Q & A Archive - October 2004

Colour Code: DANNY, LUKE, BEN, HARRY, CHRIS, THINNY


Q: I couldn't help noticing that on the recent Magnum tour Bob Catley used a large, industrial fan aimed at his hair to create the  illusion of volume, body and fullness. I was just wondering what methods you have employed over the years to do the same? By the way the show at the Astoria was AMAZING!!! Belinda, Tring
H: Ha ha Belinda! Did make me chuckle!! No your question really did! Bob prefers the fan but I normally go to the other end of the spectrum here. I prefer an industrial vacuum for my hair to create the illusion of no volume, no body at all, and complete emptiness! Glad you enjoyed the show at the Astoria.


Q: I notice on the Bernie Marsden site that Magnum played a charity show in the tiny Buckinghamshire village of Tingewick to raise money for cancer research. Did you play with the band and did,if so, did you enjoy playing such a rural location. Angie, Oxfordshire
H: Yes I did Angie. It was a fantastic night and I'm told that the event raised a lot of money for the charity. Yes it was a very pleasant village and Bernie was a great host!


Q: Sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm a fairly new visitor your excellent website. It's just hit me that in November, at
the age of 30, I will be going to a gig (on the Deep Purple tour) with both my parents!! My mum's been playing me DP since I was a baby and took me to my first ever gigs (Whitesnake and Magnum - hurrah!). I feel really lucky to have had this influence in my life. Did your parents and/or other relatives have any influence on the kind of music that you listened to when you were growing up? Karen, Cheltenham
H: I came from a family that loved music. There was a radio in almost every room and an old stereogram (!), and we all used to sit round and watch TOTP's every Thursday! Nan played the banjo (not during TOTP's!) and my granddad used to be a drummer. Mum has been known to sing at the top of her voice (embarrassing when walking down the high street!). And Dad always wanted to be a drummer! So I had a bit of a musical background and Dad took me to see my first gig (Budgie) and introduced me to a wide range of music (including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Floyd, Zepplin, Purple, Genesis and The Carpenters). So I suppose they did have a major influence on the kind of music that I listened to.
L: My folks always had music playing and still do. Mum was very into The Beatles and Bob Dylan while Dad preferred bluesier stuff like Cream or Jimi Hendrix and Tamla Motown. Probably because they were both teachers they spent a lot of time around young people so whatever the latest thing was, they would know all about it. When I started to become obsessed by music they both took an interest in what I was listening to and they'd tell me what they thought good or bad. Mum bought me tickets to see T. Rex for my 11th birthday and that was my first experience of live music. After that I was hooked and knew what I wanted to be.

B: My two elder brothers had a large influence on my musical tastes, as they both listened to classic rock albums (of course they weren't "classic" in those days). My parents are mainly classical music fans, but they have seen a few shows. My Dad made a great comment; he said he could not understand how we played for so long without music in front of us. I thought we had answered this question before so I did a search for the word "influence" on the Q&A page. I was amazed to discover how many times it crops up, so I have an idea; I want to ban the word "influence" from the Q&A page unless it's preceded by the word "Bad" (for obvious reasons). Here are a few alternatives:
nicked from
borrowed
plagiarised
bribed by
bought a drink by
bullied into

D: My house was not musical when I was a kid. We were poor, we didn't have a record player (as they were called then), I remember I was 11 years old when my Dad bought home a second hand "Ferguson" portable radio. My Dad apparently sang in a band with both his brothers (who played lead and rhythm guitar respectively) when I was a baby, but he didn't enjoy it for some reason, and quit after a short while. There are family photos of me aged 11 months in a smoky nightclub, on my Nan's knee, surrounded by pints of stout on a circular table, my my how the times have changed. My musical interest didn't really begin until my youngest brother was very ill when I was 12, and as my Mum was constantly at the hospital, and my Dad had to work, my siblings and I were packed off to relatives' houses for a month. I went to stay with my Aunt, who had a record player and stacks of 45rpm vinyl singles (ask your Mum or your Nan). Not knowing anyone in the area and being bored in seconds flat soon after arriving, she suggested I listen to them. My life changed irrevocably. I spent every hour of every day I could listening to them all, over and over again. When my brother had recovered and it was time to go home, I made her promise to give me the player if and when she replaced it. She bought a very fashionable and not to mention expensive "stereogram" (ask your Mum) 6 months later, and like a star, she kept her promise and sent it down to me. From then on all my time was spent obsessively listening to music, everything and anything I could get my hands on. From there it was a short skip to LPs and new friends, and a boy called Luke, who was a guitar player in a band. The rest is history. So really my Aunt is 100% to blame for me becoming a singer..



Q: Big monkey screetch from Gibraltar to you guys, hope you'reall well. My question here is advice. In November I'm leaving the easy life, family, girlfriend, well-paying job, behind to go back to the UK and join a band of friends of mine in the hope of getting somewhere. Where that is I don't know just yet. Anyway, did any of you find yourselves in a moment where your love for music and the love for your family and loved ones have to be separated for a while? How the hell do you get through it all coz right now its the hardest thing for me...Sorry for the seriousness of this but your music is the one thing that keeps me going in these hard times. Thanks. Craig Macdonald, Gibraltar
H: I think the guys have said it all here Craig! You may only get one shot at this and I'm sure that your loved ones will understand! I've been separated from family and loved ones on many occasions and it's hard I know. Great to see them after a while though. It's a tough one, and if it were me, I'd go for it! Best of luck!!
B: I have been very lucky in that my family have always supported what I do and rather relished the thought of me being away for a while. If a girlfriend objected I simply changed her for one that didn't, worked for me.
I'm sure those Barbary Apes would object to being referred to as monkeys after all whilst apes and monkeys are both primates, and are part of the same primate suborder, there are lots of differences between them. The apes lack tails, generally have larger bodies and brains than the monkeys, and their intelligence is greater.

L: You only get one go at life Craig. I'm sure your family will respect the fact that if you don't have a go at chasing your dream now, you might  never get around to it and therefore always wonder what might've happened. If you pursue anything to the best of your ability there will always be sacrifices and compromises to be made but if you achieve what you set your mind on the rewards can be great for both you and your family. Best of luck to you.

D: This is a subject not often mentioned, and the reason is because it's frowned upon. Rock'n'Roll is about having a good time all of the time etc, so no one is really meant to discuss the bad bits. After all, touring and "living the life" is a dream that doesn't come true for many, so if you're lucky enough to get there, the last thing you want to be seen doing is moaning about it.. Touring is brilliant, the music business is brilliant, but only if you like it, and no one in their right mind would love everything about it all of the time. Being parted from loved ones for long periods of time is not easy, but the same thing can be said for people in lots of other jobs. If it comes with the job you have a choice, either accept it, or do another job. Moaning about things seldom does anyone any good in the long run... Deep Wisdom moment over.... Back to the shallow end for me...



Q: I had the weirdest dream last night about Danny singing a song I'd written. What was even stranger was the fact he was doing it as a duet with Shakira!! The tune kept going around and around my head for the rest of the night and it was quite good (well, it sounded good in my dreamlike state!) but by this morning I'd forgotten it!! So, a twofold question; has anybody other than Luke written a song with just Thunder in mind? And Luke, do any of your ideas for songs come from rather bizarre dreams?! I can't make the Xmas show, but I hope you all have a great time! Jayne, Germany
H: Jayne! I had a weird dream last night too! But we won't go there right now! With regard to song writing, if I have an idea I just record it, however weird and wonderful it is! Sometimes I have had ideas with just Thunder in mind, and I would normally play these to Luke.
L: I find my dreams are a little too strange or rude to translate into songs; I enjoy them though!



Q: As someone who has developed a hearing problem over the years, I was wondering how loud the sound is to you on stage? Do you take any precautions to protect your ears? Must admit I still like it loud even thought it's not doing me any good! Ian (Speedking), Glasgow
H: The on-stage volume has been reduced over the past few years by in ear monitoring so I find that the guys don't complain as much about the volume of my drums and monitoring. I think I used to be the main culprit on the noise front!! I just love it loud!!
B: What? Who said that? Harry... Harry, TURN YOUR MONITORS DOWN

D: I think we've been relatively sensible with the volume over the years. Harry has always been a problem because he plays so loud, and this is usually the root cause of on stage volume problems (someone is louder than the rest so everyone else turns up to hear it and hey presto, it's a mess). Chris Harry and I all use "in ear" monitoring, so we have our own mixes sent to us individually via radio waves. It's a bit like having the band sound the way you like it on your walkman. There are inherent volume problems with this also so we have to be careful not to let the volume creep up on tours. Because we're not all solely reliant on the monitors, it means there's no volume battle on stage, so it's much more manageable. That said that we're still not quiet, but we all have pretty good hearing so we must be doing something right.

L: Loud enough for us to hear ourselves above Harry! Seriously we've always tried to make the balance on stage as good as possible without being too loud. Danny,Chris and Harry sometimes use in-ear monitoring which helps keep the on-stage volume manageable but if you play guitar you need to hear the natural ambience of the room you're playing in. Take that away and everything sounds strangely flat.

C: Funny you should ask - I've just ordered some earplugs, and at the same time had a hearing test. The results were a little surprising - my hearing is below normal, but the specialist thought it was possibly hereditary rather than due to high levels of sound! The earplugs are manufactured by Elcea UK, and are specially designed for musicians, being fitted with filters that reduce the sound level overall, not only the high frequencies. Email
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Q: Hi Thunder & Thinny, it's been a while since I have asked questions to you, it seems like all you're fans have asked you almost
everything that there is to ask. I hopefully found a new and original question for you. You have used a lot of "Brass" sections in you're live and also in you're albums, do any of you (Thinny as well) play or have played a brass instrument and if that is the case which instrument? Also, if you did play have you ever played in a brass band, marching band or such? (Myself I have played Eb & Bb Cornet, Trumpet, Horn, Flugelhorn, Euphonium, Eb & Bb Tuba btw hehe...) Also, do any of you know if there is someone that have arranged any of the Thunder material for Brass Bands or Wind Orchestra? Cheers and good luck with you're new album. And please try to make it to the Hell Blues or the Nidaros Blues festival 2005, if you need a contact person I can promote you for the arrangement group! Inge Hassel. Norway
H: I had a play on the trumpet at school and my cheeks puffed out like a frog! I wasn't very good at all and I looked very silly. The music teacher told me to stick to the side drum..............which I did!
L: Brass instruments never appealed to me probably because you can't sing while playing one!

B: I used to play the flute when I was at school which is strictly woodwind however the fingering for saxophone is roughly the same so I can play a few tunes really badly on the sax. Harry once did a beautiful wind arrangement of a Thunder song in the middle of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills; it also included a spectacular firework display. I never did discover which song he was performing but it didn't seem to matter at the time. I leave you to draw your own conclusions but I'm sure you're guessing correctly.

T: Nope, never played a brass instrument. The only instruments I've ever played are Guitars and Keyboards. I still play the guitar, but haven't touched a keyboard for years. I used to do a mean "Rock Around The Clock" though! :)


Q: Great answer Danny about your home life, but when did you realise (or did someone else tell/convince you), that you actually had a cracking voice? (Hey, you got a Ferguson - we got an Alba!). Another question - Luke being the songwriter, have you ever knocked back some of his tunes or lyrics cos you didn't like 'em? Last question for all of you - how much DIY do you all perform e.g. done your own laminate flooring?, wallpapering? electrics? etc. - i.e. what do you do yourselves and what do you leave to the "experts". Axel, Rainy Marple
H: I have dabbled in the DIY department in my time! I have laid a couple of floors (IKEA!) and indeed have laid on a couple of floors, after falling off the ladder. I can do most of the simple DIY tasks but wouldn't get involved in anything too major! I leave electrickery and water to the experts. I don't want to blow up my home or flood it!! Having said that, I do enjoy a walk round a DIY store! Trouble is, I hardly ever walk out with anything!!
B: Luke is actually his own worst critic so I wouldn't want to add to his self-inflicted misery by joining in. I have recently replumbed my entire house, built a new kitchen , a new bathroom and put in a new central heating system. Saying all that my shelves are a bit wonky.

L: I think Danny decided he didn't want to write songs a while ago. It's not for everybody. It is, as they say dark and lonely work and only for strange people like myself who are crap at everything else including DIY (which Danny is very good at).

D: The first time I sang out loud was on the day I auditioned for Luke's band, having told him (I lied) I was a singer 3 days previously at school. I'm sure he only gave me the audition because I told him I had a microphone (I lied about that too, I borrowed one from my uncle for the audition). Seeing the drum kit in his house earlier that week had convinced me I had to be near one, I was obsessed with the thought of it, but as I couldn't play an instrument, being a singer seemed the logical way to go. I'd already become fanatical about music, but learning all the songs he gave me, and then singing them out loud was a real eye opener. I thought I was useless, but Luke, Tony and Paul (Tony is the other guitarist in the Bowes & Morley live band, we've all been friends for over 30 years) all told me I had a good voice..
I don't presume to tell Luke how to write a song, good or bad. He knows what he's doing. I can't say I've ever consciously knocked his songs back when I didn't like them, but if I really don't like them, I don't sing them very well (not on purpose, it's an emotional commitment to the melody and lyric thing). This doesn't mean they get scrapped, but unless it feels right, we all know it's not happening.
I can do most tradesman type things pretty well, I'm very practical, and my Father bought me loads of tools as I grew up. Before we became pro musicians, I was fitting carpets, painting and decorating, delivery driver etc, I'd do pretty much anything if it paid the bills.. Never had a problem with getting my hands dirty, in fact I quite like it.




Q: Dear all, would you agree to take part if you were approached to appear on "Never Mind the Buzzcocks" either as a panellist or on the identity line up?? Elliot, London
H: Definitely wouldn't entertain being in the line up! Don't think my music trivia is quite up to scratch to be a panellist! Great show though.
D: I'd appear as a panellist, as it's a very silly show, not to mention good exposure (both excellent reasons in my book), but I cannot understand why anyone would be masochistic enough to stand in those line ups (preserving what's left of my dignity wins out over 3 minutes' worth of exposure every time).

L: I don't think I'd want to be in the line up. I think that's more than a little demeaning.

C: I would love to appear on "Never Mind The Buzzcocks", but unfortunately I would be crap as I have a very poor memory. It would be entertaining watching me scratching my head, though.
B: As much as I enjoy watching the show, there is no way I would appear on it. My knowledge of musical trivia is very poor and as for the line-up... I can't see why anyone ever does it; you leave yourself open for a string of abuse from some fairly serious abusers. Having said that, I am glad that someone else does it so I can sit a laugh at them instead and it does have my favourite comedian in it - Bill Bailey. I wonder what the fee for appearing on the show is? It must be huge.



Q: Hi guys, I did search the Q&A before I submitted this question, and perhaps I missed something on the message board about it, I'm a little under the weather and not firing on all cylinders so please be gentle with me (rather ridiculously the hubby and I have chicken pox) .........I'm fortunate enough to be able to make the Christmas show this year, and rather pleased to be able to get my hands on some tickets, that when they arrived in the post I was so busy grinning and hugging the tickets to my bossom that I overlooked the print on the tickets 'Ben Matthews and Harry James presents', so what's this all about then? This is going to be such a treat, I love a pre-Christmas gig, and this time it's going to be with my favorite fellas :o) Kerry King
B: I think you have misinterpreted the meaning: it’s not “Ben Matthews and Harry James presents…”; it’s where you indicate what present you are buying Harry and I for Christmas. It’s a bit like a wedding list, so we don’t receive duplicate presents; after all it is Christmas.
H: Kerry! I do hope you get better soon, and have spoke to Ben recently as to what presents he would like for Christmas! We have formulated a Christmas list between us. Please don’t go mad though. Don’t want you spending too much of your hard earned cash! Ha Ha! Seriously though for a second………..really looking forward to it, and indeed, the forthcoming shows with Deep Purple.


Q: Hey guys, received my very lovely "I Love You" T-shirt today. Just wanted to know is there any one person that comes up with the shirt ideas, or is it the result of a mass catchphrase throwing competition and the best one sticks? Tony Cottam
D: Designs for our merchandise are a team effort, in every sense. Glad you like your ILY shirt. Wear it with pride all the time, and ensure you tell everyone you meet, what it's about, in a very convincing manner, so they all instantly rush to the shops and order the new single. It will work, but you must wear it all the time.


Q: What do you think of the bands that are around at the moment? Do you have a favourite 'upcoming band'? I went to see Rooster in Liverpool this week and they were absolutely fantastic... I have just bought my tickets for Nottingham...Christmas is looking up...cheers! Megan, Wirral
L: The best band I've heard over the last couple of years is Jet - their debut album is really good and exciting.



Q: Did you get embarrassed when you were being interviewed by the naked ladies? Margie B., Wales
D: Oh yes, it put me off and ruined my otherwise deep and meaningful replies...


Q: Hi, The info for the Xmas gig says that details regarding the 'free' CD will be available on production of the ticket stub, and full details will be available at the show. If I have a ticket, and am then unable to attend the gig for whatever reason (illness, injury etc..), will I still be able to get my CD? Chris Smith, Herne Bay
D: Yes of course, if you buy a ticket you're entitled to the CD, it's included in the price. If you receive the ticket you'll have a stub regardless of whether or not it's still attached to the ticket later. I feel I should point out however, that if you're not at the show, you must accept that you won't be on the CD (ha ha).


Q: Sorry Danny - This is a comment not a question. Thanks to your very honest and extremely swift reply to my question. I hope you didn't take it as a critisism - exclusive means different things to different people and I thought it only fair that the situation was clarified. The music you produce is much appreciated - I don't go to shows unless Thunder are top of the bill where they rightfully should be. The Marquee and Bedford Arms were both excellent finales to the last two years - it's been difficult to get there from the sticks but been well worth the effort - so, at least from my point of view, your doing everything right. I know that it's the way you make your living - we support you because if it doesn't pay we will lose the enjoyment that you bring. Keep up the excellent work (& fingers crossed for ILYMTR&R). Tony Postles, Warwickshire
D: Thanks for your comments and your support. I didn't take your previous words as criticism, but I do constantly feel the need to clarify our stance as band/artists/label. I have a major problem with being accused of misleading people, so whenever I get a sniff that it may be going that way, I jump on it just in case...


Q: I'm glad to see the xmas show this year is somewhere other than London (not that I can make it anyway due to working shifts). And I hope that each xmas you'll take it to other diff places. But it does make it hard for a lot of fans to get to still. I know it's not very likely or even possible but wouldn't a mini xmas tour be a better idea? Say, 4 or 5 similar gigs around the country, to give fans in diff places a chance to see these 'different' kind of gigs. And if there was, the gigs to be far away from each other so more diff fans could get there. For example.... London, Birmingham, Norwich, Newcastle and perhaps Glasgow. And then the next year take in other diff places. Well just a thought. Jamie, Kings Lynn
D: Thanks for your suggestions, but an Xmas mini tour is simply not sustainable every year. This is because our plans for each year vary according to LP releases and touring, so to make a regular Xmas mini tour may not always be practical, and if we'd already toured there may not be enough interest from fans. A single Xmas show is much more achievable, regardless of what else we've done in any given year, and we accept it's not always going to be possible for all fans to go, and that's a bummer if you're one who can't, but in a way we need to rely on that. If all fans could attend, we'd have to do it in an arena rather than a club, and that would be the wrong setting for this kind of show. Our plan is to try to create an annual event that everyone can look forward to, and if possible attend, in the knowledge that if they can't get there for some reason, it's not the end of the world, because there will be another chance next year.


Q: Ok, so I'm stupid. I first caught u as a support @ Alice Cooper, 2 yrs ago. I think I slept thru the 90's. Now I have all the albums, have seen you 2 or 3 times at the Astoria, and last Xmas @ the Bedford. And on my Birthday in comes my e-mail saying I've got meet and greet passes for Wembley. Right here's the question - when and how do we get to the meet and greet? After your set? After the whole gig? Where do we go to meet you? Sorry for bothering you over somethin as daft as this.... Phil Mazur, Croydon
T: You know, I heard a rumour that there is a news page on this very site. Apparently you can find all the meet and greet info you need on there. I don't know how true it is, but I thought was worth mentioning...


Q: Guys, I'm not daft enough to expect an exact figure... but the sales of Loser - if you tripled them (for three formats rather than one) - where abouts in the chart would that earn? Given that the media are saying the charts are selling poorly, and only 23,000 copies of a single gets to number one, is this the best chance for the guys (and us!) to get into the Top 10? Tony, Glasgow
D: This is a tricky subject so close to the release of the single. To discuss this at this time would possibly open us up to charges of chart rigging, which could disqualify all our sales from the chart. Under the circumstances, with so much at stake, I'm sure you'll understand why I can't answer this question. All I can say is that we're doing all we can to promote the single, we've got a promotion team working the radio, press, local papers, rock clubs etc. With the Deep Purple tour playing to a load of people, the song will hopefully go down well and that will translate into sales. The best promotion however is word of mouth, so if all you fans do your bit and spread the word, we'll all have done our best. The rest is in the lap of the gods. Spread the word baby, it'll be a hit if enough people buy it...


Q: Hi Guys, A question regarding the new singles. Each of them has exclusive tracks to encourage us to buy all 3 so that you are propelled up the charts and reach a wider audience (and there's nothing wrong with that). Following last years exclusive "one off" Christmas show and "exclusive" CD can we be sure that the new exclusive tracks will not turn up at some later date on a compilation? Great news regarding this years Christmas show, even better that it's at Rock City and that last years problems, that I mentioned, have been addressed. Tony, Warwickshire
D: Thanks for the nice comments, but I have to make a few things clear. Having formed our own record label, the band own and are in control of the new songs, and so we're able to decide if and when they "show up" in the future. The additional songs on the new single are exclusive in as much as they are not on any LP, so that means at this time they are exclusive and previously unreleased. Also at this time, we have no plans to release them in any other format, compilation or otherwise, but if in the future we decide to do that, it will be based on a demand from those who weren't able to get hold of the single. We have to walk a very fine line here, and whilst we don't have a crystal ball, so we can't know what we're going to do in the future, it must be understood that we are in business to try to earn a living like everyone else.
Last year's Xmas show was a new thing for us, and on the whole it worked well. That's not to say we haven't made some changes based on the experience. We explained the reasoning behind the change of plan with the Bedford CD. We did as we said we'd do, in as much as we sold what was left from the minimum manufacturing run. Once they were gone we removed it from sale. We've had literally thousands of requests to re-manufacture it, but we've stayed true to our word, and the people who were at the show. There are a great many people out there who believe we did the wrong thing, they are the ones who didn't manage to get a copy. I may live to regret that decision.
The Live CD sent to the ticket holders from this year's Xmas show will only go to them. We've made it clear from the get go that we will offer a Live CD for sale afterwards, but it will not be the same as the one sent to the show attendees. That way we will stay true to those at the show, and hopefully satisfy those who aren't able to be there, but still want a copy. 
I hope this makes sense. It's a tough call for us to run our own label and keep the quality of output high, we know most fans appreciate what we do, and that's why it works. To be honest if they didn't, there's no point in us doing it all.



Q: Hi, Will there be a 'Meet & Greet' at the 2004 xmas show at Rock City? Emma xx
D: Yes, there will be a meet & greet this year. Last time the venue was too small, and the show ran right up to (and past) the licence time. This year will be fine.


Q: I am a Thunder fan but new to the web have seen Thunder a few times now and hope to see a lot more of them when I can and would like for me and my gig going party to be considered for a meet and greet. So how do I go about requesting a meet and greet pass if you could reply so I can go thought the right channel to reserve a pass. Stu Hall, Humberside
T: All the details of how to gain access the meet and greets are available on the NEWS page. However, nearly all of the meet and greets are now full (only a small amount of passes remain for Cardiff and Plymouth - the rest are long gone I'm afraid). If you miss out this time, don't worry - there'll always be next time...


Q: Hi there, I just scored two backstage passes for the Cardiff meet and greet. I was going to come with my friend, a Mr. Chris Watson, but unfortunately, he can't make it. However, he has a loose connection with you. He did request that I ask you this at the meet and greet, however, my friend who will be accompanying me to the show is worried that it will be the ultimate social B.O. So, in order to spare the embarrassment of asking the question in person, I'll just risk the chance of embarrassing myself in Virtual Space...Here goes then....The guitarist from Black Rose (the aforementioned Chris Watson) told me to say hello. He auditioned for you, way back when, but (obviously) didn't get the gig. ;) He also asked if you ever still see Mark Lathan? Do you remember Chris, and do you know what I am talking about ? Or was my mate correct, and I have just formed the social equivalent of letting one go in a lift ? Dave J Bedford, Reading
D: I'm sorry to have to report that I have no idea who Mr W is. That doesn't mean he didn't audition for us, he may well have, I just don't remember him. Apologies for this but I've met a great number of people over the years and my grey cells aren't what they were. Mark Lathan still works for us occasionally, and a fine splendid fellow he is too. Not sure if this counts as a fart in a lift but I like the idea.


Q: I was looking on the Tesla website the other day and noticed that a Thunderonline link appears in the 'Tesla's friends' section. I know they are also in your site links. Just wondered, who is the Tesla fan in the Thunder camp? What is your favourite track? Mine is 'It's Gettin Better' as it always makes me happy. Looking forward to seeing you in November. Hezza, Oxford
T: The Tesla link swap came about when a fan (Chris Dunbar) emailed in suggesting that it might help spread the Thunder gospel to the uneducated. Our banner gets displayed on the Tesla site regularly in various different places and we get a link on their 'friends' page. Not a bad deal. I like some of Tesla's stuff - I have a couple of their albums in my collection. I have to say that I think that their new album 'Into The Now' is the best thing they have ever done - great record!


Q: Hiya Ben, Hope you are doing well.  I just bought Astronaut, the new album of Duran Duran, and in the credits they are thanking a Ben Matthews. Is that you by any chance? If yes, how did you get involved, If not, is there another BM working in the Music industry, because I'm getting a bit confused now! Di, Holland
B: Well isn't that nice of them: I can only assume it's me as I did do some work on the album when they first got back together. As Andy and I worked together on a variety of projects, he asked me up to engineer a couple of sessions with Duran at a residential studio in Wales. This was the first time they had got back together since they split up, but you wouldn't have known it. They were writing songs for the record; it will be interesting to get a copy of the album and hear how the songs turned out. It's good to see them back and doing so well, it'll keep Andy out of mischief.


Q: Hi Danny, Maybe a question never too often asked: Do you have a top-ten of novels you love to read? I'm a student of English-literature, and I really like to know...But: How do I get my girlfriend getting cooled down while listening to Bowes& Morley? Maybe listening to Thunder???!!! Simon, Duesseldorf
D: This is a very good question, but I need some time to ponder it. I shall respond as soon as I can. As for your girlfriend, and B&M, and cooling down, I'm afraid that simply isn't going to be possible.


Q: A sincere thank you! for putting rock 'n' roll into my life's soundtrack, and for the new album. My sightseeing tour of England (by way of Thunder concerts) will be taking me again to your island next spring/summer. Ben, when you play keyboards, I hear a great array of sounds at your disposal, Hammond organ, grand piano (Numb), etc. and since I dabble a little with playing piano, I wanted to get a keyboard that would be really versatile in terms of getting different sounds. Can you recommend a model that would be suitable? Sauki, Madrid
B: This is a difficult question to answer because I don't keep up with the latest models. The most important aspect for me for a synthesized piano is the action of the keys - I favour a weighted keyboard for a more natural feel. With improvements in technology most decent keyboards have a superb variety of very realistic sounds, the only way to find out is go and try them. Don't be afraid to spend time in a music shop irritating the salesman, after all that's what he is there for! Is that answer vague enough?


Q: Why do Thunder feel the need to restrict the number of fans with the pre arranged meet and greet. I've been to gigs for 25 years and your the only band I've come across who do this ? John Morrison, Saddleworth
D: This has been covered before, more than once. But as it's you...Your email infers that we limit the numbers for some arbitrary reason plucked from the sky. I can assure you everything we do is done after careful consideration of many factors and requirements. Rooms are not infinitely sized, so we can only physically fit so many people into the rooms we're allocated by the venue managers. There are issues of safety to consider apart from anything else. We want fans to come to meet & greets, but it simply isn't possible to let everyone in who may want to come. I'd be interested to know how many bands you've met over the 25 years who've done a meet & greet with fans after almost every show they've headlined.


Q: Now that you have announced that EMI are shortly to let us have a DVD with your first 3 albums videos on (at last!) is there any chance of having access to the Terraplane videos? This would tie in nicely with the upcoming Terraplane package.
T: Sony own the Terraplane material, and though they've agreed a deal with Sanctuary to release the 2 Terraplane LPs , I don't think their planned release includes videos.
Also is there any news on having the rest of your videos commercially available such as the other video from The Thrill of it all and the one for Just Another Suicide? What about the one for Loser?
T: Sanctuary (who now own Castle) couldn't find the video to Don't Wait Up or it would have been on the re-packaged TTOIA double CD this summer (ho hum). There wasn't a video for Just Another Suicide. The Loser promo clip is owned by the band, and you can be assured it will surface on a new DVD in the future, along with the best of the footage shot since the band got back together in 2002 (there is lots).
By the way I am looking forward to seeing you with Deep Purple next month. Will another Bowes & Morley CD come after the Thunder CD with a tour?
T: All focus is currently on the new Thunder single and album. The guys haven't thought that far ahead yet. I'm sure another B&M album will surface at some point.
I am very much looking forward to getting the singles & new album but why promote a wrestling show?
T: Why not?
Why not a marathon or half marathon? Hope to hear from you soon. Tim, Worcester
T: If you know of a marathon or half marathon that would like to work with us then please let us know...


Q: Whenever a Thunder track appears on a compilation album it always seems to be 'Love Walked In'. Do you ever wish they'd pick a different song? What would you like them to include? Or do you think 'Love Walked In' sums up the Thunder sound? Jayne, Germany
B: It's your own fault, according to our survey you lot love a nice ballad. Love Walked In is very high in the popularity chart and is often cited as people's favourite Thunder song. I don't really mind which song they use after all they are only compilation albums.
D: Love Walked In is chosen a lot for compilations, but it's not the only one. Others have been used and many times. I think the problem is there are lots of Rock Ballad compilations and this is why this one shows up again and again. I've never got to know how some songs are chosen over others, and with so many Thunder songs to choose from it's baffling, but in this case it could be because it's better known than the others, simply because it's on loads of compilations....Ho hum...


Q: Wow, you've got Danny pushing the boundaries of vocal Olympics once again. Where do the lyrics pop into your head, gems like, "she's got the devil in her underclothes. I've gotta buy me some of that!!! Bravo chaps, Bravo!! Brooksie, Peckham
L: Glad you like it. It's good to approach lyric writing with a sense of humour sometimes although I'm not sure where the inspiration for that particular line came from. Perhaps I should lay down on a psychiatrist's couch for a while.....


Q:  Best of luck for the single, love the sound samples. Great sound - has Ben been doing the knob twiddling? Are you going to sell the singles at the DP gigs? Would these be able to  count towards the chart position? James Vincent, Australia
T: The new tracks were engineered by Rupert Coulson with Ben credited with some additional knob twiddling. Rupert is a long time Thunder engineer and the brother of my old psychology teacher bizarrely - small world, or what? The single won't be available at the Deep Purple shows. Any CDs sold at the shows would not count towards the chart position.


Q: Hello Men. First off, thanks for all the great music and the B&M material, all good for the soul!!!! My question is this, there are not many people who could hold a torch to the late great Freddie Mercury as a singer but I reckon Danny has a good shout for range and emotion. I would love to know if you guys are Queen fans and if so, which song would suit Thunder most!!! I think I read somewhere that you sometimes play “Now I’m Here” at soundcheck but in my humble opinion, I think your guys would do a corking version of “It’s Late”. Make sure you play it next time you are in Liverpool!!! Cant wait for the new stuff…good luck!!!! Mike Jackson, Southport
L: Yes we're all Queen fans. I don't think we've ever done Now I'm Here but we have played Crazy Little Thing Called Love and bits of Bohemian Rhapsody in the past. I think we could do a great version of Don't Stop Me Now; who knows, maybe we will in the future
T: Luke, Luke, Luke - I definitely remember hearing a short instrumental version of Now I'm Here being played at sound check in May 2003. On the same tour I also heard the boys sound check with bits of Somebody To Love and Bohemian Rhapsody as well as virtually the whole of Crazy Little Thing Called Love (with vocals). Nice...
D: Queen are an institution, unique. I loved Fred's style, wasn't mad about all the music so I can't honestly say I was a fan, but they had some cracking moments, both live and on record. We once did a Queen medley of sorts at Rock City in Nottingham, it was Crazy Little Thing Called Love meets the rocky bit from Bohemian Rhapsody. Went down well. As to future covers it's all about the vibe at the time, don't expect it and it may happen....


Q: Hi Guys, This is something I have discussed with some of the loonies over the last few years and wondered what your opinions were on it. Do you think that the bands name ever held you back? By that I mean did radio stations see the name 'Thunder' assume it was some death metal thrash band that couldn't be played on radio apart from rock shows and throw the record to the side. The reason I ask is that whenever I have mentioned the band to some people who are not familiar with your music they have all said 'is that some heavy metal crap?" and variations of the same type of thing. Then when I play them stuff from 'TTOIA' and 'GTGA' they have all been very pleasantly surprised by the sound of the band. It is something that has frustrated me when I think that people get a complete misconception of what the band sounds like purely on the name. And when I hear bands relentlessly played on the radio that are a lot heavier and less radio friendly than yourselves it makes me angry as I know your material would be quite at home on any commercial station. I was wondering if any of you have encountered something like I have when you try and promote yourselves to radio stations, TV, etc. Sorry to go on! Rant over! Keep up the good work! Jim. Wokingham
L: The band's name may prejudice some people's opinions but there's nothing we can do about it unfortunately. There have been instances where people at radio have been played our stuff without knowing who the band was and loved it only to change their minds when they found out it was us. Obviously this is frustrating but if people are going to be that small minded I'd rather not think about it too much.
D: You have proved it yourself by your own experiences, and I guarantee you're not alone. After all the name Thunder definitely has more of a "burn a church" connotation than "peace and love", and I have long felt it has been a barrier as far as the more popular media are concerned, but it just shows you how little the music matters to some people. Having said that we're stuck with it, because whatever happens we're certainly not about to change it. Besides it describes the sound of the band very well.. Big, loud and simple...


Q: I'm really excited to hear your new single and I've got big hopes to reach the UK Top 20 again! Old mates Status Quo entered the UK Charts on position No.14 recently with their new Single YOU'LL COME 'ROUND, so do you think good old Rock 'n' roll is back? What's your opinion on the music business at the moment? All those mangers and directors they're aiming for profits. Today it's not necessary that people who enjoy music themselves run the business. Is that on of the major reasons for the crisis in the music business these days? Thanks boys, keep on rockin'... Tom
L: I don't think rock music ever goes away; it goes underground occasionally but it's popularity never dies. I think the industry is changing for the better because more and more artists are taking control of their own destiny as we are and that has to be a good thing.
D: Thanks for the positive vibes. We just need another couple of hundred thousand like you to go out and buy "I Love You More Than Rock'n'Roll" on November the 8th and all will be rosey in the Thunder garden...As for your last bit, I agree the music business has become more corporate, and that may go some way towards explaining why everyone says it's on it's arse. Not sure I believe it is to be honest, there's no denying the world is changing, so it has to evolve with the world, but it's just really convenient to blame downloading for your lame performances and bad signings. Luke has written a song about this very subject on the new LP. It's called Monkey See Monkey Do, and it's fab. Watch out for sound clips in the coming weeks.. Spread the word, remember I Love You More Than etc.
B: Rock and Roll does appear to be fashionable again but the true rock and rollers never seem to be bothered about fashion or fads, not that I discourage anyone from joining in and discovering the true delights of the finest form of music known to humanity. As for the managers and directors, they have always been aiming for profits and in fact artists are more empowered today than they have ever been in the past. In my opinion the 'crisis' is due to lack of investment in long term projects and lack original thinking by the people in a position to do so. So let's all jump on the band wagon and sign another Busted clone quickly.


Q:  I did an interview with you last year for www.metalliville.com - ourwebzine I saw Paul Rodgers at Wembley Arena on 24th September and he was awesome. I remember you telling me you always admired and wanted to be Paul Rogers - what a voice - would you like to do a duet with him sometime in the future - how cool would that be? What sort of song would you like to
perform with him if you had the chance? would it be an original song or a cover - how about the two of you doing one of his and then one of yours, an original song or two and maybe a song that influenced both of you in some way? Glenn Milligan, Sheffield
D: Whoh Neddy... Hold your horses. When I was a kid PR had a major influence on me. It shows I know, and there's nothing I can do about that. However I had loads of other influences too, so to single out Mr R is probably not quite fair. I don't follow his career nowadays, as I have my own to concern myself with. As to duets, as it's very unlikely to happen, I think I'll leave you to
speculate on that kind of thing, and whether or not it would be any good. Glad you enjoyed his show though, nice to know he's still delivering the goods, it tells me I was right to like him as a kid...



Q: Hi Guys! We saw you a few years ago in Toronto Canada and loved your music ever since! Any Canadian Concert plans at all in the near future? You have a lot of fans here! Cheers! John Mei
D: We would dearly love to come back to Canada, we've had a blast every time we've been there. Sadly there are no Canadian touring plans at the moment as we currently have no label there. All can change so please watch this space. Rest assured if we can we will...


Q: I'm celebrating my 30th birthday today, and I have to say it's not going all that well! Not only have I noticed more grey hairs & wrinkles than I had yesterday, I'm also on an Army base in Germany, in a different country from my family and my husband is away on tour!! I was just wondering what were your worst/best birthdays! Jayne, Germany
B: I don't remembered any bad birthdays but I remember many bad post-birthday hangovers which indicate a good birthday I guess. I also spent a few birthdays in Germany, mainly due to touring and they always seemed to be in Ludwigsberg - strange coincidence but great beer. I also had a great birthday in LA getting drunk with Matt Goss from Bros, a lovely chap or was it his brother....?
D: Easy. The worst birthday I ever had was the year absolutely everyone I knew forgot. I spent all day at home alone, staring woefully at the phone, thinking it would surely ring any moment. All day. It didn't ring. The silence was deafening. I was bereft. Never had a birthday like it before or since (luckily).
L: My 30th was pretty good - we filmed the video for Gimme Some Lovin' on Zuma Beach in California so I spent the whole day surrounded by beautiful women in bikinis! Not bad eh?

C: Absolutely worst birthday was my 10th, when my nan very thoughtlessly died. Ruined my day.


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