Q & A Archive - September 2008

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


Q:
I was wondering if there is any Thunder song that is particularly difficult / vocally challenging to sing? I heard a singer (sadly I think it was actually Charlotte Church, but don't tell anyone) say that her "Crazy Chick" song was really hard to sing because of all the key and pitch changes, so I imagine there must be a couple of Thunder songs that require a bit of extra concentration and skill? Beth, Enfield
D: They're all hard for me. Not sure if it's because they are just hard or I am rubbish, but they are all hard for different reasons. Some are harder than others, but none are easy... Did I say hard enough times?


Q: Hi! Looking forward to the new album. Probably another great record as we've come to expect from the boys. Speaking of records, will there be any vinyl releases from this one? Or even better the whole album? Vinyl is selling better for every year since the beginning of the 2000's and even kids who weren't around when lp's ruled the world are buying it now. Take care and hope to see you on tour. Thomas, Gothenburg, Sweden
D: In an ideal world we'd be able to release the record on all types of music carriers, and cater for everyone's tastes, but sadly we're subject to all kinds of real world type pressures. Vinyl is more expensive for us to produce, and subject to minimum production runs. Whilst our vinyl sales of other titles have been OK in the past, they've not been amazing, so it's not likely that Bang! will be released on vinyl.


Q: Hi Danny. Have you a sibling? Your curious fan. Janka, Slovakia
D: I have three siblings. A sister and two brothers, all younger than me.


Q: I am a 14 year old student starting my BTEC in music. As part of the course I need to sing two songs. As I really like 'Love walked in' I am thinking of singing this as part of my exam. Do you have any advice as to how it should be sung, and also ( and this is a bit of a cheek ) do you know where I would be able to get the backing track with your vocals removed! Ps My Dad and Step Mum are huge Thunder fans...... Zoe Webber, Caterham
D: I don't think I'm going to be very helpful, not because I don't want to help you, but because I don't know the answers to any of your questions.. I can only sing it one way so I suggest you try to sing it like I do, it's always got good results for me. As for a backing track, I can only suggest you scour the Karaoke websites, as I know some Thunder tunes are available. Maybe post a thread on the message board too. If it's available, I'm sure there's a Thunder fan out there somewhere who knows where it can be found.


Q: I think you should check out this great Irish band called jaded sun, they're from Dublin & I saw them in the balor theatre in ballybofey last Thursday night supporting lose our illusion (g n'r tribute band) they reminded me of you when you started out in the late 80's early 90's, I think they would be a great support band for you on a tour at some stage as I think your fans would really appreciate them, their new album is called gypsy trip & I think that it would be worth a listen guys, it would be even better if you came to Ireland & had them as support, I know a lot of people that would defiantly pay to see that. looking forward to the new lp, will it be in the shops as I don't own a credit card & can't order online & I've found it very hard to get any of your last lp's/ep's. looking forward to seeing you in Ireland soon anne-marie! Anne-Marie Foyl, Co. Donegal, Rep of Ireland
T: Thanks for the suggestion. The album, as all the previous albums, will be available in all good record shops. However, the EPs are Web exclusives, so you won't be able to get the fabulous Bang! + Joy Of Six combo deal if you don't buy yours from Townsend Records.


Q: I can almost hear you sigh, before I ask this, and I apologise I know you have a universe to conquer, but I have to ask. The meet and greets for the November tour.... I first saw you in the early 90's and have been a fan ever since, I always seem to miss this meet and greet thing despite coming to see you annually when I can. How do I get one for Exeter, It's also my birthday so would be delighted. Or is it totally random? Thanks and sorry for being a pain in the hole! Mel
T: Meet and greet applications will happen via the website during October. All successful applicants are selected completely at random. Good luck!


Q: Hi guys, I am just back after seeing Madonna at Wembley, and was just wondering if any of you managed to get to see her there? ps I've pre-ordered your new album + 'the joy of six' (lol!) - can't wait to hear it! Roll on November!! Gillian Claire, Glasgow
L: I saw Madonna on her last tour and it was quite disappointing; lots of miming and backing tracks used. It was like very expensive karaoke!
D: I admire Madonna on a lot of levels, but I'm afraid I can't stand her records, so seeing her in concert holds no joy for me.


Q: Hi Ben, Hope you and the guys are fit and well. Looking forward to seeing you in November! My question: As you're the 'sound man' of the band, I wonder if you could give me some advice about p.a. systems. My daughter Beth (you may remember her) is the vocalist in a band and we need to replace her p.a. system. We have seen a Peavey system. It's 4 speakers (2 x 15" base woofers & 2 x 12" satellite speakers) plus amp and a 20 channel mixer. 2000 watts total output. Although this is very powerful we want to ensure that Beth has enough scope not to be over-powered by the rest of the band (which is happening at the moment, & we're concerned that she could damage her voice.) I'd like to know you're opinion on Peavey as a make and is there any advice that you can offer? In return, maybe I could give you some advice on hair products!!! lol. Sue Hemming, Stourbridge
B: I'm afraid that I'm in the dark as far as PA systems go, ours are supplied by a company called SSE and they also supply the advice and the engineers. I would think that the Peavey PA you're considering should be fine as they  are a well known make, you could always ask the band to turn down a bit (Harry take note).


Q: Hey Luke..Just reading your comments on the song CAROLANN.....Thats my Missus name..spelling et all (ie No E which is the usual spelling!)....and the story of the song..How the guy woke up with lipstick on the back of his hand etc etc...Were u talking 2 her last time U played Glasgow?..lol!! Seriously though..if U're gonna play it in the live set she'd be made up if you dedicated it to her. (Carolann from Ardrossan!!) in Glasgow in November!! Cheers and good luck with the new album!! Paul, Ayrshire
L: Can I just say that any resemblance is purely coincidental!!!!!


Q: Will you be attending the Classic Rock awards in November? I think 2008 has been a great year for albums from new and established bands, what are your favourite albums of the year so far? Andy, Lancs
D: I hope we will get an invitation to the CRAs. We usually do, but you can't assume anything..
As for favourite LPs, I have one but it's ours.. I'm looking forward to hearing the Queen and Paul Rodgers & the AC/DC records.
L: Hopefully, yes. I'm looking forward to the AC/DC album. I must admit to not hearing a lot of new stuff this year. When you're making an album you don't get a lot of time for checking out new stuff.


Q: I notice that there are two bonus songs on the Japanese version of Bang! If I cough up for the Japanese version on import can I be safe in the knowledge that these tracks will not to be available for download or as single B Sides in the UK sometime after?? If they are likely to be available to purchase separately then it may make more financial sense (for me obviously, not you!) if I just buy the UK album and then get the two extra tracks individually when available. Chris, Kent
T: Both of the bonus tracks are already readily available to UK fans, so there's no reason for you to buy the Japanese version. Chain Reaction is on the 'Six Of One...' EP and I Believe is from '...Half A Dozen Of The Other', both of which are available here.


Q: Hi Thunder, Looking forward to listening to your new album! "On the radio" sounds great.. ;-) My questions: Have you already seen Neil Young's new film which documents the CSNY tour of 2006 and shows the problems of some American families that lost their father/husband etc. during the Iraq War? If yes, what do you think about such political activities of musicians against current politics? I know that you once played "Love the one you're with" at the X-Mas show. Do you like Neil Young's and CSNY's music? Chris, Germany
L: I think musicians are like everybody else when it comes to politics. Some get involved and have strong opinions and others don't. I think it's up to the individual. I like some of NY and CSNYs music a lot. 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' is a fantastic song.
D: NY is a very political man, and airs his views freely. I admire him, and respect his talent. Whilst we have been known to make the occasional comment, we generally prefer to keep our politics and our music career separate.


Q: So Summer has been pants, roll on winter, so much to look forward to, new album n ep, 22nd nov and December see the start of the ski season.....who needs summer...Anyhow, just wondering what was the last gig
that you all went to as "paying punters"...?? Cant wait for BANG!..Go steady guys.xxx Jodie, Cheshire
B: I went to see Le Nozze Di Figaro at the Royal Opera House a few weeks ago, does that count? At those prices it should do.
L: I didn't pay but the gig was Neil Diamond at the o2 and it was very good indeed.
D: The last gig I paid for was...I paid to see was... erm, I actually can't remember.. Perks of the job you see...


Q: Having just got back from seeing Ian Mclagan live, I wondered (as you too are big Small Faces fans) if you had had the fortune of seeing him? When I met him after the gig I told him that the best cover of a Small Faces tune, I had heard, was your version of 'Lazy Sunday'. He said he had heard it and was impressed! How cool is that? Steve, York
B: I've never had the privilege of seeing him or the Small Faces, very nice that he knew our version though.
D: No I've never seen him. Nice to hear he likes our version of LSA.


Q: Guys, Really looking forward to the new album and also to bringing my wife to her first Thunder show later this year. I have a few guitar "nerd" questions for Luke and Ben.
1) Do you use any tunings other than the standard EBGDAE when you play live, and in the studio?
2) What strings and picks do you use and do you find that this choice makes a big difference to your tone?
3) What guitarist had the biggest influence on your style of playing?  (Obviously you guys are who I (everso pathetically) aspire to play like and Thunder (and to a lesser extent Quo) were my big inspiration to pick up the guitar in the first place.
4) When arranging the songs for live performance, how do you decide which one of you plays what part, riff/rhythm, solo etc and do you ever argue about it? (I liked the way Ben picked up Luke's riff on RJT in Huttwil  when Luke's Guitar "blew up", way to save the show Ben!)
5) What did happen to that guitar?
6) Lastly, Ben, do you have a different set-up on the Les Paul you play slide on RJT Live, or is it the same as your other stage guitars. Thanks Guys. Robin, USA
B: 1. We use a drop D for a couple of songs
2. Strings are changed at every show so the make is not so important and picks are generic and of medium thickness
3. Jimmy Page was a big influence on me when I was growing up
4. The part sharing all happens quite naturally. There is a moment when disaster strikes where you think to yourself "How does it go....I don't normally do that bit..."
5. I think it was the amplifier that gave up the ghost
6. The Les Paul has slightly higher action than my normal setup and  thicker strings
L: We have used a drop D tuning on 'The Devil Made Me Do It' and again on one song on the new album. We've also used a DADGAD tuning on the new album but as it's not released for a couple of months yet you won't know what  I'm talking about! I've started using heavier strings for recording and I may well use them on our next tour. I used to use 10 - 46 but it'll probably be 11 - 50 from now on. I use a standard medium gauge pick. I don't have a favourite guitar player but I did spend a lot of time studying Jimi Hendrix when I first started playing. We decide who plays what according to what's the most practical in a live environment.


Q: Hi boys!!! Did you ever befriend Ricky Warwick or any other of The Almighty guys???? Do you like their music???? Both bands shared the stage at Donington in 1992 and maybe you have met more than once along many years of touring...On the other hand, Ricky Warwick solo albums follow another musical direction but I find them very enjoyable as well...he has a great voice...what do you think??? Diego, Spain
B: Ricky has always been a good friend of the band and we occasionally bump into him and say hello.
D: Ricky is a good guy. Talented too. Our paths crossed a few times in his early Almighty days, but not so much of late.


Q: Hi guys, my brother just sent me a very scary You Tube video of  a lady called Lonnie Gordon doing a dance version of Dirty Love! 1) Are you aware of it and 2) If you are aware of it, what do you think? The original is so much better! Anyway, second question because I'm cheeky!!. With the advent of Guitar Hero the video game, is this something that you would consider like other bands having some of your songs to download and play in the game? Thanks all!! Paul Ryan, Warrington
B: I haven't heard it and I'm not so sure I want to, I'd love to see one of our songs on Guitar Hero, it would be a good opportunity for me to learn it properly.
L: I actually have a 12 inch vinyl of Lonnie Gordon's version somewhere. I think it's no better or worse than a lot of dance records that get made. The only weird thing is hearing such a different interpretation of a song I wrote. Anything that gets us out there I approve of so I don't have a problem with it. If we were approached by Guitar Hero I can't think why we would say no!


Q: I know it's greedy (as we are being treated to new Album & E.P at the same time), so please don't be cross with this question Danny, but is there a single in the pipeline? Mart "Metalfartz", Saffron Walden
D: The simple answer is there may be a single. I can say no more at this time as it's under discussion.


Q: Hello to you all, I'm looking forward to the tour in Nov and of course the new album and e.p. One thing concerns me though, I've just seen your ad for the pre-order - "Bang". I hope this doesn't mean that you now plan on going out with a "Bang". Sion Parry, North Wales
L: The nice thing about 'Bang!' as a title is it's definitely open to interpretation. I hadn't considered the 'going out with a Bang!' option but that's definitely NOT what we had in mind!


Q: Hi Luke. Someone posted link on the message board to the US video for Love Walked In - which is a really great video, but I'm curious as to why it's missing the "I didn't want pity, I had my share of friends" verse? For me, that's the verse that makes it special, it tells a different story with it than without it. Also, does it bother you if you have to modify a song to suit a particular country or for s similar censorship type reason? Suzie, Derby
L: The missing bit of verse was a concession to American radio formats which didn't like to play anything over four minutes at that time. Editing longer songs for radio play is a practice that's been going on for many years and it doesn't bother me particularly. I don't think we've ever suffered from censorship as such although 'On The Radio' might cause a few problems because...............ooops......I nearly gave it away!!!


Q: Hi Danny - I noticed you took minor exception to me asking what the band does outside of Thunder. Wasn't meant to be a negative question - was just keen to learn whether you and the rest of the band have outside
musical interests - not least because I also enjoy watching Bad Influence - and was hopeful that there may be a few other Thunder spin-offs to fill the barron months until November!! Looking forward to the tour, and hopefully
travelling up for another Xmas at Rock City - last year was a blast!! Mark, Oxted
D: We all come together for Thunder stuff, but we all do different things too.
Chris plays with the Illegal Eagles and keeps himself busy with recording, mixing and designing stuff for other bands. Luke is always writing and producing other people. I'm busy with other things within the business side of the music industry. Ben engineers and mixes other acts, and Harry plays with Magnum and Bad Influence and others.


Q: With regard to your back catalogue, can you not rerecord your back catalogue and get around the copyright issues. I believe Simply Red, KISS, Megadeth plus many others have done this. You might then be able to push for a Guitar Hero Thunder edition! :) James Vincent, Reading
L: I would rather concentrate my energies on writing and recording new Thunder material to be honest.


Q: Hi Guys,  I was out for a few beers last night and walked into a karaoke bar, looking in the song book I found in the new additions ILYMTRNR and digging deeper I even found LWI! Who puts these tunes together? I don't think my voice would do them any justice at all... but it's tempting to see how good they are, especially the guitar solo's!
Paul Grierson, Cumbria
D: Nought to do with us I'm afraid.


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