Q & A Archive - January 2005


Hey Guys, I just want to say thanks for making me feel so welcome after the gig at Strumpfest and for signing my hand drawn map for me, so we got lost on the way home! My question is, Did Harry get his sandwich? George
H: You're welcome. And yes I did get my sandwich thanks George, and it was well worth the wait! Not hungry enough!!

Q: What would it take economically for Thunder to be able to tour America? Is it that a promoter needs to conclude that there is a sufficient demand to sell tickets? What about hooking up with another act, such as Def Leppard or the Darkness? Scott  Brachmann, USA
D: All touring is about ticket sales. Pure and simple. As we have little profile in the US nowadays, I very much doubt that a US promoter would offer us a tour. As for linking up with other acts, that is always a possibility I suppose, but unless they could sell the tickets on their own, they'd be looking to us to help them, so we're back to square one... Hey ho...

Q: Hello ...I have recently started a part time Guitar course at ACM in Guildford. I noticed this on the Tutor wall..."Ana Gracey - Head of Vocals A professional singer/songwriter and vocal coach, Ana trained at RADA (The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art),......and is currently signed to manager Danny Bowes" Is this you ???? And if so do you ever frequent the ACM?? Rob Lippiatt, Hampshire
D: Ana is a very talented singer and songwriter. I agreed to act as her manager a few years ago but I must confess I've had no success trying to help her achieve her potential. We've not spoken for a while but I still play her music all the time. She is a very nice lady and deserves to be a big star.

Q: Hi everybody! Unfortunately, I can't see the band during their next European tour. So , I want to know if the band have planned a European tour (part 2) at the end of the year, or are you waiting for the selling of the new album before planning a new tour? Luc, France
D: There will almost certainly be more dates added for the summer, but none are confirmed at this time.

Q: Thank you for your reply. Can I ask are you going to do a tour for the new album and when is the new single coming out? Jon, Northampton
T: The band will be touring throughout the year in support of The Magnificent Seventh. The only dates currently confirmed are in March and you can find all the details you'll need over on the GIGS page. There are no firm plans for another single from the album at the moment, but following the success of ILYMTRNR I wouldn't rule it out...

Q: Hey all. I preordered a copy of the new Terraplane Anthology and the release date keeps changing. Do you guys have any idea what's going on? Sam Maston
T: Actually the release date only changed once. It was originally due on Jan 17th, but was delayed one week until the 24th. The Anthology is now out and Townsend have shipped all pre-orders, so yours should be on it's way. Any queries regarding your order should be directed to Townsend (presuming that you did pre-order it with Townsend).

Q: When is your New DVD that EMI is releasing coming out? I have your Backstreet Symphony video but it is starting to crackle. Chris, Auckland
T: The DVD is still being worked on so we have no firm release date as yet. As soon as anything is confirmed it will be posted on the site, as always...

Q: I am really looking forward to your next album but I would like to know how long it took you to make the album. Jon Ashley, Northampton
L: I think we spent roughly 30 days recording and mixing altogether. Writing the material took 3 - 4 months.

Q: I follow a band called Bad To The Bone from round your way Harry, and they know that I am a Thunder nut (!!) , they take great  pleasure in winding me up by saying they have seen you at a couple of jams/gigs etc , can I give them a slap , or are they telling me the truth??!! Sumo, Middlesex
H: They are telling you the truth! Hope you didn't slap them too hard?

Q: Hi Harry and Chris, I was wondering if there are any plans for Shadowman this year? Did 'Land Of The Living' sell well or not as expected? Only ask as its one of my favourites CD's of the moment, I just started listening to it again, since its been left in the rack for a few months and was wondering if there was any news of new material, a tour and anything really? Cya on the 29th at Strumpfest. Eccles
H: There are no firm plans in the book as yet but there are rumours abound that there will be another album. “Land of the Living" did quite well so there maybe a chance of a tour maybe later in the year?? Watch this space! Glad you like it matey! See ya on the 29th.

Q: Hi Harry. I hope that everything is fine. I'm looking forward to the new album and just can't wait to have it. My question to you is: will Crystal Palace succeed to stay in the Premier League this year?? I follow the Premier League every weekend and must say, that it will be very hard to stay in it for Palace. It's like the same situation as for my favourite club Borussia Mvnchengladbach. Anyway, hope will die last!! I'm looking forward to see you and the rest of the boys during your visit to Weert/Holland. Perhaps at the after show party like in Helmond?? I'll put my Crystal Palace shirt on like I had at the Bospop Festival last year. Greets from the Crazy Dutchman. Dirk, Venlo/Holland
H: Dirk........I do hope so! We have a great manager and Andy Johnson, so who knows. Wear that Crystal Palace shirt with pride! And I will see you in March you crazy man!!

Q: What is your favourite bootleg (Thunder or otherwise) and why do you like it so much? Matthew, Leeds
L: Strangely I'm not a fan of bootlegs. I think it's because I like to listen to music that's been recorded properly and most bootlegs aren't. Sorry.....
B: Harry's left leg - looks great in a thigh-high PVC boot.
H: Ben's right leg-looks great in a thigh-high leopard skin boot!! Ha Ha Ha!

Q: During a big clear-out I've just found some scrap books and all my Thunder Channel stuff that I collected in the 90's. I can't bring myself to get rid of them though. My question is are you a chucker or a hoarder? Jan, Wrexham
H: I have to say I am definitely a hoarder! But it gives me great satisfaction when eventually................I chuck!!
B: I am a terrible hoarder until I get brave enough to have a serious cleaning binge - it's good for the soul. "If I didn't use it last year I don't need it" seems to work (apart from the vintage port).
D: I'm a hoarder by nature, then eventually a reluctant (then very pleased) chucker.
C: I'm a bit of a hoarder, until I get sick of it all then I'm a chucking maniac.

Q: Love all Thunder music and can't wait for the new album. Unfortunately, as an American I don't get to enjoy the band live, but am always interested in new music or live albums. My question goes back in time a bit. Did Thunder perform at Donnington in 1992, and if so, what was the setlist? Brian, USA
T: Yes, Thunder did indeed play at Donington in 1992. The set list for the show was: Backstreet Symphony, Everybody Wants Her, Higher Ground, Low Life In High Places, Does It Feel Like Love?, Flawed To Perfection, Love Walked In, She's So Fine and Dirty Love.

Q: According to the discography section there are some promo only acoustic mixes of various tracks from the 2 Bowes and Morley albums and also from Shooting At The Sun. Are there plans to record anything similar for the new album and is there any chance that in future any of these tracks may be made available for the fans to purchase? Mark Burton, London
D: There are no plans to record acoustic versions of the new LP songs just yet, but who knows, we may do in the future. The previous recordings were made to assist our radio promo peeps with play on radio stations. To be honest it didn't make much of an impact, but the struggle is my life and all that... As to whether or not they might be made available for sale, it's an idea I suppose. We try to resist the impulse to sell everything we do, that wouldn't work for anyone in the long run, but then again, if people want it... We'll see.

Q: Luke, I have played guitar only for a few years but wanted to learn to assist with songwriting. I'd love to be able to play solos like you  do in Don't Wait for Me and I always like the way u play with emotion. I wondered if you always write the solo to suit the song or are you tempted sometimes to stage your skills as a guitarist? Do you think that playing ridiculously fast solos as some guitarists do just turns it into a noise more than anything else? Ian, S. Wales
L: False modesty aside, I do not consider myself a great guitarist. As long as I can play the things I hear in my head then I'm happy. I'm not particularly fast and I don't have great technique. Speaking as somebody who's been lucky enough to stand at the side of the stage and watch Eddie Van Halen at close range I know my own limitations, believe me!! When it comes to solos the most important thing is they should compliment the rest of the music and improve it or what's the point? Music is about all the component parts coming together in a pleasing way and achieving that is what I strive to do.

Q: Hey guys, I'm 14 n have been playing guitar for about 2 years now and am getting quite good so me and my mate have decided to form a band. I was just wondering how long it took you guys to get used to playing with other people or whether you just found it easy to start off with and also you are really talented song writers I was wondering whether you found songwriting easy to start of with or your talents have grown in time. I'd also like to say thanks to you for putting your music out there, I have bin singing and dancing to your music since I could walk and talk and went to my 1st Thunder concert when I was about 8 and it was you who inspired me to learn guitar myself so thanks :) Charlotte M, Crewe
L: I'm glad we are partly behind your desire to make music; that's very flattering. The most enjoyable aspect of being a musician is playing with other people and the collective high everybody gets from it. When we started we were as crap as everyone else but we enjoyed it so we kept on doing it. A few years later we realised that we were quite good but it was an imperceptable curve of improvement; I'm not sure at what point we went from being rubbish to being good. Songwriting is definitely a craft and the harder you work the better you get. I've never found it easy but then again I love it with a passion and nothing of any quality ever happens without a certain amount of struggle. Good luck with your band.

Q: Hi Guys. Recently I was told by the manager of a local music hall that Thunder where due to play early this year (don't want to do any name droping)....I was just wondering if this was true. I have been patiently waiting on you guy's getting back to Belfast to give us a show worth remembering. I saw you last year at the Rock'n'Blues and you totally blew the place apart, without a doubt you where the best band there, it should of been Thunder headlining on the Sat night and not the rubbish that we got. Hope you can shed some light on this, I'm just hoping I wasn't being told a load of rubbish. Cherith
D: There are no dates in Belfast at the moment. Sorry, you've been given dodgy information.

Q: Hiya Guys, I am a huge fan of yours and have recently bought my 11 year old son, Sam, a guitar. He has followed your music as much as I have. We always have the cds in the car and he loves the live version of An English Man on Holiday. He is fascinated at how well Luke can play the guitar and has wanted to ask if you have any vital tips for learning to play the guitar. Hopefully one day he can belt out Thunder songs in our living room!!! You guys rock. Keep it coming! Nadine Melbourne, Australia
L: The best tip is listen to the kind of guitar playing you like and try and work out how it's done. A couple of lessons may be helpful early on but if you want to develop an original style then you have to work it out yourself. I would recommend 'Best Of Cream' and 'Are You Experienced?' by Cream and Jimi Hendrix respectively as they are the foundation of everything I and thousands of other guitarists do.

Q: Hiya I know this question has been asked before, but its been over 2 yrs i think since the last time, so was wonderin . . . is there any chance of gettin your songs as ringtones? maybe they are already, but i have tried searching for them, with no results. cheers boys, and keep up the good work, you're doing fantastic!! Claire, Ireland
T: Funny you should ask...stay tuned, more news on this soon...

Q: Guys first of all happy 2005! I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Xmas show in Nottingham I was totally blown away as was my friend, it was a memorable night. I'd like to ask you what the biggest mistake you've ever made is either as a band or individuals, on or off stage? Really looking forward to the show in March. Pikester, Merseyside
B: Turning down the opportunity to join Depeche Mode just before they broke really big in America! - Still didn't like the haircuts.
D: Not sure I like this question coming so swiftly after talk of our Xmas show... I've made so many mistakes, on and offstage, from driving the wrong way down one way streets (last Friday) to forgetting how to get back on stage mid show after taking a p*ss. I like to think my fallibility makes me human and therefore lovable...
L: As a band.......some of the various haircuts we've had over the years. As an individual.....supporting Manchester City!!!

Q: Hi Chris, I'm playing in a band called "Rockstuff"- a cover band in Germany. Recently we had a discussion with our bass-player performing on a Fender Jazz Bass. He told us his only choice is a Fender Jazz Bass or a Music Man Stingray. What do you think about this? And what do you prefer: playing an E-Bass pizzicato or with plectrum? Really love your playing (plectrum?)!!! Simon, Germany
C: Hi Simon. My bass of choice at the moment is a Music Man Stingray - it's the best guitar I've ever owned. Jazz basses are also great, I have 4 and 5 string versions, and just use whichever one suits the type of music I'm playing. For Thunder now I always use the Stingray with a pick.

Q: Hope you're all right. I've got a question concerning arranging your musiC: As you probably know many bands try to arrange their music in different styles, like Deep Purple, Kansas or Yngwie Malmsteen in the classical style with a symphony orchestra. Have you ever had any plans to do this, too? And have you ever had any plans to work with a full brass-section live? In Germany many shows are non-smoking and seated; does this appeal to you, and does smoking in the audience while you're performing disturb you? In March you're going to perform in Hardenberg, will there be a meet & greet? Thanks, and all the best. Simon, Germany
D: The brass section thing is Luke's bag. To be honest I have no feelings either way about smoking in venues. I don't notice when I'm singing. We'll be doing a meet and greet at every show we headline, provided of course there is a way to do it. All meet and greet info will be on the news page as soon as we know what's happening.
L: We've never worked with an orchestra although we did have a string quartet on 'Til The River Runs Dry'. We've never used a brass section in a live situation but we have on various recordings such as 'Everybody Wants Her' and 'Fly On The Wall'. It would be a nice thing to do so we might well try it at some point. As an ex-cigarette smoker myself I would feel hypocritical if I moaned too much about people smoking so I won't. Seated venues don't usually make good venues for rock bands although if the audience is allowed to get up and dance it definitely helps.

Q: Hi guys, just wondering if you will be doing a meet and greet at your forthcoming tour? I have tickets for Norwich UEA and would love to get passes. Also has a thought about your support act!!!!! How about getting Toby Jepson on the road again (Danny, we talked about this once before). He actually got his guitar out again for a gig in Scarborough in December and was brilliant. Di White, Norwich
D: The meet & greets will happen (as they always do at our headline shows) after each show. Application will be via an online form on the website. No date has been set for this at this moment, but it will be announced soon. Unlike the last few tours, passes will not be allocated on a "first come first serve" basis. The reason for this is because last time we had some complaints that we were being unfair (once again untrue). This time there will be a cut off date, and all applications received before that date will go in a hat for each show. Names will be picked out and so all passes will be allocated purely at random. With no way to show it happening, you'll have to trust me that this will happen fairly, I may even get the lottery adjudicator to oversee it. Successful applicants will be notified by email. Multiple applications will be detected and deemed to be cheating, and therefore removed from the draw. As to Toby, I have no idea what he's up to, but if he wanted to do it I'm sure he would have told me himself.

Q: Have you ever written a song that was truely amazing, got it ready for the next album or whatever, only to discover it sounds like another song in the charts or from the past? That must really p*** you off... Darren, Sussex
L: Good question. I think most writers have been in this position once or twice. Whenever it's happened to me I've always managed to realise before it was too late; either that or someone points it out to me. It is very disappointing but better to know than to be sued !!

Q: Dear Danny. Just contacting you as promised re. the result of my email request back last year. As you may remember my 'post show action' at the Xmas gig all hinged on your performance on the night. Well I am happy to say you did me proud and post show action did occur so I am sending you my sincere thanks, the show was brilliant! I would also like to apologise to Ben who was accosted by my friend in the lobby of the Moat House, you looked rather confused when a complete stranger (and he is pretty strange) shook your hand and wished you good luck, I don't blame you for being a bit dubious when confronted with what I would basically describe as a stalker for want of a better word - so sorry about that!! Last of all I have to admit that half way through your Bowes & Morley number I nearly passed out, not sure if it was the heat or the excitement of being at my first Thunder gig but Pikester (yes I have named and shamed him) had to escort me from the room, I don't think he was very impressed as he keeps reminding me about it and how it was an act of unbelievable chivalry considering you were playing one of his favourite songs!! ANYWAY my question is - Have you got any scary fans (apart from Pikester) and what's the weirdest fan related incident you have ever been involved in? Thanks very much and have a great year! T, London
D: I'm glad all ended up as you hoped, and you're right, it was one of those shows that only happen every now and then. I'm proud to have contributed in some way to your positive post show action. I neglected to use the word small before the word way, for this is how rumours begin... I've had a few instances of "fan strangeness" over the years, but you'll forgive me if I don't go into detail. I don't want to give anyone any ideas. Rest assured they've ranged from simple rudeness to extremely weird and occasionally quite disturbing. It goes with the job I guess, but when you consider how hands on we are (after show meet & greets etc) the instances of weirdness are very few. Most fans are very nice, and long may it continue.

Q: As the European tour is near: What do you think about the Biebob and the belgian audience ? Is it your choice to play there? Can't wait to hear the new album...Thanks for the sound samples. Olivier, Belgium
D: Biebob is a great venue, small but fabulous in terms of both heat and atmosphere. I am looking forward to going back, the crowd there is very noisy and enthusiastic, a bit like me really...

Q: I think you have recently partly answered my question, but I'll ask it anyway and you may be able to give a fuller answer. An ex work colleague used to have a video of a show recorded from an ITV middle of the night music programme. The show was obviously from the Backstreet Symphony era (presumably 1990)and looked like it was recorded at the Town & Country Club. What can you tell me about this show and will it become/is it available to buy, as the video left with the colleague! ps. Tell Harry that as long as Palace keep playing former Cambridge United players (Danny Granville )in their team they should have no worries about staying up. Michael Hales, Cambridge
T: You a correct, I did touch on this subject in a previous Q&A. EMI are currently putting together a DVD and the plan is to include the set from the Town & Country club that was originally broadcast on ITV back in 1990. The DVD is still being worked on, so we will have more news as and when. Stay tuned...

Q: Can't wait for the new CD.  New songs sound so fresh and original.  Will there be any bonus tracks on the Frontier version as were on the SATS Frontier version? Ken K., USA
T: There are no bonus tracks on the Frontiers version of the album.

Q: Hi, happy new year to one and all. I am very excited about the new album... the downloads sound great and I'm sure this is gonna be a good one. There is only one problem I can foresee... this will mean that come 21st Feb. SATS will no longer be the 'fantastic new album' (It will still be fantastic, of course, but not new) What am I talking about??! Good question: Car Stickers. I have grown rather attached to my car sticker and do not want to take it off!!! Will there be any new car stickers for the new album? See you on the 29th!! Maria
D: The answer is almost certainly yes, but they are incredibly expensive to produce, so we may need to sell some LPs first, before we can make some stickers to promote the LP... Did someone say chicken and egg?

Q: Can you please tell me if there any plans to release all the music videos on DVD or video, plus the Donnington shows, thank you. Andy Bettney, Dewsbury
T: EMI are currently putting together a new Thunder DVD which will include all 14 video clips that the band filmed during their time with the label. The DVD is also set to include tracks filmed live at Donnington '90 and at the Town & Country Club (also from 1990). This is still very much work in progress, so some of the above info could change between now and it's release (don't expect to see it in shops until late March at the earliest). More details soon...

Q: Harry, will Palace survive the drop this season?? Jonny, Wilts
H: I hope so Jonny! Just got to grind out some results and I’ll be “over the moon” if we stay up. We can then build for next season. Iain Dowie is doing a great job at the club and I believe he is “the man” to help us beat the drop. I went to the game against Villa recently and we deserved our victory! Need quite a few performances like that.

Q: Hello! I've just received my tickets for your gig at Manchester in March (this will be 11th Thunder gig that me and my mate have been to!) and was wondering, with all the songs you've written, how do you decide which ones to put on the set list? Is it always a very difficult decision or do you have definite favourites? Very disappointed the last time I saw you that you didn't do 'She's so fine' as that's one of my particular favourites!!! Also, what age is your youngest Thunder fan? My daughter's 4 and loves Thunder - does she qualify?! I've told her she can go to a Thunder gig when she's a bit older, so keep touring! Lisa Wood, Preston
L: As stated elsewhere in the Q+A section I normally pick the material for the live set. We have an obligation to play a certain amount of our better known stuff but we also usually have a new album to sell so there will be new songs as well. It's impossible to play everyone's favourite tune but we've always tried to make a Thunder show about more than just one or two popular songs. We want it to be a great evening from start to finish.

Q: Hi Luke, Just thought I'd check in case I was fantasising, but whilst my wife was watching that 'Strictly Come Dancing' rubbish a couple of weeks ago, I'm sure I saw the gorgeous Tara MacDonald singing with the house band. I didn't hear a name call and didn't see the end credits so am not 100% sure - any idea?? Chris Smith, Kent
L: You are correct Chris. Tara did the whole Come Dancing series.

Q: Just wanted to say thanks for what was without a doubt the best Thunder Gig I have ever been to last Wednesday. It was amazing to see a band at ease and so obviously enjoying doing what they do best!!!!! (Roll On March.) I have a couple of questions about the live CD, what will the format be? Will it include the whole show un cut (Here's Hoping) or will it be a cut down version with just say 10 of the best songs? Also what do you think the chances of the version of 'Stay With me baby' that you sang with Jade being included as they way you both sang that sent a shiver down my spine. Have you sorted the support for the March tour??? Why not have a think about Planet of Women??? Hope you all have had a good Xmas and have a safe and New Year. Jon
L: We are currently taking a well-earned break but we will begin mixing the Xmas show this week. Until we get into the process I won't know which parts of the show will be included, but what I can tell you is it won't be the whole show as you can't fit 100 minutes of music on one CD!! As for the support slot in March, we haven't had the chance to think about that yet but when we do you'll read about it here first.

Q: Hello...as the 'Bedford Arms' CD is not going to be re-issued...is there any chance of the Nottingham & London Xmas 2004 CDs being available through the website..? Keith
T: There was no 2004 Xmas show in London, only Nottingham. If you read the info on the Xmas show on the new page you will see that there are plans to make CD available via this site at a later date. This will not be the same as the CD that will be sent out to everyone that attended the show.

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