticket anyway - obviously on the off-chance you might have read my question and thought "What a top idea!", so I'll see you on the Saturday at 6:40 on the Tuborg stage! I'll be the one telling everyone there that it was my idea!!! Cheers and have a killer show! Giles Scott. Cambridge (well...Great Gransden actually, home of Blues & Soul)
T: Hmm...hate to burst your bubble, but the reason that your question wasn't answered was because it had already been covered back in January's Q&A's...we had quite a lot of Q&A's in about this. Still, enjoy the show...you can still tell people it was your idea if you want...we won't tell...


Q: As its my last chance I am gonna be bold...which one of u handsome boys is gonna gimme a snog @ Manchester???...Love u guys cant wait for the show and all the very best of northern luck for ur respective futures...20 yrs a fan and out!! xx Tracy, Manchester
L: A job for Harry I think!
D: Harry will.. We will make him do it..


Q: Danny, particularly, do you think your voice has improved with age? I read somewhere that the male voice is best around 40, do you agree. Listening to some of the MOR recordings on the recent release, it sounds like your voice is more hoarse. Do you just know how to treat your voice nowadays or is it just better? Are you equally as adventurous on high notes or eased off in recent years, in recordings in the studio? I am curious at what you feel is your top note.
Luke, are you a better singer now that you don't smoke (excepting the occasional cigar)? James Vincent, Caterham
L: Danny's top note would be probably an F. I don't know if I'm a better singer but I do know that my voice is stronger than it was.
D: I'm not sure if my voice is better or worse, but I think my ability to handle it has improved over the years. I've always been able to sing much louder than is good for me so it's always been a case of trying to keep it under control, and not get too excited when performing live. Keeping it going and sounding right during tours has always been a struggle, more
mental than physical to be honest, but the process has evolved over the years, and I know it very well. When I was a punter, I was always disappointed when I went to gigs and the singer didn't hit the notes, so I've always felt almost pathologically driven to hit them all, or die in the attempt. I've never been able to do anything about that, it's a very
substantial part of my make up. The idea of easing up and not trying so hard is very alien to me. I have no idea what my highest or lowest notes are, as I really don't know anything about music or how it's made (honestly). I'm just an instinctive feel singer, with a loud voice, oh and of course a gay dance.. I'm sure Luke is a much better singer now he doesn't smoke, and I'd like to think I'll be a better smoker when I give up singing.. I wonder if I'll need singing substitute patches if the urge gets too great?



Q: Now that you're calling it a day & you're not repressing anymore of your back catalogue, will you be selling any of your CDs especially those that were only available to buy online at your gig's, I've got tickets to see you in London & I don't own a lot of your recent CDs as I couldn't get them in my local record store & as I don't own a credit card  I couldn't buy online but if you're selling any surplus stock my purse will be bulging to buy some merchandise & the like when I get to see you in London. looking forward to the gig. Anne-Marie Foy, Co. Donegal, Ireland
D: There will indeed be a large selection of Thunder CDs and DVDs on sale on the final UK tour.


Q: Do you think that you will become a full time sound engineer or maybe produce music after thunder? have you always been technically minded? Gill McGough, Cheshire
B: I don't think I will become a full time sound engineer but may possibly produce and mix albums for bands that I like. I started working in studios a long time ago so I guess so.


Q: Hi Thinny, just curious about your alias. Has is it got anything to do with the character "The thin controller" from the children's series "Thomas and friends" about a little steam engine? Great website by the way. Bart, Amstelveen, Holland
T: It has nothing to do with a "little steam engine" thank you very much. Actually, the name The Thin Controller was given to me by Danny back in 1999 when I started working for the band. I guess he'd know more about where it came from, but I was very skinny back then, and I was to be in control of all things web based for Thunder, so it doesn't take a genius to work it out. The Thin Controller did tend to be a bit of a mouthful though (!?) so the fans eventually shortened it down to Thinny. Actually if you Wiki "Thinny" apparently I'm "An area where the barrier between worlds can be passed despite the absence of a true door. Typically accompanied by an unpleasant sound." Hmm...maybe I'm not as anonymous as I thought... ;)


Q: Sorry to trouble you Thinny, I'm having trouble ordering my CD for the London show. It keeps saying that my issue number is incorrect but I can assure you that it is correct as its the same card I use on all my accounts and they are still working fine. I've e-mailed the company but had no response and that was 3 weeks ago (roughly). Just to check, will the CDs will still be available on the night? its not just a case of you have to pre order? Matthew Davies, Pwllheli, North Wales
T: I can't help with the credit card thing - try emailing Concert Live again, maybe you're first mail went missing in Cyberspace? But fear not, you will still be able to purchase your CD set at the show with a good old fashioned £20 note!


Q: Hi, Went to your concert at the Astoria in November 2008 and it was amazing! Have tickets for July 2009 and can't wait to see you all again. Can you remind me who the support band was at the gig in November 2008 please and were they Welsh? Thanks! Sarah, Buckinghamshire
T: That'll Be Heaven's Basement.


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