Q & A Archive - December 2007


Firstly, I'd like to congratulate you on another splendid gig in Bristol, you never fail to impress. Now then, I understand that Danny, Chris, and Harry have contributed to Don Airey's up coming solo album 'A Light In The Sky'. How was it working with Purple's ivory tinkler? How many tracks did you contribute to? Are any of you likely to be involved in a mutted April Tour as part of Don's band? Keep up the great work. Mark Besley, Frome
D: I believe Harry and Chris played on a lot of the songs on the record. I sang just the one song, and contributed towards a wall of backing vocals on another. As to Don's touring plans, I'm afraid I have no clues there, you'd have to ask Mr A. He's a nice man, I'm sure he'll tell you.

Q: I love the cowbell in ILYMTRR, it gives the song such a special dynamic groove. I wonder whose idea it was and, this one's for you Ben, if  it's hard to play it and keep the track on stage. By the way, what are your plans for summer when Germany is heading for the European football championship? Sven, Oldenburg, Germany
B: It's fairly simple to play once you know the part and I have the magnificent time machine behind me (Harry) to keep me on the right track. As for my plans, I'll be heading in the other direction for the sunbathing on a beach championship.

Q: Have you thought about getting yourself the Les Paul robot guitar to help with alternate tunings while on tour. Lee, Belfast
B: Not really, I have a guitar tech for that sort of thing. I had thought of having one play the entire set for me when I've had a hangover.
L:No. We don't really use many complicated tuning variations.

Q: Luke, thanks for a great night in Bristol recently. As I mentioned to you at the Meet & Greet, it was probably the best I'd ever seen you (as a band) play and a perfectly balanced set. I really enjoyed "Chain Reaction" live and particularly your vocals at the end of the song. My question is: would you consider recording a song where you and Danny shared the vocals more or less equally? I know you've done your fair share of vocals in the past but other bands have done the odd song with split vocals which, I think, gives a song a bit of a different edge. Andy Lacey, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
L: It depends totally on what the song requires. Our material tends to be written around Danny's voice which is how it should be. 'Living For Today' has both of us on lead vocals and I think it works well in the case of that particular song.

Q: Hi Luke! Someone definitely needs to adjust the resolution on their tv! Not only do you guys look great, a couple of us were commenting how big your arms are, and that you must be working out! By the way, LOVE the hair! Is it a new do? We fans over here could care less how you look, as long as you just toured here! And I'm quite sure we'd walk away completely satisfied and our only complaint---WANTING MORE!!! Cynthia, California
L: I had two hair cuts before the tour, the first of which was a disaster as it ended up looking like a Posh Spice bob (or POB as I believe it's called), and the second which was to sort out the previous mess! The end result is shorter than I've had it for a while but I've grown to like it. I've always gone to the gym fairly regularly but I don't do any specific muscle building, more of an overall fitness type workout.

Q: Hi Guys, I would like to say a BIG thankyou for yet another amazing show at Sheffield on the 3rd. I have lost count of the number of times I've seen you all but you have been such a big part of my life for so many years that it feels like an annual fix! I love everything from Luke's big jump finishes to Danny's cute wiggle dance and I just can't get enough! I was lucky enough to briefly meet you all afterwards and you were so lovely and such gentlemen, I just wanted to take you home with me! What has never ceased to amaze me though is the way you can keep on producing such truly fantastic tracks. Robert Johnson's is superb and some of the lyrics just stay with you. Alongside, 'Dirty Dream' had me laughing out loud when I first listened to it - all I could imagine was the possible inspiration behind it and wondered whether you all had a 'laugh' about it too when it was first written! Are most lyrics based on your own experiences or do you just have flashes of inspiration from simply observing life? No matter where it comes from, keep on doing it! Love you all loads. Sarah Everett, Lincoln
L: Everything in life has the potential to inspire a little idea that turns into a lyric; you just have to keep your eyes and ears open. As I'm usually on my own when I write the lyrics, I have no idea how the others first react when they hear the songs for the first time so you'll have to ask them!

Q: Hi!!!! I would like to say that today id D-day for Led Zeppelin igniting the O2 in London...I've heard incredible figures about the show (tickets requests going up to more than 2 millions, even when the prices get close to 120 pounds...and so on...)Are any of you attending it? Is there any chance for you to use some kind of influence
to get a ticket in case you want to attend and you can't? did you ever play (or are you thinking about doing so...) a zep cover in one of your shows? That's it, just out of curiosity...thank you very much for reading and above all, for being yourselves... Diego, Spain
B: I did not attend the Led Zeppelin concert but having spoken to those that did they reported that Zeppelin were very good indeed. We have played around with covers in sound check and some sounded quite good. We may have played Misty Mountain Hop somewhere but it is vague.
L: I didn't go but I've looked at some of the footage on You Tube and it sounds quite good. We were on tour when the original date was scheduled so none of us bothered trying to get a ticket. Once the show had been moved to December 10th all the tickets had gone so I'll have to content myself with the inevitable DVD when it comes out! I think we played 'Misty Mountain Hop' at our Xmas show in the Marquee Club in 1989?
D: I'm not going. I do know someone who is (git). To be honest I didn't even try, figured it would be a pointless exercise. We have done Led Zeppelin songs over the years, mostly in sound checks and jams in the studio. Thinking about it now, I seem to remember we did play "Rock'n'Roll" once with Heart during their encore at Wembley Arena, when we toured with them in 1990. It was great, I swapped lines with Ann Wilson. Ah memories...

Q: Hi Guys, The Astoria was mine and the Wife's first Thunder live (outside dvd) experience and you guys rocked beyond all expectation (love the guitars pointing in 3 different directions at the end of songs, pure rock theatre). The Mrs' first comment upon leaving was that it was the best gig she's ever been to and I have to agree and you're up against some famous historical gigs there well done! And as for the Astoria itself I really liked it, just the right size for proper interaction with the suitably panto response crowd. Anyway my question is, given that you use radio packs do you ever wander out into the venue when soundchecking to add your opinion to the mix or just leave it to sound guys? Reason I ask was that I standing by the desk and I would've EQed the guitars and bass differently for a bit more girth on the guitar and more mid punch on the bass (Chris' little fills were a bit lost).  Secondly, how are the tour dates organised as Manchester to London to Sheffield seems like a lot of unnecessary road time. Finally, (yes there's more) I can't believe our paths never crossed years ago as we're all the same age, I play, we originate from the same area (Camberwell lad me) and it turns out you used to play my sisters pub The White Swan back in the day. Looking forward to the next live bash. Chris, Sutton
B: There is little point in checking the mix in an empty hall at sound check as the acoustics are dramatically affected by the audience once they have arrived. The ambient temperature will also affect the sound to a degree and rises as the masses gather. If the bass had more mid punch the extra girth you put on the guitars will be negated and you are back to square one, this is why we leave it to the professionals and have trust in their abilities.
Mixing any show or album is a bit like managing the England Football Team in that everybody has an opinion but there is only one guy in charge. Don't be too concerned about the routing as we are asleep for the journey and it makes no difference to us, only the tour bus driver but I'll pass on your concerns to him.
D: Glad you enjoyed it. We have a very experienced production crew, who do a fab job. We rely on them to get it right and most of the time they do. We didn't use our full touring production for the Astoria show as the house rig is not removable. This may account for the sound not being up to your standards. I'm told the sound was fabulous everywhere else. As for dates and venues please see previous answers to this question, I hate repeating myself. I hate repeating myself. If your sister is named Val then you are indeed the brother of the landlady of the pub 4 of us played in circa 1980. Please send her my best when you next speak to her. I hate repeating myself.
L: We have a sound engineer who has worked for us for fifteen years and, whilst you are entitled to your opinion on our front of house sound, I can't recall any complaints so I must deduce from that that Pete does a great job. Tour routing can appear a little strange sometimes but different things that we have no control over such as venue availability affect when we play where.

Q: Why is the certification on The Devil Went Down To Huttwil "81", does this mean that at the tender age of 26 the DVD is not appropriate for my viewing?! Kelly, Sheffield
D: It's a typo, it should have been 181. It's a sense of humour thing..

Q: Hi great show in Newcastle. Luke when we were speaking at the aftershow, i put it to you was there any chance that you would be recording the Christmas show for release on dvd. I'm not sure if you can remember the conversation but i was the one in the black shirt who bought you at pint. Also my wife thought you were great and a perfect gentleman. Our thanks to the whole band and keep the albums coming Stephen Muers,  Newcastle Upon Tyne
L: We won't be filming the Xmas show this year but in the future it's  definitely a possibility.

Q: Hi Guys, great gig @ Manchester, really enjoyed it as always...My ? goes like this, I was watching the Huttwil dvd, which is great,, but I have to say I thought a few of you looked slightly plump!! yet seeing you last week I thought you all looked very svelt, and lovely, (especially Danny..!) So is it just the touring that burns off the tums, or do you work out b4 you hit the road??? luv y'all, and merry Christmas x Jodie, Cheshire
L: Plump? Obviously you need to address the screen resolution on your TV!

Q: You guys rocked the Astoria last night - sound was great and Danny's voice so powerful. RJT was fab live!! It was packed to the rafters, I'd forgotten how small the venue is. I know Danny said recently you tend to play where you know you can guarantee a crowd but would you consider playing Hammersmith Apollo next time? There must be enough Thunder devotees out there to fill it. And if Toby Jepson could support again it would be just like the old days!! Or is it all down to the promoters where you have to play? Di Gaedtke, Ashford, Middx
D: Thanks for the nice words. Venue choice is mostly about availability at the time when you want to tour. Hammersmith wasn't available when we booked the recent shows, and The Astoria was.

Q: We've just come back from having a great time in Newcastle and Glasgow. Danny's voice is superb - really on form and a delight to behold - and the new songs are just great. Well done to all. My question to you is - what is the intro song? Sounds like Murrey Head 'One night in Bangkok' - but I don't think it is. What is the connection with the gig? Kathy, London
L: The piece of music was put together and arranged by Chris and it's called 'Thunder Overture #1'. It has the main theme from 'Last Man Standing'  running through it.

Q: Thanks for a wonderful evening last night at the Civic. The music was fantastic as usual and on this occasion me and my wife were lucky enough to win 'meet and great' passes. It was a real pleasure meeting you all. You may remember us, we were the ones who had recently got married and chose 'Love Walked In' as our wedding song. It's been such a special song in our life and the words are perfect. My question is what songs mean the most to you in your lives and why? Thanks again for taking time out to chat to us. See you at the Xmas knees-up!! Jase, Walsall
L: Far too many songs to mention have an emotional weight to them in the context of my life so I won't attempt to list them here!

Q: Hi chaps, Well I finally got around to doing this after the Norwich gig, sore throat and sore legs the next day (gettin too old for this sort of thing) fabulous show you never disappoint, there are not many days that Thunder don't rattle the walls in this house! Anyway we were among the fortunate few who had two of the 'meet & greet' tickets, we were a bit nervous as to how you chaps would be in person but it was nice to see that you are all just nice guys and thank you for making the time to meet some of us, this is the first time that we have attempted this after gig meeting of any band. We really enjoyed the Opportunity to meet you all, just a pity that the thin one was missing, although Danny did say that he was a bit like the stig...lol Roll on next year, keep rockin and thanks for the music. Phil & Nicola, Mildenhall
L: Glad you enjoyed the gig and the M+G. We don't bite (often!) so it's nice when people discover we are actually normal.

Q: Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow! absolutely bloody marvellous! I just wanted to thank you for a fantastic show last night at the Astoria! Am still buzzing! Well, I had the tickets since March, so had to wait practically a whole year for the gig, but was well worth waiting for! My only complaint would be that there wasn't enough room for dancing! It was so packed full of fans... maybe you should get a bigger venue next time!! My sister usually accompanies me to the gigs but as she has recently given birth to the world's youngest Thunder fan (believe me,  Aunty Maria will make sure that she becomes a Thunder fan!!) she couldn't come to the show - she sends her love though. I brought a friend with me last night who is into R'n'B and soul and she's never been to a rock concert before; she really enjoyed it - she loved the ballads and said that you are all great entertainers and Danny's got a good voice! So that's not bad is it? - think you've got a new fan!!  Oh, and I'm so happy that you played 'I'll be waiting'! It's one of my faves and I've waited years to hear you play it again. Last night's gig was almost 17 years to the day when I went to my first real Thunder show in Hammersmith (after you blew me away as support for Heart) in 1990. I have to say you're still as fab now as you've always been. Make sure you come back soon, I don't wanna have to wait that long to see you again! love to you all, especially Luke!! Maria, Herts
L: Such flattery! Thank you very much and I'm glad your friend enjoyed the experience. Most people who are talked into coming to see us enjoy it when they get there. Your new mission Maria is to go forth and convince the  rest of the world! Send our congratulations to your sister.

Q: Luke can you tell me what the gadget is that you use to hold the notes on Loser. Is it a Gizmotron and can I but one somewhere. What a great gig in Glasgow it was brilliant !!!!! Jamsy, Glasgow
L: It's called an 'E-bow' and you can buy it in most guitar shops. Glad you enjoyed Glasgow.

Q: Hi , I have a 16 year old son who plays guitar in a band and is studing music performance at college, he loves rock music i have recently introduced him to the best rock band in the world (yourselves) he thinks your great, but he also likes these modern rock bands like "bullet for my valentine" and "trivium" who seem to shout and scream too much I was wondering what you think of this new style of rock. Darren Jones, Somerset
D: I get the feeling I probably feel the same way you do..
L: In all genres of music there is good, bad and indifferent so I try and base my judgement on the individual band rather than the style they play in. I don't know an awful lot about the bands you mention however so it's a cop out for me I'm afraid!
B: I think they shout and scream too much.

Q: Just been to the gig at London Astoria ( well last night ) a blinding performance as normal....Ben I am just taking up playing the guitar at the tender age of 45. As myself and my partner were in front of  the stage had a good chance to watch your playing technique; any tips  for a budding guitarist. Note: learning by the tab technique, as reading  music seems to be beyond me! Peter Webber, Caterham
B: Start young, failing that patience and an understanding partner.

Q: Firstly, congratulations on fantastic gigs in both Norwich and London. You never fail to excite, impress and leave us all with jolly big smiles on our faces. My question is - at the Norwich show I noticed one of your crew (a man with very big hair!) standing at the side near Ben, playing the guitar along with you. I'm just being nosey really, but who was he and why was he playing along? Beth, Enfield
B: That was Brian, my guitar tech, and we've asked him not to on many an occasion. Seriously he was, being the true professional, stretching and playing in the strings to make sure the guitar is in tune when I swap guitars. He does have big hair though doesn't he?

Q: What an awesome end to your current tour, i hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did! (Come back and visit us next year and I'm sure we can show you an even better time :) I got home this evening to find the Christmas Fairy had been round to our house and put all the decorations up much to my annoyance... back me up here
fellas - 3rd of December, too soon for decorations/tree buying? when do you start getting festive in your gaffs? Kelly, Sheffield
B: Far too soon in my book - I haven't even thought about Christmas yet, baah humbug!

Q: First of all I just wanna thank you for yet another awesome show at Sheffield City Hall the other night. In particular I thought Chain Reaction worked well live & Dannys vocals on Like A Sattelite were stunning! I was just wondering if when planning a tour do you make a decision that a particular place would be good for the last night or is it more a question of logistics, venue availability etc.  Ian Dowle, Barnsley
D: Glad you enjoyed it, the whole tour was very enjoyable, apart from Luke being ill for the last 3 shows of course. We've all been there so we felt for him, and he did really well to get through it. The tour is routed mostly around the availabilities of the venues in the towns we want to play in.

Q: Firstly thank you for yet another fantastic show at Sheffield City Hall and also for putting us at our ease at the aftershow. We asked Danny a question about losing his voice prior to Donnington and was amazed to hear that it was basically down to the air conditioning on the tour bus. Just how important was that appearance at Monsters Of Rock with regards to the success that the band went on to have and are still enjoying. I have always thought (I might be wrong)that your fantastic live performance that day played a big part in shaping the bands future.  Obviously Hard work, brilliant song writing and great musicianship (is that a word) have played their part but that must have been a very important day in all of your lives. Thank you again and hope to see you next year. Laura, Barnsley
D: It was a very big day for us, as it completed all the work of the year leading up to the show, and brought us to the attention of a great many people. Obviously a lot has happened since then, some good, and some not so good, but we're still here, and selling tickets and music, so we must be doing something right.

Q: Please put me and Piddy out of our misery......what was that wonderful aftershave that you were wearing at Norwich?? Thanks for a very fun night! and just in case you forget...."Cut down to the floor"!! Emma, Home...for now Somerset
D: It's called Wild Horses by Izze Deadyet. Ha ha. My lips are sealed I'm afraid. One has to have some secrets..

Q: Hi everyone!!! Just a simple one...taking a look at your setlists I have realized there are times when you don't even play some of your best known tunes, like it is the case with "low life..." (the first song I listened to and the very first time I knew about you guys...), trying to change the setlist a little bit from one day to another...I think that is a wise choice, but don't you think you have a handful of songs that should be played ALWAYS????? In my opinion those classics would be "she's so fine", "dirty love", "higher ground",  "backstreet symphony", "love walked in", "low life in high places",  "laughing on..." or "loser". These songs along with some new ones taken from each new album and others "semiclassics" (subjected to changes from one day to another) thrown here and there for our listening pleasure would do a perfect show...what do you think? Truth is I am realizing that is what you mostly do all the time...but what do you think about those "permanent classics"??? Thank you very much!!!! Diego, Spain
L: Once again, everybody has an opinion on which songs should be in the set but we can't play everybody's favourite songs all the time. I think it  would be wrong to make songs from our first album the bulk of our live  show in 2007! There would be no point in releasing new albums.

Q: Came to see you at Manchester dec 1st, i've been following the band since seeing you at don valley in 93 have to say you really do get better gods honest! any way, I couldn't help but notice at the end, a certain ditty missing "dirty love " said to the wife they must be coming back out again as did three quarters of the crowd as well, must say I missed the chance to go ape at the end but i can understand the reasons, whose decision was the omission ?? was it a hard decision ? i agree a change is as good as a rest please keep up the fine work and merry christmas all at thunder towers..... Martin, Spain
L: Songs can become a little stale and we've played 'Dirty Love' on virtually every show we've ever done so I felt it was time to give it a rest. Once again, we can't play all the songs everybody wants to hear all the time, it's just not physically possible.

Q: Hi. In my nocturnal wanderings around the internet, I came across an advert for a cuttings service providing cuttings on my most loved band Thunder. It made me wonder what cuttings and mementos do you keep yourselves from your career and what do you wish you had kept. Helen Hammond, South Wales
B: I have kept tour itineraries and quite a few t-shirts but I don't keep any cuttings, Harry's the man for that.
L: I have a reasonable collection of press cuttings and magazines from various points over the last eighteen years but Harry is the band's diarist and archive curator!

Q: My friend says he's seen you in Liverpool a few times, I was wondering why you no longer play there? Of all the venues you play now which would you say is your favourite for acoustics, atmosphere etc.? Steve, Wrexham
B: We normally play Manchester which is a stones throw from Liverpool so we won't do both. Acoustically Sheffield City Hall is one of my favourites. As for the atmosphere it's generally the audience that make it rather than the venue.
D: We have played there a few times over the years and the shows were always fine, but since we came back after the split, we've been building back up our ticket sales by concentrating mainly on strong Thunder places. We've experimented with different places here and there, just to test the water as it were. Can't say which is the best, they all have good points, and to be honest it's much more about the overall experience with the crowd than the venue itself.

Q: Hi, just a note to say thanks very much for the chance to meet and greet you all at your opening show in Newcastle. You all were very warm and friendly (such gentlemen), do you enjoy the meet and greet as much as us fans do. The show was great, we had a great time, keep up the good work, oh and by the way what did Harry do with the big underpants. Andrea, Newcastle Upon Tyne
B: We do genuinely enjoy the meet and greets, after all we don't have to do them but we choose to. We get all kinds of interesting feedback which can be very useful.

D: We do enjoy the meet & greets, to be honest we wouldn't do them if we didn't. Harry has the pants, not sure what he's done with them, I don't like to ask..

Q: Just wondered - In your EMI days did you ever meet Simon Cowell? and if you did, what did you think of him? I'm disappointed not to be meeting you in meet and greet next week, but I am looking forward to Wednesday's Bristol show - so instead please could you answer my question to make up for it!! Lottie, Exeter
B: Never met the man.
L: I don't recall meeting him and if I did I certainly don't remember him.
D: Never met him. Didn't know he worked there to be honest.

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