Q & A Archive - October 2006


Q: I remember a while back you said on the site that the exclusive tracks on the Japanese version of the Six Shooter EP would most probably be available sometime for UK fans, via download. Is there any update on this at all please, cos I need to keep my collection complete?!! Chris Smith, Herne Bay
D: Did I say that? When? If it happens it won't be for a while I'm afraid, as we have to give exclusive tracks time to stay that way in order to satisfy our licensees, and they're subject to contracts too so once we make them exclusive to one label, we have to wait until the contract expires before we change the arrangement. I'm looking at ways to standardise our audio and video releases in the future, so we make it simple for everyone (including us) but it's not easy to achieve, and may be some time coming. Sorry to not give the answer you wanted.

Q: Hello! I listened to the Catbird's radio show the other day and it was lots of fun. It was really nice to hear you guys talking, joking and laughing etc.. The best thing was those 5 songs I could finally hear in their entirety. They're all superb rock and I just love them! And I didn't miss that Danny mentioned you're probably going to
Japan in March next year. I'm sure you'll say 'you'll hear when it's official', but I hope you can tell us it's true! (I love visiting Japan too!) By the way, do you have any idea when the new CD and 'Thunder Go Mad in Japan' DVD will be out there? Fumi, San Francisco
D: Glad you enjoyed the interview. We're trying to finalise the release dates for both the new LP and the new DVD, but for reasons known only to themselves, JVC were a bit late coming on board. We're confident all will be well, and we'll announce the news on the releases and the live shows as soon as we have confirmation.

Q: Hi Luke. After a recent interview it was apparent that both you and Danny have a certain affinity with the word "moist". My question is...would you ever consider writing a song with "Moist" as the title? I know your lyrics come from experience, so you're sure to find it an easy and enjoyable task!! BTW...don't blame me for this question...The Devil (aka Jules) Made Me Do It!! See you in Glasgow. Buffy, Scotland
L: What a pair of naughty girls you are!!!! If I was to write a song with that title obviously I'd have to put hours, days and weeks of research into it as I like to be thorough.........

Q: I've been meaning to ask this question for a while now, since I read an article in Classic Rock magazine several months ago. The article featured one legendary John Kalodner who is credited on your first three albums. Luke quoted John who said Behind Closed Doors was the best album he'd worked on. What kind of influence did he have on the band collectively and individually and why does it appear that you haven't worked with him since? Looking forward to Manchester! Duncan Mackerness, Cheshire
L: I don't think that Kalodner had any musical influence on the band really. He was our American A+R (artists + repetoire) guy when he worked at Geffen Records. He was turned onto the band by Steven Tyler, David Coverdale and Axl Rose and we went to LA to meet him to see if we could work together. He is an interesting character and likes to perpetuate his own 'mystique' but the truth of the matter is Backstreet Symphony was already made when he became involved and LOJD was made in England and he didn't attend the studio once. We wanted Geffen to get really get behind BCD so we went to the States to make the album giving Kalodner the chance to become more involved in the process. He turned up at the studio once I think. Having said all of that he does have good ears and the music industry needs more maverick characters like him.

Q: Hi Luke, I asked at the meet & greet in Amsterdam this year if you ever considered using the mandolin in one of your songs. You said: "maybe". If I'm not mistaken I hear one in the acoustic version of "What a beautiful day". It sounds great. Did you find it hard to master the instrument because of the different tuning of the instrument or was it a peace of cake? Can't wait to hear the album. Bart, Holland
L: It actually isn't a mandolin! I cheated and played a mandolin/bazouki part on guitar but it sounds quite convincing. I think it had something to do with me just having had a holiday on the Greek islands!!

Q: Hi guys, I was just wondering what your long suffering wives and loved ones thought about the questions we ask you. Do they ever look at this fab web site? or would they rather ignore the whole thing and hope you get propper jobs! he he Just kidding. What would we do without Thunder! I think we'd be very depressed :-) Ellie, Hants
B: Why do you think I'm single?

Q: Hi Guys! Along with everyone else I can't wait to hear the new album! It just takes me a little longer to get it living in the USA! I have a two part question. The first, being the age old question of, is it possible or logical that you may play any dates in the States? I met all of you at the London Apollo show with my wife and at the time there was some talk about a deal going in the U.S., and once again I want to thank you for being what every band could only hope to be. Anytime a person meets someone they look up to, there is always a fear they are not what you hope they are. You guys, FAR EXCEEDED any of our expectations and made our trip to England one we will cherish forever! The second is more for Luke? I noticed that when I was in London the guitar shops carried several left handed guitars? I had asked you about some of the shops and you gave me a few pointers. It just seemed that they where more available THERE than in the States. I also play left handed, but it seems that I have to order everything . Very seldom do I walk in the store and find the guitar I am looking for. I just get frustrated when I see a great les paul but it's right handed. I have never had the opportunity to choose between several guitars and pick the best from the pack. So, I guess my question is: Is this something you deal with AND do you have any guitars you cherish, that you don't take on the road. I would be honored if you are ever in the states and contacted me. I have quite a left handed collection and would love for you to see my guitars. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, hope I didn't ramble on. Brannon Hill, USA
L: We would dearly love to come and play in the USA and we haven't given up hope. The problem is we need to find a label who will release our albums and really get behind the band and so far that hasn't happened. It is very frustrating in that we all believe wholeheartedly Thunder is perfect for the USA. Let's hope we can make it happen before we're too old!!!! I do own a Les Paul '59 Re-issue that never goes on the road with me. It's probably worth $12,000 or so and I've already snapped the neck on it once!

Q: I got the p1ss taken for 2 years cause i said Carol Vorderman was 'ok' looking, so thanks Luke for your involuntary moral support. Adam, Wrexham
L: Thank you. Also have you noticed that Carol Vorderman looks curiously like Natalie Imbruglia? I've never seen them in the same room either....... 

Q: My wife and i have been lucky enough to buy a pair of tickets for the Xmas show in Nottingham and are in the process of booking a hotel. We missed out last year due to my work commitments and am I relieved that we can make it this time. We were wondering how you chose the cover songs that you sing at the xmas gigs. Are they personal favorites or tracks that people have requested they would like you to sing. I have always wanted to hear the band perform " Don't say you love me " by Free as It to me is a fantastic Thunder Style Song. Are their any songs you have done in the past at a live gig and since thought What were we thinking about? Dave Sweetmanm Lancaster
L: We tend to pick of few of our favourites and take it from there really. It's not a complicated process. I can't think of a cover song we've done live that we didn't enjoy playing. If we weren't happy with it it would get thrown out at the rehearsal stage.

Q: Having retrieved my vinyl records from the attic, I found a Terraplane track on an old Reading rock festival LP,FROM 1982 called "I want your body" I was wondering if Luke had fond memories of the Reading festival, and if he thought that the glories of the festival had gone, since the site was moved some years ago, and the corporate money men had got involved. On a lighter note my wife and I always catch the band when they play Newcastle City Hall, needless to say she doesn't play Duran Duran  or Spandau Ballet records in this house any more. Tim Baugh, Carlisle
L: I do have fond memories of Reading '82 as it was the first time we'd ever played an important festival. Danny and I and our mate Jon actually went to Reading in 1975 as 15 year old punters and camped for the weekend. The bill that year was brilliantly eclectic. Off the top of my head some of the bands that year were Yes, Dr. Feelgood, Hawkwind, Supertramp, Joan Armatrading, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, UFO, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Wishbone Ash, The Heavy Metal Kids to name a few. The last time I was there was 1987 when Terraplane played it for the second time and it was still the old site. I didn't know that the site had been moved.

Q: I see Storm Thorgerson has produce the sleeve for Europes new album "Secret Society" which frankly makes no sense to me (Again!) have you seen it & would you work with him again? (cost permitting). Mart, Essex
D: No I haven't seen it. Storm is a very nice man, and we all got on very well, so I see no reason why we wouldn't work with him in some way in the future, but don't hold your breath, we haven't released this new one yet..

L: I really like Storm's work and I also like him as a human being so I wouldn't write off the possibility.
B: I loved Storm's work for Thunder - I actually think Laughing On Judgement Day is one of his finest pieces of work, of course he is barking mad but that's why I like him so much.

Q: Hi-The new songs sound great, especially the rockers, you lot really are ACE!!!!!! Anyway Q;Have any of you got a favourite film of all time? I know its a difficult one! Or is there any style of film you enjoy watching? Cheers And roll on the end of the month..... Mitch Capaldi, Cheltenham
L: There's too many varied and brilliant films to pick one I'm afraid. In no particular order a few of my favourites are American Beauty, Some Like It Hot, As Good As It Gets, On The Town, Fargo, Oh Brother Where Art Thou etc..........
B: I love old British comedies such as the Ealing comedies and the like. School For Scoundrels would have to top my list.

Q: Do any of you guys read often & what material do you prefer? I am currently reading Freddie Mercury "A Life In His Own Words" I wondered if Danny as a singer/frontman would be interested or Luke as Freddie enlightens on his ideas on song writing & how songs are perceived. Its a good book actually taken from Freddie's rare interviews over the years (no ghost writing) would you guys read it? Mart, Essex
L: I enjoy biographies particularly as I like knowing what makes people tick. Other than that, anything that moves along at a good pace. I haven't read Fred's book but I'm sure I would find it interesting.
D: I read all the time, voraciously. Always have since I was a kid. I don't care what it is, provided there's something of interest I've always got a book or 2 on the go. I'll check out the Freddie book. I've often thought about the possibility of a Thunder book club, but it's not very rock'n'roll is it...

Q: Hi. Just a few more weeks to wait before the D-Day ! :-) Did you ever thought that you could use iTunes' podcast to promote your new album? (For example, Joe Satriani made a "song by song" review of his new album before its official release.) It could give you a better coverage. Second question, will there be a European RJT tour? Keep up the good work. Olivier Monnard, Belgium
D: A good idea and one we have already considered. It's possible but time is a problem at the moment... We're flat out doing promotion already...European shows in support of RJ'sT are likely in early 2007 followed by summer festivals a plenty.

Q: Hi Guys! Looking forward to your gig in London on 22nd November. However, there is one slight problem with the date - Liverpool FC are playing that night too! Two of my main passions colliding in one night, how! why! This can't be happening! Can I please get a score check from you? I will be wearing my LFC top, and if I am at the back of the audience for some strange unknown reason, please do it anyway? What do you guys think when two events happen on the same day? How do you decide what to do? Jen, Liverpool
D: The show is now cancelled. Obviously. Not really. Can't do a score check, it's a rock'n'roll show not a football report. It happens to everyone, and when it happens to me I choose the thing I want to do the most, or the thing that may not come around again for a while.

Q: My guess is you're going to release Dirty Dream. My question, just supposing you do, is which actress would you get to do the video? Pammy Anderson again or do you all have different preferences now?! John H, West Sussex
D: Pamela Anderson is out for a number of reasons (fee being one), regardless of the song, if we make a video, and there's no guarantee we'll make one yet, but if we do I think I can say quite categorically that she won't be in it. More than that I cannot say at this time.

L: The song concerns itself with having impure thoughts about somebody unexpected so I would be inclined to pick someone a lot less obvious. Maybe it could be more of a 'guilty pleasure' kind of thing so perhaps Carol Vorderman for instance???? What does everybody else think?

Q: RJ Tombstone - if I'm not mistaken - is going to be the first Thunder studio album with a choice of 1 or 2 CD (limited edition) to purchase; are we going to see similar limited editions in the future? Also any chance of a Doo Wop Release in the future! Cheers, Redeem, London
D: We're working flat out on this one, and it's not even out yet, and now you want to know about the next one? Aaaagh...... I'm ruling nothing in or out in the future, mainly because I haven't even thought about it.
Who knows, the way technology is going, the next studio LP may end up being released as thought waves rather than CDs... As to Danny & The Doo Wops, I'm not quite sure why people keep asking me, if you want to know you'd have to ask them, for only they know what they're likely to do in the future. Like I said in another recent response, last I heard several members of D&TDW were in jail somewhere in the USA, but I've not heard from any of them for ages.

Q: Hi, will be bringing my daughters to the Newcastle City Hall gig to break their Thunder Live 'duck' so to speak hope its a good one! Anyway I think you Mr. Bowes are the best blues rock singer I've heard live and I was wondering what you thought of Boz Scaggs? The kids think he sounds like kermit the frog. Speed, Northumberland
D: I bought a couple of his LPs way back when, on vinyl, and I really enjoyed them at the time, but I didn't replace them on CD when the time came. Not sure why, but I'm sure there were lots of LPs in my vinyl collection that went the same way. My interest is aroused, so I'll dig them out and give them a spin.. I know what your kids mean about Kermit, he does have a twang to his voice.

Q: Hey guys. I was wondering which song on the new album is going to be the big single this time? and do you think that it will beat 'I love you more than rock and roll' in the charts? The clips sound awesome by the way. Martin Ryder, Cheltenham 
You'll have to wait and see I'm afraid. As to how it does, we'll all have to wait and see...

Q: As Luke mentioned them in a recent answer, I had to ask; Is there any likelihood of that little known band Danny and the Doo Wops making an appearance in the UK in the near future? (maybe they could support you at the next Xmas Party (hint hint). I did buy tickets for one of their shows at the Marquee, along with a band called the Alter-girls, but for reasons never explained they didn't turn up. Fortunately you and the Quireboys stood in for them, and it turned into quite a good DVD.... Dave Francis, Brighton
The last I heard D&TDW had disbanded, due to a combination of incarceration (Otis Blue) and a rather messy church scandal (Rev Fingers Bonehead). However, as we know time is the healer, so I'm sure they'll be back here in the UK at some stage, but I haven't had any contact with Mr Ocean for some time (he's too busy with his films I guess), so I can't say when. It was lucky for them we managed to step in for them in 2002, or it could have been a bit of a disaster.

Q: What inspired you to do Giving The Game Away? Josh, Luton
L: The song was written about a certain record company person we knew. He will have to remain nameless though.

Q: I just heard 'Welcome to the Party' and 'Somebody Get me a Spin Doctor' one after the other and there's a big change from the optimism in 'Welcome to the Party' and the cynicism in 'Somebody Get me a Spin Doctor'. That led to this question... Have you ever written a song, then later changed your opinion on the subject so much that you really wish those lyrics weren't out in the world with your name on them? Suzie, Derby
L: The thing about songwriting is if you do it genuinely it's all about how you feel at the time of writing. With the passing of time opinions do change and passions may weaken so I think it's inevitable as a writer you may feel an occasional twinge of embarrassment looking back. Oh well......

Q: Hi there!! I was wondering if you could answer me a question about the equipment  you use. I know that guitar-wise you use Gibson Les Paul's and Flying V's, but what about amplifiers and any effects pedals? The reason I am asking is because I would like to get the sound that you have and can't get it to save my life!! Please help!! Dave, Kent
L: I use a Boogie Mk.III, various Marshall amps and occasionally a Peavey 5150 which is great for recording. I very rarely use pedals as I tend to fall over them although I did use a Boss Chorus on the last tour for the middle section of 'Amy's On The Run'.

Q: Thinny, are you on any photos on the web site? It would be nice to put a face to the name! What about an up to date team photo, you lot do a great job for the band. Yvonne McGuire. Cumbria
T: Nope, I'm afraid not. Much like Superman, my real identity must remain a secret at all times to protect those around me. Otherwise my arch-enemy will kidnap my loved ones and force me give him aftershow passes in return for their lives. Or so I have been told...

Q: Those nice people at Amazon asked me if I wanted to buy something called "Headphones for Cows" by Thunder. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000HEV8MS) Not that I don't trust those lovely people at Amazon, but, I've never heard any mention of this by the lovely people at Thunder Towers - is this an imposter? Looking forward to the new album and tour, keep rocking! Mr. Grumpy, Grumpy Towers
T: This is not Thunder - at least not the Thunder that we know and love. They were a short lived US band that were around before our Thunder, but they are no more and haven't been for many years, This release is a reissue of their one and only album.

Q: I read an interview where you mentioned that Luke writes to suit your voice, I guessed you meant key and range and the like, but it made me wonder about the lyrics. Have you ever had problems singing something because you can't get the emotions or agree with the content? And have you ever asked for something to be changed because of that (or because it's too tongue-twister-y)? Suzie, Derby
I can honestly say there have only ever been a couple of occasions where the lyric has made me think "oh no I don't want to sing that!". I did ask for the lyric to change, and he did it. Luke writes songs that are quite challenging for me to sing, but I've got used to that - I once asked him "why don't you write songs that are easy to sing?" He replied "if it doesn't hurt you aren't going to get better!". Not sure if he was right about that, or where he got it from, but I'm still doing it, and I have got better, and so has he. The thing I find more amazing with each record is that he can still surprise me with a lyric, a melody, or an arrangement, and after 31 years making music together, and loads of songs, that's quite an achievement!

Q: Most of your releases now are on the Thunder shop only. Q. Will there be any plans to make your records/DVD's more accessible to others? (I ask because I've been ripped off so many times with internet purchases I don't trust doing it any more). Ian Neve, Ashford Kent
Since we took charge of our recording career in 2002, our last 3 studio LPs have all been sold via Townsend Records and are widely available in the shops, and this will continue to be the case while they want to sell them for us. The titles sold via Thunder Shop are not likely to sell in the same volume as studio LPs and are therefore less appealing to retail. Thunder Shop was set up in response to that, and it works very well, as it enables us to sell the records and for fans to buy them. Otherwise these titles would never see the light of day. I have no knowledge of your previous internet purchase problems, but I can assure you that we have thousands of very happy Thunder Shop customers, as do Townsend Records. It is not in our interests to rip anyone off, as we are a band selling our titles to fans, we're not a dodgy shop selling rubbish to anyone and then running away. We'd last 5 minutes if we took that approach, and we've never been into having a 5 minute career.

Q: Hi to the lovely Thunder! Really cant wait to see you all in November ( hopefully twice! ) I have just recently taken up Spanish at night school and am really enjoying it.... My question is do any of you speak a foreign language or is there any particular language you would like to be able to speak? Hasta luego guys! Oh and Luke.....Te amo! :o)! Juliet, Clevedon
L: I have a grasp of schoolboy German which at times of difficulty is just about enough to get by. Despite my many trips to Spain I really only know my way around a menu which is pathetic. My Mum lives in Italy and has learnt the language pretty well which makes me very jealous. I would like to learn Spanish and will probably get around to it one day. In the meantime 'dos cerveza por favor'............

B: I speak a few phrases of French, German, Japanese and Spanish not enough to be of any real use but enough to get into trouble. As to learning a language properly it would be a toss up between Japanese and Spanish, although I guess Spanish would be a little easier as we share the same alphabet. 

Q: Hey all! I'm a HUGE fan of yours. I have been since I heard Dirty Love on the radio all those years ago. My question... have you had any possibilities to tour in the US lately? I was fortunate enough to see you play at Bedford Arms a couple years back (with my 3 months pregnant wife... yes, she's a fan too... so is the 2 yr old who heard you in the womb) but I would LOVE to see you play a whole electric set over here! I know that you got played a bit in Minnesota (my friend, Russ Berreth, got you on the radio and then interviewed you later on)... any other nibbles? If you don't make it here soon, I'm coming back to see you! Brian MacDonald, Somerville MA USA
Nice to hear from you, you are truly a crazy Thunder fan, and we salute you. We're continually discussing the possibility of a release in the USA with everyone and anyone we meet, but so far it's not become a reality. Shows in isolation would make no sense, assuming we found a promoter prepared to make an offer for us to play. It's just as frustrating for us as it is for you, believe me. Ho hum..

Q: Hi guys this is kinda a 2in1 question! Firstly, how will you choose which songs to sing in your up-in-coming UK Tour? Secondly,What is each of your favourite Thunder songs to perform? Steven Alexander, N. Ireland
D: Songs for live shows almost always pick themselves after we play them a bit during rehearsals. They're the ones that we know will work in front of a crowd. At this time it's hard to predict, and come to think of it a bit pointless, as you've not heard the new record yet. Favourite performing songs seem to change with each tour that goes by. So much of it is about what happens when the song and the crowd collide... As they say...

L: As stated before on the Q+A page many times, the set is constructed bearing in mind that we need to play a number of songs from the most recently released album, a selection of our most popular material and a few old songs we haven't played for while. It also has to be balanced in terms of tempos and moods so that there isn't too much of any one thing. I don't have a particular favourite to play as I enjoy nearly all of them. 
B: I usually look down at the set list taped to the floor by my microphone and hope the other guys have the same one - It has been known to be different but that's another story. I used to really look forward to playing "Does It Feel Like Love" but we haven't done it in a while.

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