Q & A Archive - February 2007


Hello Luke, I have just read on the recent questions that you are a qualified FLT driver! When did you qualify and do you find it useful? Andrea, Manchester
L: I qualified in 1980 when I worked for Magnet & Southerns. I was sacked for persistent lateness (due to the band starting to play a few gigs out of London) and I've not been near a fork lift since!

Q: Hi, Mainly for Luke and Ben, this one. I'm a keen guitarist and spent many years trying to emulate other guitarists. Big mistake. Tried to copy bluesy guitarists like yourselves, then had a Yngwie phase (sorry, I probably shouldn't have admitted that). Finally settled on a more melodic bluesey style. Did you both learn by learning music theory, or learning from other peoples music? Secondly, do you both "fanny" with your guitar set-up much? Do you find the standard Gibson set up ok? Personally, I think the string height is far too high. And lastly, a recommendation. Check out these guitars: http://www.freshmanguitars.co.uk/products.asp?ID=7 I've just bought one of these (actually, I lie, my wife bought it for me for my birthday) and it is a gorgeous guitar. I love it. The quality of sound is unbelievable considering it's a £200 instrument. If you ever get chance, give one a go. The company is based in Scotland, and they take great care over the making of their instruments unlike the crap that gets churned out in Korea and China. Dave, Gateshead
L: I learnt to play by watching and listening to people I liked. I've always had a good ear so I've never even attempted to read and write music. A nice chap called Mo Clifton sets our guitars up for us and whatever he does works fine for me!
B: I did learn music theory at school but I found it quicker learning to play by ear from other musicians, in fact to such an extent that my music reading abilities are now very rusty indeed. The Gibson factory set up will never please everybody and both Luke and I use Mo Clifton to look after, set up and repair our guitars, there isn't
anyone better. Strangely enough Mo was my woodwork teacher at my Secondary school - small world isn't it?

Q: Chris - obviously as a working musician you play with other acts as well as Thunder. I know that you have been with Thunder for 10 years and to the fans you are part of the band, but, if asked, do you say "I am in Thunder and also play other gigs with (for example) the Illegal Eagles etc..." or do you say that you are in The Illegal Eagles and also play with Thunder in between. I suppose my question is whether you first and foremost consider yourself part of Thunder, then everything else is fitted around that, or is it whichever 'gig' pays most?!? Chris, Kent
C: My loyalty will always be to Thunder - I consider myself to be a 'member' of Thunder, rather than a 'hired hand' in any other band that I play with.

Q: Thunder have no doubt provided inspiration for many people to write and perform music themselves (myself included). As you are a band who seem to enjoy performing cover songs of your hero's, would you consider songs of those whom you are hero's to? For instance, a second CD with your next album featuring songs written by your fanbase who have sent them for you to record? A kind of cover album concept. Ash, Edinburgh
L: With the greatest respect in the world I don't think it would work. Whilst I'm sure there are talented songwriters amongst Thunder fans, there are also bound to be those who are definitely not gifted in the songwriting department! I certainly wouldn't profess to be any good at the important and varied jobs our fans do and I'm sure they would rather I didn't turn up at their place of work wanting to do their job armed only with good intentions! The results could be catastrophic! Having said that I am qualified to drive a forklift truck......

Q: Having looked through all of the archives on the Q&A board I have a question for you that doesn't appear to have been asked before. What ring tone do you have on your mobile phones? I currently have dirty love as mine and I always leave it as long as possible to answer calls so I can hear as much of the song as possible. Also, a question for Ben - As your affirmative answer to a previous marriage proposal was so rudely ignored, would you consider answering in the affirmative to my marriage proposal and making me a very happy girl indeed? Beth, Enfield
H: I am currently using the Nokia "nostalgia" ring tone. But this changes from month to month. I'm such a moody guy!
I don't have a ringtone as I find them extremely annoying. My phone is set to vibrate only.
D: I have several ringtones for different types of caller. Some are funny, some are scary, some are serious.
C: I currently have the ringtone from the CTU hq in 24 on my phone, as I'm a big fan.
B: I have currently got the Nokia "nostalgia" ring tone which is an old fashioned bell ring and I quite like it. I used to have AC/DC Back In Black but after a while with all these things it gets on your nerves. It never ceases to amaze me how embarrassed people look, in public, as their phone rings with some awful noise - why don't they change it?
As for your kind marriage proposal I have only one question - Does your father own a brewery?

Q: Alright guys, how ya doin? I was wondering if your going to be back in Glasgow before mid June as I'm moving to Australia and really like to go to another thunder gig before I leave, I'm guessing you don't tour Australia. If you don't I will be happy to play as many Thunder songs as I can, very loudly to boost you profile..lol cheers. Chris Lewis, East Kilbride
D: I very much doubt that we'll be getting back to Glasgow before mid June. We'd love to play in Australia but thus far the opportunity as not presented itself. We live in hope. Good luck with the move.

Q: Lets face it, Chris Childs is an outstanding man who we all worship. But is there anything he can't do? THERE MUST BE SOMETHING! I have another question too. Yes I know you don't know where Thunder will be playing, and don't want me to ask you that. This is NOT that question. This is about WHY and HOW a venue is selected. So don't get angry :) What's your policy on playing a slightly smaller venue? I know it isn't the band who select gig positions but I was wondering how it gets decided. I was at Plymouth in 2006 and would travel to your usually nearest venue of Bristol if I had to in future tours (many more I hope!), but nearer is obviously better. The crowd there was relatively small but I would have imagined if you had been en route to Bristol very nearby that you drew in a profit...will small numbers mean a return someday is unlikely or am I right in thinking the route is related? Richard, Devon
D: There is nothing he can't do, in short, Chris is a god. Venues and towns are selected based on where we played the time before, availability (some are not always free when we want to play there), where it has been good, where we'd like to go for a change, and loads of other reasons that all combine to assist or complicate the decision.

Why finally announce the European dates are confirmed and then pull most of them, having already given people a chance to book an expensive weekend away in the hope of seeing you? Sorry to sound so harsh but I've laid out £500 on a weekend to Prague and now you've cancelled. If I had known tickets weren't selling sooner I could have booked to see you in another country. Surely by now you know roughly how popular/unpopular you are in foreign countries. Helen Rogers, The depths of despair (or Prague on 17th March!)
D: We're very sorry to have inconvenienced you, and everyone else who's in the same position. We too have lost money, in fact we've lost a considerable sum of money by cancelling the shows, and I can assure you that we didn't make the decision lightly. I'm not going to go into massive detail on the process, but I will say that setting up (and subsequently cancelling) tours is not as simple as "knowing where you're popular". Once again, we're not happy either, but we always have to do what we believe is the right thing, even if it's sometimes an unpopular decision.

Q: Hi @ all... I've read that you've cancelled a lot of tour-dates 'round Europe. Are the German dates fix? Or do you consider to cancel these shows too? Oliver, Hamburg
T: No further shows in March will be cancelled.

Q: Finally a concert in Denmark - but I had a message today it was cancelled. Any chance you will play in an other place in Denmark???? Eric Neilson, Denmark
T: Unfortunately there are no plans for another show in Denmark at this stage, as the shows that were cancelled on the forthcoming European run were done so due to poor ticket sales. As much as the band would have loved to have been there, I'm afraid that under the circumstances they felt that they had no choice. Obviously we are all very sorry for the inconvenience to those who have bought tickets for the cancelled shows.

Q: Luke .. I have all the thunder cds dvds etc .. but I have only recently in the last 3 months bought moving swiftly along and mo's barbeque... a huge contrast to thunder music in general but still very enjoyable .. my question is, and I am sure not the first or last to ask you is this .. have you ever considered writing songs for other artists in the bowes and morley vein of music i.e. change , better times , since I left he , freakshow etc. all of which to me are far superior and well crafted unlike a lot of dribble we get to hear from other artists .. just wondered !! p.s looking forwards immensely to seeing you all soon ... p.s. did you and Danny ever do any live shows with your albums.... Martin Wilkinson v.b.t.f (very big thunder fan), Bradford
L: Writing for other people is a career in it's own right and 'jobbing' songwriters have to spend a lot of time getting their songs in front of people with no guarantee of an end product so it isn't something I would pursue aggressively. However, should Girls Aloud suddenly decide they want to cover 'Freakshow' for instance I would of course be only too happy to oblige! As I recall we did three shows in Japan and two in the UK to promote 'Moving Swiftly Along'.

Q: This ones for Danny, but thanks to Luke for the lyrics :) Hi Danny,I don't suppose you will remember me, but i was at the Xmas gig, and it was my first time meeting you guys (I do hope i didnt make a fool of myself) I was so excited to meet you Danny. I don't really have a Question, but remember I asked you about what the best thing for my throat problems were? You said steam! well i took your advice and got myself a little steam cup (would be great for taking on tour btw) Its working great, though still struggling with my voice. I spoke to my speech theapist, and she suggested using Thunder lyrics to practice my exercises, How cool! its great but its hard to talk them when i want to burst into song heehee! Do you have any more pearls of wisdom? you did say i could let you know how it was going. Thanks for your time (oh and the feel of your lovely bum at xmas!). Hope to see you again at chepstow in June. Louise, Ripon. N.Yorks
D: I think steam is still your best option, but combine it with other stuff. Trust me I put my voice through a hellish experience every time I sing a Thunder set, and my recovery regimen is roughly as follows:-
1. Long shower as soon as out of bed (stay in the water for a minimum of 30 mins) - gentle humming only during this time. Definitively no singing.
2. Speaking is permitted through out the day, though not loudly and not too much.
3. Copious water is drunk throughout the day. Voice is not allowed to dry out. The action of swallowing is also good exercise.
4. Do facial exercises regularly throughout the day. Examples of this are sticking out your tongue as far as it will go for as long as you can stand it (the Kiwi rugby players doing their pre-game ritual is a good image to use to get the idea of the face you should be pulling). Ignore people who look at you as if you're a mad lunatic. Manipulate neck in the throat and voice box region. Gently push it upwards (apparently the voice box drops if it's tired).
5. Progress from humming to gentle singing as the voice eases up, but under no circumstances sing out loud at full volume until the late afternoon at the earliest.
6. Use personal steam device a minimum of 6 times throughout the day for at least 10 minutes per session.
7. Shower and warm up your voice with exercises before the singing occasion, and do the same thing afterwards.
This usually works for me. Unless it's absolutely red raw and you can't speak, a tired voice should come back, provided you put in the work to nurture it enough and ease it back into life, but depending on how tired it is, it can take most of the day.
Like I said this works for me most of the time. It may not work for you of course. Good luck.

Q: The song "This Forgotten Town" is in any Live Cd?? Gustavo Cavazos, Monterrey, Mexico
T: Yes! There is a live version of this song that appears on both the 'They Think It's All Over...' and 'They Think It's All Acoustic...' live CDs...

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