Q & A Archive - January 2003


Q: Firstly just like to say thanks for bringing 'The Monsters of Rock' to Glasgow and including us on the forthcoming Tour. Will there be the normal meet and greet on the tour and will the old Thunder Channel membership card still get me in? Also, I have recently found reference to two old Thunder album - 'Headphones for Cows' and 'Thunder' - both I think are from the early '80's. Are they bonefide Thunder material and, if so how can I get hold of them - CD if poss? Gavin Fenton
D: Yes we will do a meet and greet after each show, as we have always done whenever it has been in our power to do so. Before anyone asks, the rules for entry will be the same as MOR, but remember it will be first come first served, space is limited etc.
T: The two albums that you mention are not by 'our' Thunder - they are a U.S. based band from the 80's!

Q: Bonjour, just wanted to know your opinion guys on all the new digital recording technologies like Pro Tools etc... Do you use that stuff your did you recorded the album the old fashion way? Anyway with a new records from Thunder, Steely Dan (May 6 fellows) and AC/DC, 2003 looks great. Vincent, Paris
L: We have used Pro Tools for a few years now but only really for compiling and editing. That may well change next time we make a record as working with 2" tape now seems very slow by comparison.

Q: Unbelievable to see tour dates announced after the heartache of thinking we'd never get another Thunder show - brilliant stuff! My only complaint is - they could seriously jeapordise my finals results! Any future tours, please, please consider us students!! Anyhow, I was just wondering if you had any opinions on the new licensing proposals regarding live music? They scare me - it's hard enough to get a gig as it is without every pub in the country having to pay for me to jam with my acoustic guitar. Cheers - can't wait for the album + shows. Pete
L: I agree that the new licensing proposals are silly, totally unrealistic and very probably devised by a bureaucrat who has never been in a pub or picked up a guitar.

Q:  Hi Luke, Thinny told me that you re-wrote the track "The Damage Is Done" for a "best of the thunder ballads" album....But then Thunder split up....Now that Thunder are back again is there any chance that you're best B-Side ever... can be reproduced and released on such an album, or is it EMI this time as well which stops you? If that is the case I hope you never give away you're song rights again to anyone....have a big one! Amazing
L: 'Damage' was originally written for the LOJD album and we demoed it twice as I recall. The second version's chorus is in a different key to the original and probably not as good as a result of the tampering.

Q: Hi Luke, I've seen many people ask questions via the site along the lines of ..'what are the lyrics to (song title) about' or alternatively give their own completely wrong take of what a song may be about. Obviously there are some songs that are more general and can be interpreted various ways, but when it comes to songs such as "Preaching >From A Chair", "Somebody Get Me A Spin Doctor", "The Pimp & The Whore" etc.. that are blatantly obvious lyrically, does it rile you that people are either a) too stupid or b) not attentive enough to grasp the meaning when you have sweated long and hard over the song, or do you think "oh well, never mind" as you hope that rest of the listeners will get the point?? I am intrigued as to your opinion as I myself have suffered the same as a lyric writer. Chris, Herne Bay
L: Good question. I guess it depends on my mood really. I can find it irritating when a lyric I have put a lot of work into isn't noticed or misinterpreted but as long as people like it I don't really care that much. I think most creative types love it when other people admire their work whatever the reason!

Q: Hi guys, do you have the rights to, or actually still have any of the original artwork for any of your albums? If so, how about using them either in competition format, or maybe as an auction process for some charity (Danny Bowes pocket lining charity). If not artwork, there must be something – you’re rock legends, everyone wants a piece of you and here’s the perfect opportunity! I’m still enjoying the album – well done again. Gordon, Manchester
D: We don't have or own the rights to our original artwork, as this lies with the various record companies. We do have bits and pieces galore which I'm sure is all filed away in boxes in our lofts. Do I take it you want to buy all our old tat (sorry I mean irreplaceable fond memorabilia)? I have no objection to selling my old bits and bobs although I can't speak for the rest of the band. But to be honest I would normally expect that to happen either after I'm dead or if and when I am seriously skint.

Q: I would like to know how I get a question answered, I have sent in a few in my opinion relevant questions all have which have been ignored. As a very longstanding fan this is quite concerning, is this a closed shop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Andy Byrne, Liverpool
T: I don't know what your questions were, but there are several reasons why a question doesn't get answered:
1) The question has already been answered several times in the Q&A section.
2) Either myself, Danny or Luke thought the question was unsuitable - for whatever reason.
3) Questions asking about tour dates, "please play this city", etc are generally not answered. As soon as there is any tour date info available it will be posted on the site.
4) We simply don't have the time to reply to every single question that we get in - as we state clearly at the top of the page, we do not guarantee that your question will get answered. We are all very busy people, but we do our best!

Q: Whoa who designed the cover for the new album, its so...bright! but cool anyway. How do you go about choosing album covers anyway, do ya sit there night after night getting headaches on which you should pick or just go for it? Btw hope to see ya in Nottingham soon. Sarah Kelly
D: Martin Yates is the man with the crayons set to "kill", and you're right, it is bright isn't it. The process of getting a cover for us is always the same: - We meet with the designer and talk about the music firstly, and the concept usually comes out of the underlying meanings or messages in one or more of the songs. Having had us set a concept and some rough parameters the designer goes off and contemplates before returning with some basic visuals for us to look at. Assuming all is well after this point, he then sets about the process of constructing the real thing. For the new CD the inspiration was the title track, which signifies (amongst other things) the despair of being in a futile and spent relationship. The images are mostly photos taken by Martin in some shall we say "bizarre" or "exotic" locations in New York City. I should mention that Jason Joyce (our fashion photographer friend) was also quite heavily involved with the design of this CD artwork from an imagery (not to mention shoes) standpoint. Though we've traditionally not gone on about it, we do spend quite a lot of time and effort (not to mention money) on our designs, and whilst some people may not always get the meaning, we don't really mind as most seem to appreciate them as nice pieces of work, which is I think, very much half of what it's all about. I like it when people have to scratch their head a bit to work out the meaning....

Q: Who's done the artwork for the new album? Nice and lively! I loved the artwork and photography for the second Thunder album.  Danny, it may be a question you've answered before but... have you ever picked up (learnt) an instrument and is there an instrument you wouldn't mind starting to learn/ wish you had learnt when you were younger? Is there a country in the world that you particularly want to visit as you haven't done so before? James Vincent
D: The artwork was designed by Martin Yates, he also did Luke's El Gringo as well as B&M's Moving Swiftly designs. As you can tell we like his work. I can play approx 3 or 4 chords on a guitar (quite badly) but not in front of anyone. I do regret it now and wish I'd have tried harder when I was a yoof. My kids are learning to play the piano and flute so I tinker at home under the pretence of helping them but that's as far as it goes really. Australia. Never been yet and it bugs me almost every day of the week, every week.

Q: Hello there, will the Japanese release of the new album contain any extra tracks? oh, one more thing - please see what you can do about getting the DVD (or any future DVDs) released in NTSC for us poor sods overseas. Much appreciated. Terry, Canada
D: The Japanese release of 'Shooting At The Sun' will not have any bonus tracks, however it will have a slightly different cover (blue and White instead of multicoloured).

Q: Hi Guys!! I know that the new album will be released on March 3rd but I wonder if that goes for the rest of Europe as well..?? (I'm particularly interested in the date of release in Sweden) Also, I hope that you will have the opportunity to play in Sweden, preferably at the Sweden Rock Festival this summer. There are a lot of requests on the SRF-website message board about bringing you guys to this excellent festival. As you know Harry was there last year with Magnum last year and I hope/think he  enjoyed it. Mattias
T: The March 3rd release date is for the internet release (it will not be in the shops for a little while yet, except in Japan where it is released on March 5th). You can place your order now at the Townsend Records website and they will be glad to ship your order to Sweden for you. As for tour dates, anything is possible. Stay tuned...

Q: Hi guys. Before my question for Danny, I just wanna say how much I like the new stuff. I've downloaded the samples from SATS and it's bloody lovely!! (Especially Loser!) Is this one gonna beat Behind Closed Doors?!?!?! Anyhoo, the question; Danny, I was wondering if you have any vocal warm ups/exercises that you do before performing, and if you would be so kind as to give me some pointers or something?! Only I just find a few glasses of port does the trick....need to crack down on that! Dave Sharp 
D: I have no major revelations to impart, save for steam. I have always found steam to be the most beneficial thing for saving and rescuing my voice from the ravages of live shows. I've tried just about every tincture and potion but steam always does the trick. It means I spent an enormous amount of time on the shower during every tour but it worked most of the time. Apart from that I hum (not smell) in the mornings to get my voice warmed up, then hum louder and harder as the day goes on. As for exercises I tried but the band took the mickey, so I gave it up. Ho hum...

Q: Luke, in response to a post I sent in sometime ago asking you what basses you used for the 'Thrill of it all' album you said that you used a right-handed Fender jazz bass, American Standard, re-strung. Did you not find that quite uncomfortable to play, given the shape of it and the position of the controls? And did Fender re-string it before loaning it to you, as the nut would need to be changed as well? Oh, and what colour is your Musicman Stingray and do you have any others? Sorry if these seem like silly questions but I so rarely get the opportunity to ask things to a fellow lefty. We're a rare breed. Peter Jordan
L: The Jazz bass was re-strung for me by the nice people at Fender who were also good enough to fit the necessary left-handed nut. I didn't find it too awkward to play being as I was seated in the studio. Standing up may have been a problem though. My Musicman is a burgundy/maroon kind of colour. I don't possess any other basses.

Q: Hi there, Have you ever succumbed to 'tour fever' and trashed a hotel room or similar? Have any of the band members had a right barney on the day of a gig and if so, how do you deal with having to play that night, does the tiff-ette get forgotten? Finally, a question for Luke, were you feeling as jaded with the music business as you sounded at the time of writing 'Rolling the Dice'? As a suggestion, how about a competition of some sort to launch the new album - backstage passes for a gig as a prize? I know, I've got more front than Sainsburys but you've got to try, right?! John
L: I've never felt the need to trash a hotel room although I've witnessed our crew doing it many years ago. Usually I'm knackered when I get to my room and just want to sleep. We've never had a row before a gig although occasionally we have afterwards when the old adrenaline is pumping. Nothing too serious though. I didn't mean 'Rolling' to sound jaded; the lyrics were written with a wry sense of humour. Although many things about my job aggravate me I still love doing it and would never wish to create the impression that I was in any way bitter.

Q: Luke, have you ever thought of wearing a hat to keep the hair out of the eyes? Slash has his top hat, and Jimmy Page sometimes wore an SS cap; seeing as you are a Londoner, how about a pearly king hat?! Nick 
L: I did wear a hat a few times early in our career but they always tended to fall off when I jumped about a bit. As for the hair getting in my eyes I should probably cut it but I have a pathological fear of hairdressers........

Q: Are all the tracks on the new album written specifically for "Shooting At The Sun" or were any of them written for the Moving Swiftly Along or El Gringo Retro sessions but didn't fit in at the time ? Have you only recorded 11 tracks or is there anything left over that may see> the light of day later and are you intending to do any exclusive acoustic mixes as per the MSA album? Mark Burton, London
L: The only song that wasn't written specifically for SATS is 'The Man Inside' which I wrote about a year ago with a young guitar player from Durham called Peter Shoulder. He also plays guitar on 'Powertripping' on the B+M album. We decided to write a couple of songs and when we were going into the studio to make the new album I thought it would fit nicely so we decided to do it. There were only 11 songs recorded so I'm afraid there's nothing left over. There are no plans to do acoustic versions at the moment.

Q: Dear Luke, Do you know if the Wit, Wisdom and Whiskey section of the Bowes and Morley website will transfer to the Thunder website when it opens and do you have any plans to write another thrilling installment? Also, have you ever considered writing a book? Lynne
L: WWW will feature on the new site and all five members will contribute. I've thought about the possibility of writing a book but I haven't got around to it yet.

Q: Hi Guys, I must congratulate you on the new songs, I loved the B&M CD but hearing 'Back for the Crack' it was like when I first listened to 'Backstreet Symphony'. 'Blown Away' sounds to me like it would fit seamlessly into 'Laughing on Judgment day', are all the new songs brand new or were some of them knocking around unfinished for a while? I e-mailed Russ Williams in response to him placing Thunder as his 3rd best UK band of all time, he replied to confirm his good taste and mentioned that you sent him a copy of the new CD, did he like it? Dr. Elliot Lilley, London
L: All the songs were written last year so they're all new. Russ does like the album and is a supporter of everything we do which is nice.

Q: Thinny can I ask, before the internet opened to the public and before your present job as, if you like, guardian of the site for Luke and Danny, did you work with Thunder on a different basis, and if so what was your position? Peter Jordan
T: Thunder asked me to design and maintain their official web site four years ago (is it really that long ago!?) - before that I didn't work for the band in any shape or form.

Q: I suppose this is a question for Thinny. When the impending "Thunderonline.com" is launched will the q and a section be extended to include Ben, Harry and Chris? I'm sure many people would have questions......like...Ben, what exactly have you been doing for the past two and a half years ?. Also I'd hate to see Thunder turn into a Simmons/Stanley type scenario. BJ
T: Yes!  Once the new Thunder website is launched (currently scheduled for March 1st) Ben, Harry and Chris will all be answering questions on the Q&A page!

Q: I'm always impressed with musicians' memory of music and lyrics, even more so the longer the career. When I was listening to Terraplane recently, it made me wonder if you could remember any song you've ever recorded off the top of your head. Also, when you decide to perform a cover, how long does it take to learn? Chris, Kansas City
L: The answer to the first part of your question is definitely no. Occasionally I'll come across stuff I've recorded and written and have no memory of it at all. I think I can remember all the good ones though! Cover songs normally happen by accident so we end up busking them really. If you sit down and analyze them too much then you're in danger of just creating a replica.

Q: Hi Luke, are you a tube or transistor man?  I used to use Marshall JCM 800s and (excuse me for pìtting myself against the whole world), couldn't get them to sound right unless they were way up.  Playing clubs (the kind I used to play) with so much volume was not feasible so I discovered the Roland JC-120 which, to me sounds, smooth and perfect at any volume.  Basically, I'd like your input as to whether you use one or the other type of amp on stage or in the studio and for what reasons. Thanks! Manuel Sahuquillo
L: I only ever use tube amps for recording + gigs because I think they sound a lot warmer. It's a very personal thing though so you should always use what feels good for you.

Q: Hi Luke, I read in one of the tour programmes that you lived in Scarborough for a while as a child, do you remember anything about it? I only ask as I love the place and try and spend as much time there as I can. Sarah
L: My memories of Scarborough are the earliest I have. I remember that we lived in a flat above a fish + chip shop and across the road was a kiddies playground equipped with swings and stuff. I can remember looking out of the window at the bigger kids in the playground whilst playing with my red toy phone. We played in a club in Scarborough once during the Terraplane years but it's all a little vague I'm afraid.

Q: I  have downloaded the two sound clips from the new Album and I must say that they are very good. What I was wondering is When will the final date of release be and will you be planning any tour dates In the north of England as I came To The MOR Gig at the Newcastle Telewest Arena and it was Brill. Keep On Rockin Lads.... Can't Wait for the New Album and Can't Wait to see you again. Phillip, Sunderland
T: The 'Shooting At The Sun' album is currently scheduled for release on 3rd March (5th March in Japan).  Tour dates are in the planning stages at the moment, so no further details are currently available. However, please bear in mind that it is the promoters that put the tour together - not the band.

Q: Hi All, I am very excited to hear that Thunder are releasing another album and would like to know whether there will be another fan club and if so, will there be meet and greets if a tour is arranged? Fay, Wolverhampton
T: There are no plans to launch a new Thunder fan club, although I am sure that meet & greets will happen in some shape or form on the tour. It's really too early to say for sure....

Q: Luke, when you (or Thinny) run a poll asking for the favourite Thunder/B&M song, does the outcome influence your future album writing? If everyone hated the ballads but loved the rock would you cater for them or is your artistic integrity more important? After listening to the B&M album, I absolutely adore it. It’s almost the only thing I’ve played for months (except for a bit of Nickelback thrown in between to keep your tracks fresh). Fantastic – many thanks for making me a happy rocker! Gordon, Manchester
L: Glad you like the B+M album. I always write according to how I'm feeling. I don't think I'd be very good at contriving a song that I thought would be popular. If a song doesn't come from the heart + soul it doesn't move people.

Q: I noticed in a earlier question that Thinny said that on the Thunder live video/DVD that the it was all filmed in London! So that got me thinking how much of the audio was from the Wolverhampton gigs? Also when you record a CD what happens at the mastering stage? I understand the mixing stage I'm just not sure what happens there? no need for me to know but it's one of those things that my brain ticks over on when I'm at work!! Matt, Warks
L: The music was all from the same gig. Matching audio + visual from different gigs would be virtually impossible for us as every night the show is different. Mastering consists of compiling the running order and adding any extra EQ deemed necessary after mixing has taken place.

Q: As a Les Paul player myself, can I ask you why you prefer the Custom model to the Standard? I've never had my hands on one, and none of my guitar-playing mates have them, so I'd be interested to know. Nick
L: No reason or preference really between the Standard and the Custom; I just go on whether the guitar feels nice to play. Also left-handed Standards seem to be less readily available than Customs.

Q: Hello Team, Saw you at Sheffield in November, and I must say you were the best group by far !!! Danny, you know how to get the crowd going!!.  I cannot wait until the new material is released.  I have all your music, videos and DVD, I was looking through some old videos the other day which have been recorded off ,TV and MTV.  Remember the interview you and Luke did with Phillip Forester for the BBC O-zone programme where you were driving the Lotus cars...that was on the tape.   Nice, Some people have all the fun! My question is...All the Videos that Thunder have done for Single releases, who owns them?, where are they now? and is there ever any chance that a "Thunder the complete Video Collection" will ever be available?  I would definitely buy a copy if it was available.  In the meantime best regards to you all, keep up the good work.  Dek, Yorkshire
D: We've tried many times over the years to get EMI (who own them) to release a video compilation but so far with no success. Luke and I were discussing this very subject on Friday night and agreed we should try again. Who knows, this time we may find a sympathetic ear. Watch this space...

Q: Dear Danny, if you plan to tour with the new album, would you prefer to play at large arenas like you did for MOR, or would you prefer the more intimate atmosphere of a smaller theatre, hall or club. Ann S, Blackburn
D: I get asked this all the time and I'm sure I've already answered it in these pages somewhere. Still, I'm not washing my hair tonight so...All venues (large and small) have their good and bad points, and I have no real preference for either, I simply love to be there and doing it, regardless of the conditions. My feeling is that when we play live with the new LP, the venues will probably be either small theatres or large clubs, where we'll have enough room to get about the stage a bit and hopefully be able to sell loads of tickets so the places will be packed and atmospheres splendid.

Q: P2P - What's your view on music being shared over the net in this fashion?  I love the new album such a radical diversion (is that the right word?) Paul Cunningham
D: Anything that enables people to discover music has to be positive, regardless of the method of delivery. Everywhere your music gets to it will be heard by people so you will hopefully make new fans. I have no real issue with bootlegging for that very reason, though the artists don't earn any money from it, the fans get more of what they want and I suppose it helps to keep them on your side. Glad you like the CD. Tell your friends.

Q: Last night, I was going through my Video collection and pulled out the THUNDER LIVE video. and straight into the video player it went having not watched it for a while. Mid way through, I pointed out that you that you filmed four nights in order to produce the Video. What would the possibilities be of producing a Directors cut limited edition DVD, which includes more of the songs from the other nights, as there is loads of your other songs that I would love to see you perform live. Elise Carroll
T: Actually, Elise, only the one night was filmed for the video.  All four nights had their audio recorded for the live album, but only the final show in London had the visuals filmed too.

Q: Hello again, I was wondering what you thought of the Lord of the Rings films? In my opinion they're superb and will go down in cinematic history as classics - they do justice to the books, which is no mean feat. I love the whole sci-fi/fantasy genre and I think LOTR knocks Star War into a cocked hat! Also, if Danny likes bluegrass, can I recommend 'The Be Good Tanyas' who are excellent with a very original, evocative sound. I'm going to see them in February and he can come along if he buys me a beer! Looking forward to the album, possible tour, possible DVD, new web site, well, everything really. John
D: I'm a huge LOTR fan also and agree with you in every respect. I saw the trailer for the first film and had to see it, saw it and had to read the book, read it and had to wait to buy the DVD (frustrating) etc etc. I thank you for your invitation to buy you a beer at The Be Good Tanyas show but I'm afraid I may be washing my hair that night.

Q: Will the band get any royalties from people downloading the ringtone from MTV? If so, how do I go about getting it when I don't have Sky TV? Have posted message to message board & the response was whether the band were going to benefit from it or not. Would be grateful for your help. Bex
D: The ringtones world is all a bit of a mystery to me I'm afraid, so I know not how you go about downloading it. I am sure if you go to the appropriate MTV website it will have details on how to get what you want. As for royalties I know Thunder will get some from each sale but the royalty is very very small. So small that I don't know how to tell you to buy it... Thanks for caring and I hope you manage to get it on your phone. If you do perhaps you could let us know so we can tell everyone else. It would be great to have loads of people's phones ringing to our song...

Q: One of your demos on the 'River Of Pain' single was called 'You Don't Know What Love Is'. What happened to that track - I liked it - is it still floating about ??? Ben
L: I guess we didn't think it was good enough to make the cut on 'Behind Closed Doors' so it remains where it was really.....

Q: Luke, on a previous q and a, I remember you writing that 'Change' had been born out of a collaboration at a song writing forum. My question is have the co-writers expressed an opinion on how good a job that you've done on it? Also has it changed (no pun intended) much from its original format? David Boyd
L: I'm not sure if Joey's heard it but I did send a copy to Chris although I've heard nothing from either of them. The song is pretty faithful to the original demo which was a live recording of the three of us playing the song at the songwriters forum where it was written. I made a couple of very minor lyric changes but nothing of any real consequence.

Q: Hi Guys, Thunder were easily my fave band for many years, so I was a bit wary of Moving Swiftly Along at first. I gave in and bought it a few months back, and the 'freedom' of not having to make another Thunder album is very apparent. It's wonderful stuff guys, truly. It wasn't a record I was ready for, or particularly wanted - but I guess it just changed my opinion completely. So my question is, are you going to devote more time to making more great music like this - or are you going to focus on Thunder again now? Rich G.
L: I think we'll probably do both as time permits. We both enjoyed making the B+M album so there's no reason to presume we wouldn't do it again.

Q: Hi guys. Good to see you're still about. Great show (as always) in Brighton in November. The question I want to ask is Thunder-related but a bit off the beaten track. I've been having a "discussion" with my brother about your live intro tape. I know you used AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" for the most part, but we both vaguely remember hearing the "5-4-3-2-1" Thunderbirds intro at some point. Are we imagining things or did you use that? Phil Comber
L: Yes Phil, I think we did use it at some point. Maybe somebody out there can remember and let us know.....

Q: Why didn't my question about guitars get a response? I didn't consider it an 'anorak' question as Luke is a guitar player and so am I. I presume you'd rather have sycophantic questions from lovelorn 30-somethings..."Remember caesar, you are mortal", as was once said................ Nick
L: We try our best to answer all the questions we get but it's not always possible to do that. Some slip through the net. Why don't you just re-send the question?

Q: Luke, being a left handed guitar player did you find it difficult finding an appropriate guitar for yourself when you started playing? Some people I know of like Albert King and Otis Rush chose to learn the guitar both upside down and backwards ( i.e. not restrung, with the low E string at the bottom). Marcelle Steyn
L: When I started playing I played both left handed and right handed for the first six months or so. Wish I'd kept it up really! I eventually opted for left handed as my hero then was Jimi Hendrix. I just turned the strings upside down on my first few guitars until I could afford to buy a proper lefty.

Q: Hi guys, I know you're often asked about your musical influences/likes, and this is probably very repetitive and boring for you so it will most likely remain unanswered, but, have you ever listened to any of the blue grass that's around?  I was thinking of such artists as Alison Krauss & Union Station, and Nickel Creek, both of whom are extremely good in my opinion, Alison Krauss has the most beautiful voice, soft, warm, sweet, well worth a listen. Union Station you most likely recognise as the Soggy Bottom Boys from the film 'Brother Where Art Thou', Nickel Creek ('This Side' CD also produced by Alison Krauss) one of the nominees for the Horizon Award at the 2002 Country Music Awards as shown by BBC2.  Always considered myself a good old blues/rock girl, I never liked 'country' as it was in my youth all Dolly Parton/Tammy Wynette, you know the sort of thing, never appealed to me, but this, I like! Thanks for taking the time to read this even if it doesn't make the Q&A page, next time to ensure publication on the Q&A  I'll remember to include any reference I can to golf (your favourite of hobbies it seems)/football/cigarettes/booze/sex , and oh yes, a naked photo! Kerry King
D: Great to get a letter about something interesting. I love Alison Krauss, her music and her voice and have done for some time. The blue grass scene is not one I know much about but I loved the soundtrack to Oh Brother Where Art Thou and must have watched the film a hundred times. The DVD includes a short extra clip about the soundtrack, the artists involved and the concert that happened in Nashville. This is a bit of a mission for me so any more cracking recommendations would be welcome, and well done for bringing it up. In future there's no need for the booze and sex bits, we get more than enough of that already, but the naked photo would of course be nice..

Q: I live in this small town called Ilkeston, which is near Nottingham. My friend tells me that you and the whole band Thunder are from Ilkeston, and that the line "I don't wanna spend my whole life in this town," from Higher Ground is about you guys wanting to leave Ilkeston. Is there any truth whatsoever to what my friend is saying, and if not, where do you and the other guys come from? Andy Shortland, Ilkeston
D: I'm afraid your friend is either pulling your extremity or talking out of his/her bottle of beer. London and Chelmsford Essex is where we're from, Chris from Chelmsford, the rest of us from various parts of South East London. The song wasn't written about any specific small town, simply from the perspective of someone frustrated by living in one.

Q: Danny, what are your new year's resolutions? To help Luke stop smoking, less drinking and getting fitter ? Luc, France
D: Who have you been talking to? I certainly don't have a (hic) drink problem (hic), I drink and I fall down (hic), no problem... Seriously I'm pretty weak when it comes to big New Year's resolutions, so I don't tend to beat myself
up trying to stick to them. Having said that I will work less this year, I will sleep more, relax more, eat better, be nicer. All this I believe is do-able.

Q: Sorry if you've answered this question before you see I'm a pretty new Thunder fan and recently after buying the DVD Thunder live I was wondering if you've ever released 'Lazy Sunday Afternoon' on CD? Also saw you at Monsters Of Rock in Manchester you were fab! Samantha Swindells
T: 'Lazy Sunday Afternoon' has only ever been released on the CD Single to A Better Man (CD-BETTER 1). The single was released in 1993 and the version featured was recorded live at the Hammersmith Apollo ("or is it Odeon?") in 1992.

Q: Was the song "The Only One " released on an album ? I know it was on the THUNDER LIVE "1998" but when Danny made the announcement that this is a new song & it was to be released in January ( I presume 1999 ) I thought it was. Can't wait for the new album this year. Keep the faith & Give Peace a chance! RJ Gula
T: Actually the live album was recorded in November 1997, so he actually meant January 1998 (that was when The Only One was released as a single). The studio version of 'The Only One' was not released on an album, however it did appear as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of the 'Giving The Game Away' album.

Q: Have you ever been tempted to sing karaoke in your local boozer? or in any boozer for that matter? (If you have...what song did you sing?) Best Wishes for 2003. Margie B, Wales
D: I have sung karaoke twice at Thunder end of tour parties, but I'm afraid I have no recollection of the songs I sang (murdered). It was the drink you see.... Karaoke is hilarious for those who watch, but terrifying for so many who actually stand up and sing, so much harder I think than singing on a stage with a band. For me the best part about it is the "rabbit caught in headlights" look on the singer's face whilst he/she concentrates on the words coming up. Only the Japanese could have invented it.

Q: Sorry if you have been asked this here before but, have you guys considered doing anymore shows as Danny and the Doo Wops. The show you did at the Ilford Island in the mid nineties was a good laugh and you all seemed to be enjoying it too. Peter Wilson
D: It seems not everyone knows the full story of Danny & The Doo Wops and how we became friends with them, I shall remedy this soon, in the new edition of Wit Wisdom & Whisky (when I have written it). So, as you may or may not know Danny & The Doo Wops are very good friends of ours. We have asked them repeatedly since their last UK shows to come back, but apart from a fleeting private party appearance at a mutual friend's castle in 1998, we have had no success. The main problem is the law:- they have had shall we say "legal difficulties" in their native USA, in other words, if it's not one member in the pokey it's another. We thought we'd cracked it in November 2002, when they agreed to play at The Marquee, but they pulled out at the 11th hour and begged Thunder to fill in for them. As ever with the Doo Wops, their reasons for pulling out remain shrouded in mystery, lucky we were already on tour with MOR and it was a simple matter of driving down to London. D&TDW have asked me to extend their apologies to anyone who showed up expecting to see them, but hope they enjoyed Thunder. They have vowed to return as soon as they can, and make good for any disappointment caused. More news as and when it comes in.....

Q: Hello chaps, Happy New Year and all that...First point, got the new EP when it came out, my wife had just had our first little 'un when a package dropped through the letterbox, I'd ordered it and forgotten all about it with all that was going on and I must say that old air guitar had not been used as much in years. Having bought almost everything that you lads have done over the years I must say that the stuff on the EP ranks easily as the best the band has ever done " Spin doctor " instant classic, saw you at Manchester and "Spin Doctor" sounded marvelous. Second point was "Pimp" written out of personal experience, and is the rest of the new stuff as good as what is on the EP. Take care lads see you if you tour. Ian Helliwell, Rotherham
L: 'The Pimp + The Whore' isn't based on my personal experiences. The song is about an unscrupulous manager trying to recruit his latest boy band protégé and their mutual dependency.

Q: Who was responsible for getting Mrs. Kid Rock to appear in the Dirty Love video? And does Harry still have her number? Matt, Leeds
D: It was a long time ago, and she wasn't famous then, but like most actresses (I use the term loosely) in L.A, she worked on all kinds of things before getting a break, including rock videos. She was miserable on the set, but then so was I, Harry was in the shower with her.....
L: When we filmed the US version of 'Dirty Love' Pamela Anderson was another Hollywood a.m.w. (actress, model, whatever) trying to get on in the world. This was pre-Baywatch or marriage to Tommy Lee and she turned up to the audition like everybody else. The director was a guy called Jeff Stein so he probably picked her although I do remember Ben, Snake and myself attending some of the auditions!

Q: I was watching MTV over Christmas and saw an advert for some phone card service that MTV are heavily promoting at the moment and thought that the background music was Freakshow, am I right? Dave
D: Errm, wrong song from wrong band, but apart from that you're totally correct! The song in question is The Pimp & The Whore (from the new Thunder EP and soon to be released Shooting At The Sun LP), and I believe you can purchase the very ring tone for it by dialing the number on the ad and doing something err.. ring-toney...

Q: Hi guys, good to see you guys back, the shows at Wembley and the Marquee were brilliant. What about putting the marquee show complete on CD and DVD? Also I am a big Jovi fan and I think they would be mad not to invite you on tour especially after their previous choice of support!!! Michael, Oxford
D: Thanks for your kindness of word. We're going to look at the Marquee footage soon, and plan to edit it together with other footage from both the studio during the making of the new LP & on the road stuff from the MOR tour. We thought this would make a more interesting DVD than simply repeating the already released "Thunder Live" DVD as a full blown concert. However, public opinion is a powerful thing, so I guess if everyone tells us what they'd like to see we'll make it happen if we can... See my earlier reply to the Bon Jovi suggestion.

Q: Dear Luke and Danny, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I apologise for not asking this question before the turn of the year - I did mean to ask (honest!) if you had any plans to produce a Thunder (or Bowes and Morley) 2003 calendar. As I've obviously 'missed the boat' with this one, think it's a wonderful idea anyway and work as a School  Secretary...could you please, please, please help to brighten up my office with a Thunder (or Bowes and Morley) academic year calendar (September 2003 to August 2004)? I'm sure you have loads of fans, apart from me, who work in education PLUS it would go with the Thunder pictures on my noticeboard and my Thunder mousemat (don't ask) and the desktop wallpaper that I did have until the miserable gits at the Council took it off upon networking the computers!! Yours hopefully... Lynne
D: Sorry to hear you lost us from your computer wallpaper (Thinny, can you help this poor woman?). Also double sorry to disappoint again as we have none of the requested items, and to be honest it's hard enough trying to make an LP at the moment, let alone anything else! Good ideas though, watch this space, we'll see what we can do...
T: Lots of new Thunder wallpapers coming soon, along with a brand new official Thunder website. More news soon....

Q: Thanks for correcting me on the "Dirty Love" question Thinny. You're right, I did get mixed up there. I did hear that demo version of Dirty Love, so I probably was referring to "Higher Ground" on the Best of album. I was just curious to know why it was re-done, with Mikael Hoglund on bass, for that CD? Peter, Dublin
L: 'Higher Ground' we felt had developed as a result of being played live so many times since the first recording. Having said that I still prefer the first version.

Q: Do any of you read Classic Rock magazine? There's a review of them MOR show at Wembley in the latest issue, the one with Lemmy on the front cover I think. Thunder get quite a good review and there's a photo of Luke, Ben and Chris in action with Danny in the background pulling a funny face. Chris was playing a 5 string Fender Jazz in the picture, did he use that throughout the whole show? Where I was seated I could tell he was using a jazz but couldn't tell what type. Peter, Dublin
L: Well-spotted Peter! Yes, I do believe Chris played his 5-string at Wembley.

Q: Have you made any new year's resolutions and are you going to keep them? Also, who exactly is Thinny? Is he just the compiler of the web site or does he have an important job with the band such as tea boy or worse , the manager? Good luck with 2003 and come back to us all soon. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE. Ann S, Blackburn, Lancashire
L: New Years Resolutions are: 1) stop smoking, 2) drink less, 3) get fitter. It remains to be seen how successful I will be. Thinny is the enigma responsible for navigating our route through the potentially treacherous quagmire that is the Internet. His identity is only revealed on a 'need to know' basis. I could tell you who he is but I'd have to kill you and we don't want that do we? Happy New Year to you as well.

Q: This question is about Thunder and their live performances. I have noticed with the live albums that thunder do not play anything from the album Laughing On Judgement Day. Which I think is the best album you guys have done. Could you tell me why is this? Michael Beck
L: I think you'll find that the CD 'Thunder Live' includes 'A Better Man', 'Does It Feel Like Love', 'LOJD' itself, 'Empty City', 'Low Life' and 'Like A Satellite'.

Q: I popped in to see you during your Bournemouth Meet and Greet and as ever upon meeting people I have admired in the entertainment world I found it slightly embarrassing and said the usual platitudes then legged it out quickly, BUT if I had known you were both golfers I could have even attempted a conversation. So retrospectively my questions to you are a, do you have handicaps and if so would you care to share them. b, do you both play regularly at one place,and if so are you members of a club (I can understand if you do not want to name the actual club/s in question) and c, what are your favourite courses. Thanks for your time. Ian Johnson
L: Neither of us are members of a club because we like to play as many different places as possible. Both of us would play off a handicap between 18 and 22 according to how often we'd played recently. We are fairly close in terms of golfing ability.

Q: A couple of years ago I was watching a cheesy American TV programme and a physiologist was talking about having a lucky song that you can think of and it always picks you up and puts you in a good mood or psyches you up for a challenge. Mine is Welcome to the Party and I used to play it before all my exams at uni or if I was p*ssed off. I just think of that song and it cheers me up. Have either of you got a similar song that can always put you in a good mood? Kevin White
L: I don't have one song in particular but we do like to listen to James Brown before we go on stage.

Q: I see your new album is going to be only available through the net at Townsend Records. Is this correct? If so can we see more Thunder releases on the net? Marillion release a lot of concerts just through their site. Is this something you might look at doing in the future? Mick Hodd, Luton
D: We will indeed be releasing the new CD via the net, but not exclusively so. It will also be sold through retail outlets but probably slightly afterwards, so for those with internet access the site is the quickest place to see, hear and buy all new stuff. Your point about Marillion is a well made one, and we are definitely looking into making other Thunder music and video available. We have tons of video footage from the making of the new LP, Monsters of Rock and the Marquee show last November, so we'll be looking through it and editing it soon. I'm sure it will surface as a DVD at some stage in the future. We also get repeated requests for copies of the In Out Put The Kettle On video, so we may also re-issue this "timeless classic" on DVD at some stage this year. Sorry about the timeless classic line, too much pre-Xmas TV advertising...

Q: Hiya Boyz!! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for re-grouping and coming to Glasgow for the MOR tour.  You could never disappoint - Your show was the best of the night and it was great to hear Danny (Grrrrrrr!) belting out all your classics.  The only disappointment was that my photos never turned out. Please include Glasgow on your next lot of tour dates!! I'll bring a better camera.  It is always said that the Scots can really Rock! How do you feel that your Scottish gigs compare to the othersEmma, Scotland
D: Sorry to hear about your camera trouble. It's probably us that broke it (ugly mugs). Glasgow was a great show, one of the best of the tour, and you're right, the Jocks always know how to rock!

Q: Hi again guys. You've most probably been asked this question a zillion times, but as I can't find it elsewhere on the Q&A page (plus I really should be working right now, but don't tell the boss :) ) I shall endeavour to ask it. I love the original version of Dirty Love from Backstreet Symphony. Why did you re-record it for the Best of CD? By the Way, I think your managers and agents should definitely try to land you the support slot on the upcoming Bon Jovi tour. Irelands included on that tour and, fantastic though MOR at Wembley was, I'd love to see you guys perform on my home turf. Peter, Dublin
D: Not sure what this is about really, I wasn't aware we'd re-recorded the song in question. Mr Controller, as the man who knows all, can you shed any light on this? As to your request, I fear Mr B-J probably wouldn't have us back (we opened for them in 1995), but we went down a bit well with the crowd and we didn't get on particularly well with him... Not sure if there's a link but I'll leave it there I think.
T: Erm...'Dirty Love' wasn't re-recorded for the Best Of CD, 'Higher Ground' was.  There was a demo version of 'Dirty Love' on the 'In A Broken Dream' single - you could have been getting mixed up with that!?

Q: Guys, firstly you're my favourite band and have been for many years now. I've seen you in Sheffield, Wolverhampton, Llandudno and Nottingham and was especially pleased to meet you at an acoustic set in Hanley. I also enjoy relentlessly promoting your music to everyone that I know! ;) I'm a guitarist of about 8 years now but still find a lot of your stuff difficult to play, I've got some tab off the websites that some guys posted years ago but would love to be able to have some definitive stuff in book form or maybe something Luke or Ben had produced. Any ideas? Very grateful, looking forward to the new album. Kevin, Coventry
T: Unfortunately, there are no longer any definitive Thunder guitar tabs available.  There were tab books of the 'Laughing On Judgement Day' album, and a Japan only 'The Thrill Of It All' book, but these are both long out of print.

Q: Hi guys! Damn good to see you back again and even better to see you live at MOR in Manchester. Been a fan for years and have most of the Thunder stuff as well as solo projects. One thing I'm short of is any Terraplane input! It would be great to see how you sounded back then and to hear you from the beginning-any tips for finding CD's? Lisa, Chorley
T: Both Terraplane albums are now deleted, although I believe that Townsend Records still have some limited stock of the first album, 'Black & White'. 'Moving Target' is much more difficult to find and your best bets are record fairs or sites like www.ebay.co.uk.

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