Q & A Archive - January 2008


Q: Hi Luke. Just been listening to 'Thrill of it all' and would like to know if Cosmetic Punk was influenced by early Deep Purple material? Would be interesting to hear Purple do a cover version...great keyboards for Jon Lord to get his teeth into!? Janice, Norwich
L: Definitely. We even added ridiculously loud tambourine (as in 'Fireball') on the fade out as a back-handed tribute.

Q: Hi Ben, I don't know if you remember me at the Bristol gig but we was talking about the new Tygers Of Pan Tang album that you produced/mixed. You said that you would let me know when the album is being released, so do you have any idea when the album is due out ? Thanks. Jamie, Newport
B: I haven't started mixing it yet but I have the start of February set aside for those feline fellows. The release date will be shortly after that I would imagine. You can keep your eye out in the "Friends of Thunder" section of this website for the latest updates.

Q: Status Quo-They only play three cords how do they get away with it? or a very under rated band who have written some great songs. Personally I like them, I could not listen to every day but sometimes a simple boogie
does it for me & also the cheeky chappy interviews remind me of Thunder (who play a lot more than three chords who write great songs!) Mart, Saffron Walden
B: "3 chords, 41 years - beats 41 chords and 3 years". A great band, with great quotes, fabulous sense of humour and a great attitude - long may they continue.

Q: I've heard I'm A Lucky Man being played on Planet Rock Radio and would like to know what album its from and where can I get a hold of it, it's a belting song. Cheers guys. Robert Mckenna, Fife
T: I'm A Lucky Man isn't on any album, but it does appear on the Six Shooter EP, which you can purchase exclusively from Townsend Records, via the BUY PAGE of this very site...!

Q: Hi Danny,I am your big fan. I very love your music and your voice. I love your blues songs. Your show in VIZOVICE was great. Do you like Janis Joplin and Ten years after? It is a big truth, that your face is beautiful. I love you so much. Janka, Slovakia
D: I'm very pleased to hear you're my big fan, and I'm glad also that you like our music. I really enjoyed the show in Vizovice, and I like a lot of Janis Joplin songs, but must confess I don't have a lot of Ten Years After stuff. I thank you very much for your kind words, and of course your love, but I think it's probably a bigger truth that my face is not beautiful.

Q: Hi you guys! Sorry its taken me so long to ask this question, I've been a fan since day one and been to every gig in manchester amongst many others, I've also been lucky enough to land myself a meet and greet for nearly every time you have been here, I teach art and craft in a mental health capacity and have done for 20 years, I also customise guitars for a bit of extra cash (you gotta do that kinda thing if you work for the nhs) anyway, I brought
one of my guitars along to the gig and the aftershow and you were all kind enough to sign it for me (and some very kind compliments too, guys, Thanks) I now want to auction it off to raise some money for art and music equipment for  my dept in mental health, I wanted to ask your permission first as you may not agree with raising money this way or anything else you might like to add? I'd really appreciate all your opinions on this. And another thing! I still enjoy your gigs as much as I did the first time I ever saw you, and it still amazes me how much fun people have, dancing at them. I think you invented a new musical genre, "boogie rock" Don't give up, this country needs a good old fashioned rock and roll band, and you are definitely it! Jim Booth, Bury
D: Permission granted, good luck, I hope you raise loads of money.

Q: Luke, I started playing guitar a couple of years ago, and am looking to upgrade to Gibson Les Paul soon. I recall reading that both you and Ben have your stock guitars upgraded, if so , what pickups do you use in your Les Paul (and your stage Flying V)? Also I saw in the Q&A archive that you were using a Mesa Boogie MkII Amp live. As the Boogie is discontinued and hard to come by second hand, would you recommend a Marshall tube amp or something else to get close to your live sound? Also, Ben and Chris, I am very interested in your live setups if you would care to elaborate. Robin, USA
B: I use standard issue Gibsons (Customs, Gold Top and a hand built reissue) and an American built Telecaster. They are not modified in any way as they seem fine as they are. The amp I use is the Marshall Vintage Modern, quite simply the best amp I've ever heard, built by a man who really cares about guitar sounds - Steve Dawson.
L: I'm not sure where you read that but neither of us have our guitars upgraded; mine are all off the peg Gibsons and so are Ben's. Neither of us are particularly fussy about our guitars and every Gibson I've ever played sounded good so if it ain't broke etc... As far as amps go, we used to use Boogies but since a very nice man at Marshall UK called Steve Dawson got in touch to ask us to try the new Vintage Modern range we've never even thought about using anything else. They really are great amps and I can't recommend them enough and that's not because I didn't pay for mine!

Q: Hey guys - Had a great time at the Rock Radio Bash on Thursday, great set as always! Just a couple of questions - do you have any plans to or know of any plans to release or air any part of the show? And how good was it to see the legendary Frankie Miller up and about at the gig? Thanks, guys! Tony Cottam, Carstairs, Lanarkshire
D: We really enjoyed it, the atmosphere was fantastic, and the crowd were amazing. The spirit amongst the bands was great as well, all very friendly and united in the cause of raising money for Nordoff Robbins. We were told it would be recorded by the 96.3 Rock Radio guys, but I'm afraid I don't know how the recording turned out, or if and when they'll broadcast it. I can only suggest you ask them. I don't know Frankie Miller personally, but his presence at the show certainly seemed to cause quite a stir.

Q: Hey guys, was wondering if anyone plans to go to any of the the Def Leppard / Whitesnake joint headline gigs that are comin up? Is it the kind of thing you maybe would have liked to be involved in, you'd fit in perfectly in that company, defo make it an amazing hat trick of bands for me!! cheers. Steve, Wrexham
D: It's a nice bill, and I agree if we were on it, that would make it a seriously good bill, but if both WS and DL are co-headlining they'll almost certainly be playing quite long sets. This is great for Whitesnake and Def Leppard fans of course, but there are set times for opening and closing the doors in arenas, which means from a purely practical standpoint, whoever else is on the bill won't get very long on stage, so it should be an up and coming band. I heard that Black Stone Cherry have been given the opening slot, which is great. I met them briefly at the Classic Rock Awards last November, and they were nice guys. I wish them all well, especially BSC.

Q: Hey Danny, what do you do before a gig? What do you drink, eat, do you have a crafty fag to 'gravel' your voice up, what warmups do you do etc.......? Nick, March
D: I try to eat lightly and no later than 3 hours before a show, to help with vocal control, and to prevent my dinner coming back up again.. It's not always possible mind you. I sweat profusely during my performances, so dehydration and subsequent cramp are occupational hazards for me. For that reason I have to look after myself, so I don't drink alcohol before or during a show (though I have been known to during Xmas shows), and I avoid fizzy drinks like Cola. I drink sports fuel performance mix up powder type drinks (with electrolytes) before, during and after shows, which give me energy and stave off cramp (which is guaranteed murder towards the end of the show if I don't have the sports drink). I don't smoke and never have done, and I've never thought my voice was
> particularly gravely sounding, but what do I know? I do a lot of facial muscle and neck exercises, and I hum a lot during the day on tour which I find helps to warm my voice up without straining it. The downside of this is that I look and sound demented at the same time, so I tend not to do it in public. I take a lot of steam too, using a steam inhaler and/or in the shower. I'm not a real vocal warm up type singer, don't get me wrong, it's obviously the right thing to do, I've just always thought it sounds daft... Apart from that I spend a lot of time cleaning and preening my angel wings...

Q: Hi guys, just wanted to thank you for such a great xmas gig at Nottingham. My wife and I come and see you every year but have never before been to an xmas show and I can say that we won't be missing one from now on. Our unborn son of 32 weeks was also present, I thought I'd make him a fan from an early age, and my be your youngest yet?. My question is how do you decide where the venue will be for these special shows. I travelled from Kent which wasn't a problem as I wasn't disappointed. Keep up the good work, can't wait for the new album.
 Paul, Rainham, Kent
D: Glad you came and also that you enjoyed it. The venue choice is down to a combination of factors. Not playing there on tour either pre or post is a big one. Venue layout is also quite important, as we need a wide stage to accommodate a nine piece band. Capacity has to be big enough, but the venue must feel intimate enough (multiple nights in small venues is not an option, and bigger places don't always lend themselves well to a sit down show). There are other factors but these are the main ones.

Q: Greetings. Caught you at Norwich few weeks ago for the umpteenth time. Awesome set, great sound, good atmosphere, best I've seen ya! I've always wondered Danny, do you play any instruments other than maracas or can't you be arsed to learn? Nick, March
D: Glad you enjoyed the show, and thanks for coming. Apart the maracas, I can play 3 chords very badly on the guitar, but I was never sitting down long enough to practice. Luke has encouraged me to learn a lot over the years, but as time has gone by, I've had less time not more. I play the kazoo to Olympic standard though, I'm just a naturally gifted player, and I'm constantly getting offers to play on other people's records.. My whistling talent is also much in demand, though I am very choosy about what I do.

Q: Hi Danny. Just reading some of the latest Q&As and someone wrote how beautiful you were when you sing with your eyes shut. I can't believe that no-one has ever told you that before! That's why I love watching Thunder DVDs because we get a close up of your beautiful face when you do those kind of songs...you sing with such emotion...If I was your wife I would be telling you all the time!! Keep up the good work...love you lots XXX Janice, Norwich
D: You're very kind. I'm blushing as I type...

Q: Hi guys! Do you ever browse the message board? If so how does Danny cope with all the 'nice' things which are said about him? I believe you are currently in the studio recording...when can we expect the new cd? Hopefully we will get tasters in the meantime? Janice, Norwich
D: I hardly ever look at the message board, as I don't have the time, but if people are saying "nice" things about me on it, then maybe I'll get up a bit earlier in the mornings..

Q: Will you be doing another tour soon that includes the Birmingham area? Mo Hipkin, Dudley
D: Having played 2 UK tours in a year, I would have thought you people would be truly sick of us by now, so you either missed them or you're a glutton for punishment..Ben is currently mixing the 2007 Xmas Show recordings, so we can release the live CDs in February (there are 2, 1 for those who bought tickets, and a second one for everyone else). We're recording some more songs in February also, and we're looking to release a second EP to follow on from "Six Of One" at the end of March or beginning of April, and continue work on the next studio LP after that. We're not looking to play many shows this year, as we'll be pretty busy in the studio, but having said that there have been talks with a children's charity fundraiser, about possibly playing a one off show for them in London in March, but rather than a Thunder show, it will be a multi artist type affair. More details on that when it's confirmed, hopefully soon. As for full blown tours, we're hoping to tour again at the end of this year to support the next LP. That's all I can say right now.

Q: Hi Danny (and Luke) - I know that the Thunder bandwagon is really picking up steam recently, but just wondering if there's any chance of a Bowes & Morley gig or two to replace the ones cancelled due to Danny's bad back when Mo's Barbeque came out? I went to the show at ULU for MSA, and was a little hesitant beforehand as to what to expect, and it was one of the best gigs I have ever been too, and want some more!! Chris, Kent
D: We've been asked about this quite a lot recently, but I'm afraid we have no plans to do any B&M shows at the moment. We're a trifle busy doing Thunder stuff.

Q: Hi Luke!!! (and rest of the guys of course...) I'm reading the Q & A section and i read this guy's question about the EL GRINGO RETRO album and his need of purchasing the album after your Christmas show...and it struck me as a good idea as well...so, could you tell me, please, how it is talking in musical terms? Is it a complete departure from your work with Thunder both as a songwriter and guitar player? I'm very interested in knowing if you use mostly your voice and guitar or maybe the album covers a wider range of instruments (without considering drums and bass...) And apart from that, being Spanish I find the title very amusing because it does not seem to make any sense...where did you get the idea to name the album that way? Thank you very much and as usual, thank you for being the way you are.... Diego, Spain
L: 'El Gringo' is a collection of songs I wrote over a period of five years, some on my own and some with Andy Taylor. I wasn't writing to any particular brief because I wasn't anticipating making a solo album until EMI Japan suggested it. As a result there are a few different styles ranging from a song I wrote with Al Green in mind (Loving You Is All I Can Do) to 'This Letter' which has a very Latin feel. The thing that ties the songs together in my mind is that most of them were written in Spain and it was while I was there that the title came about. I got to know the guy who ran the restaurant next door to where I was staying and I played him some demos of the songs. He was Spanish but spoke very good English and he told me he thought the songs had a 'retro' feel.

Q: Hi guys, happy new year, hope you all had a merry time!!! Where do you all like to go and relax and get away from it all, if there is such a thing in thunderland? Angie, Derbyshire
L: Anywhere warm with a relaxed atmosphere suits me. I'm a big fan of Spain and Thailand.

Q: Hi guys, this is quick note to say that you were brilliant (as ever) at the Rock Radio 1st birthday bash last night and thanks for supporting such a good cause (hopefully we didn't bore Harry too much talking about the Championship at the aftershow). It was nice to see an acoustic performance in Scotland after seeing so many full on Thunder shows, and wondered, if costs permit, would it be viable to perform this type of different performance on a short tour? I understand the cost would probably be too high if it was the full on Christmas type show with special guests as you have mentioned before, but have you considered this as a possible option? Thanks for your time, and I'll say no more.. Tobe, Troon
D: Thanks for the nice words and the question is a good one. I have no doubt that we could do an acoustic tour, after all we've played acoustic lots of times, and done mini acoustic tours a few times to promote records over the years. We've also done acoustic shows galore in shops, TV shows and radio stations, and Luke and I even did a couple of songs in a Department Store once in Japan (we made a baby cry, and several 13 year old schoolgirls very excited, not sure why on both counts). As to whether or not we would do it, I don't see why not if the circumstances were right, but that doesn't mean we'll be doing it any time soon. We have a lot of studio work to do in the coming months.

Q: Hi Danny. I've heard you whistle a tune when I saw you in Japan. It was very beautiful and I was very attracted to it. Why don't you try to do it on your new album? I think many fans will like it. I'd really love to hear your sweet whistle again. Chikako, Japan
D: Thank you, I am indeed a bit of a whistler, in fact my whistling is as good as my kazoo playing.. The problem is everyone says I whistle like their Grandfather. It is me whistling at the beginning of The Spaghetti Mix of Fade Into The Sun on our Six Shooter EP. As for this new record, I promise I will purse my lips and have a whistle on it somewhere (if it's appropriate of course). Did I say whistle enough times in my answer?

Q: After having a good old time at the Nottingham Christmas Gig (which was fantastic!) I felt the urge to add to my CD collection, I bought "EL GRINGO RETRO" not really knowing what to expect.....I have listened to it a good few times and I really like it, especially "Loving You". I think the whole album sounds really good, and the vocals were really strong and would like to hear more! do you have any future plans to release another solo album? Andrea, Derbyshire
L: Glad you're enjoying 'El Gringo'. The album was written and conceived over a period of about five years in and around everything else that was going on at that time. At the moment we're all extremely busy with Thunder so there are no immediate plans to make another one.

Q: I remember hearing a song called every word's a lie and it must have featured as a b-side or something, can you tell me where I can find it - it was fantastic! Also, Luke you started writing a song called only when it rains which was the working title to amy's on the run, have you developed this idea yet? I liked the sound of where it was going, my mood certainly fluctuates according to the weather! Thanks. Ian, S Wales
L: If you look on the discography page you will see that EWAL is an extra track on one of the single formats for 'Don't Wait Up'. I didn't take that particular lyrical idea any further but you never know where it might turn up again.

Q: Hi, Just got a email from Amazon offering Thunder "just another suicide" no track info any ideas what its about? Sandy
T: It's the Japanese import of the 'Just Another Suicide' single from back in 1999. You can find the track listing here! The single was also released in the U.K. featuring the same tracks but split over 2 CDs. The title track was renamed 'You Wanna Know' as apparently the label didn't think a track with "suicide" in the title would get any airplay (I guess they must have missed 'Suicide Blonde'...). Ironically, the track ended up getting more airplay in Japan, where it's title remained unchanged. Go figure...

Q: Hi Danny, listening to the album LOJD and reading the CD sleeve last night, I noticed that you are referred to as 'Don' in the credits. Why were you called this? I assume it's a name that didn't stick? Kathy, London
D: I was known as Don for a goodly while, in fact I was only known as Don by some fans for about the first 4 or 5 years of the band (I greeted the audience with "Hello Team" and they said "Hello Don" back - silly really, and perhaps seems a bit Bruce Forsyth now). No idea where it came from (the grey cells are going) but it's pretty safe to assume it was Harry's doing (it usually is). I still have several friends from that time who only ever call me Don. Weird..

Q: Hey Danny! Firstly its Ten thousand Flushes here! we are your biggest fans! You guys are awesome! your new E.P is really amazing! Our question is from our singer...Danny (good name) He is 13 years old and has been singing in our band now for 2 years! we have just received a lot of bookings we even have 2 a week in places! This may put strain on Dans voice and he has just started singing lessons he has started learning breathing techniques. What techniques do you use for stopping sore throats? any tips or hints! thanks a lot Danny! Ryan (TTF), Hereford
D: Hello. Glad you like the latest EP, the next one will be fab also. Breathing is most important whilst singing, and not just from the obvious do it or die standpoint. Singing lessons are a good investment, and hopefully the two will help him keep his voice. I do a lot of vocal and facial exercises during the day whilst on tour, and I take a lot of steam (I means loads, either by using an inhaler or by sitting in the shower for ages at a time). It's mostly mental though to be honest, being relaxed is the best way to sing well.

Q: Hi Luke: Congrats on another successful UK tour and a new EP (love it!). I just got the TDWDTH DVD and my question is, what's in your left hand when you're playing the beginning of 'Loser'? I'm also a guitar player and I was intrigued by the gizmo you're using. It looks as if you're not picking the notes. Please shed some light on the mystery! Manuel, Madrid
L: The device I'm using is called an 'E-bow' and can be bought at any good guitar shop.

Q: Hi Luke. I was working in the USA some years ago, and picked up the US issue of Backstreet Symphony, featuring yourself (or it could be Ben) silhouetted against a bright light, with your famous "upstretched arm at the end of a rock ending" pose, on the cover. Uncannily, at the Xmas gig the other night the same thing happened at the end of one of your final performances. Was this sheer coincidence, or is it something you aim to do? Rob Evans, Newcastle under Lyme
L: If you look closely at the US version of BS you'll notice that the guitar player on the cover is left-handed which is a little clue! Most of my onstage movement is spontaneous and the 'arm in the air' pose you refer to started out that way until our lighting designer at the time (Hello Tubby if you're reading!) developed a lighting cue that depended on me being in that position at a certain time in the set.

Q: Luke, I was at the xmas show and couldn't help noticing you were on water!!!!! was not lucky enough to get to the aftershow party, so I would like to know if you managed to get drunk enough to dribble on your shoes after the gig! Also want to say hello to Chris and sorry for making faces at you haha! was the girl in black at the  front by Luke. Was a fantastic concert by the way - travelled up from Cornwall for it and it was definitely worth it xxx. Mel
L: Glad you enjoyed the show. You are correct in your observation that I was only drinking water on stage. Playing two sets is quite demanding so I decided this year I wouldn't start drinking until after the show but you'll be pleased to know I did catch up with everybody else!

Q: THANKS THANKS THANKS for playing 'Preaching from a Chair' last night at the Xmas show. Was it fan pressure from through the website that finally saw one of  your greatest moments aired live or just co-incidence? Also - did you enjoy playing it? Could you fit it into a tour or are you just not as much a fan of the song as we all are? Finally - it got me thinking. How do you choose the songs for the Xmas show? Is it gut instinct? Do you sit down as a band and choose? Do you look at all your old cds in deciding or can you remember everything you've ever recorded?
Thanks again for a great show last night, awesome. James Daykin, Balsall Common
L: I start to think about the the Xmas show set list a few months before and I always try to pick an interesting mix of songs. Having the extra musicians means that we can perform some songs that we couldn't really do justice to if it was just the five of us; 'Preaching' falls into this category. I enjoyed playing the song more than Danny enjoyed singing it! We don't sit around and pick the songs as a band. It's my job but the other guys do all make suggestions over the course of the year and I write them all down on a list which gets whittled down to a 'first team squad' about a month before.

Q: Danny, Many thanks to the band for another amazing xmas do!! I was wondering about your devillishly good kazoo playing - did the devil teach you how to play? and if so did he take your soul away? Steve Goodman, Brackley
D: I'm glad someone has finally mentioned me and my kazoo. It's about blinkin' time! I practice very hard every day for 1.5 minutes, and though the dark one did offer to teach me, once he heard me do my thing, he asked me for lessons, so my soul remains mine, and I charge him quite a lot for the tuition.

Q: After going to my first Thunder gig last year I took my mum along to the Astoria with me and it was fantastic! The atmosphere was great and we didn't want it to end! It's very inspiring when you see how much you get into the music. When singing some of the songs I think it's just beautiful when you close your eyes and become part of the song. At those times how aware are you of the fans? Do you lose yourself in the song or are you totally in control of what you're projecting to the crowd? Looking forward to next year and the new LP! Jules, Hampshire
D: Thanks very much for your kind words. I've never been told what I do is beautiful before, it's warmed me cockles... Most of the time when I'm singing I'm trying extremely hard to ensure I'm doing it well and not singing too loudly (which I tend to do if I get too excited), whilst simultaneously scanning the room for feedback from the audience. To be honest I'm not aware of a great deal when I've got my eyes closed, and I'm not really sure why I do it, but it does help me concentrate fully on what I'm doing at key moments (that's code for the bits I find really hard to sing), so I guess I do lose myself in the song.

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