Q & A Archive - December 2006


Q: Hi Danny - I share your frustrations at the latest single 'only' hitting number 40. As 'I Love You More Than Rock n Roll' went in higher (from memory at 26/27?), with more exclusive tracks this time around I thought a top 20 slot was a real possibility. It's a shame that some fans cannot see past the selfish attitude of 'well I've got that track so won't buy it again' mentality, when for a couple of quid they could have additional Thunder tracks, plus really raise your profile. On a related matter, I have collected ALL your releases since a free flexi disc back in 89/90, and have ALL your released tracks. For some reason however I didn't get the new single on the day of release, and din't order it until later in the week, and everywhere seems to have sold out of the 7" vinyl. I am desperate to keep my collection up, and would be grateful if you can tell me if any further copies of this will be available via your shop, or alternatively via a download version from somewhere? I'm sure I could probably find a download of it on a peer to peer site for free at some point, but would much rather get this through the official channels to ensure you get every penny you deserve. Ben R, Windsor
D: Universal supplies stock to retail prior to release, and if past performance is anything to go by, some will inevitably remain unsold and eventually go back, but it can take a few week. When this happens I'm sure Townsend Records will have some copies for sale. Both they and I would prefer that you buy everything from "official" sources, so if you email them and ask to be notified if and when more stock is available I'm sure they'll let you know.

Q: Luke, thanks for your music! You make me start everyday with a good feeling. I'd like to know which harmonica do you use? I'm looking forward to see you in a gig! Sonia, Spain
L: Thank you for the nice comment. I use a standard blues harp made by Hohner.

Q: As an avid thunder fanatic i have to tell you that r.j.t is awesome, personal faves dirty dream and darkest hour , just to let you know we took our 15 yr old niece to the Manchester gig and it just goes to show you guys have not only still got it but got better as she is now spreading the good name of thunder around to her contempories and believe me its working !! would love to see you guys at st georges hall Bradford as it was always a good full turnout.... Martin Wilkinson, Bradford
L: Thank you. Well done for spreading the word and it's great your niece is doing the same! Venues are always booked on our Agent's advice as discussed elsewhere on Q+A and many different issues dictate where we play.

L: Anything made by reputable manufacturers is always a good investment. I would suggest looking at a Marshall as they are hard to beat. If they're a bit outside your budget the second hand option is always a good one. Happy hunting.

Q: Hi Luke, Firstly. just have to say that 'Don't Worry About Forever' is oneof your best songs ever - can't believe it didn't make the album! My question is: I recall that back in the late 60's, The Who were faced with a situation where Keith Moon simply 'conked out' at a gig (I think due to a few too many horse pills beforehand!!), and decided to ask if anyone in the crowd was a drummer, and they did a few songs with this volunteer standing in. If something similar happened to you either just before showtime when the venue was already full, or actually in the middle of a gig, would you consider getting someone to fill in on the spur of the moment for any of you (I presume Danny would be the hardest to replace), or would you simply cancel or stop at that point, and hope that you didn't get a Guns n Roses style riot on your hands?!!! p.s. if it were Harry that dropped out for whatever reason and you were anywhere in the South, let me know as I could just about manage to play your stuff without totally ruining your reputation!! Chris Smith, Kent
L: It wouldn't happen as Harry is indestructable. He was given titanium organs during an alien abduction and so will outlive everybody else. Seriously I guess we'd have to assess any unforeseen situation at the time although without prior rehearsal it would be almost impossible for someone to step in.

Q: Hi Danny - just picked up the new album on iTunes - fab stuff. Been a fan since uni days (1994ish and those drunken nights at Rock City and Royal Concert hall in Notts!) I'm a big fan of iTunes and no doubt it and other stores are changing the way bands approach selling their material. Was interested to ask from your "management" perspective how easy it is to get your music on iTunes and how "profitable" it is compared to cd sales? Do you prefer to sell a CD or the album on iTunes? Also - is it your call on whether to sell the album as a whole or as standalone songs? Ben R, Windsor
D: Getting music on to iTunes is not easy, in fact damned near impossible for small or new acts without a label behind them. There are other smaller digital distributors, but iTunes is the biggest, and has cornered the market. It's a vast leviathan, so there are channels that have to be navigated to get your music placed, and for that you need to enlist the help of people who are plugged in to the process. We make a lot less money per sale from downloads than we do from CDs, and much less from sales on iTunes than other download partners. This is simply because of the number of bodies involved in the process of getting music up there (everyone does a job and gets a bit). To be honest iTunes is the biggest shop window so we have to be there, and we're not greedy, but we are trying to take over the world, so the path is clear.... We work on the assumption (as do others) that if you're to compete you have to be selling your music through every possible means of distribution, and they'll all provide varying income. It's all about the profile and presence each distribution stream can bring. We decide what we sell, that's the beauty of running our own label, the downside of course is that we have to pay for everything, all the time...

Q: I was just wondering about future singles that you may release. Looking at the strength of the video for TDMMDI (FANTASTIC by the way), do you think it could increase sales of a single if the video was made and on show a week or so before the release - If you could match the genius of this video for a song on the next album - wow. Excellent work - Love it! Dan Birkett, Southampton
D: Thanks for the nice comments, we're very pleased with the way video turned out. Yes it would definitely make a difference to sales if the video was played on TV up front of a single release. That assumes it's possible of course to get the video made in good time, and that TV stations would play it if it were. Neither are foregone conclusions when you A) run a small label, and B) your band is called Thunder. We simply don't have the funds to ensure we can get everything done when we want it, so we have to rely on help from nice people who do what they can for us when they can. This means deadlines are seldom firm. Thunder have never been popular with the mainstream media, even going back to the early 90s when we sold a hell of a lot of records. I'm convinced the media think we spend our waking hours burning churches and biting the heads off of small animals. So as you can tell from my reply, it's a slightly frustrating business, and not at all as simple as you may think.
Given the recent experience of TDMMDI, it appears that a huge number of fans did their best for us and bought the single (in some cases many times over), and for this we are most grateful. However, plenty did not, and the data indicates that it may have been because the LP was already out, and therefore not every song on TDMMDI was new. Sales of the download mix were also not as high as we hoped they would have been, which is disappointing. It leads me to conclude that another single release from the current LP in the future is unlikely to produce a substantially different result, especially as the LP gets older.

Q: Hi guys! Sorry its a bit late but just wanted to say thanks for an amazing gig at Portsmouth, my 10 year old son had been nagging me for ages to take him to his first gig, couldn't take him to anything less than a Thunder show! He put me to shame leaping around in team A (still reckon we were louder). My question is how much say do you have in the choice of venue? I know a lot of bands prefer Portsmouth guildhall to Southampton because the acoustics at the latter are notoriously bad, the sound in the audience tends to be a mess! Incredible album by the way,
its always on loudly much to my neighbours disgust! (I WILL convert them!) cheers and happy krimball!! Pete, Portsmouth
D: We agree the venues with the agent and the promoter. There are places we prefer to play but they're not always available when we want to play them, so sometimes a compromise needs to be struck.

Q: Danny lovey, being the expert kazooist that you are I thought you were the obvious person to turn to for some expert advice. So basically what I need to know is, which hole are you supposed to blow through to make the sound come out - big or small? The reason I ask is that no matter how hard my friend blows, or which hole he uses, nothing comes out. Also, will your instrument be making an appearance next week at the Christmas party? Cake, Durham
D: During my 20 years at music college learning advanced kazoo & nose flute, my grizzled old teacher with the crooked walking stick (cue Fame speech) always told me " You blow into the fat end dummy", but actually you don't exactly blow, you make a vibrating noise, imagine and comb and paper and you'll get it. If no noise comes out at all, it may be that the diaphragm inside the circular bit on top is shot or damp with all the misplaced and wasted effort expended thus far. If so it won't work and it's time for a little trip to the music shop. As to whether mine will be making an appearance next Weds, I'm afraid I would have to kill you if I told you, as it's top, top secret...

Q: Hi guys, approximately how many copies of the single would I need to buy to get it to number 1? No promises here! Have you thought about including the single (or a download voucher) with the gig tickets next time (at a price), surely that would get you right up the charts? Great gig in Inverness, nice venue from an audience perspective too. Maybe you could play Aberdeen next time? Enjoyed it so much I've managed to find an excuse to do some business in Nottingham next Wednesday! It was great to meet Danny afterwards too, sorry I was so drunk, the devil made me do it! Had to take the Mrs to Dublin to see George Michael last week as part of the deal for going to see you guys (she has no taste), see how dedicated we fans are. Any clues to your set at Rock City this year? Sorry there's about 10 questions there! Michael Harris, Aberdeen
D: A list.. Right..Right now you'll have to buy about 20,000 copies of anything to even stand a chance of entering the chart.. It's Xmas. If we included a download voucher or a voucher of any kind with a gig ticket we would be ruled out of the chart by the charts body. That would be seen as unfairly influencing fans. Glad you enjoyed the Inverness show, we did too. Next time, as the LP will be old, we'll almost certainly play less shows than the recent tour, and probably only in the cities where we're very strong, so I think a show in Aberdeen is unlikely. Very happy to hear you're coming to Rock City, it will be great fun, I promise. I know exactly what we'll be playing, but there'll be no official set announcement before the show.

Q: I sent a question on the 10th Dec. about, did you feel  cheated about your chart placing, a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, but when I thought about it...you were cheated ! I'm from Nottingham and the only way to get Thunder stuff is by Townsend Records, neither Virgin nor HMV in Notts stock Thunder stuff and they never will, which doesn't give the run of the mill record collector a chance of buying your stuff, your not on an even playing field. So my question is this, Do you feel cheated by the typical British record shops who only sell for a profit not for pleasure! Simon Walker, Sheffield
D: I don't feel cheated at all. It's the way of things. This time of year is especially hard for anyone not being massively supported with promotion on TV and radio. We don't have huge pots of money to spend on marketing and promotion so that explains that. Regardless, bands of our style and age simply don't attract that kind of attention from the media, so the record stores tend to think there's not going to be a demand for the music. I understand this. In years gone by, this would have been a potentially career ending problem, but not any more. Now people can buy online, and with digital downloads coming more and more to the fore, it means fans can buy all kinds of music that shops don't stock. The music business and the way music is sold is changing fast, and it's not going to stop changing for some time to come. Like I've said before, moaning about it won't make it better, but if we adapt to the changes, we can move with it and stay in the game. If we don't we won't survive.

Q: First of all congratulations on the Chart entry!! Secondly I'm gutted I missed the Sheffield Gig, it's the first time I've had to miss out on your visit....Now I'm feeling somewhat robbed. Just watched the 'Devil made me do it' video on YouTube, I think YouTube is an amazing platform for you guys to get your stuff out into the public domain, and cheap!! The video is fantastic I love it, also it's a departure from your usual tongue in cheek approach which is good for anyone veiwing your stuff for the first time, as previously they might not understand your humour. Who was the creative brains behind the video? Simon Walker, Sheffield
D: Shame you missed the gig. It wasn't the same without you. I agree YouTube is fab, it's just brilliant to be able to pop it up for anyone to see. The video is great isn't it, I'm hoping some will like it but a lot more will be offended (ha ha - there goes my sense of humour again), a nice man called Andy Doran conceived and animated it for us. There's a bit of background info on the video, up on the news page so check it out for full details.

Q: Hi Danny have you watched the DVD yet?? i know you are busy but could you if you have a second? Do you agree with bands doing cover versions of your stuff? thankyou for your time see you again do you remember me? Ryan, Hereford
D: I watched it this morning and I think you're really good for your ages. You're a sight better than we were at your age. If you're happy for us to do it I'd like to put your ILYMTRNR performance up on our site. LMK and either way keep working at it, you're really great.

Q: Congratulations on another successful tour! I hope you are all enjoying a well-deserved mini-rest before the Christmas show. And a big thanks for the tour diaries! They were really informative and I had lots of fun reading them. I love the new album so much--you guys get better and better each time you release new material. Amazing! One song I'm quite impressed with is "My Darkest Hour," and I have a couple of Qs for Luke. How did you come up with the idea to use the cello? Although I heard Chris played the cello part very well on his bass on the last tour, are you considering getting a cellist for any other live shows? (My friend in Japan, a newly converted Thunder fan, plays cello very well...) ;) Fumi, San Francisco
L: The song just seemed so melancholy that we thought a cello would compliment the mood perfectly. Thanks for telling us about your cellist friend. We'll bear that in mind next time we're in Japan.

Q: Hi, I have just checked out the top of the pops page and realised that 'The Devil Made Me Do It' is at number 2 in the rock chart, and that 'I love you more than Rock and Roll' is still at number 28! just thought you would like to know that if you already didn't! and the question. I haven't heard anything about how the album sales went! has it lived up to the other albums in sales? Martin, Cheltenham
D: We knew about the rock charts, and it's obviously fab news all round. The new LP is selling well, but it's too early to say how well it's performing compared to other records, as it's only been out officially for 6 weeks, but the signs are promising.

Q: Just a quick question... Is "The Girl Is Alright" written about K.T. Tunstall by any chance? If so, does she know about the song?Good song, by the way. Doug Holmes, Nottingham
L: You're correct about the song. I know it's been played to KT's manager who said he would make sure she heard it but there's been no reaction from her to date.

Q: Firstly. apologies for the trivial question but reading the message boards and seeing the recent 'message from Thunder' email it made me wonder when it comes to the release of a single do you guys go out and buy numerous copies or do any rearranging of how singles are displayed in record shops? Secondly I know it has been asked before about a Thunder appearance at the Isle of Man TT's I just wondered whether you had seen what was in the pipeline for this year http://www.iomwebs.net/she/? I'll be there regardless but it would be the icing on the cake if you could join me and 9999 others. Kim
B: Now that would be dishonest wouldn't it? I know my Mum will put us at the front of the "T" rack but now we usually have our own segment so that little avenue of pleasure has gone. As for the TT, Luke and I are considering entering the Sidecar race but can't decide who will drive.
D: We can't buy our own single. As we release our own records, if we did it would compromise our chart position. We can urge fans to buy it but that's all. We have not been approached by the Isle Of Man organisers, but if they wanted us we'd be most keen to do it, and of course we'd put on the best show we could.

Q: Luke what four excellant B-sides you have wrote for us again! On The Track "The Girl Is Alright" does the line "she plays rhythm like Ol P.T" refer to Mr.Peter Townsend by any chance? Many thanks the great songs Merry Christmas & hope the single stays up in the lofty place (Many copies have been purchased & promoted) Mart, Essex
L: Thanks for the support Mart. You're quite correct about the lyrical reference to Mr. Townshend. Well spotted!

Q: Well done with the tour yet another great night was had by me and the missus she's seen you nine times up to now...me only 8 sorry. The wife (Cherry) actually uses your DVD's and CD's for aerobics exercises and copies your every move she's is amazed how fit you are. Cherry thinks you should release an exercise DVD? what do you think? I just want to thank you for giving me a fit bird. Seriously though how do you prepare, fitness wise for the rigours that a performance requires. Love you all. Neil & Cherry, Cleethorpes
D: Thanks very much for the kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed the show. It was a great tour, one of the best we've ever done. It must be said I've heard the fitness video suggestion a few hundred times over the years, and whilst I think the idea is funny, I shan't be doing it. I'd never live it down... My ability to jump up and down and sing at the same time has developed and evolved over the years, and to be honest I get so wrapped up in the show and how it's going, that I don't really notice that I'm jumping about. I'm not particularly fit to be honest, but I do swim, and I stay active all year round. I help my son with his cross country training and I ride a bike when I'm not on tour whenever possible (daft really as I have 2 cars). Glad you got a fit bird, but I'm sure that's not down to me in any way.

Q: IN OCT 06 I WAS EXCEITED TO HEAR YOU WERE COMING ON TOUR BUT THEN DEVESTATED TO FIND OUT YOU WERE COMING TO NEWCASTLE ON MY WEDDING DAY. I tried to delay the wedding but it was to late so can you tell me when you will next be touring. Janet, Newcastle
D: There's an Xmas show on the 20th at Rock City in Nottingham, but if you want to go please hurry, the tickets will be soon be gone. After that there will be European shows in March and Japan after that, along with the odd show here and there in the UK next summer. The next UK tour is likely to be this time next year.

Q: Chis, you mentioned that it was a real thrill playing a song you had written on the tour, I must say that it's really rather good! I was wondering how much input you had into the song, Luke said you came up with the riff and title, did you then give it to him and he worked his magic, or did you sit down together and work it out? Also as a secondary question, have you been writing for long, or is it a recent thing? George, Tonbridge
C : Nice to hear you like the song, George. It was exactly as you said, I sent the riff and the title to Luke, and off he went and turned it into a fab tune. I've only been writing for maybe two or three years, never thought I had it in me, then all of a sudden it happened! If you're interested I have a few more songs on www.myspace.com/bigredrec

Q: Well, the album's been written, recorded and is now on sale, (and a damn fine one it is too!). The tour has been planned, booked and played, (and a damn fine one that was too! Loved you at Manchester!). So, after all that, what's a day in the life of Thunder like now all that has been done and dusted? ps. I would just like to counter the 'angry' question about meet and greets. I've met you and you are all genuinely sincere about talking to your fans
and asking their opinions on the album and live shows. When I was talking to Danny, due to everybody being excited to see him, about 10 other people crowded around and started firing questions at him as well at the same time and he was trying his best to answer everybody, all with a cheery smile on his little face!. We should be thankful that you still take the time to do this, many bands don't!! Paul Ryan, Warrington
B: Mixing more tracks for Thunder, learning the Christmas Show songs (it's going to be such a cool night), fretting about the new single, recording jingles for the radio, finishing the decorating - you know the sort of thing.
D: Thanks for the nice words, it's good to know most people appreciate what we do, and whilst we know it happens, it's still a bit of a downer when someone moans about stuff we try hard to get right. Still...
Now the tour's over, there's plenty for me to do, like overseeing the financial matters pertaining to the tour, the new single (please buy loads of copies and tell everyone else to do the same - give them away as Xmas prezzies to the uninitiated), the video for same (which is nearing completion), co-ordinating the Thunder WAP mobile campaign (we're planning to add more stuff all the time, and have recently agreed a nice deal with a rally driver - more on this soon), assisting the Japanese label's release of RJ'sT, setting up and doing promotion for the UK and European and Japanese releases of RJ'sT, preparations galore for the Xmas show, and same for the Planet Rock Xmas party, the 2006 Xmas tee shirt design, ordering more stock of the existing tee shirts (which have all but sold out), plotting next year's live shows in Europe and the UK in the Autumn, the summer festivals, and all this has to happen this week... Not really, I jest, but there'll be no sitting down and relaxing with a mince pie until the day after the Xmas show, when I shall undoubtedly need one, as I'll have the mother and father of all hangovers (again).
C : Glad you enjoyed the album and the tour - we certainly did! I'm still keeping busy with other work, just did a TV show in Cardiff, and it's almost time to start learning the songs for the Christmas show.

Q: Hi Luke, Just like to say Manchester Academy show was amazing, even more amazing was reading The Manchester Evening News 5 star review!! As never seen them give a rock band that good a review before.
I had the pleasure of chatting to you back in 2002 at SXSW..I go there every year, i know you were meant to do SXSW this year pulled out..I have been in touch with NYC rock dj called "Eddie Trunk" (www.eddietrunk.com) he also works for VH1 Classic in The US he emailed me the other day he's is a fan! he told me that you never did that much in USA. I think the market there now is more suited to bands like Thunder. Plus another US rock station called "Stickman Radio" based in New Jersey tell me they have all 8 Thunder cd's! and they playing the new one now. There on myspace at: www.myspace.com/stickmanradio. The word is getting out!! As said i'll keep telling everyone to check you out..Thanks again brilliant gig in Manchester. Steven Blackmore, Manchester
L: Hi Steven. Yes, I remember speaking with you at SXSW. Good to hear you're spreading the word in the US of A! Keep up the good work. All the best.

Q: Hey, just been listening to the 'new' tracks on the singles, and 2 really raise the question of why they didn't make it to the album? Surely you can pull a 13-track album!! "I'm In Heaven" and "Don't Worry About Forever" are fantastic songs that you should be proud of and I think they would've fared very well on RJT. Likewise, "Closer To The Fire" and "Love's Just An Easy Word To Say" would have rounded TMS as a fine 14-tracker! I know you probably think there's no point in releasing singles without fresh songs on them as B-Sides, but I'd have rather had just 2 b-sides on the singles personally, and the two aforementioned B-Sides on the album would've won the album a full rating of 100 instead of 99! ONE PUSH BOYS! Luke
L: I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there Luke (good name!). We like to give people value for money when we release singles and I think the best way to do this is to offer previously unreleased tracks. The balance of an album is something I spend a lot of time contemplating and I always pick the songs I think complement each other. With hindsight I may not always be right and you may not necessarily agree with my choices but rest assured, having written and lived with the songs and seen them develop over a period of months, I have thought longer and harder about it than anyone else.

Q: Hi guys, excellent gig at Newcastle! Thank you very much for another fantastic night! Love you new album and I'll be getting all 3 copies of TDMMDI on Thursday, it's right up there with your best, I love that track! - I'll buy each one separately too, every little bit helps! Anyhoo, my question is regarding one I think Danny answered not too long ago about the 2nd leg of the tour. Just wondering if there'll be another competition to share the stage with you lovely chaps as support?! And if so, how to enter..?! Thanks for your time and good luck with single! : ) Dave, Newcastle
D: The support competition worked well for the last tour, but I'm not ready to confirm if we'll do it again for the next run of shows, mostly because at this time I have no next run of shows confirmed. In short, it's just a little too early to say right now, but rest assured we'll make a decision on this issue as soon as we can, and of course when we've done it, the information will be posted on the site.

Q: PLEASE HELP!!! I have been searching for your single to buy as per Danny's instructions at the Portsmouth gig, but all our useless shops dont have it in stock and say they're not getting it in either. I phoned Power FM (local radio station) who said they wouldn't play it even though I plagued them with requests for it for a week. I've just eventually found it on amazon so have ordered 3 for me and my sisters, but it's looking to be hard to get you in the charts when all the media and retail outlets in the south are so stupidly pants!! What can we do, you guys deserve some recognition for your greatness!!! Love you lots like Jelly tots, Jess, Hampshire
D: These are trying times for all of us, and thanks for bringing this to  me. Even though you local radio said they wouldn't play it, by calling them and requesting it you've made them aware of the new single, and who knows what good may come out of that? If the local shops don't buy it from Universal, the biggest distributor in the land, it must be because they don't feel there's a demand. This kind of lethargy is understandable given our lack of a major advertising campaign and big bucks to create awareness. In days gone by, this would have been a disaster beyond measure, but not now we have the web. To be honest it's no different for us than loads of others, and whilst it's a conundrum, it's not insurmountable. Nowadays if you can't get it from a shop, you can buy it from Townsend Records, HMV online or one of the major online e-tailers like Amazon (oh yes I forgot you have done this, silly me, and thanks by the way). The positive thing about this is that by circumnavigating the traditional retailers who don't order our records and buying online, you're still going to manage to buy them, and if enough of you do so, we'll get a high chart position, and that will make the lethargic buggers sit up and take notice... After all, if the chart position is good, they're going to know they've been the losers, because they didn't have it so you didn't buy it from them, and it still went into the chart. Hurrah! Spread that word baby, this is an exciting week..

Q: Not really a question...I'going through some terribly hard times after the longest and most intense love story of my life has ended, so I just wanted to thank you for the song "A Million Faces" off the new record... it sounds like a real friend comforting me... music can be so great at times. Thank you guys... Fabio, Italy
Thanks for the comments and I hope you're back on track soon Fabio.

Q: Really enjoyed the show in Inverness & I hope you come back to play @ the Ironworks soon. I was lucky enough to get an after show pass & contrary to another recent question I read, I spoke briefly to all of you & i thought you were all really nice blokes. You probably wont remember me Danny but I was the chap talking to you about malt whiskey. Anyway my question is having read that both Luke & Danny like to jog, I wondered if any of you manage to get a jog or two in on your tours? Mitch, Orkney
If there's a gym in the hotel I might go and have a gentle run and stretch but nothing too strenuous.

Q: Hi guys, this isn't a question. I just wanted to say thanks for a great show at Portsmouth. My sisters and I really enjoyed 'wiggling' for your entertainment. We are normally that crazy and it's nice to share it with like minded nutters. A shame we couldn't go to the meet and greet but as there are 3 of us we decided we'd let someone else go instead otherwise we'd have had to fight each other to choose who'd go in (we only do that with mud and for very special people!)he he thanks once again. P.S. I thought Chris' version of the cello bit was fantastic. You are now up with my all time fave bassist Billy Sheehan xxx Ellie, Front row of the balcony, Portsmouth
C : Much to my dismay, I seem to have missed the 'wiggling', but it sounds really interesting. I'm proud to have been upgraded to Billy Sheehan's status, I really must play cello more often...

Q: Hi Chris, it was really nice to have a chance to talk to you in Llandudno last Friday. You may be pleased to know I have started to play my '74 Fender Precision bass again! Anyway, my question is: how long did it take you to learn the bass and did you ever think of giving up? Reita, Sutton Coldfield
C : Glad to hear you're playing your Fender again - they really do need to be used or they go weird. As for how long it took me, I'm still learning. I've been playing bassvfor about 30 years, and never once have I even considered giving up. Why would I, it's far too much fun!

Q: Enjoyed the show! Loving the new album too. I would like to know Luke, Which album has the most of you in it? I know all of the albums are written with feeling so this is probably is a sh** question, however I would still like to know. Thank you handsome rock God x x x Mel
All the albums have a lot of me in them but I suppose the 'me' in question has changed a bit over the years. That being the case I suppose the new album is the most indicative of my current state of mind! 

Q: Hi guys, I came to see you with a group of friends at the forum last week. As usual you were musically amazing and as entertaining as ever. We had two after show passes, one of which my friend used. She introduced me to your music a couple of years ago as she is crazy about you. However, she was very disappointed when she met you as Luke was the only one who gave her his full attention when she was trying to speak with you. She was very upset. She is still and always will be crazy about the band, but I think it is pretty bad PR to behave so appallingly to one who buys 99.9% of your merchandise and every CD and DVD you have ever released. I understand you are full of adrenalin and cannot be expected to answer everyone's questions in the space of time given, but to listen when someone is talking is a common courtesy. Any comments would be appreciated as we love you guys and don't want any reason to think badly. Please convince me you are okay after all!?!?!?! KC, Kent
D: Having just finished a really great tour, and met loads and loads of very nice fans after every show, I guess it was both inevitable and ironic that this should land in my inbox today. I'm sorry your friend didn't feel she got a decent conversation with 4 out of the 5 band members on the night, but I'm sure you'll appreciate there were rather a lot of very excited fans there, all being very determined to get our attention for photographs, autographs, handshaking and chat. Under these circumstances it's impossible to give everyone all the time we would like to but we do try incredibly hard to do so. You only have to check the message board to see how happy others have been with their experience of meeting us, so whilst I'm sorry your friend's wasn't all she hoped for, I'm afraid my conscience is clean, and I must say I take exception to being told I behaved appallingly. 

Q: Hi guys, I just wanted to let you know what a fantastic lot you are. I know you must get thousands of emails like this, but you guys have changed my life in a way. 2006 was not good at the beginning for me as I went through a marriage break up, but I started to listen to music that I like and was introduced to your band by a friend. I went to see you at monsters of rock at Milton Keynes thought you were amazing, then I saw you at Wolverhampton this month. Outstanding to say the least both events will go down as the best times in my life - Never been to a gig before! When I went to Wolverhampton I went along with my two mates. Terry had back stage passes for the meet and greet. We were all very excited. Unfortunately he only had 2 passes, and there were 3 of us. Terry gave his precious tickets away, as being the gent he is wouldn't let either of his two female guests wait in a corridor for him. what a guy, how lovely, he made two other people so happy that night. We are all coming along to see you at rock city on Dec 20th though and we know you wont let us down with another astounding performance. Merry Christmas to all you wonderful, fabulous people, see you soon, Marianne Barnett
D: Now that's weird. So strange to get such a lovely note immediately after such a rotten one. I guess it must be the music business for you. Bitter and sweet. I'm really glad you had a good time, but not surprised a Thunder fan did another one a good turn. I'm rather pleased to say it happens a lot. Rock City is going to be a blast, we've got some good things planned. Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way etc......

Q: Hiya for my 7th birthday I did not want a party I wanted to come and see Thunder at Newcastle and I did. It was amazing. I am always jealous when my mum goes to see you but now I've been and because I behaved she says I can go again. What age were you at your first live concert and who did you see? Kay, Scotland
H: First band I went to see was "Budgie" when I was 11 years old. Will always remember it.
D: Thanks for your email, My first gig was a band called Bad Company, at The Rainbow Theatre in London. I was 14. It was very exciting, and although it was a long long time ago, I can still remember lots of the songs they played. I hope we make the same impression on you.
T.Rex at Lewisham Odeon June 1971.
The first concert I went to was in Crystal Palace Park with my parents when I was very young, it was Tchaikovsky 's 1812 overture, it was fabulous and had cannons and fireworks at the finale. The first rock concert I went to was BeBop Deluxe at Hammersmith Odeon, it was rescheduled as the bass player (Charlie Tumahai) had previously been deported for having the wrong kind of visa. They recorded a live album that night called "Live In The Air Age"

Hi lads Excellent show in Sheffield on Sunday- took my mum (how sad am I?!) managed to convert her to the dark side... next stop world domination, mwahahaha.. Just wondered what the song playing before you came on stage was - the one after Cliff Richard - we thought it was really cool but don't know who it was, please tell us so we can broaden our musical horizons! Kelly, Sheffield
T: The track is called 'Woke Up This Morning' by Alabama 3 (It's the theme tune to The Sopranos).

Q: With the tour now in full swing, (see you tomorrow), I was just wondering, What (apart from your families et all) do you miss most when you are away on tour? Dale, London
The lavatory bowl
L: I don't really miss anything. I enjoy being on the road.
Nothing, it's great. We don't travel for months at a time any more, so the time spent away is never too long, and we have a really nice time when we're on tour.

Q: hello all, the llandudno show last night was absolutely superb. we were at the same venue 8 years ago sitting in the balcony and my wife janice was heavily pregnant with our first child. last night we had our 8 yr old daughter with us and she just loved danny's dancing and seeing her dad almost catch harry's drumstick! i do have a question though, how the hell do you choose what songs to play and most notably, what not to play? you managed to give us a classic thunder show by playing six songs from the new album and completely ignoring three of your other albums, a bold and brave move that totally paid off. I salute you!! oh by the way, I loved the intro tape. are any of you fans of the sopranos? I think it's one of the best t.v. shows of all time. Sion, Penygroes, North Wales
B: The live set is always a fine balancing act between new and old but as Abraham Lincoln never actually said "You can't please all the people all the time". Talking of quotes "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read" Who said it and discuss?
Thanks for the nice words, we really enjoyed it too. It's hard to choose what songs not to play, and it gets harder with every new LP. To be honest we see it as a very straightforward proposition, in that we have a new record and we want to play the songs to promote it. This means wherever we can we'll weight the set that way. There will always be those who moan that we didn't play their favourite song, but there's nothing we can do about that, and we're mixing the set up quite a bit on this tour. We can't play them all, it would have to be a 2 week non-stop show, and I know I'm not physically capable of singing them all back to back (they're hard). We love The Sopranos, and the Alabama 3 tune just felt right. We can't go on forever with the same intro, people will accuse us of being lazy, and a change is as good as a rest, as they say..

Q: Hi guys hopefully you will all remember me from llandudno just wanna say that gig was awsome did you all have fun??? (i was the one who gave you the DVD) Your new album is amazing! I still cant believe i have
met you guys its really inspired me and my band we all want to be like you!! I really hope i can meet you again and i hope you will watch it! i am also sorry upstairs were not as good as downstairs! What are all your favourite songs on the album and why? Do you get tired of playing the same stuff? thankyou for your time. Ryan, Hereford
B: Yes I do blame you personally for upstairs not being so good as downstairs - don't let it happen again. Favourites change as we have often said before but RJT always stands out as a superb tune. As for getting tired of playing the same stuff - that's why we vary the sets from tour to tour.
L: I don't really have a favourite song on the album but I do enjoy playing Robert Johnson's Tombstone very much. We don't get tired of playing the songs because every audience is different and that makes each gig different.
D: Thanks for the DVD, we'll have a look and get back to you as soon as we can. Live shows are nearly always fun, and Llandudno was no exception, we must make sure we don't leave it another 8 years before we go back.
It's impossible to say which songs are my favourite, it changes every day.. Some songs weigh a bit heavy sometimes, but most of the time the crowd is great so I tend to concentrate on the show rather than the song.

Q: Fantastic gig at Plymouth. What hobbies keep you occupied when on the road (apart from the obvious !) and have any of you ever visited Sunny Cornwall? Ian Pollard, Cornwall
B: Recovering from the night before mainly, I do use tours to catch up with the movies I have missed as the tour bus usually has a good selection.
L: We don't have a lot of time on the road but Chris and I like to go shopping! I've visited Cornwall a few times over the years and it is very beautiful.
D: I don't have much time for anything other than singing and running our label whilst we're on the road. The business continues all day every day so there's no time for anything else. I've been to Cornwall loads of times, in fact I've been there for the past 2 years, just for short breaks with my family in the summer. The beaches are fab, and I love the coastline along North Cornwall.

Q: Congrats on the new album guys!!! - I am playin it to the death at the minute so as I can cram learn the lyrics before Newcastle gig! If each member of the band could apply one Thunder song's lyrics to their own lives what would it be and why? Steven. N. Ireland
I think that one of Luke's major abilities as a lyricist is his ability to make the words seem to apply to you personally. There have been a number of times where I have thought "is that about me? - I'm sure it is", I'm sure it is the same for all of us. A rare talent indeed I think you'll agree. As to applying one song to my life, I can but it's personal and shall stay that way.
L: 'Can't Live Your Life In A Day' because it's about learning to be patient and in life it's a useful quality to have.
D: You Can't Live Your Life In A Day. I've tried it, it's so tiring...

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