Colour Code: DANNY, LUKE, BEN, HARRY, CHRIS, THINNY
Q: Hi guys. I've been reading the Q and A for so long it seems a shame to leave the one question I'd love to ask Danny unasked! Danny is it true that you burst a vein in your neck whilst recording the brilliant "It Happened In This Town"? Hoping this one gets an answer! Keep rocking guys! Gareth
D: No I didn't burst a vein in my neck. I merely burst some blood vessels, not quite the same thing, but unpleasant nevertheless. I have never sang the song live for that very reason.
Q: Great news re. the Bedford DVD. Any chance we could have a snippet of Earl Okin's show? Perhaps his version of Teenage Dirtbag or will that require further discussions, money and contracts with Mr. Okin? He was an excellent and different choice and made the whole evening thoroughly enjoyable. James Vincent, Melbourne
D: I asked Earl to play because I thought he was great and hoped you guys would agree. The recording of Earl Okin's live set is subject to a recording deal between he and Sony Music, so I'm afraid we have no influence over how and when it may or may not appear.
Q: Danny, During this years tour with Deep Purple, the SECC have been asked to provide an all seated venue. Knowing how we like to jump around and how you like to get us going, do you have to change much of the act for an audience who are sitting rather than being free to dance around? Ian “SpeedKing”, Glasgow
D: I don't change the way I perform or sing the songs in a seated venue, but it sometimes has an effect on the way the audience reacts. There is always a tendency for the crowd to be more reserved, so we have to work harder to get the same level of nuttiness from them. Not surprisingly, I don't like seated venues as much as standing ones, but this is not my show, and the fact that it's in Glasgow where the crowd has never been less than 110% nutty make me feel all will be OK.
Q: Hello guys - Since eating at the newly opened Hard Rock Cafe in Cardiff - I was wondering if you have any memorabilia on display at any of its restaurants around the world, and if so what is it, and do you know which restaurant? Steve Jones, Hereford
L: I think there's some photos in the Tokyo branch. To be honest I can't remember. We've signed many guitars over the years so I guess one of them could have found it's way on to a HRC wall somewhere.
D: I have absolutely no idea if we have anything anywhere. We've spent a lot of time in the Osaka HRC and the management there are always very pleased to see us (bar takings), so I guess if it's going to be anywhere it would be there, but I really have no idea how it comes about..
Q: As a cameraman who worked on the filming of the gig at the Bedford Arms Christmas show, I was wondering if there was a date for when the DVD would be released of said concert? Adam Stidwill, London
D: The editing of the show is almost finished, along with the artwork and various bits and associated bobs. If all goes well we'll have the thing done and ready to go at the end of May. It looks really nice by the way, good job matey!
Q: Hi Luke-san, I've just got your solo "El Gringo Retro" a few days ago. I love most of all "This Letter", one really can touch and smell the air of Mexico and almost be there. This song somehow reminds me of the novel (& movie) "Sheltering Sky" by Bowles. Haven't you ever thought of making a movie script out of the song? Eriko, Japan
L: Thank you for your nice comments. Writing film scripts does interest me greatly but it's hard to find the time at the moment. The film 'Shirley Valentine' has a similar plot line to 'This Letter', the only difference being that the main character is a woman.
Q: Luke, how's the non-smoking going - still an ex-smoker? I'm kicking the habit at the moment, although I wasn't a heavy smoker before. It's hard isn't it? Just wondering your thoughts on all the banning smoking in public places etc. which is happening all over the world. I think it won't be long before the UK has completely smoke free pubs and restaurants. Even when I smoked if I knew I couldn't smoke I didn't crave for a cigarette. I hope I can last... there's been times before where I have given up for three weeks but revert back to the 'evil weed' in a pub moment! James Vincent
L: I'm still off the cigarettes but I must confess to the odd cigar with a drink although at the risk of sounding like Bill Clinton, I don't inhale! It's just the oral fixation I have to asuage.......
Q: Hi boys, I still enjoy Thunder DVD & 'Mo's Barbeque' everyday...I have a question for you, what is the sound after 'I can't stand the rain' like a bike bell - I thought it was the sound of bike bell outside (laugh), but whenever I listen Mo's BBQ I can hear it. How come you thought you needed it, and who's idea was the sound? Big Nutter
L: The sound is an old-fashioned counter bell like the type you would find on a hotel reception desk or a shop or whatever. It was laying around in the studio (Heliocentric) when we were recording and everytime we finished a new backing track either myself or Rupert (the engineer) would ring the bell. It's our way of saying 'That's all folks!'
Q: Hi Luke, to what extent does "Preaching from a chair" talk about Kurt Cobain and his suicide? Did you feel disappointed about how his pessimistic and self-destructive concept of life damaged all the rock star system (if you ever considered yourself a rock star - I bet you don't!). Daniel, Barcelona
L: 'Preaching' was written before KC shot himself so it's not about his suicide. It's more about the media all hailing grunge as the best thing since sliced bread and the subsequent rubbishing of any other kind of rock music. It really pissed me off when I read interviews in Rolling Stone about Soundgarden not wanting to be famous and glorifying Alice In Chains drug use. The ability to take drugs is something anybody can do; it doesn't demand talent or hard work therefore I fail to see how it can make a band
better or more relevant. There are very few journalists that I respect.
Q: I was unable to get to the Bedford Arms Gigs but was lucky enough to get one of the CDs. My question is, one of my favourite Thunder songs is "You Can't Live Your Life In A Day" as usual Danny's vocals were excellent and I felt the McDonald sisters also improved the song. It was the male back vocal - I wondered who did it as it was very strong and made the song for me. Mitch Robson, Orkney
L: That would be me. Thanks for the nice comments....
Q: Hey guys, just would like to know if the results of the song contest will have any effect when you decide the set list for new shows? My personal opinion is: I love whatever you play. I see such a lot of great tunes that did not get one vote - it is a shame. Why not play a 20 hour show that matches all of what you've ever written? This may will be mentioned in the Guinness Book. Joe, Germany
L: It won't influence the set list. We have to balance the set to also include new material or maybe a couple of songs we haven't done for a while. As for playing for 20 hours I don't think it would be possible physically!!!
Q: I have had a good laugh this afternoon reading back through some of the old Q&A's...well i worked hard this morning and deserved a break! The numerous answers confirm that you are all quite quite mad. Anyway i picked up on the fact that Ben is a bit of a cricket fan. As a fan of the game myself i wondered if Ben could answer the following questions.
i. Do you play for a team? (If not please go directly to v.)
ii. Are you a batsman or bowler?
iii. What has been the highlight of your playing career so far?
iv. Have the rest of the guys been to watch you play...maybe even join in?
v. Have you been following the England tour of the West Indies?
If you fancy a friendly game some time in the upcoming season "Thunder V The Fans" I would happy to get a team together. Roland Amft, Peterborough
B: I have to admit that I love the sound of leather on willow, but I'm not the only one in the band that enjoys it, I've photographs to prove it!
i) I don't play for a team
ii) When I did I was a wicket keeper and a hopeless batsman
iii) My highlight was a spectacular catch whilst playing the EMI cricket team. They had one great batsman that we had terrible trouble getting out but I managed to hold on to the ball running at full pelt but backwards.
iv) They used to be in the same team so I guess they were watching
v) Not only have I been following the tour, I've just won a bet that England would win - Hurrah!
We'll see about a match later.
Q: Hi Ben, I read on the Rare... that you are a qualified engineer. What kind of (formal) training did you receive? Two other questions: Are you involved in other bands (or more in general, what do you do beside Thunder) and do you write songs? Bart, Holland
B: My only "formal" training as an engineer was an APRS (Association Of Professional Recording Studios) course. There aren't any real qualifications for audio engineering apart from psychology, diplomacy and possibly baby sitting. I work with many other bands and have recorded allsorts of people over the years, check out some of the old Q&A's I'm sure there's a list there somewhere. I don't do a lot of song writing.
Q: After watching/listening to the Metallica DVD "S&M" I ask the question would you ever join with an orchestra? If so what Thunder songs would you think would go well with the orchestra? Michael
B: I've never been a big fan of mixing orchestras and rock music; I find it all a little pompous and never really shows either in its best form. The nearest Thunder got to it was using a string quartet in the studio, that didn't work either! Best left alone really.
C: I'd love to work with a full orchestra - what a sound! One of my most memorable musical moments was seeing Page & Plant performing Kashmir at the LA Forum with the orchestra. I think any of the bigger songs would be suited to orchestration - Moth To The Flame, Empty City, Like A Satellite, Low Life...I'll get my baton....
Q: What happened with the confirmed gig at Thessaloniki, Greece at 20th April? We, the Greek fans are very disappointed! Marios Amaxopoulos, Greece
T: Unfortunately the show in Greece had to be cancelled. There were various reasons for this, including the availability of the members of the band. Thunder are still hoping to come to Greece in the not too distant future...stay tuned....
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Colour Code: DANNY, LUKE, BEN, HARRY, CHRIS, THINNY