Q & A Archive - December 2008

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


Q:
Hello Danny, First I'd like to say thanks for the great show in Sheffield, as always, and your courtesy to my dad and I (proper grammar!) at the Meet and Greet. We felt very fortunate to chat with you, having been fans since first we played the classic "Backstreet" on vinyl. I also appreciate the band signing my LP sleeve, which has so far attracted bids of up to £265 on Ebay (only joking as I'd never part with it!). In preparation for our chance of a lifetime M&G we thought of several questions to ask, but sadly our star-struck memory's failed us. Two of the less naff ones were; is the Neil Warnock credited on Bang! by any chance the ex-Sheffield United/Crystal Palace manager? And has Luke composed songs for other artists which we might have heard? It's nice to think your work may also be influential on other musicians (though obviously not in a breach of copyright way!). An example could be "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter, which we've decided has a Thunder-like melody and chord changes. I fear I've taken too much Q&A space now so will "wrap up" by wishing you all a nice Christmas, and well earned rest. Angela (& Syd), Sheffield
D: The Neil Warnock thanked is our agent and not the football manager, and yes Luke has written songs with and for other people, but not very many, as he spends most of his time writing Thunder tunes for us.


Q: Hi! guys you all seem to have loads of fun on stage and a similar cheeky sense of humour to mine so... any chance of sharing your favourite jokes? Mine is What's the first sign of Madness? Suggs walking up your driveway!....Bad I know but it's the only clean one that I know! Thanks for the many years happiness your music has given me and hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Claire, Norfolk
L: I'd love to share it with you but I'm terrible at remembering jokes.....oh well.


Q: Lads BANG on. Do any of you guys follow American Football? If so my mates (English born) son Rhys Lloyd plays kicker for the Carolina Panthers. I got him hooked on Thunder years ago and he goes through his whole pitch warm up routine with you guys pounding British steak and kidney rock through his headphones. I will be following you into Europe early next year at both the Belgium and Holland gigs. See you there. Bazza McHugh, Dover
L: I don't follow US football but it's good to know there's a little bit of us out there making a difference!


Q: I was very fortunate to see the band at Manchester, Cambridge and the Astoria on this recent tour. Fantastic show,  brilliant new album (you've still got it Luke!!!), great song selection. I really enjoyed the support too - a well crafted event. Well done and thank you for being so lovely and entertaining. So here's my question, why did the encore get cut short as the tour progressed? Where did that extra Bang track go at Cambridge? Kathy, London
L: There were a couple of shows mid-tour where Danny's throat was a little sore and with all the infections and viruses about at this time of year, we didn't want to take any chances and risk him losing his voice.


Q: Came to see you in Glasgow, it was the first time I have seen you live and cant wait till you come back this way!! with the constant touring you do how do you balance your personal life with the professional? are groupies a pest!! Mindy, Scotland
L: We don't actually tour that much. If you were to add up how long we're usually away from home it only works out at about five, maybe six weeks per year. I think most of our nearest and dearest are probably glad to get rid of us for a while! Sometimes it takes a couple of days to get over the 9pm adrenaline rush that occurs whenever you're playing. Groupies? I wish!!!!!


Q: I've been listening to the classic metal show podcasts on itunes & you were on it talking about a possible showcase in the States, how's that coming on? I see that The Wildhearts are starting to make inroads & if the likes of Ginger can why not you. Wee Fat Bob, Glasgow
L: It's still a possibility but as we've said before, we need to have a few crucial things in place first and they're still at the planning stage.


Q: I've been listening to music which was written in English, and I've been wondering about rhymes. As I'm a non native English speaker, I think making rhyming lyrics is really difficult, because it must make sense at the same time. Does everybody study rhyming in school? When you write lyrics, do words flow out of your mind? I'd like to ask one more question. I travelled in England with my friend in October. We rented a car, it was our first time to drive in another country. We were really nervous at first, but soon we found that driving in England was much much more comfortable than Japan. Drivers were really positive and well-mannered! I didn't feel any stress and didn't get annoyed. It was a fantastic experience for me! Anyway, when you travel in other countries, do you often drive? If so, what do you feel? I'm really looking forward to the Japan tour and hope you enjoy cherry blossoms here in April! Wishing you all an amazing time at Christmas! Yukie, Japan
L: Rhymes are part of learning English at school whether it's through poetry, limericks, nursery rhymes or songs. I think most English kids are probably speaking, reading and writing rhyming patterns before they're even aware of it. Lyrics sometimes do flow as you say but on some occasions they take a long time to complete. I'm glad you enjoyed your experience of driving in England although I'm slightly amazed you found English drivers to be well-mannered! I enjoy driving in other countries but you do have to concentrate very hard when driving on the other side of the road!!!


Q: Why do you play the acoustic section at the Xmas gig sitting down ?The vertically challenged, not me I might add, have to be in the first few rows to see you. Is it an age thing or technical? Glynn Lowrie, Sheffield
L: Because we prefer playing acoustically in a seated position. Also it helps create the more intimate, laid back atmosphere of the acoustic set. I find we're the same age whether we sit down or not!


Q: Is there going to be a single similar to the devil made me do it and ilymtrnr?? Would love to see another single in the charts and my cd player! cheers :) and great gig at Wolverhampton! Martin, Cheltenham
D: Very possibly, we're still considering the options on what and how and when at the moment, but we'll let everyone know as soon we we've got it plotted up.


Q: Hi Luke. If you could choose a track to appear on 'GUITAR HERO' for all those air guitarists, which one would you pick? By the way, great album and we travelled all the way to Manchester to see you and the boys at the Academy - fantastic!! Andrew, South West
L: I'd be delighted whatever they used!


Q: I Went to the awesome gig at Manchester Academy on 22nd November, and it was absolutely AMAZING. Two quick questions for the band.
1: Given the response at Manchester and the size of the crowd, would you consider a bigger venue for your next gig in Manchester as the Academy was absolutely packed to the rafters.
2: It was great to hear "Don't Wait For Me" live again and I would love to hear the band play "She's So Fine" live again, are there any plans to do this in the future? John, Cheshire
L:  We're very happy in the Academy as it has a great atmosphere. It was great to sell it out also but that doesn't mean we'd necessarily want to move to a bigger venue. I'm sure 'She's So Fine' will make a comeback at some point in the future.


Q: Chris, as a Bassist for the last 20 Years, one thing I do quite enjoy doing is polishing up my theory and sight-reading skills, which I'm happy to say are fairly ok at the moment (Piano and Oboe lessons a long while ago helped) and since you have a Session background lasting some time I was wondering are you able to read Music, and if so was it ever a required factor in any of your past work? Also another thing I've done is Back-up Vocals which I've never enjoyed but that's just me I guess. How would you rate yourself as a Singer? Peter, Dublin
C: A few years ago I did quite a lot of TV work which involved sight-reading, and I got quite good at it for a while. I've not done any for a long while and I'm afraid if I did it would be like the joke "Q: How do you get a guitarist to turn down? A: Put a piece of sheet music in front of him..". As a singer I rate myself as a good bass guitarist.


Q: Hi Luke, have you finished writing that brand new Christmas song then? Well, to my question. You have written loads of song during your life and so far I'm still working on the second one. If you heard a song without a lyric, would you puzzle for the lyrics or would you just nail it quite straight away... I'm trying to write a love song, but I still have not solved the refrain though lol. Well... hope to see you next Wednesday since I did not meet you last year. Inge Hassel, Heimdal, Norway
L: I still haven't written an Xmas song but one day I might just do it, you never know! Lyrics sometimes come easily and sometimes they don't come at all! It's all a matter of perseverance; if you believe in your idea stick with it until something good happens.


Q: Hi Ben, Came to see you at Manchester Academy last night and loved every min of it I kept watching your chord positions as there is no tab available for any of your songs which is really sad. I have a few Gibson Les Paul's including a couple of 25/50's and also a Marshall AVT but still struggle to find that piercing treble that oozed out of your gold top last night, can I be cheeky and ask what amp setting you use to get it?? Chris (wanabe rock star hahaha), Hull
B: The amps are the Marshall Vintage Moderns, quite simply the best amp I have ever played through (thanks to Steve Dawson), the tone settings are all around the midway mark on the venue/stage conditions. The rest is the incredibly talented soundman halfway down the hall.


Q: Hi All. Firstly - thank you and absolute top top TOP marks for a cracking show at the Astoria. At the meet 'n' greet I had pictures taken with you all after becoming a fan at you supporting Bon Jovi - with Van Halen at Cardif Arms Park - when I was just a lass. Anyway... in the pictures Luke and Ben both seem to have the same grey hoodie casually slung over their shoulder in the shots. Is this a random act of them both liking the same leisure-wear or something more covert?!?! Love the new album and the EP so cheers to another good year! Anna, Southampton
B: Neither covert nor coincidental, it was a gift from a very kind American fan who works for the US Coastguard, he gave us US Coastguard tee shirts.
L
: During the Astoria m&g we were all given a tee-shirt by a very nice couple who'd come all the way from California to see us and that's probably what you're seeing draped over our respective shoulders. Glad you enjoyed the show.


Q: Hello guys, this is going to sound a bit like bull so I'll just get straight to it, for as long as I can remember every time you play Sheffield my partner and I come to see you and have a whale of a time. I have a few illnesses and have not long back had treatment for my disability and in my idiot faze I miss placed the tickets now I have found them but Sheffield city hall wont give me a refund. Really pissed off because they should have been for my fiancée for his birthday on 23 November. And now the Punch line is please please [cant you tell I'm grovelling a little] could you see it in your heart to give me in exchange for my unused tickets 2 new ones for Nottingham rock city. Please respond or at least one of five of you could even if its just to say no any way buy for now and happy Christmas and have a good one. Carole Taylor, Sheffield
D: I do feel for you, I really I do. Fancy buying tickets and misplacing them, only to find them after the show has come and gone. How rum. I suggest placing tickets with a reliable friend in future. I'm afraid we can't give you tickets for the Xmas show, as we've already exceeded our allocation of guests, but as suggested, bye for now, and have a happy Christmas.


Q: Hi guys, I'm an ex pat now living in Australia, and I am about to put a tribute Thunder band together!!!! any ideas for a name for the band???? cheers!!! Phil Lawton, Adelaide South Australia
B: Is Thunder Down Under a bit too obvious?
L: How about Brontology? That's the posh word for the study of Thunder!


Q: Hello my Favs! In each of your opinions, are there any up and comers that have caught your eye because they seem to have actual bonafide and non-manufactured talent? Dana, The land of crickets and multiple wives
B: I think our support bands on this tour are both very good and at different stages of their respective careers. I would keep an eye on both. Say hello to the crickets and your fellow wives.
L: The band who are opened for us on this tour Get Vegas have a lot of potential in my opinion and they're still so young. I think if they keep doing what they're doing they could do very well.


Q: Hello, great new album by the way. Out of everything that you have accomplished over the years, what would you say was your proudest achievement as a band and as individuals? ( Thanks for a great Gig, yet again in Manchester x ) Vicky Fisher, Sheffield
B: Turning our friends wonderful castle into a recording studio and getting one of the finest drums sounds I've heard in years.
D: I'm glad you like the record. I think our greatest achievement is that we're still doing it and still really enjoying it after almost 20 years.
L: I think the fact we're still going strong and making worthwhile albums after nearly twenty years is something to be proud of. Most marriages don't last that long!


Q: I was wondering with the rash of 'reality shows' and ur lyrics to 'OTR' would any of u guys ever consider appearing on one as a means of widening publicity?? See u in Manchester xx Tracy, Manchester
B: I have never watched one let alone considered appearing on one.
L: Not while I still have breath in my body!
D: I'd rather have red hot needles poked into my eyes. I feel I already give quite a lot of myself away, I'm not giving any more..


Q: Hi Guys, When you go to other bands gigs where do you stand? Do you still feel comfortable getting in amongst the crowd? Alison,Bedfordshire
B: I like the Royal Box
L: At the back usually. I don't mind crowds as long as the atmosphere is good.
D: I always stand in the crowd. The sound is always the best in the auditorium and you get the full effect of the event.


Q: As you didn't answer my last question....How bout this one..are you classed as an Indie Label ? and if so why don't you enter the Indie charts ? Steve, Nottingham
D: We are technically "independent" as we answer to no one, but I think the term Indie tends to be used to refer to labels that release that style of music, rather than the status of the label. As to why we didn't enter the Indie chart, I don't honestly know, but if I'm right with the above that could possibly explain it. One thing I do know for sure is that we're definitely not a major label. Hope that helps. Was your previous question crap?


Q: Why such short tours each year ? I know there can be too much of a good thing, but a handful of dates each November that miss out great swathes of the country seems odd when you have such a great live show. Why nothing
in Birmingham (I don't live there btw) for example? Living in Bucks I get to travel to Wolverhampton or Cambridge. Couldn't you do more shows in more places, or are you restricted by time, cost, venues themselves ? Judging by the shows, there's no shortage of people who want to come, so a few more dates in other cities surely couldn't be bad? Pete Barr, Buckingham
D: Whilst we have no problem with the concept, I'm afraid the economics of touring don't allow for us to do loads of shows in towns a plenty. We get full houses in the shows we do, but I suspect it's because quite a few people travel a goodly distance to the nearest show to them. For this we are of course grateful. If we played Birmingham and Wolverhampton on the same tour we'd end up with 2 half filled venues and 2 lots of show costs, which would make no sense on any level. Believe me, if we could make it happen we would, but it gets harder each year to sell the tickets, and I believe it is going to get harder still going forwards. We don't make the conditions, we just do our best to work efficiently with them.


Q: Hi, I have just been to see you at Manchester academy and you where all outstanding. I had a fantastic evening and to hear you playing and singing my favourite tunes live and up close (I was 2 rows from the front) was just fantastic. What I was wondering was does it annoy you that the whole room seemed to be singing along with you word for word on certain track?? if it does I must apologies because I think I was the main culprit. Also how on earth do you manage to sing every song and dance like you do while hitting every note on the money????? You have a fantastic voice and my partner says you are up there with the likes of plant and coverdale. Sarah, Hull
D: It certainly doesn't annoy me at all when people sing along to the songs. It's fantastic. As for how I sing and dance at the same time, I honestly don't know, but I've been doing it a long time so I guess it must be all the practice. Thanks for the kind words about me being up there with Mr C and Mr P, it's nice to be compared to legendary singers.


Q: Congratulations on another great album! I've been playing it ever since I got it, and if I ever win the lottery/huge casino jackpot, I promise to personally finance your USA tour to the cities of your choice. Thanks to you tube, I've discovered several videos I've never seen before, like "Low Life..." and the first version of "Dirty Love", and I wanted to ask Danny if he enjoyed "break dancing" in that clip? Much continued success wished to you all, you're still in heavy rotation on my internet station, "Candy Man" has gotten a 5 star rating, and I'll be adding more songs from "Bang" too. Mac, Pensacola, Florida
D: Thanks for the kind words, and yes it was hugely enjoyable smashing up all that crockery..


Q: Hi Luke, Brought my lass to see you guys last night and to top a fantastic night I got your pick at the end of it. Which now sits pride of place next to my 25/50. Out of all the guitars that you play why is the flying V your favourite? As I have one and cant get on with the awkward shape. Also, you say in the dvd that you had a guitar damaged that was worth 5 grand what was it?? Chris, Hull
L: I play the 'V' because it's very light compared with a Les Paul and sounds great. The guitar damaged on a flight to Holland was a Les Paul '59 re-issue.


Q: Hey Luke, yeah I'm Richard and I'm 16 years of age. Me and my dad are starting a thunder tribute band over here and I was just wondering the solo you and Ben played in Japan on fade into the sun, I'm having a hard time learning it and I wanted to know if it was improvised at the time or did it take great amounts of practice. Richard, Adelaide, South Australia
L: Definitely improvised apart from the twin lead section where we play the theme from 'Love Story' in harmony.


Q: Hi Luke, it was great to meet you and the rest of the guys in Newcastle after the show, thanks again for taking the time out. My fingers are crossed that you might play In a Broken Dream next time (thinny please don't mistake this for a song request). My question is also about Carol Ann, do you always write from personal experience, and if so do you really keep your boots on??? Lesley, Edinburgh
L: Some lyrics are based on personal experience and some not. There's no rules or pattern to how I write. As for the boots, well................


Q: NO QUESTION !!! JUST RECEIVED MY COPY OF BANG - IT IS AMAZING!!!! You always touch my heart guys.... Luke you wrote A LOT in the last year!!!! ep, cd ... however hope to see you again in Milan, I was there and I never forget the gig. What can I say, thanks for the great music you are giving us one special compliment to the production, the sound is great ! clean & loud ciaoooooo. Andrea Zerbinati, Milano, Italy
L: Thank you very much. Glad you like the album.


Q: Hi - great gig last night at The Astoria - thank you! I have just read that in the 32 year history of the Astoria, only 4 unsigned bands have sold it out (The last being The Darkness). From where I was stood last night, downstairs was heaving, and easily as busy as the Extreme gig a few days before which was labelled as being 'sold out'. Although I don't know how busy it was on the balcony last night, if you did sell the venue out then I think that you can rightly claim to be added to the exclusive list of unsigned acts to have sold out the Astoria?? Worth looking into from a publicity viewpoint if nothing else! Chris, Kent
D: The Astoria was sold out last week, and usually has done when we've played there in the past. We sold it out twice in one year (I forget when), and the then venue manager owes me dinner as a result of me winning our bet (he said we wouldn't sell it out twice in a year). I reminded him of this fact when we last met at the Classic Rock Awards. I'm still waiting for the dinner invitation.


Q: Hi, great show at the Astoria, really enjoyed it, I see that you are playing at Club Citta again in April next year,Any plans to film the show there for a future dvd release? Steve Richards, Kent
D: We've already done it, and whilst the show will be different with new songs etc, we're not likely to do it again.


Q: Great gig at the Astoria guys - Been a fan from the beginning, and the version of Don't Wait For Me was just like seeing you at Hammersmith back in the day. Danny, your vocals are just incredible, however I'm sure you get slightly bored or maybe embarrassed by this compliment nowadays. Anyway - question time. As you know the Astoria was packed, and sometimes when a venue is very, very busy, it can lead to some, (shall we say) tension...Just wondering, have you ever played a gig where you actually witness some trouble in the crowd? I'm guessing because you all have mics you can call out any offenders, or is it the case you leave it to security and try and look somewhere else in the crowd at the time. I'm not for one moment saying that Thunder fans like a good scrap, but it was all getting a bit tetchy on the stairs at one point on Sunday, and I'm sure I could see Harry wanting to 'sort it'. Adrian
D: Thanks for the nice comments, and I never get bored of being told I am fab. It's very nice to be appreciated. I guess where there is alcohol, loud music and a lot of people forced into a space, tension can easily follow. Whilst I have heard about a very few incidents after the fact, I can honestly say I've never seen anything unpleasant happen at one of our shows. I certainly wouldn't look the other way if I did. That's not the kind of atmosphere we seek to achieve.


Q: Hi Guys! I don't have a question.... I just wanted to let you guys know that for the second time in about 6 months, I flew to England just to see you guys in concert (the first time was over the summer when you played in Nottingham with whitesnake/def leppard- the second time on the 30th of November when you played at the Astoria)!!! Needless to say that it was an amazing night!! I'm not one for addictions but you guys are like a drug... the more I get, the more I want!!! I'm seriously looking into going to Nottingham for the Christmas show!!! Danny, I don't know if you recall but I'm the one who had sent you a message a few months back telling you that when I saw you sing live I totally fell in love with you!!! Needless to say, you definitely did it for me again!!! You are amazing on stage!!! When you sing you are absolutely gorgeous!!! and the way you are with the crowd... no words can describe!!! Thank you all again for a great night!!!!! I really hope you guys will be around for a really long time.... and the new album ROCKS!!!!! Fofi, Greece
D: Errm.. Thanks. I have gone very red in the face, and am really rather embarrassed..


Q: Hi there, we've booked tickets for your Christmas show. I've read that there will be produced a CD of the concert for the visitors. Do you send the CD also to Germany??? Ruediger, Germany
T: Of course. Everyone that has a ticket and sends their stub in to us will get a CD. Make sure you pick up your form as you enter the venue which will have the full instructions...


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