Q & A Archive - April 2008

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


Q:
Hi Luke, What exactly is a Bette Davis Meltdown? It sounds horrific! Kathy, London
L: It refers to a tantrum thrown by the Margo Channing character played by Davis in 'All About Eve'.


Q: On the live album 1998, CD 1 track 10 Dance to the music, who is singing " I'm gonna add some bottom so the dancers just can't hide" I listen to it a lot as its a real good sing along and feel good track, but I can't work out who it is, if I had to guess I'd say it's Danny, cause it sounds quite deep. Have to tell as loads already have new EP is great, just keep em coming! Andrea Brylski
D: It's me.


Q: Alreet? When you are on tour you must get a bit fed up of jumping on and off tour buses etc. Do you ever get the chance to have a look around the city's you visit, and have you ever 'hit the toon' for a night out? As everybody knows, Newcastle has an amazing night life! See you in the bar in
November..?!?! Hazel, Newcastle upon Tyne
B: I've had many a night out in Newcastle, drank many a fine pint and eaten in some first class restaurants, one establishment I remember well was in a place called Heartbreak Soup where we dined in fine style with Simon, the editor of Viz magazine.
L: L: Yes and yes! I always try and take a walk around whichever city we're in and many's the time I've left Newcastle with a hangover!


Q: Hi Guys, I very stupidly shut my finger in the car door the other day and you wouldn't believe how difficult I'm finding it now just to do normal every day things! Have any of you ever had an accident like that and what would you do if it happened just before you went on stage? Alison, Bedfordshire
B: Look very carefully at the wording of our cancellation insurance I guess.
D: Ouch! It's well documented in these pages that I have hurt myself an awful lot over the years. My dramas include several injuries to assorted digits, so I know exactly what you're going through. It is incredible just how much we rely on all of our fingers to interact with the others. I had to learn to write with my left hand many years ago when I snapped the last knuckle of my right middle finger (actually I didn't do it, someone else did it by accident at work, someone call the injury lawyers, sue everyone..). It's never been straight since. I also broke both my thumbs in separate football and rugby incidents at school (they now click at the most inopportune moments, and the weird thing is they do it at the same time). Hope your finger gets better soon.
L: I'm very careful with my hands since I cut one of them badly many years ago. We tend to be in very relaxed state prior to going on stage so the likelyhood of anything too violent occurring is slim (I am touching wood as I type mind you!).


Q: Hi Lads, Are you are looking forward to playing at Nottingham Arena for the 1st time in July? I've been two a couple of concerts there before and I'm also going to see Queen (with Paul Rodgers) for the 1st there in October which sold out in 2 days. Ben Jackson, Nottingham
B: I am looking forward to it having never played there before, I've been sharpening my ice skates in readiness.
D: Yes, I am looking forward to the show.


Q: Hi guys!!!! I'm sorry because this question is likely of having been already asked, but, just in case....what can you tell us about the beginning of the 90's? It seems like a very exciting time  for you all as a band...and at the same time, I can understand your friendship with people like The Quireboys and so on, being all of you English...but how did you happen to become friends with people like Lars Ulrich???? Because it is not only the fact Metallica come from the States...it is that those were their thrashing days and their music seemed a little bit far from yours, although that is no reason for not being friends, of course....what do you think???? Diego, Palencia, Spain
L: I lived in Los Angeles for three months in 1991 and one of the guys I was living with had a friend who happened to be Lars' minder/assistant. Consequently the four of us would hang out together. Lars and I got on very well and he has a great sense of humour. It was around the time 'Enter Sandman' was all over the radio and they were in that period of transition between being a big band and becoming huge worldwide.


Q: This song's primarily aimed at Luke as main songwriter, though I guess any of you could pose a response. I wanted to ask....have you noticed your style changing recently and do you plan on continuing along those lines/going further in future? I noticed the recent EP, and the last one were both significantly heavier than the stuff you've put out in a while and the live tracks have a much heavier feel than your older live releases (I noticed this on the recent DVD too). I think it's given the band a more American feel, since their blues rock (which is what I consider Thunder) bands tend to be a bit heavier than ours - ZZ Top, Aerosmith and the like. Thunder's always been at the heavier end of blues rock, I just noticed it more recently. Less a question, more a vague request for comment. Richard Warrell, Devon
L: We don't pre-determine or plan a 'direction' as such. The way we work is much simpler; I write the songs, the band plays them, Danny sings them and they sound how they sound. I think to analyse our own work too much would be a mistake but it's always interesting to hear other people's opinions.


Q: I've just bought a Slash Signature Gibson Les Paul, and very nice it is too; have any manufacturers ever offered you a signature guitar, and if so what would you choose to put your name to? Nick, Leicester
L: I've never been asked to get involved with anything like that but I guess it would have to be a Gibson of some variety.



Q: So my hubby and I are going to see you guys at the Astoria in November. Our first time ever seeing you, SOOO EXCITED!! (Got our tix in the mail today---YAY! and the new EP too, how funny!!!) Since we're actively planning our trip, we're curious, what do YOU consider a U.K. "must see"? Cindy, California
L: What I'd like to see in England is some Californian weather to be honest!
Seriously there's so many things to see. Why not take a day trip down to Brighton and check out an English seaside town which hasn't changed a great deal since Victorian times. In fact while you're there take a walk along the Pier and you can sample the delights of jellied eels and whelks. I guarantee you won't experience anything like it anywhere else in the world!
D: I love the Tate Modern, and the Natural History Museum. To be honest all the really old London sights are worth seeing, as are lots of other places in the UK, but it might take a while to do it all..
B: The start of the London Marathon in Greenwich Park, it's the finest park in London and looks spectacular full of rhinos, lead footed divers and people carefully taping their nipples. I have been up there to watch but I recommend the view from in bed with a cup of tea, after all it is a bit early.


Q: Hello there! A quick one: have you ever played live something off the Rocking the Fillmore album by Humble Pie? I seem to remember hearing 'I don't need no doctor' from you but I'm not sure. Eventually, is there a recorded version of this? Keep on rocking, Francesco (I saw every single date you played in Italy!). Francesco Italy
L: We've never played a Humble Pie song as far as I remember although I did think about doing '30 Days In The Hole'. They were a great band.


Q: Hi Danny! After reading a previous question about Dr.Who, it came to my imagination that you could possibly make it as the next Doctor. What do you reckon? You do have a likeness to John Simm and he played the Master in the last series so you never know!! Janice, Norfolk
D: My lack of any acting experience, training or apparent talent could present a barrier or three, but like you say, you never know.


Q: I know it wasn't a issue with your last two excellent E.P's but where do you stand with your E.Ps as far as charting? I remember Iron Maidens "No More Lies" E.p getting a chart ban because of a bonus hidden track making it to many tracks to chart. Are you E.P's able to chart if  they wasn't limited editions do they fall under singles or albums? Mart, Essex
D: These are limited edition EPs, so we know they won't chart, there aren't enough copies being made.. They were conceived purely as a result of fan demand for new material, and we knew the next studio LP was a way off, so releasing EPs to fill the gap seemed like a good idea. It seems to have gone down well from what I'm told.


Q: Hello!! I'm absolutely loving the new E.P!! Make my Day is awesome! Great powerful riff,great lyrics,great breakdown in the middle etc.... I know, I know your tired of hearing this but you really are a brilliant band!!... and as I missed you on your last tour it is great to hear chain reaction & last man standing ( tight as a ducks arse.) Thanks for thinking of the fans again.... Anyway my question- I wanna name my 5 a side team after something Thunder related.. any ideas? Mitch, Cheltenham
B: How about "Last Man Standing" - I'm not that much of a football expert but it seems appropriate from the little I do watch.


Q: Hi guys. Just wondering if there is anything which you take on tour with you which you just can't be without? (Lucky underpants?) Some bands have a long list 'of must' have items, are you like this? Thanks for the latest EP...the new stuff sounds great! Love you lots! Janice, Norfolk
B: I will, of course, avoid the obvious hair product gags but I will include my mobile phone, music, radio, movies - it's got it all.
D: The only thing I absolutely need is the rest of the band. Everything else I can buy if I forget it..
L: Sadly it would have to be my laptop! Not very rock'n'roll is it?


Q: I know Luke is a huge The Who fan. I was wondering if there was any chance the boys might bang out a concept album like "Tommy" or "Quadrophenia"? Sam Maston, Riverview, FL
L: If a subject arose that warranted an album's worth of songs being written about it, then maybe. There aren't any plans to do that at the moment though.


Q: Luke, why does Ross Halfin refer to you as 'Lucifer' in his blog?! Nick, Leicester
L: Because I am the Devil obviously! Or is it Harry? Actually in Halfin world I'm only secondary Lucifer; Jimmy Page is Big Lucifer......


Q: I read an interview with you where you stated that when it came to making the 2nd Terraplane album the record company put you with a pop producer and tried to mould you into the type of band that was getting played on the radio, and that you realised about half way through that it wasn't going to work. I was wondering what type of album would you have come up with back then if the record company had just let you get on with making an album by yourselves? Andrew Mitchell, Scotland
L: I think it would've sounded a lot more rock! We did need a producer then but Phil Pickett wasn't the right guy. Still, we learnt from the experience even if it was in a negative way.


Q: With the new season of Doctor Who on the screens and the delight of resuming watching the programme behind the sofa with my daughter Abigail (whilst drooling over David Tennant!!), i was wondering if you watch it? If so who was your favourite Doctor and which monster made you hide behind the sofa? Emma, In A Chair!
L: I was taken to the cinema to see the Dr. Who film starring William Hartnell and (I think) Roy Castle when I was five or six years old. I watched it as a small child but I don't any more.
B: I guess it has to be John Pertwee and that daft car "Bessie". The scariest monsters by a long way were The Cyberman and I can safely say I've never drooled over David Tennant but I have drooled after a few pints of Tennants.


Q: Being in the music business, I’m sure the members of Thunder must have discussed the topic of illegal file sharing. With many ISPs not wanting to police such matters since the material itself is not illegal, what is the solution? I suspect Thunder fans are pretty loyal on the whole and buy the original product, but with an instant copy on places like Rapidshare being so easy, do you think your own sales will be compromised in the future? This whole issue isn’t like the olds days of home taping because there was a genuine love in owning a vinyl album and for many years there was a buzz about having the actual CD and booklet …. but now, as long as I’ve got a digital copy …..It’s all a shame really. Axel
B: I have no doubt that our sales have been compromised to an extent by file sharing, the question you have to ask is whether those people who download you tunes would have bought them if file sharing was not available. These downloads are a genuine loss to the band but there is no real way of calculating them. I think on the whole people still want the whole package, a CD with lyrics and artwork and this is what bands rely on. The end result of downloading is that bands may no longer be able to make records, after all they have a cost to record, manufacture and distribute (even electronically).
L:
I think we have to face the fact that there's a new generation of people who aren't used to paying for music because they've grown up with file sharing. Undoubtedly this will have and is already having an overall effect on recorded music. I don't think people's desire to listen to music has diminished but the way they listen to it is changing constantly and there's so much choice. The whole concept of 'albums' is changing. For some it's no longer a group of songs to be listened to together and in a certain order. From how you get your music to how you listen to it, anything is now possible and we as musicians have to embrace that and be adaptable. Having said all of that, the vinyl era will always be special to me and I do miss the album artwork that went with it!


Q: hi guys just a quicky to say amazing ep yet again,you keep going on from strength to strength and Danny your voice is still amazing. do you think there will ever be a time when you say enough is enough if so what would you like to do afterwards when its all done(god forbid) Angie, Belper
B: I'm sure the time will come when we have had enough, I'd like to go on to run a school that teaches people grammar, punctuation and perhaps even the occasional use of capital letters.
D:
The time will come when we stop this madness. It's inevitable, as everything ends sooner or later. I'll either retire to the safety of the background and help other bands, or move to the seaside and sell kiss me quick hats and sun cream to holiday makers.


Q: I should imagine this sort of question has been asked before but here goes anyway... what's the one song/track that you wish you had written or contributed to? The kinda of thing that summs up your musical vibe and influences but wasn't written by you! The song I wish had written (being a fairly skill-less geetar player) would be "Don't wait for me" can't remember who wrote it though... ;-) Dan Phillips, Aylesbury
B: This is going to sound like such a cliché but it has to be Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin. It's a song that everything I love in rock music and is beautifully constructed that and Rolf Harris has done a version - What
more can I say?
D: For me it would have to be Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder. Every single time I've heard it I have been completely uplifted.


Q: Hey guys, My band are currently deciding to do a few covers in our set & I have chosen to do either...Fade into the sun, Robert Johnson's Tombstone, Devil made me do it or Cant keep a good man down. I love them all but I think we will do Fade into the sun. the question is...have you heard many people cover your songs? & have you heard anyone do any really good or bad versions? Steve, Wrexham
L: I've not heard many people cover our tunes. There was a Thunder tribute band in Japan and I believe we have a recording of them somewhere but I've never seen it.


Q: Hi you lot.....Chris, your artwork for new EP is er........swimmingly good! I have a passion for good design and.......blue vein cheese!! So much so that it eventually gave me a headache, so I had to give it up. Are you cheesy type people and if so what is your favourite cheese? G. Rommit, Castello
D: I love cheese. It's one of my big passions, even though I know it's bad for my love handles, I have to have it, and the stronger the better...
L: I like a nice extra mature cheddar with a good glass of red wine. I like hard Italian cheeses like Parmesan and Pecorino as well. There aren't many cheeses I don't like to be honest!


Q: Don't know if you saw Queen & Paul Rodgers performing a brand new song  (called 'C-Lebrity') on Al Murray? One of the first things that struck me is that it sounded musically reminiscent of Thunder, and lyrically the content is (although not copied) about the same line of subject of The Pimp & The Whore. Although the chorus is typical of Roger Taylor's writing, I suppose the Bad Company type sound of the verse would explain the Thunder type sound. If you've heard it, have you got any thoughts? (and how about you guys getting a support slot for the Q&PR tour???) p.s. How about a tour with you guys, Tyketto (Chris - do you know Danny Vaughn through Illegal Eagles?), and Europe (Luke - you've written with Joey Tempest?). I'm sure the perfect combination of these three bands would sell a shedload of tickets!! Chris, Kent
D: I haven't heard it. We're doing our own tour in November, so I don't think we'll be putting ourselves forward for the Q&PR support.
L: I haven't heard the Queen song but I will seek it out.


Q: It's not a question more an observation...I got my HADOTH cd on Saturday morning from Townsend (BRILLIANT FIRM) and did you know (and not a lotta people do) It would have been Bette Davis's Birthday. Track 2 Bette Davis Meltdown....A-HO. Steve, Nottingham
D: Didn't know, thanks for the information, that's a bit spooky isn't it?
L: I had no idea but thanks for pointing it out.


Q: Hello the new material sounds brilliant vibrant and ass kicking. Some bands can still manage to excite album after album. I am into the band since I heard you when I was seven or eight I seen it as a continuation of bands like Free and bad company. I see free have released a deluxe edition of fire and water and wishbone ash have did the same with Argus would you guys ever think about putting out a deluxe edition of earlier or new albums for example Backstreet symphony bundled with the live stuff off the scarce Japanese special edition, btw it probably a silly question but what does  STC records stand for? Take Care. Colm Farren, Northern Ireland
L: EMI still own 'Backstreet Symphony' so it's not up to us. I would prefer to concentrate on our new material to be honest. 'BS' was of it's time and should remain so as far as I'm concerned. Going back rarely works out for the better. STC stands for Straight Talk Company although I've heard some pretty lewd suggestions about what it could stand for!


Q: Silly question probably but following your next round of tour dates in the UK (Rock on Glasgow) do you have any plans for touring in Europe (i,e Portugal)? Have you ever performed in Portugal or Europe? You could combine it with living in a luxury villa, soaking up the sun, getting sunburnt and then appear on stage all flaky - hey you could even film 'Cribs' while you are there - get yourself on MTV - a bit of extra promotion!!! Sounds a
cracking idea, eh? Hows about it??? Ems, Portugal
D: We played at a festival in Lisbon ages ago, but we somehow got booked on to the Goth day so the crowd didn't really like us very much, All our guitars went missing on the outward flight too, so it wasn't the best experience. We also played 2 nights at a club in Lisbon on another occasion after the promoter saw us in Montreal in Canada (he was on holiday there and booked us there and then for his club in Lisbon). No plans have been made yet for what happens after the UK tour in November, but all things are possible, it depends on promoters being prepared to book us.


Q: Its great to hear that Thunder are doing another uk tour starting at the end of the year. Can you tell me why Belfast is never included in any of your tours? You have a lot of disappointed fans here who just can't afford to pay £200 in total to go to England to see a great band play. Emma, Belfast
D: I am very sorry you feel ignored, but for Thunder to go to Belfast to play is a hugely costly exercise, and despite several attempts on our part over the years, we can't find a promoter who'll offer us sufficient money to go without the band losing a fortune as a consequence. It's as simple as that. Once again, sorry.


Q: Hi guys!!!! How are you doing???? I hope you are fine. I got to buy a ticket to attend a bruce Springsteen show in Madrid for the second time...What do you think about him? Do you like his music? Do you agree with the fact he is like a poet of the working class or you choose other songs with him singing about cars, girls and getting out of here forever????? I'm curious...thank you very much... Diego, Spain
D: I've always liked Bruce Springsteen without actually being a fan as such. I have some of his records, but only play them occasionally. He is without doubt one of the best live performers I have ever seen though. I saw him many years ago at Wembley Stadium in the UK. I confess I wasn't looking forward to a 3 hour show, but I was blown away, and the time flew by. I was very impressed.
B: I think Bruce is one of music's great showmen so I'm sure the show will be energetic, long and full of great songs. As to whether he's a working class poet, I'm not so sure now; after all he's worth millions
L: I think Bruce writes about the things that move him and that's his great strength. I think he really gets what it is to be American and he articulates it brilliantly. He's also one of the best live acts you'll ever see. Modesty prevents me from mentioning names but certain artists have spent their whole career wishing they were Bruce! He also saved me $200 once but that's another story!


Q: Thanks to Ben for clarifying my earlier query/worry. (We thought it should've been Hair!) I'd also like to add to Preston's comment that I've seen Thunder in Brighton, Portsmouth, Poole and Southampton along the south coast but that I thought the vibe and sound at the Astoria on the last tour surpassed any of these venues so I'm more than happy to pop back up to the big smoke and get the Gatwick Express back home again. The question I've got is what is the furthest any of the band have travelled to see a concert, and who was performing obviously. Richard, Brighton
B: I was lucky in my concert going days as I lived in London which was very nicely served by both Lewisham and Hammersmith Odeon, this meant travel was kept to a minimum. So I think the furthest I must have been was Knebworth Park to see Led Zeppelin.
L: Living in London as I do, luckily I've never had to travel very far to see bands. I saw Elton John in Tokyo although I didn't go there specifically to see him obviously!
D: I cut short a holiday and drove back to London from the Lake District to see The Who, AC/DC and Nils Lofgren at Wembley Stadium in 1980 (I think it was 1980). Someone got me a ticket at the last minute. There was nothing obvious about their performances though.


Q: As a band with such a stable line-up in which everyone makes important contributions, do you have any feelings about bands like Wishbone Ash and Cloven Hoof et al who continue to tour and make records under the leadership of a sole original member? I think that both of them are still great bands, but I can understand why people sometimes question whether a group with a completely different contemporary line-up might be guilty of exploiting the name of a legendary band. Craig, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs
B: I think it is a matter for the public to decide and they generally do, with their wallets. Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable watching a single member representing what was a whole band.
D: I think unless the majority of the band is made up of the original members, it's asking a lot for an audience to believe it's actually the same band. I have never heard of Cloven Hoof by the way.


Q: What injuries have you chaps had that have prevented you from playing or singing properly? Have you ever required physio treatment to get you back into shape? Axel
B: I had a bout of tendonitis once that held procedures up for a while. I’ve also suffered from a coupe of eye injuries. I had to play The Manchester Arena show with Deep Purple wearing dark glasses as I had an eye patch beneath. It looked like I was playing in Dr Hook.
L: I hurt my back quite badly a few years ago. Fortunately it was during a period where we didn't have many shows although I do remember being in agony during a festival in Austria. I literally couldn't move so even walking to the mic stand to sing was almost impossible. Acupuncture sorted me out in the end.
D: I've been no stranger to pain over the years. It's not affected my ability to sing most of the time, apart from when I had my tonsils removed, when I was 28. Singing was the last thing on my mind in the weeks following.. I had anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction on my left knee in 1997, and had a lot of physiotherapy after that. It involved 3 sessions a week for the 3 months leading up to the recording of the Thunder Live LPs, so it was quite important to be ready. It was very hard work, but it paid off, and I've had almost no trouble with it since. I also have a back problem which has been treated in a myriad of ways, and whilst I'm told it can't be completely fixed (it's wear and tear), I have it under reasonable control most of the time. I could go on but people will only moan...


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