Q & A Archive - June 2007


Hey Luke......well tonight at the club we had dumpy's rusty nuts on......fantastic guitar player.....he told me all about the early days with you and thunder...well before you were thunder anyway....he gave me a cd actually of his...and on that cd is a song you wrote.....flyin on two wheels....looking forward to hearing it....and maybe ill get to have a good chin wag with you about the early days??? it's a small world eh?? I know it not primarily a question....but  with the work I'm in and the venue I run I get to meet some great people....hope to get to meet you soon... Zoe, Notts
L: Aaah yes.....I remember it well sort of! This was a song I wrote in 1979 very early in my career as a writer and I think the quality (or lack of) speaks for itself! Never mind...everybody has to start somewhere. Dumpy (or Graham) is indeed somebody we have known since the very beginnings of the band. He rented us the first PA system we ever hired for a gig at Goldsmith's College in 1979.

Q: Couple of things peaked my curiosity whilst listening to your back catalogue recently. Obviously it goes without saying that you are all incredibly talented with your chosen instruments. I just wondered which Thunder song is the most tricky/taxing for each of you? Are there any that you tend to leave out of the setlist due to the musical logistics of performing them live? I note that 'once in a lifetime' (some of your finest work Luke!) contains some particularly high moments for Danny and is rarely performed live, seen you do it once in 16 concerts I've attended. Andy, Sheffield
L: OIAL isn't particularly hard for Danny to sing. I just feel it works better in an acoustic format. There are a few songs that we don't physically have enough hands to perform during a usual Thunder show but we're gradually working our way through these tunes at the Xmas shows where we are augmented by other musicians.

Q: In an interview a couple of years ago you were a big fan of  Peavey amps, and were less than complimentary about Marshalls; now you are back with Marshall again - why the change of heart?! Nick, Leicester
L: The new range of Marshall amps we are now using (the 'Vintage Modern' range) are the best they've made in many a year and a lovely man called Steve Dawson who designed them came to us a while ago and suggested they might be good for us. We were lucky enough to try a prototype and even at that stage the amp sounded marvellous. I still think that the Peavey 5150 is a great amp but the Marshall VM does everything it says on the tin so to speak!

Q: Hello, unfortunately I do not speak English. therefore leave I mean question of Google to translate. On Mo's Barbeque you play Come Together in the Morning of Free. Which guitar uses you for it? The piece is already mad  from Free, but you topped it still!! Martin
L: Ich habe mein weiss Les Paul Custom gespielt. Schuss!

Q: Luke, just watched the Bedford Arms DVD and I have to say I noticed the very sexy shirt you were wearing... now probably a silly question but can you remember purchasing said item and from what boutique, cos in the words of Ian Hunter "I want it". Simon, Burham
L: I'm afraid I can't remember - it was a lot of shirts ago!

Q: Coming to see the guys in Switzerland. Have you a rough idea what time they are due on stage? Delia Taylor, Stowmarket, Suffolk
T: It's probably a bit late, as I expect you will be on your way by now (if not you'd better get a move on...)...but the guys will be on stage at around 7pm local time.

Q: My friends and I have been very busy recently to arrange our trip on September. Yes, the trip is for your forthcoming tour of Japan! We are big Thunder fans ,and the places where we live are very distant. So the chance we can meet all together is just your Japan tour only. Do you like going to trip with friends, or not? We have a lot of things to arrange the trip. But we are very looking forward to your lives, and it must be great time. By the way Luke, your birthday is coming soon. Happy Birthday!!! I wish you have great one again. Chikako, Japan
L: Thank you - I had a very enjoyable birthday! I do enjoy travelling and it's always good to do it in good company.
B: I love travelling with Thunder, it's such a lot of fun but we are very lucky as we have someone else to do all our arrangements. Well done on reminding Luke of his birthday, I'm sure he has forgotten.
D: It's always nice to go on trips with friends.

Q: I was driving home from picking my 5yr and 6yr daughters from their afterschool club this evening and as usual had a Thunder CD playing (Have to educate them early!). When "It happened in this Town" was playing my 5 yr old asked if it was a song written about Madeleine McCann. Noticing you have the Find Maleleine link on your website my question to you is would you consider releasing such a song from the back catalogue to raise awareness/fundraise to help such a tragedy? Looking forward to seeing you all in Manchester later in the year.
Stu, Bolton
D: I asked The Thin One to put the Madeleine McCann link on the home page. I just felt it should be all over the place, all over the world. We don't have the right to release IHITT, as the original recording is owned by EMI Records, but that is of little relevance. I am 100% sure you've suggested releasing it for all the right reasons, but to be honest I think it would be inappropriate, because doing so would be misconstrued by the media as an attempt to somehow capitalise on the terrible ordeal the McCann family are going through. Whilst awareness may be raised again, it would be for all the wrong reasons. I really hope they find her soon, it must be unbearable for her family. We wish them well.

Cooking! Can any of you chaps really cook … you know, make your own gravy, use herbs and all that stuff (like they do on Gordon Ramsey’s F-Word). Or are you a Bisto Man, meat and two veg with a bit of salt and pepper (like the majority). Or does your other half do the cooking? Stew, Shrewsbury
B: I can hold my own in the kitchen, so to speak, and I‘ll have a go at cooking anything. My kitchen, contrary to some opinions, is well thought out and wonderfully equipped but I doubt if I’ll get awarded any Michelin stars. I did a nice barbeque in Spain for the boys, Bill from up the Hill and company when we were recording the album.

Q: Hi Thinny, did Chris Moyles play any Thunder and if they did what did he play?
T: Nope, afraid not. Moyles was just being Moyles - he had no intention of playing the band unfortunately.

Q:  Hi Chris, I see that you're using a passive Jazz Bass these days. What prompted you to make this change? Have you tried the Roscoe Beck signature, it's all passive but with a huge pallet of tones, I've stopped using my Stingray completely in favour of it, check one out. Chris Ezra, Sutton, Surrey
C: Basically (if you'll excuse the pun) a Jazz bass will sound good in any situation, whether it be live or in the studio. I still use my Stingray on gigs where I'm playing with fingers, rather than a pick, as the active circuitry is real useful. I've not had the opportunity to try out the Roscoe Beck, next time I'm at Fender....

Q: Hi Luke! I saw in your 'WIT, WISDOM & WHISKEY' that you mentioned seeing Norwegian Big Bang play live in Austin Texas and you thought they were terrific. Have you heard any of their albums? They are a really great band. I recommend you try the live album first "radio radio TV sleep" if you haven't got any of their album. Then the 2 new ones if you like what you hear, the last one is just released in Norway and are maybe not available  in other counties yet. You can check them out at http://www.thebigbangweb.com/. There is a great videoclip there to the mountain" that shows what a great live band they are. Marianne, Norway
L: Thanks for the info. I will go and check out the album, thanks!

L: I've only met Gary Moore briefly but he is a great guitar player without doubt.
B: I have worked with Gary Moore on an album called "From Clarksdale To Heaven", a John Lee Hooker tribute album recorded in the UK and The USA. He played with Jack Bruce from Cream and I was engineering and mixing this album. His is a fine player indeed and seemed a cheerful enough guy.

Q: Thinny, re: Luke's Washburn guitar. I can advise that having been involved in the auction process that the winning bid was won by true longstanding Thunder fans. Have privately thanked Luke , Danny and the Guys I can publicly state that having asked for their support Thunder did not hesitate in helping out an old school mate. We are eternally thankful. All the best. Vic, Maidstone
T: There you go. Thanks Vic!

Q: What did you think about Sweden rock? I thought the gig was great, the best band on the bill. My thoughts went all the way back to Donington-90. Henrik, Sweden
L: I really enjoyed it thanks. Great weather, great atmosphere and good to be in Sweden again for the first time in years.
D: We really enjoyed Sweden Rock. We hadn't played there for quite some considerable time, and having seen the bill, I for one was expecting to have to work the crowd quite hard to get any kind of positive reaction. I couldn't have been more wrong, it was obvious from the get go that lots knew who we were, and knew the words to most of the tunes. They were very up for it and joined in splendidly. The guys from Quiet Riot were nice to give us a mention during their set, Swedish Radio recorded us (for future broadcast), and we did lots of promotional interviews, so what with the weather being hot and sunny, it couldn't really have gone any better. I think the term is chuffed, and we'd be delighted to do it again if asked.
B: I really enjoyed Sweden Rocks very much. The show was great, the weather was beautiful, the crowd were blonde, the food was wonderful, the wine never ran out, the limo was long and white and the vodka had liquorice in it. What's not to like?

Q: Not knocking the 4/5 minute songs, but have you thought about writing a 8/10 minute epic, like stairway or child in time? Graham Briley, Kent
L: I don't sit down and think 'today I'm going to write a 4 minute song'; they tend to come out how they come out. If I had an idea that merited being ten minutes long I would go with it if it felt right. I try to trust my instincts.

Q: I have been transferring all my CD's on to my iPod and I noticed that both Thunder and FM have several songs with the same title and after playing the CD's some the tracks have similarities i.e. guitar melodies. Coincidence?
Colin Vale, Leicester
L: No coincidence. I've stolen all my ideas from FM. Damn....rumbled at last!

Q: I have been lucky enough to get tickets for the first NFL American Football game at Wembley Stadium in October. Are any of you NFL fans and if so, what team do you support? My husband is a huge Redskins fan, fanatical in fact! I love RJT and have followed you since the Terraplane days, too many years to count I thinks!Di Gaedtke, London
L: I don't know much about NFL but I'm sure if I did I would enjoy it.
B: I don't really follow the sport but saying that I did go to see a game between the Redskins and the Raiders when I was in LA many years ago. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the whole spectacle particularly when the guy
behind me lent me his binoculars to check out the cheerleaders.

Q: Thinny, who won LUKE's WASHBURN GUITAR? I don't remember seeing who it was. Stew, Shrewsbury
T: The auction wasn't run by us, so I don't have this information I'm afraid. You could try contacting the Compaid people who will probably be able to tell you. All I know is that it went for £820. A further £400 was raised with the help of various items of Thunder merchandise, which brought the grand total to a whopping £1220!

Q: I’m just wondering how often you get stopped in the street or supermarket these days for an autograph or photo. Obviously the time and place is at the meet and greets with die-hard fans (I’ve been there!), but do you still get collared for a chat in public? Axel
B: Not that often unless it’s during a tour in the City we are playing in. I was once was in a pub in the middle of the Yorkshire Moors, trying to impress a rather lovely young lady. We had just had lunch when the barman came over to ask for an autograph, perfect timing but I’m sure she thought I had set it up.
L: Hardly ever thank God! I enjoy meet'n'greets but attracting attention in Tescos doesn't appeal to me much.
D: It doesn't happen much any more. It's not something I particularly enjoyed to be honest, so I'm not sorry. I like meeting fans at gigs and pre-arranged events, but when it happens off the cuff, it catches me off guard, and I get slightly paranoid, like I may be being watched... I know it sounds daft, but hey ho..

Q: I went 2 see my boyfriends band playing in a wee pub last night and as I was dancing on a very wobbly stool I fell off, banged my head on the table and knocked myself out!! When I came to the music had stopped and everybody was around me - how embarrassing - went to hospital came home with concussion and a broken arm and very very bruised body!! and my boyfriend was raging his gig got cancelled and fell out with me!! My question is whats the most stupid/funny/peculiar thing that yous have done while enjoying a little social beverage? Debbie, Glasgow
B: Agreeing to join this band.
D: Ouch! I hope you feel better soon, I'm guessing it could have been much worse. For my part, I have done many stupid things whilst drunk, but for the sake of what's left of my reputation, I shall recount only one here. I was once persuaded by "friends", after a particularly non sober evening, to sit myself in a supermarket trolley (facing forwards with legs dangling out of the front). Being quite relaxed, I thought it a good idea, but soon changed my mind when they pushed me at great speed down the toe path next to the river. The inevitable happened, and the trolley and I plunged into the river. I escaped with cuts and bruises and ruined clothes, and strangely enough, I haven't sat in a supermarket trolley since...
L: Nothing....at least nothing I can remember!

Q: Hi guys, hope you're all well and peachy :) Following a random drinking session this evening, it dawned on me that the 3 things I couldn't live without are cheese, wine and cigarettes ... what three things could you not live without? (Obviously loved ones are a given, my sisters are fantastic and I couldn't live without them). Love you lots like Jelly Tots. Jess, Fareham
H: Music, cigarettes and friends?
C: The three things I couldn't live without are music, sex, and banana and peanut butter milk shakes.
L: Friends, music and pasta!
B: Well the answers are obvious and plentiful: Air, water and food; Sun, Sea and Sand; Wine, Women and Song or maybe Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll (or is that four?). Incidentally why have you chosen three things?

Q: Hey guys, firstly do you ever get fans coming up to you with Thunder tattoos? & what do you think of people having band tattoos? I have an AEROSMITH tattoo on my back & am considering a Thunder one for my next one. If I get Whitesnake I could be half way to the donnington 1990 bandlist! Steve, Wrexham
B: I think tattoos are a very personal thing, I have no objection to them but there are a little too permanent for my liking. Ask any Gary Glitter fan who had his name tattooed on them.
D: Yes I've seen quite a few Thunder tattoos, and it is most remarkable when it happens. I even had a girl ask me to sign her backside once, when I met her a few years later, she'd had it tattooed in the same place...
L: I've seen a few over the years and I think it's a case if it floats your boat then why not? I've thought about a tattoo a few times but it's never come to anything qwhich I guess means I don't really want one!

Q: Hi guys, was just wondering that because I went to the Newcastle gig last year and am going again this year - do you take the previous set-list into consideration when making the new setlist for a gig in the same location?? Steve, N. Ireland
L: The set list is different for every tour we do in each territory. We don't change it on a town by town basis as a certain amount of consistency is essential to the overall production (not just the band but the sound and the lights as well) running smoothly and developing.

Q: Just got hold of Moving swiftly along... fantastic... so many of those songs are about my life !!! You are a true wordsmith ! Hey that Mr Bowes can sing a bit too! Bob, Herts
L: Thanks for the kind words. Glad you are enjoying MSA.

Q: Hello there, I was watching the Flawed To Perfection DVD & noticed on the Monsters of Rock bit the start of your, what is now your trademark, greys locks! Did you ever have to dye your hair back in the day? Adec, Cheshire
D: I coloured my hair for years. It was a pain in the proverbial backside to be honest, as was having long hair. In the end I decided to do away with both and go natural.

Q: Was watching the Flawed to Perfection DVDs & yet another question cropped up! There is a definite change in wardrobe! - Who's idea was it to change your wardrobe to promote 3rd album & singles? Did you like the 'new' stylie? Adec, Cheshire
D: You're talking about a long time ago, and whilst I do remember bits of the time in question, I can't remember why we did a lot of things. I guess it was probably one of those "why don't we do this?" type moments.
It usually is..

Q: Just wondering if there is any word on the Thunder guitar tab books yet? & also was wondering do you still have contact with Joe Calzaghe, & would you write a new song for him to enter the ring too? I know only one was originally planned, I think Last man standing would work well. Steve, Wrexham
L: There are currently no plans for a tab book I'm afraid. I haven't spoken to Joe for a while but I still follow his fights and it's great he remains unbeaten. I think 'LMS' for an intro for Joe is a good idea; maybe we'll pursue it.

Q: Hey guys. I wonder if you'd be so kind as to clear something up for me... Several times in the Q&A section I see answers regarding EMI etc owning recordings of songs, which means you cannot release them on a B-Side album or similar. What I don't understand (because I'm not in the professional music business!!), is if Luke (being your main songwriter) writes a song, why does he not retain the copyright of that song once it is recorded? Is it too costly for the band to retain ownership so they can do what they like with the songs, or are recordings paid for by record companies, therefore giving them the rights to the songs?! Sorry if I've gone too in-depth, and I understand if you wish not to answer this for legal or personal reasons. Whatever you do, don't stop writing such quality music. Scott, S. Wales
L: There are two types of copyright; one is the writer's copyright in the song itself and the other is in the recording of the song. EMI own the copyright in the recordings we made while under contract to them but I own the copyright in the song (also referred to as publishing copyright). I hope that makes it clearer.

Q: Before I start..i know you don't take requests so this isn't one!!! I love listening to "Lucky Man" before i go into work in the morning as it makes me really smile. (people wonder what I'm smiling at!) Do you consider it a "live" song or one that is strictly for cd enjoyment only? (personally i think it would be fabulous live and can't see it on the gigography!) Chepstow might be an ideal chance to give it an airing... ;-) Love to all and see you in Chepstow. Emma, In The Garden
There's just so much material to choose from at this stage of our career that it's impossible to play everybody's favourite but I will bear your suggestion in mind.

Q: Hey Guys. just thought I would let you know I am on Radio 2 Steve Wrights Big Quiz on Monday 11th & Tuesday 12th (Lost on Tuesday). But gave you guys a big plug with the new CD, and the website. Just bought a house in Devon, so lots of unpacking, On a 140,000 ton ship called the Navigator Of The Seas out of Southampton June 16th - Oct 16th around the Med on 14 day cruises, Let me know if you wanted a tour when we're in port come down for a spot of lunch, it would be my pleasure. Graham Seymour, Devon/Cruise Ship
Thanks for the Radio 2 plugs, and good luck with the house and the cruise. Let us know when you're in port and maybe we'll come down for a mooch around..

Q: I thought I'd address this to both Luke & Ben as they seem the most appropriate to answer my dilemma. Basically, I think my wife is cheating on me. I am a keen gigging, but part time musician and, as you would expect, travel a lot. I have been noticing strange things happening when I get home. Her mobile phone rings and she steps outside to answer it or she says, "I'll call you back later". When I ask her who called she gets evasive. Sometimes she goes out with friends but comes home late, getting dropped off around the corner and walking the rest of the way. I once picked up the extension while she was on the phone and she got very angry. Anyway, friend of mine plays guitar in a band. He told me that my wife and some guy have been to his gigs. Incidentally, he also wanted to
> borrow my guitar amp, which is when I got the idea to find out for myself what was really happening. I said "Sure, you can use my amp but I want to hide behind it at the gig and see if she comes into the venue and who she comes in with". He agreed. Saturday night came and I slipped behind my Marshall JCM800 half stack to get a good view. I could feel the heat coming off the back of the amp. It was at that moment, crouching down behind the amp, that I  noticed that one of the tubes was not glowing as bright as the other 3. Is this something I can fix myself or do need to take it to a technician? Jamie B, Jokesville.
L: Ha ha ha.....very funny!

Q: Hi Guys. Went to see The Who last night at Southampton Rosebowl, The Magic Numbers were the main support band. As usual between the 2 main acts various rock classics were played on the PA (When The Levee Breaks, The Boys Are Back In Town and other regulars were included) however first up was your very own 'Last Man Standing'. It sounded brilliant on a stadium sized PA, pity it wasn't you playing it live! Anyway to my question: I know you are Who fans - Have you heard the new album 'Endless Wire' (the first for 24 years! Thank God you guys record more frequently) and if so what do you think? Personally I think it's a promising return to form. Keep up the good work. Cheers. Steve Pedrick, Isle Of Wight
L: I have the album and I've only listened to it once so it's a bit early to comment although I have to say nothing really grabbed me straight away. I shall persevere...
D: We are Who fans, always have been. I have heard the new LP and agree it's good. A mate of ours was a cameraman on one of their tours last year, and he was the one who managed to get LMS added to the in between bands playlist. It's nice to know they're still using it.
B: I think the fact that our track was played at The Who concert could be down to a friend of ours - you know who you are. I've yet to hear anything from the new album but I'm sure Ol' PT hasn't lost his touch and what's with
Roger, he just doesn't look any older; anyone checked for a painting in his attic?

Q: Hello the mighty Thunder! I am busy organising a fancy dress party and have decided on a 'no theme/anything goes' night and it just got me wondering if you were to be coming to the party (I wish!) what or who would you all dress up as? Can't wait to see you at Chepstow in June and so happy your coming back to Bristol in November. Juliet, Clevedon
L: In drag definitely!!!
D: I love a toga, so that would be my costume of choice..

Q: Hi chaps I would just like to say a big thank you to you all for my DAB marshall radio I absolutely love it and thank you Danny for the letter that really meant a lot to me, very sweet of you, I have never won anything in my life can I ask you guys have you ever won anything and what was it that you won? Once again thank you very much, it looks great in my new kitchen!! Helena Reed, Kent
L: I don't recall ever having won a competition. Some people seem to be very lucky at that sort of thing but I'm not one of them unfortunately!
D: I'm glad you like it. Thanks for making the donation to Macmillan. I won a consolation prize of a football once when I was 12 (the big prize was a trip to Mexico). I took it to the park the day after I got it and it ended up impaled on a fence..
B: Sadly I've never won any kind of prize but that is hardly surprising as I never go in for any competitions. Now finish this sentence in twelve words or less "I never go in for competition because........"
C: Glad you like the radio - looks fab, doesn't it? And it goes up to 11. One of the few things I've won recently was a microphone and headphones from the nice chaps at Sound On Sound magazine, which has come in incredibly useful in my little home studio.

Q: I heard 'Fired up' (forgot how good a song it is!) again recently and it got me thinking have you or will you consider doing a B-side album? Maybe a 6-shooter-esqe version? Or is another of those who owns the rights to the songs issue & would be too expensive?
 Luke M
T: You're quite correct. 'Fired Up' and all of those early B-sides are all owned by EMI, so if another B-sides record was to be released, it would be entirely up to them. There has, of course, already been the 'The Rare, The Raw And The Rest' compilation which featured many B-sides are rarities. And although 'Fired Up' wasn't on that one, it did appear on another EMI compilation 'Gimme Some...' along with a few other old B-sides.

Q: Luke, those rather trendy guitar stands you use for acoustic guitars on stage so you can switch between playing electric and acoustic in your wonderous live shows, who makes them? How much do they cost and where do you get them from? I've been interested to know for a while as I think they're clearly a worthwhile investment!! Luke M
T: The band are currently on route to the Sweden Rock festival, so in Luke's absence I'll answer this. As previously mentioned in the Q & A Section, the stand that Luke uses is called a Gracie Stand. Luke's had his for so long now that he doesn't remember where he got it from or how much it was but a quick Google should be able to help you out with that...

Q: Just noticed you've got another date lined up for Glasgow Academy in November this year. I was at your show last year, and it was fantastic!! Def coming along this year again! Was wanting to know more about the support band that played that night though... thought they were great too, really set the mood for your show..  cant remember their name though!!!! (Also, any chance you can get them to  support again this year??? Raved about the gig to all my mates at the time, would be great if you could reproduce the whole show again.. with the same support! Mark Snoddy, Glasgow
T: The support band in Glasgow last year was Rosewood. Find out more about them at www.rosewood.tv

Q: Danny as you're a Steve Marriott fan - I have always thought you guys would do a great version of "all or nothing" be it live or recorded has it ever been considered? Ben, Williamson
D: It hasn't so far, but it may be now..

Q: I am currently sat with wet flannels on my eyes, tissues to hand and a cold drink. The reason....hay fever!!! I only started suffering with it about 8 years ago, and it knocks me off my feet every year!! Do any of you suffer and if so, what remedies do you find most effective? I'm prepared to try anything!? Becky, Derby
C: I'm glad to say that I've never suffered, but you have my sympathies, I know a few people who get it, and it really is debilitating.
H: I'm lucky enough not to suffer from hay fever but if I did, I'd be taking tablets for it. But I do get similar symptoms when I'm around horses (or hairy dogs)..........You'll never see me riding in the Grand National!
B: I am very fortunate not to suffer from allergies but I have seen the affect it can have on people and it really is not very pleasant. An old acquaintance once told me that, for him, acupuncture was the only thing that alleviated the symptoms. He suffered from chronic hay fever and this really cured him.... next week how to shed those excess pounds before your summer break....
D: I've suffered with hay fever every summer since I was 15 (so that's 60 years). I take tablets for it, if I don't I'm good for nothing.

Q: I’ve only recently latched onto the CD “Giving The Game Away”. I didn’t realise it would be such a departure in direction. To be honest, it sounds more like a “Bowes & Morley” album. Do you think in hindsight, it should have been released as such giving Thunder a breather rather than an extended break that eventually ensued? Axel
L: I think that GTGA isn't as cohesive in terms of it's musical direction as other albums we've made. As a band we've always tried different approaches to what we do and sometimes that manifests itself in a bit of musical schizophrenia. I'm not sure I agree with you that it was a B&M album albeit in name; 'Just Another Suicide', 'Time To Get Tough', 'It's Another Day' and 'Numb' are definitely Thunder tunes although 'All I Ever Wanted' could have been a B&M song I suppose. Still, what do I know?

Q: Hi gents, I'm wondering if you can help me? As a die hard fan of many years (look out for me always beaming up at you from the front row of every gig at Wolverhampton Civic!) I am at a loss as to how you keep your music sounding so fresh all the time yet so, well, Thunder!?! I tend to find that sometimes I'll have a phase of listening to the music of bands I was a fan of years ago and, while the music is good again for a short time, it soon goes stale again after not too long. Yet this isn't the case with yours, it's as good as new every time I listen! How do you do it? Oh, and  if you can answer that for me then perhaps you can also tell me next Saturday's lottery numbers to?? Rob Evans, Newcastle Under Lyme
L: I think the fact we still attack making albums and performing with the same gusto is the reason our standards remain high. It's all down to hard work and enjoying what we do!

Q: I just read on-line that Luke wrote the Serbian 2007 Eurovision entry by default as it is very like Love Walked In, so having researched this via youtube there are certain similarities in both  music/lyrics, have you heard the Serbian entry and whats your opinion? Lee, Belfast
L: Yes, there's definitely a similarity. It's in the same key, has the same chord structure on the chorus and the verse melody isn't far away either....hmmmm.

Q: we came to see you in Plymouth for our 20th wedding anniversary (15th Nov). you were absolutely brill! when we met you after the show Harry was admiring my husbands tattoo of a Koi on his arm. Harry said he was thinking of having a tattoo. I was just wondering if he has had a tattoo done yet and if so what? also has anyone else in the band got any tattoos? We have got out tickets for Wolverhampton 27/11/07. So we will see you there. Also trying to talk my husband into taking me to see you in Chepstow. Love you all loads especially Luke.  Kim Willday, Burton-On-Trent
H: No Kim I haven't had a tattoo yet. Not sure what to have and where. Still thinking about it.

Q: As you work with Steve Overland did you ever get to see fm live? I thought they should have been more successful. live they kicked ass with awesome sound but came through a bit cheesy on vinyl. Shaun, S. Yorks
H: Yes I saw FM play live on a number of occasions. Great band and musicians.  I hear they'll be doing some gigs later on this year??

Q: As a fan of F1 and in particular Mclaren what are your thoughts on all things F1? Do you sit down on a Sunday afternoon to watch or does it bore you senseless? And what do you make of British driver Lewis Hamilton's meteoric rise as leader of the championship? Alex Small, Edinburgh
L: I must admit that I have no interest in motor sport of any variety. Having said that it's always good when a young Brit does well in anything.
H: I'm a fan of F1 and I find it very exciting to have Lewis Hamilton in the mix. Hasn't he done well? What do points make?
B: You are assuming that we are a: Fans and b: McLaren fans. As a matter of fact I am, I do watch F1 and I'm typing this as young Mr Hamilton is currently on pole position at Monte Carlo. I've no real allegiances to any particular team but I enjoy the whole spectacle. Lewis Hamilton is quite remarkable and I do love to see a Brit doing well, I hope the pressure doesn't get to him because it would be fabulous to have him win the Championship in his rookie season. It's a big ask but he seems more than capable.

Q: Organic food? Is this something you buy or something you don’t think is worth the extra cost? Do you buy free range eggs? What about free range chickens, or are you put off by the price? On the subject of eating, do you chaps make an effort for the quoted “5-a-day” fruit/veg? Lastly, Vesta Chow Meins and Pot Noodles – do you ever think what the heck and serve yourself something in this category? Axel
H: I rarely buy organic and I do try to have my “5 a day”. I tried Pot Noodles as a kid but I wasn’t that keen to be honest.
D: I eat well, I've always eaten lots of fruit and veg. As to details, free range eggs yes, free range chicken yes, organic veg not always (haven't found organic veg to taste significantly better). Take aways occasional, Vesta & Pot Noodle never, though I loved the old Vestas when I was a kid, mmmm now you mention it....
B: I don’t often buy organic produce because I associate it with beards and sandals; this is an attempt to counteract the marketing divisions of big business trying to sell me the same produce with an inflated price. Although there are criteria for labelling items organic they are frequently ignored. Free range eggs noticeably tastier but less so for free range chickens. I like Alan Davies “million bees” joke, keeps it all in perspective. I do eat 5 a day and wouldn’t class Vesta Chow Meins or Pot Noodles as food. Rant over.

Q: I was wondering if any of you have heard anything from Porcupine Tree? Their new album Fear of a Blank Planet is well worth a listen if you get the chance. Looking forward to seeing you later in the year at Bristol Paul, Somerset
H:  No but I'll keep my ears open. See you in Bristol.
B: I've heard nothing at all, they don't call, they don't write, not even a postcard.
L: I have heard that they're a good band but I've yet to listen to them. I shall endeavour to seek them out.

Q: Recently I have had a lot of .... hassle (to put it politely) about my size and weight. I am not exactly 'thin' I'm a rather fuller figured woman. After I had my daughters my body size flumped and I feel unattractive a tiny bit. As men what do you prefer in a woman - stick like or fuller figured? Baby Doll, West Midlands
H: I prefer a fuller figured lady. I like a curve or two!
B: I like my women to be the same build as me, saves me a fortune when it comes to cross dressing.
L: I think it's all about the overall package. There are many attractive people who don't conform to a particular physical type. We were recently discussing the relative merits of Penelope Cruz and Selma Hayek. Both are stunning but one is tall and slim and the other is short and curvaceous.  This is the kind of problem we like to mull over on the tour bus. Oh, the pressure of work etc...........
D: I tend to think it usually depends on the individual woman, as it's not just what you look like, but as a rule I've never found super thin women particularly attractive. It's nice to have a bit of something to hold on to, as they say.

Q: Here’s another question. Gadgets! Which of the band loves their gadgets, be it music related or general lifestyle? I’m also wondering about TVs – who had the biggest and who has the smallest? Do these super slick 40 odd inch HD ready plasma TVs do it for you, or do you own a 14 inch CRT TV squirreled in a corner somewhere for occasional TV entertainment? Axel
D: I used to be really into all things hi fi and gadgetry in general. My interest has waned somewhat as the years have rolled by, but that said I did get an iPod before anyone else I know. I've always been into good design, and solid build quality, so I'm quite fussy. With the increasingly rapid pace of change, rather than rush out and get a new item straight away, I tend to wait a while nowadays to see which products have staying power. This is evidenced by the fact that I still don't have a flat screen TV, LCD, plasma or otherwise. To be honest I'm not convinced I want a huge TV screen dominating my living room.. My TV is a widescreen fat box tube type, reasonably young, but definitely old school. I also have an old 14", but it's not squirreled away, it lives in my kitchen and performs sterling work whilst I eat my porridge in the mornings.
B: Danny loves a gadget, Luke would break it or leave it in a restaurant/dressing room, Harry suffers very badly from mobile phone envy, Chris is mildly impressed by them and I’d love one if I could get it for free. TV size is irrelevant, if it’s too small just sit closer.
H: I love a gadget but I’m normally a year or two behind everyone else but I get there in the end. I need to buy a TV funnily enough! I have recently updated my phone Ben so no more mobile phone envy!! Ha ha ha........

Q: Guys, I have recently found myself in a little bit of a sticky situation. I proposed to my girlfriend in January (no, that's not the problem....well, not the only one) and we happily found a venue for the big day and booked a date of the 20th of December. Then it hit me last week with sudden horrific realisation that it is likely to clash with the Thunder Christmas Show which is always a weekday in the week before Christmas. Having been to all of the previous Christmas shows, even the Bedford, I will be gutted if I have to miss out this year as it has become a Xmas tradition for me and my brother. Which brings me to my question, have any of you ever had to miss a very important family event because of a Thunder commitment like a show? And what were the consequences? (and can I put in a early request to avoid the 19th, 20th or 21st?!) Kevin White, Swindon
H: Yes I have missed a few family events over the years but my family are pretty cool and understanding about what I do. They know the score.
B: I missed my Uncle's funeral recently as we were in Switzerland playing a show. He was a lot of fun, played the clarinet, read and understood Einstein and quantum mechanics and was an ex WW2 Lancaster bomber pilot so spun a great yarn. It was a shame I missed it but I raised a glass or two for him after the show and gave him a good send him off in my own way.
L: Luckily being in the band has never meant I've had to miss an important family occasion.
D: I almost nearly didn't get married because of a possible Thunder Tour. All marriage plans were made, and then at the last moment our then manager advised us that there was a strong likelihood of a great tour with a big band (who shall remain nameless). I had to advise my wife to be, who understandably went nuts. I told the then manager that if the tour came off the band would either have to get another singer to do it, or future tours may require us to raise the keys of all the songs... The tour never came off and the marriage went ahead as planned. Your request about the Xmas show date is duly noted, but I think it was Mr Spock who once said something like "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.." Get married, and enjoy it, after all I'm presuming you're not planning on doing it again, so if you miss the Xmas show, don't worry too much, they're a bit like buses, I'm sure another one will be along soon...

Q: Eurovision is with us again this weekend. Will you be watching? I saw Lordi at Manchester Academy and thought they were great (many songs did sound the same though!). If offered the chance to submit a classy Thunder ballad, would you consider a pop at “song for Europe” and see if the public voted for you? Axel
H: I love Eurovision especially Wogan’s quips about the acts and the event itself. Brilliant entertainment.
L: I think Eurovision is a bit of fun and is more about television than music. I don't think it would be appropriate for Thunder to enter the competition; somebody younger than ourselves would suit the occasion more. I didn't see it this year but I saw the 'Making Your Mind Up' programme where the country voted to pick the UK entry and the standard was appalling. No wonder we finished second to last!
D: I watch Eurovision every year, I love it. Wogan's commentary is a big part of the appeal. A Thunder Eurovision submission is not going to happen I'm afraid...
B: I believe I’m washing my hair that night so I won’t be watching. I can’t really see Thunder as a Eurovision band but then again who would have guessed Lordi would have won.

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