Q & A Archive - April 2007

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


Q:
Will there be any other singles released off Robert Johnson's Tombstone? Jen, Carmarthenshire
D: I'd say there will almost certainly not be any more singles issued from the RJT LP. There are a number of reasons for this, but if I told you the answer would be long and boring and you'd probably lose the will to live, and I don't want that on my conscience. The main reason is simply that Luke is writing away in his studio as I type, and we intend to record some new songs soon, with a view to possibly issuing an EP in the late summer early autumn to tie in with the UK shows in November. It's by no means cast in stone at this moment, but if it happens it will probably be along the same lines as the Six Shooter EP (see discography section) we did in 2005 (i.e. a mix of live and studio recordings).


Q: What is your favourite & least favourite Thunder album? Jenny, Llanelli
B: My favourite is always the album we are planning next as I love making records. I certainly don't have a least favourite, how could I?
L: I don't have a favourite. I try to focus on the next album and making it as good as it can be.
D: I love them all for various reasons, and I hate them all in equal measure for another set of reasons, but I won't go into it, it'll take too long..


Q: Hi guys. I'm Looking forward to the Chepstow gig, as the last time I saw you was in Portsmouth Guildhall on the TOIA... Fond memories...Anyway, I have a question for you. There are lots of artists who hit a "I'm famous, so I'll be an ass hole" stage in their careers. How do you all keep so down to earth and down right likable? Your stage presence and recording "aura" always seem to project such a fun atmosphere, which is refreshing and, to my mind, unique. Scott, at work in Chepstow
B: I'd love to reply to this question but I didn't like the font you used and you should have used a lower case L for "Looking". Ass hole is one word, I should know, I'm being one.
L: With us it's definitely a case of what you see is what you get so it's very easy really. We've been around long enough to know that there's no point making people believe you're an a**hole if you're not!
D: We had a very good manager when we began, who taught us the important fundamentals of the music business. We're also very normal which helps, and we enjoy being in a band, so we've never understood why some people treat it as anything other than what it is, i.e. good fun.


Q: I am running the London Marathon on the 22nd April. I wondered if this was anything you had ever thought of attempting or have done in the past? Lee, Leeds
B: Danny and I have done a tandem parachute jump which was an incredible experience, one of the most exciting things I have ever done. The road I live in is closed to traffic for the duration of the marathon as the runners pass by so I get a great view of the event.
L: I've thought about it but not for long! Seriously though, I always enjoy watching the marathon as it winds it's way through South London past a few old haunts of mine. It's the training that would be a problem for me; too much time and pain involved!
D: Good luck with the run. I always fancied doing it myself, but had to abandon the idea when I did my cruciate ligament. Since the reconstruction, it's always given me a load of gip if I've tried to run too far.


Q: I've been a huge fan since I saw "Love Walked in" on ITV's "The Power Hour",  later to become "Raw Power", a vehicle for rock bands that is sadly missed. I (finally) managed to see you live supporting Deep Purple in Manchester, and, frankly, you blew them away.  I was amazed at that show that some late comers had never heard of you! I was able to educate them - but I need not have bothered - you guys did that, at the end of your set the whole MEN arena was buzzing. I then saw your whole set in Plymouth in November last year - you were superb, you ARE Britians BEST live band - without doubt. My question (yes, there is one!) is how long do you intend to continue? I know that nothing can last forever, but I hope that you keep going for some time yet. Adrian Norris, Cumbria
L: As long as we enjoy what we do and there's an audience that wants to see and listen to us we'll keep doing it, good health permitting!


Q: I was just wondering if you would ever consider re-doing "Drifting away" from the Bowes & Morley "Moving Swiftly Along" album. I absolutely love that song, and I think Thunder should do a version. It's one of my favourite songs from that album, and Danny really excelled himself. Go on.........do it..... you know it makes sense! Dave, Tyne & Wear
L: We actually did do it as Thunder at the Xmas show, Rock City 2005 and I do believe it's on the 'Case II' CD for your listening pleasure!


Q: As a huge and continuing fan of Thunder since Backstreet Symphony, you can imagine my disappointment about your inability to tour the states due representation and label issues. However, have you heard of the concert going on this summer in Oaklahoma called Rocklahoma (I think). Basically 22 of the biggest bands from the 80's and 90's in the glam, metal, hair genre will be performing over a three days festival. I use those three descriptive words with angst because I personally would prefer to call the music just good old fashion rock and roll. My questions are, what do you think of the concert and the bands that are invited and have you been approached? It appears that the festival will be a big hit and they are hoping to make it an annual event. Even without US representation or label could you come over for one rocking show?? Thanks for your time. Love the new CD.
 Marc, New York
D: Sounds like a great show. Sadly we have not been approached to play. If you go please let us know how it went.


Q: What time does the gig start at chepstow castle? Ian, S. Wales
D: We don't have this information as yet. You could try contacting the promoter on the same number used to buy tickets.


Q: You guys are like a fine wine, getting better with age and maturity becoming superior in quality. With such a busy calendar of tour dates  when do you find time to write or do you just get a idea and sit and do it there and then and are you planning another album next year. By the way thought the mag 7th was great but rjt what can I say, brilliant. Colin Vale, Leicester
L: Writing is something that goes on pretty much all the time we're not touring. Some people can write on the road but I find it difficult as I need a degree of solitude to focus completely on what I'm doing. We're working towards having the next album out in 2008 but probably not until the second half of the year.



Q: A question for Luke and Ben: Brian May has just started selling some very reasonably priced replicas of his 'Red Special' (although you can buy an Andrew Guyton 'exact' replica for about £12,000!!!) - would you be tempted to try one of these guitars out, not specifically to replicate Brian's sound, but to see what it could do through your stacks in comparison with, say, a Fender or Gibson?? (there's also some nice looking Brian May designed acoustic guitars too, and no, I'm not on commission!!) - check out www.brianmayguitars.co.uk Chris, Kent
L: I'm always willing to try out a guitar but as I've said before, being left-handed makes it difficult as there are not as many guitars manufactured for people like me.
B: I can let you into a little secret, I've played Brian's guitar many years ago. I was assistant engineer to John Acock on an album by Steve Hackett which featured Brian playing his famous guitar, having spent a few days recording at the studio we decided to take the weekend off and resume work the following Monday - On the preceding Sunday a news item regarding Brian and Anita Dobson's affair broke in the News Of The World. When I turned up at the studio on Monday morning I had to barge my way through the paparazzi only to receive a call from Brian's office to say that he wouldn't be in until the heat had died down. I was told he would send over his guitar tech to pick up the equipment later that day... well it was there... in front of me... all plugged in... don't tell me you wouldn't have!


Q: I was a big fan of Headbangers Ball on MTV in the 90's.That's where I saw Thunder for the first time. I got straight out to buy BSS, and Thunder have been my number one favourite band ever since!! It always looked to me as you got on really well with Vannessa Warrick. I think she was the best VJ of them all at that time. Do you think HBB was importent when it came to add new people to your fanbase? And what did you think of Vannessa?
Marianne, Norway
L: It was a good show at the time but I fear it would seem a little dated these days. Vanessa is a nice woman and while she worked on the show she was a definite enthusiast that loved what she was doing.
B: I think HBB was a very good show as far as Thunder were concerned as they seemed to feature the band fairly regularly and were always showing our videos, which is nice. I seem to recall her being a very pleasant woman who interviewed us in a swimsuit (her, not us) in a natural geothermal spa in Iceland once, which is also nice.


Q: While watching the Joe Calzaghe fight the other night and watching him come into the arena to a crappy Bon Jovi song, I remembered a Kerrang! interview you did, around the release of 'The Thrill Of It All', where you talked about writing a song for him to come into the arena to. I was wondering what happened to this? Andrew Mitchell, Scotland
L: I did start to right a song for this but the original idea ended up morphing into 'The Only One' which isn't really suitable. Good to see Joe keeps winning without our help though!


Q: Hi Luke, Although I am not a big fan of politics in music, Billy Bragg is one of my favourite songwriters along with yourself. Are you familiar with his music and if so what are your opinions on his songwriting / work. El Gringo Retro is a great album, isn't it about time you did another?? Steve, Southampton
L: I'm not a huge fan because I find Billy's voice a little wearing. Having said that, he is a talented writer and I'm always interested when people cover his songs well.


Q: Have you ever thought of returning to your roots and becoming local heroes again by playing somewhere like Blackheath Concert Halls. John Haskoll, Home
D: Is this because you'd rather not travel very far matey? Ha ha. Hope you're well and not working too hard. BCH is a lovely place and I guess it could be a possibility for a specialised type event, but as a regular venue on a tour, it's way too small. We couldn't get the kit in....


Q: Do you believe in life after death? Angela, Highlands
L: Not at the moment but if there is I'll come back and let you know!
D: I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I do believe in the spirit.
B: Not so sure I believe in life before death yet


Q: Hi guys, If you could be in any band past or present just for one gig which one would it be and why? loved the RJT album I'm looking forward to the next one with anticipation!!! Helena Reed, Kent
B: Girls Aloud, at any show, so I could share a dressing room or maybe Led Zeppelin at Knebworth Park 1979. I was there and it seemed a very emotional show for the band as they hadn't played in England for a while.


Q: Hi, I've just bought SATS and I love it!! One of my favourit songs are "Spin Doctor". A line of the lyrics is missing in my CD cover. The line in the second vers that comes before "Lying and a-cheating and a-covering up the evidence". There's something about sitting on a guilded fence? Can you please help me with that line, it's bugging me that I can't understand what Danny is singing here. Marianne, Norway
T: The missing line is: "Power broker suited, booted sitting on a gilded fence".


Q: I love "The Smell Of Snow" as well as the previous Christmas show releases. I completely understand the reasoning behind releasing 2 different versions, but at the same time am very disappointed by what I'm missing out on. Unfortunately being in the USA, I don't have the opportunity to see you live, so your CD's are what I have to rely on. My question is since you have offered some downloads for purchase, would it be possible to offer downloads of the "had to be there" songs for the rest of us to buy? I would be very interested in getting these songs
and having the band reap the benefits as opposed to paying an arm and a leg on E-bay. I have tracked down all the various b-sides over the years and feel like my collection isn't complete without these tunes. Brian W. Hartman, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA
D: The trouble is that if we make them available to buy via download, the "must go" element would be negated, and undo the whole idea of the Xmas shows and the accompanying CDs. Sorry.


Q: Love the Christmas show CDs. Could not make it due to work but was given the limited one as a tank you for introducing someone to Thunder. Anyway my questions this time are, You have done a stunning version of Tumbling Dice. That is as good as your version of Gimme Shelter. Are you Stones fans or does their music just suit the style Thunder have?  If you could guest with a band, either on tour or record, what band would that be and why? Keep rocking please because one day soon I wanna bring my son to a gig. Rob Fletcher, Hull
D: We all grew up listening to the Stones along with all our other heroes, and it must be said we've all played a hell of a lot of their songs in various bands over the last 300 years or so. Love You Live has always been one of my all time favourite live albums, so I'm always up for a cover whenever it gets suggested. I guess it's a style thing. They simply write songs that suit us well, and that's very good of them, don't you think?
L: We are big fans of The Rolling Stones and some of their material definitely works when we play it although I'm not sure why exactly. Your second question has so many possible answers that I couldn't say for sure; favourites are not something I'm good at picking.
B: I think Danny suggested this particular song and it seemed to fit well, plus the fact it's easy to play when you're drunk (you've seen the Stones right?)


Q: What is the worst film you have ever seen? Jordan, Wales
L: An eighties movie called 'Aerobicide' about a serial killer who bumps off all the regulars at a gym in California; truly awful and yet strangely fascinating.
B: I tend to watch films on recommendation and I'll stop watching anything I 'm not enjoying; Luke is a good source as he appears to have seen every film ever made. I avoid films that have the following descriptions - A made for TV movie... A teen comedy starring... An upbeat musical with soap stars...


Q: HI JUST WANDERING HAVE U HEARD OF STAGG GUITARS AND IF SO, WHAT DO THINK OF THEM? AND HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED ONE? Stew, Shrewsbury
L: I'm afraid I haven't had the pleasure of playing a Stagg guitar but I will look at for a left-handed model in future. By the way, NO NEED TO SHOUT STEW!!


Q: What's the nicest thing that a fan has said to you? Kim, Pontypool
L: Seriously I've had so many really nice things said to me that I couldn't possibly remember all of them but here's a few that spring to mind; 'Our baby was conceived while listening to 'A Better Man'; 'We walked down the aisle to 'Love Walked In'. 'The first dance at our wedding was 'Love Worth Dying For'.
B: "I've bought everything you've released but I lost them on a trekking holiday in Nepal so I'll have to go and buy them all over again"
D: I'm still waiting to hear it..


Q: You have said in the past that you have found the Les Paul a bit of a heavyweight at times; have you considered SGs? I have an old '79 standard and you can sure throw a few shapes with it strapped on - awesome sound too.... Nick, South Knighton
L: I haven't really picked up that many SGs so I'm not overly familiar with them. If I found a nice one I would definitely give it a go though.


Q: In 96 my mom used to Work at EMI Portugal. One day she came home with "Behind Closed Doors". I never heard of you before. Put the CD in the stereo and... WOOOOWWWWW! It is still my favorite Thunder album to the date (I have them all, now). The thing is, I LOVE THE GUITAR SOUND on that album and on the "Thrill of It All". What was you basic setup for those albums? Pedro Nunes, Portugal
L: If my memory serves me well (doubtful!) I used a Les Paul, Telecaster and Stratocaster on both albums but different amplifiers; on BCD it was a vintage fifty watt Marshall amp which I bought in Atlanta while we were  recording the backing tracks (I've since lost this amp - God knows where it went!) and on TTOIA I used a Fender Tone Master amp and 4x12 cab. Hope that helps.


Q:
I recently invested in your Japanese releases of the first 4 albums, and saw that most the additional tracks are demos and outtakes from the early sessions. Can I presume that Thunder are sat on a stockpile of other outtakes from those and other sessions? If so can I encourage you to release a "Pandora's Box" style boxset release (similar to Aerosmith's compilation). This would be massively welcomed by the fans, especially as Thunder bootlegs seem to be almost impossible to find. I am sure you could make this available on a limited run (on dodgy discs??). Dream Theater  have done something similar for fans on ytse records. This might be the only chance to hear a bit of Thunder history!!! Mark Lacey, Oxted
L: I'm afraid that after the Japanese additional tracks and the unreleased material on 'The Rare, The Raw and The Rest', there isn't any more material hidden away that I'm aware of. Sorry.


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