Q & A Archive - March 2008

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


Q: Hi Luke, I have 2 questions about the new EP. Was there any particular reason why Sheffield City Hall chosen for the live recordings ? and who makes the choices for the live tracks ? I'm a little disappointed that Chain Reaction is on there after it was on the last EP. Still I'm very much looking forward to the new EP. Take Care. Daryl, Newport
L: Firstly we felt that Sheffield had been a particularly good show. The City Hall also happens to have great natural acoustics and when we listened back to the recording even in it's roughest, unmixed state it sounded good. I chose the live songs. We included 'Chain Reaction' because we felt it was a really exciting performance of the song and I didn't want to include something that had been released as a live version previously.



Q: Hi Danny.... I've just been listening to the new Xmas CD.... Very good indeed! I've been singing for a few years, and wondered if you found the same thing happens to you.... Basically I've noticed that over the last few years that my voice has changed quite a lot - not the sound, but my range I guess. Although I can get as high as I could before, I notice that I tend to lose my voice more if I do it! I just wondered if you've ever found yourself in a similar situation? I think The Moment Of Truth on the new CD is in a lower key than the original, whether that's because it's acoustic I've no idea - but I would imagine singing it like the original version is a killer for the voice? So basically my question is.... Do you struggle to sing any songs that have previously been fine? Dan, Southampton
D: Most Thunder songs are fine for me to sing in isolation, but singing them one after another is when it starts getting tricky, especially night after night on tour (we usually work 3 shows on and 1 day off). I don't find any songs any harder to sing now than in years gone by (which is a boon), and some are actually slightly easier as I've possibly evolved with the lines and melodies, which is inevitable I guess. TMOT is indeed keyed lower on the 2007 Xmas CD than the original studio version. The arrangement is more intimate and stripped down, and the lower keyed and simpler vocal works better within it. The fact that it makes my life a bit easier is purely incidental to Luke I'm sure (the sadist likes to torture me - ha ha).


Q: How you doing Danny? I noticed in one of your last question you said that you had your tonsils removed when you were 28. I am 26 & a singer in my band & im awaiting the removal of my tonsils. I wanted to know how long was your recovery before you started singing again & how did it affect your voice? Steve, Wrexham
D: I waited about 4 months after my op before I sang out loud. I could have done it earlier but it was just before Terraplane split up and we weren't very busy at the time. I was told by my ENT consultant that my voice would be unaffected as the voice box and tonsils are not really that close to each other (he'd previously operated on opera singers who all made full recoveries so I was confident he was right). The big difference between before and after was that I felt well all the time (prior to that I was always ill and pretty much living on antibiotics), but vocally I was no different. I hope your op goes OK.


Q: Do you have any plans to release the track "The Outsider" on the 7" vinyl of "The Devil Made Me Do It" in a digital format? As much as I love the idea of preserving vinyl and all that, I still prefer to listen to Thunder's music in clear and crystal sound and the 40 second sample of the track on the webpage sounds awesome - so it would be ideal to make it available for download via iTunes or Amazon.co.uk or something if it can't be made available on CD... John, Birmingham
D: The songs that have previously been offered for sale as "limited edition" in whatever format, should stay that way, or we are not keeping faith with the people who bought them originally. Making something limited hopefully makes it more collectable, and people buy into that. We don't want to let anyone down by changing it afterwards. We understand people's frustration with everything not being available in all formats that work for them, but we are also very aware that we can never please everyone, whatever we do. Perhaps we should scrap limited editions and just make everything unlimited edition instead? Ha ha..


Q: You may want to refrain from answering this one considering your forthcoming shows with them but .....One of my favourite albums was & still is, Def Leppard's high n dry album, mainly because of the raw guitar sound with the aggressive but melodic guitar riffs. I think they lost a lot of ROCK fans with their poppy, wimpish follow ups. One thing I love about thunder is you never lost your root sound it still has plenty, if not more balls to it. You never sold out. I think Def Leppard did. Anyway...are you a Def Leppard fan? Shaun, S. Yorks
D: I liked a couple of the earlier DL hits, but they've always sounded a tiny bit too produced and processed for my personal taste. I can see why they've been successful though, and I have much respect for them and what they've achieved. They may or may not have "sold out", to quote your words. That's a matter of opinion, but one thing they have definitely sold is a hell of a lot of records, so they must have been doing something right for a lot of people.
L: I must say that I don't and never have agreed with the concept of 'selling out'. It doesn't necessarily follow that if you make poppier records you will make loads more money. Sales are never guaranteed in this business. I think that DL (along with the not inconsiderable talents of Mutt Lange) made some very high quality radio-friendly rock records. They sold shed loads but that was also down to the fact that the band worked so hard on the road in the USA. It's also worth mentioning that anyone my age (as most of DL are roughly) was heavily influenced by early 70's pop i.e. Mott The Hoople, David Bowie,The Sweet etc. so a pop sensibility is inevitable. Artists have to do what they feel is right for them and it is impossible to please everybody all the time. You may be right when you say that DL lost a few fans after 'H&D' but they sure as hell gained a lot when they released 'Pyromania' and 'Hysteria'! I'm glad you are still enjoying what we do.


Q: Hi guys, good to see some new tour dates, but no Brighton AGAIN!!! anyway I see that your playing at Exeter university, would the band ever do a tour of different universities round the UK at some point? I ask this because I'm off to university myself in September and will have trouble getting back from the gigs as the last trains leave too soon! Keep it up guys! Preston, Brighton
D: Whilst we like to test the water in new places here and there, I'd say it's unlikely we'd play a university only type tour. Good luck at university, I'm sure you'll find lots to occupy you there, and you'll forget about us soon enough.. Sob..


Q: Happy Easter! Yesterday, I attended a Fish concert at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. And Fish was talking about the good and the bad stuff of being in the music business. About being on the tour bus too long (the bad), and then he told us about a phonecall he got from a friend called Luke Morley from a band called Thunder (he said that very clearly) and that you and some model(obviously the good!!!) were in a castle for a photo shoot??? Now what is that all about mr. Morley? Menno, Holland
L: I think you've got your wires crossed a little! What happened was I rang Fish and he told me he'd recorded a song about a glamour model (I think it's called 'Zoe 25') and he'd recently done a photoshoot with a glamour model who's name, funnily enough, was Zoe. He asked me what I was up to and I told him we were recording in a castle. See how rumours start..........


Q: Luke, you're offered to produce the next Status Quo album, what would you chance in their sound and did you listen to Quo's latest output "IN SEARCH OF THE FOURTH CHORD" produced by Pip Williams? Lots of Fans on Quo's Message Board mentioned your name and noted your brilliant job on Thunder's latest productions. Thimmy, Germany
L: I always thought that Quo sounded much better live than on record where they can sound a bit polite. I haven't heard 'ISOTFC' but if it was up to me I'd make them sound a bit more exciting and modern. I can't see it happening though!


Q:  Hi guys, thought the Childline Rocks gig was a roaring success, with some exceptional unique collaborations. I'm guessing it was also a blast for you to jam with Roger Daltrey, Lulu, Fish etc. Two questions; I wondered whether this performance might be released at some point, either on DVD or CD? Also wondered whether this might become an annual fundraiser? Think you'd get a lot of support (and maybe an OBE too)!!! Mark
Lacey, Oxted, Surrey

D: I'm glad you enjoyed it. The show was a resounding success. All the artists entered into the spirit of the event, and the audience were great too. Bob Harris had a small film crew there to capture it for posterity, but I believe it was never meant for public consumption. I heard that it raised a goodly amount for ChildLine, so that's fab, and the sponsors were pleased too, but I don't know for sure if it will become a regular thing. I guess we'll all have to wait and see.


Q: I have to agree with the guy who said the recent xmas album is one or the best and have noticed the past few years the wine has disappeared from the stage whilst performing. Is this to improve the quality of the music or due to the hang overs the next day. Colin Vale, Leicester
D: The musical bar gets raised a little each year, and some of us have found it easier all round to wait until after the show to get into the Xmas spirit. The recordings have benefited. The Xmas show is the equivalent of our end of year "works do", so the hangovers are a pre-requisite, irrespective of when the imbibing begins..


Q: Having recently purchased rock city 8 CD, which is one of the best Christmas live cds to date especially "Preaching From A Chair". Have you and the gang considered bringing Ana & Tara Mcdonald and Peter Shoulder to
enhance a full Thunder live Tour, or would Pete be still in the bar!! ha ha. Andy Knight, Slough
D: I'm glad you like the CD, the Xmas shows do seem to be getting better every year. I'm assuming you've simply forgotten Tim and not omitted him from your list on purpose (he'll be crushed). The songs are written and arranged for the 5 of us, and that's what Thunder are about, So whilst it's nice to take it off on a journey at Xmas time, the whole dynamic of the band would change if we had a 9 piece band for every show, and what would we do at Xmas? Perhaps a 15 piece band? No. There are also the practical considerations, like feeding & transporting 9 band members as well as our crew, those McDonald sisters eat like locusts you know, and Tim insists on a limo to take him everywhere... Ha ha.


Q: Hi Guys, I was just wondering how influenced you were growing up by NWOBHM bands like Maiden and Cloven Hoof? Rob, Wilmslow
L: Ummm.....not at all really Rob. Sorry.


Q: So Mr Morley, guitar genius that you are. I noticed during a couple of recent acoustic shows, especially the one at Glasgow Garage, that you tend to leave most of the lead work to Ben. Is there any particular reason for this, it's just I find it a bit curious that you play the lead lines on electric, but not on acoustic. For example Backstreet Symphony. Looking forward to the new EP by the way - any idea when it will be out? Marti, Glasgow
L: Some of the acoustic arrangements of the songs came together from literally just sitting around and jamming and they evolved a certain way. I really enjoy playing rhythm on acoustic as well so that might have some thing to do with it!


Q: How would you feel if you were approached to do a Run DMC/Aerosmith type track, crossing over your track with a rap group? which song would you think of using if you did? Steve, Wrexham
L: I like to think we're open minded about other styles of music so if we were approached by an artist from a genre of music different to our own we would definitely listen to what they had in mind.
B: I think if it came out sounding like Walk This Way and was as big a hit then I'm all for it. How about Love Walked In with Dr Dre


Q: How is it decided on how many tracks make an album? some have 10 tracks, some have 15. Is it purely to do with track length or is it record companies (when you have one) that require a set amount or just your own decision? some bands only use 30 mins, some use over the hour. Steve, Wrexham
L: It's all about a good balance of material. Running time isn't the most important consideration as I believe quality is more important than quantity. We have always chosen the content of our albums.


Q: Have you ever considered getting a orchestra in to do some tracks? I mentioned once to you that i think you could do an amazing version of  LWI with an orchestra. I think it would work with a lot of your tracks & I think it would really suit Danny & let him show off abit! Steve, Wrexham
L: If a song lent itself to an orchestral arrangement we would definitely consider it. Rock music can sound a bit pompous when orchestrated so the arranger would have to be very tasteful to make it work.


Q: Just wondered what the motivation was for Ben's revelation within the encoded sleeve notes for the latest Christmas CD? Some great cover versions included by the way. Richard
B: I've had a stern word with the art department and they told me the word "cross" should read "welsh"


Q: Hi Luke. I see from your WW&W entry that on the Monday, Low Life In High Places was one of the 4 songs you were intending to play at Childline Rocks. On the night it wasn't played; Love Walked In made an appearance instead. I was just wondering out of interest when you decided on the change and what the reasoning was. Great night by the way - are you doing it again next year? Mark, London
L: We ended up having a few more minutes due to Brian Bennett pulling out of the show so we were able to include 'LWI'. Originally 'LLIHP' was included because it's only just over four minutes long. 'LWI' is at least eight minutes when we play it live.


Q: Having recently received both the Xmas 2007 show CD's, please can you  let me know (and others) why 'Don't Wait For Me' didn't make it on either album? It was the highlight of the show for me and I was really looking  forward to having it on the CD. In my opinion, it was played flawlessly. Please, Please, Please can you release 'Don't Wait For Me' to buy as a download or include it on a future single release? I must also say the sound quality at the show was the best I've ever heard at any live show. Fantastic job guys, Thanks. Mark Bennett, Derby
L: We didn't include 'DWFM' as it has been released as a live track before and it would've meant leaving out a song that hadn't.


Q: Hi Luke and everyone, once again...you are always very kind to me answering almost all my questions so I will abuse your patience a little bit more. I just would like to know the story behind a couple of  songs separated many years in time from one another (I just hope I wrote well this difficult last sentence...), and those songs are dangerous rhythm and Closer to the fire...both are superb tunes and unfortunately they did not pass the cut to enter their respective albums, LOJD the first and TMS the second..In my humble opinion that fact is unfair...why  did you not consider them good enough to make it onto the album????? That is a pity because although I own Closer... due to I Tunes is impossible to find the other because is very old and is not on the european version of your rarities CD. I just have a vinyl single of Everybody wants her with it as the B-side...Which one is the story  behind both of them???? Diego, Spain
L: To be honest Diego I can't remember as far back as Dangerous Rhythm! The reason certain songs are left off albums is down to how we feel at the time. Obviously we didn't feel these songs were either good enough or  suitable. I'm sure lots of people wouldn't make the same decision as us when it comes to picking songs but we're the ones that have to do it!


Q: Thanks for coming back to Liverpool to do a gig, I'm sick of travelling to Manchester to see you, hehe!! I love Def Leppard and you guys and am made up you're both on the same billing but why did you feel you have to do a support slot when you are a headline band? Jenny, Liverpool
D: We are indeed a headline band as you say, and we play our own shows very successfully, but regardless of the reasons, we know we're not as well known as DL or WS, and that's partly why we're happy to open for them.
We're always on the look out for opportunities to recruit new fans and become better known, and we know we achieve that every time we play live in front of bigger bands' fans. It goes both ways though, we were asked to do the shows partly because we will bring a lot of fans. It's simple really. We have no argument with opening, it's not about ego or positioning, the way I see it, it's a fair exchange, everybody wins, including the audience who will get a great night. This is a fabulous bill, one of the best we've ever been on.


Q: What do You do when everything goes wrong? What is Your motivation to get up every morning? I need advice from You... Kate, Poland
B: Hide, the evening, drop me a line.

L: In life things will go wrong so there's no point beating yourself up about it; stuff just happens. If you made a mistake, that's OK; just don't make the same one again! My motivation to get up is my job which I'm lucky enough to love.
D: I do my best to see it doesn't all go wrong at the same time. I find it easier to deal with if it's in small bite size pieces of wrongness. My motivation is to see that the small bite size pieces of wrongness are in between large mouthfuls of niceness.


Q: Hi guys!!!! I bought a 'Thunder - Laughing around the world' used t-shirt on ebay a week or so ago, and paid a pretty penny for it. Not paying attention to what I was doing I bet 50 pounds for it thinking it was 25 dollars....WHOOPS! I love the shirt but feel like it should be framed, rather than worn! (ha ha ha). Has anything like that happened to you guys??? Cindy, California
B: Now that is an expensive tee shirt, I think the framing option is the best. I've never done anything like that, I actually look before I bid!

D:
It's nice to see you're laughing about it. I'm afraid I don't pay for our tee shirts, come to think of it I don't have any, let alone wear them...I have paid over the odds for things on eBay, it's the excitement right at the end of the auction, very, err, well, errr, exciting.


Q: I'm getting withdrawal symptoms as I didn't manage to see Thunder at all during 2007 (prior commitments, cash flow etc). I have had the pleasure of seeing you at least once (usually more) every year for around the last 10 years as it became a ritual for me & my mate after I lost my husband in 1998. (I had seen you several times with him and was so excited when she agreed to come with me to Rock City for the first time). I was gutted when I couldn't make it last year. My question is whether you have any events etc that you try to attend every year, if so, what are they and how would you feel if you couldn't make it for whatever reason? Leanne, Derbyshire
B: I really don't plan that far ahead as I like to keep my options open until the last minute, however I do like to attend Christmas dinner with the family, that's' a must.
L: Only our Xmas show really. If I couldn't make it I'd probably sack myself!
D: I've never been a "regular event attendee" type person, though I saw Thin Lizzy loads and loads of times when I was a kid. I saw loads of bands but I went to more TL gigs than any other. I wrote to their management company asking for a tea boy/office junior type job. I didn't expect them to give me a job, but they didn't even reply, just sent me a signed photo that didn't even have my name on it. I was so disappointed, that I never bought another TL record or went to another show. Not particularly relevant to your question I know, sorry but you said you were gutted so I made the link..


Q: Last night I went to see 'Great White' on their 25th Anniversary tour (traitorous, I know). Anyway, one of their guitar players obviously spent a lot of time 'straightening' his golden locks. This got me pondering if Luke or Ben have ever been tempted to use the straightening irons for  a 'different look'? Also, I was pleasantly surprised that after the gig  'Dirty Love' was playing over the sound system, and there were many people singingalong! Long live Thunder! Reita, Sutton Coldfield
L: Ha ha ha ha..........over to Benny for the answer to this one I think; he's the King of hair product you know!
B: I'm really not that bothered about my hair... why are you laughing?


Q: Hi Guys - thanks for an awesome free CD!! I wasn't feeling too good at the actual gig so now I can sing away to my heart's content and remember the great night. I was wondering who chooses which songs go on which Xmas CD, or is it a joint decision? By the way, can't wait to see you at the Nottingham Arena!! July seems  so far away... Reita, Sutton Coldfield
L: The songs that make the CD pick themselves really. We try to make them different or largely different every year so it's all about putting the set list together to ensure the resulting CD works out right.


Q: Hi Guys. I was watching a showing of Metallica's "Some Kind of Monster" the other night on tv. As a songwriter and guitarist in a band I was interested to see that they had around 30 songs for that album that they narrowed down to "make the cut" for the album. Do you find you have more material than you need? How do you go about  the process. And, (sorry for all the questions), if you do have more songs than you need, do "rejected" songs make a comeback further down the line on other albums. Cheers. Matt, Sydney, Australia
L: Once a song has been deemed not good enough to make the cut that's it really. We usually go into an album with around 15 songs and once they've been recorded we decide which ones will make the album.


Q: Hi Luke! As NASA have recently beamed the Beatles song "Across the Universe" er... across the universe, which one of your songs would you like to entertain the aliens with? And what's the most unusual place that you've heard one of your songs being played to date? Thanks, Claire, Norfolk
L: I have no idea which one of our tunes might appeal to aliens........I think that's a question for Chris maybe. I can't think of anywhere particularly unusual that I've heard a Thunder song in but it was great listening to 'Dirty Love' in a strip club. I couldn't help thinking the song had found it's natural environment!


Q: Not a question guys... just to let you know in a few weeks I will be living in Australia and I don't think I will see you guys again unless my visits coincide with your tours ... now there's a thought !! anyway thanks for the last 17 years. god bless you're the best! Martin Wilkinson, Bradford
L: Thank you. Best of luck on your new life down under.


Q: Hello guys, I am a promoter for rock concerts in Poland and Your great fan. I have been listening to Your records from "Backstreet Symphony". I would like to ask You what is Your motivation to play the same way
You played years ago? The wonderful thing is that Your music haven't changed much. I love it actually. How do You still create this magic even though You could have recorded something modern and popular? Tell me, how do You do this? Kate, Poland
L: Well, I can assure you we're not trying to be old fashioned and unpopular! The answer to your question is very simple; the songs are the songs and we play them how we feel them. It's not a complicated thing, it's just us being ourselves really. Glad you like it anyway.


Q: hey guys, I just read the news & seen your playing with Def Leppard & Whitesnake. I only asked you last month if you had thought about getting on the bill, so when did this come about to play? this is goin to be amazing & if you play some new material it will reach more people so its gotta be a massive bonus for you guys! cant wait! Steve, Wrexham
D: How did it come about? Well, we thought about what you said and told DL & WS and they thought you were right... Actually, that's not strictly true, it's far less interesting than that. We got a call from our agent to the effect that DL & WS were adding 3 shows, and asking if we wanted to do them. We weighed up the offer, decided it would be a good thing to do and said yes. Simple. It's a very strong bill, one of the strongest bills for a long time, though with both DL and WS doing pretty much full sets, we'll probably only get 45 mins or so, but we don't mind, it's just more time in the bar for us, and it should still be long enough for us to do our thing and get a result. The shows are in strong Thunder areas, so I'm pretty certain a goodly number of Thunder nutters will be there to do their thing too. We're really looking forward to it.


Q: Not really a question, just recieved my xmas bash cd and wanted to say thank you! It wasn't 'get on with it' we were shouting at you it was 'freebird'!! We were very drunk........... and there is always one.......or several!! Anyway thank you, it was a fantastic reminder of a magnificent evening xxx Mel
D: Thanks for the thanks, I'm afraid I have no memory of anyone shouting anything, whilst I was sober during the show, that changed quite dramatically soon afterwards.. I'm glad you like the CD.


Q: Hi, Have been a fan for many years and used to go to every gig in the Birmingham/Wolves Area. Then I met my girlfriend. I convinced her to come to the XMAS 2006 show and she seemed to enjoy it but that's as far as it has gone. Anyway I have managed to get her to come and see Def Leppard and Whitesnake at the NEC so having seen that you have confirmed 3 dates with them is there the possibility of more being added. P. Graham, England
T: No. Thunder will only be doing the 3 dates already announced with Leppard/Whitesnake.


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