Colour Code: DANNY, LUKE, BEN, HARRY, CHRIS, THINNY
Q: Luke, I once read an interview with Paul Weller, another excellent songwriter like yourself in my opinion!! He said that one of the reasons for continuing with writing was to come up with the best song that he has ever written. Is this something that spurs you on when you write? Also, who do the boys think will win the F.A. Cup this year? Southampton is a sensible answer or I won't pester HMV for the new single!!!!!!!! Neil Parsons, Southampton
B: In that case - Southampton. As you can guess I don't really care!
L: PW has written some great tunes and I think he's saying what all writers feel; sometimes it's the most frustrating and irritating profession but there are moments during the writing process when you think 'blimey, I'm quite good at this!' We all long for those moments. In my heart the Saints will win the Cup but my brain says Arsenal.......sorry!
H: Erm.......Southampton then!...............................................Arsenal?
Q: Hello All, You're on 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire' and you can ring one band member/Thinny as your 'phone-a-friend' - who's got the brains/best general knowledge? BTW, the album gets better and better with every play - classic Thunder! John
H: Good question....................Hmmmmmmm.........I'll have to ask the audience please.
L: I think if I was going on WWTBAM and I had to pick someone in the band then I'd invent a good excuse to draught in Bamber Gasgcoine on backing vocals and call him!
B: Depends on the subject matter as each of us has our strong points. We did a general knowledge quiz for a rock magazine once and I seem to remember that we did pretty well. I think we make a good team as between us we can cover most things.
C: I think it would have to be Benny, unless it's football in which case it would definitely be Harry.
D: Who I'd call would depend on the type of question I was struggling with. Music trivia would have to be Luke, films Chris, sport Harry, technology would be Ben. Between us I think we'd have it covered though.
Q: A colleague of mine has just likened me to David Brent (hideous manager from "the office" to the non initiated)...quite an insult I think!! What are the biggest insults that have been thrown at you? Also, any news on "breaking into Australia"? Paul Bloxsome, Sydney
H: A few mates have likened me to Donald Pleasance in the past. Not really an insult!? Well, he is a great actor isn't he?
L: A girl once said to me in Ibiza years ago 'You're the ugliest man I've ever seen'. I wouldn't have minded but all I was doing was queuing up for a drink at the bar and minding my own business.
B: At the end of a guitar take during a session, the piano player turned round and said to me "I love what you're trying to do". A quality put-down. As for breaking into Australia, we're waiting for a dark night and for someone to leave a window open.
C: I think you should feel flattered at the comparison. I wish I was him. I would love to tour Australia - it's a place I've always wanted to go.
D: Too many insults received to mention over the years. The David Brent thing is particularly unpleasant I must say, you must have been pleased... No Australian news as yet, but we're working on it. Any help would of course be much appreciated.
Q: Hi Guys, with the tour coming up (I'm doing my bit by attending three shows!), I was wondering what each of you ask for on the 'rider'? And also who pays for it, you, the promoter or the venue? Matt, Essex
B: The rider used to look like a branch of Unwins, but it's calmed down a bit now, towels with no fluff was an interesting one I seem to remember.
D: Glad to hear you're "doing your bit", are you convincing hundreds to come with you? Our dressing rider used to be legendary (huge amounts of beer and condoms) but nowadays it's a wee bit calmer, still loads of condoms but less beer (ha ha). Beer, wine, whisky, water, coke, a few sarnies etc but that's about it. Who pays is entirely dependant on the deal struck with the promoter by the band's agent.
Q: Just got the new album and I have to say that I'm rather impressed...well done to all concerned! A slightly cheeky question born out of curiosity - do you know how many copies you've sold so far ? See you at the Astoria. Dward, Kent
D: That's not easy to determine, we know how many we made and we know how many we've sent out but due to the sale or return nature of retail, some may come back. Only the passage of time will reveal the true picture. All I can say right now is it's going as well as we could have expected.
Q: Hello Chaps, as we're all going to buy two copies of the single in May, it's going to chart, right? So, is it possible that you may get asked to go on TOTP? Matt, Essex
D: If it charts the band is then in a position to be invited, but as with all things music business, there are no guarantees. Damn those infernal chickens and eggs... Don't but 2 copies, but do encourage lots of others to buy one each.
Q: Danny...do you have to start a keep fit/training regime before a tour? Or do you work out regularly anyway? Do you observe the same rule as footballers do the night before a match!? Margie B., Wales
D: I have always been fairly fit, and in my younger days I was extremely so, but the march of time is inescapable, and I have no problem with that. I keep active but I don't work out any more, sort of lost interest in the constant flexing whilst looking in the mirror routine. I'm very much against the footballer's night before the match rule. For me peak performance is very much about feeling satisfied in all departments.
Q: I'm classically trained myself (before becoming a rock chick!), and I was wondering, if you could choose your favourite instrument, or one that you would liked to play from a symphonic orchestra, which one it would be? Ingrid, Hampton
H: I did play timpani in the school orchestra-I remember having three hundred bars rest! Then I was in!! If I miscounted, that was it!!!!
C: Double bass, of course! I always like to be lurking around at the bottom..... as it were.
B: I used to play the flute in the school orchestra, I picked as it was the easiest instrument to carry.
L: Definitely the cello so I could sit next to the girl cellists. There's definitely something erotic and vaguely pervy about female cello players. Perhaps it's to do with the fact that the instruments' shape is reminiscent of a voluptuous woman..........ooer. Nurse....pass the Kleenex etc.
Q: Which single piece of music would you have played at your funeral? Depressing I know but always quite an interesting one when people have brought it up and the conversation can last quite a long time when people start thinking about it. Especially after a few beers. Jim. London
C: I think I'll leave the choice to whoever is arranging the funeral - they'll have to listen to it!
B: I quite like the idea of a New Orleans jazz band playing "Down By The Riverside".
L: Something up that sent people away smiling....maybe 'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place' by The Animals.......
H: "Dueling harmonicas" - Full unedited version - Simply fantastic harmonica playing by Luke and I, and splendid accompaniment by Ben. I'd like to go with a laugh!
D: I'd like to copy Peter Sellers and have In The Mood by Glenn Miller. Not too much misery and wailing, a damned good drink and a lot of laughing and smiling...
Q: Since the website makeover I've noticed male fans have been a lot more forthcoming with their questions so...which woman(women) has(have) had the greatest influence on your life(ves)? Angela Burrows, Switzerland
H: It's got to be mum, the missus and the girls!
C: That's easy - my girlfriend, José.
B: I suppose the obvious answer is my Mother but that's the same for most of us, so instead I'm going to say Margaret Thatcher as unfortunately she was Prime Minister for much of my working life.
D: Obviously my Mother, then my wife, then my daughters, in time order or course.
L: Undoubtedly my Mother as she brought me up virtually single handed and taught me many things by example. She also encouraged me as much as possible when it came to music.
Q: Just a weird one...! Have any of you watched Most Haunted on the Living TV channel? Do you believe in ghosts and have you had any experiences with em? §ars, Nottingham
H: No I haven't. I don't believe in them but I've looked like one on many occasions! Hangovers from hell !!!!
C: Haven't seen the programme, or a ghost for that matter - but I'm convinced there's much more to be seen if you look for it in the right way.
B: No, no and erm... no.
D: I've not watched the show but I do believe in ghosts, and have had some strange experiences, sufficient to convince me there are more than just earthly mortal forces around us.
L: I don't believe in ghosts apart from when I look in the mirror most mornings.
Q: Hey guys, was just wonderin' if you would consider comin' back to play Belfast (N. Ireland)??? My friend has seen you play here twice I think and of all the bands he's seen live Thunder has been the best both musically and for entertainment on stage that he has seen. I've only known about you guys since August of last year, but if I'm honest I have to say that you guys are brilliant and I'm glad you got back together. Oh and the new album sounds awesome. Also Ben you got any tips for me as I'm gettin' a guitar for my 18th and I've never played in my life before??? Thanx guys, hope to see you all soon. Warren, N. Ireland
B: We've have always enjoyed playing in Belfast, you are always guaranteed a great reception. It would be great to come back for another show, we'll have to wait to see what the future holds...As for guitar advice - practice, practice and more practice plus good quality hair products.
Q: Hi guys, if you could only watch one TV programme ever again what would it be any why? Stevie B.
B: The News - To find out why.
H: 24 - I think I'm addicted!
D: It would have to be the news. Reason? I'm obsessed with current affairs.
Q: Dear all, I am currently e-mailing all the radio stations that I can think of to get them to play Loser on the airwaves, I just wondered if this is ok by you guys, and have you already sent demo discs of your album to people like Bob Harris on radio 2? I am also contacting local newspapers with details of your Manchester concert for their What's On pages. Am I too late to enter for the comp to win tickets for the concert on 19th May, I would love to see you, but I've just lost my job and can't afford to buy. Ann S, Blackburn
D: Thanks for your email assault on the radio stations, don't forget we'd be happy if they played any tracks, not just the single. Our promotion team have mailed copies of SATS to everyone they think might play it, but if you hear back from a station to the effect that they would play it but don't have one, please let us know and we'll remedy the situation. Sorry to hear your bad news about the job, I hope something turns up soon. Competitions are being planned with rock radio as I type, why not keep an ear out and enter one, you never know you may win!
Q: Hiya Guys! Just wanted to let ya know that your new album is fantastic. I can't place it next to any of the others (although I must say all of you albums are superb) Got sum bad news! Won't be seeing you on your tour this May. My parent's won't let me get ticks. Wish I could be there to see you guys. Have a good one for me! Nicola, Darlington
D: This is unacceptable. Make your parents come as well, they'll enjoy it, and there will be other parents there, I guarantee it.
Q: Hi guys, do you plan anymore shows latter in the year if all goes well on the forthcoming tour. How about coming to a venue near Wrexham or even Wrexham itself? David Lloyd
D: We have to wait and see how popular this tour is before we announce anything else. If it goes well we'd like to come back for more shows in different towns and cities, as for where and when I'm afraid it's in the lap of the gods, oh and you lot. You will decide if it's possible, not us.
Q: Once the single is released and hits the charts (a dead cert!), you're bound to be asked the following question, so perhaps you could rehearse your response in the safe and comfy confines of the Q + A section firsT: Did you, even in your blackest moments, ever consider yourself to be "just a loser in a band"? Given your outward self-confidence and song writing talent, I can't possibly believe this song was in any way autobiographical. Paul Edmondson, Pompey
L: I'm glad you're so confident about the fate of the single and I hope you're right! I think everybody feels like a loser at some point in their life, me included. I'm not often prone to self-doubt but I have had my moments! As for the guy in the song, what about the possibility that he's just using this 'I'm crap and your great and I'm not worthy' thing to gain the sympathy vote in order to seduce the woman in the song? Sometimes men can be very insincere when they want something.
Q: Hi Guys, Have you seen the film "Rock Star" which was out last year? If so what did you think? If not it's worth watching as it is very funny in places and generally quite good! Good luck with the single! Kevin Wheeler, Wiltshire
L: Rock Star isn't bad at all but not the best film I've seen. Mark Wahlberg makes a very convincing metal frontman. Most music biz films are very difficult to watch but check out 'Tina', the Tina Turner biog-pic which is very good, particularly Larry Fishburne's take on Ike Turner. 'Almost Famous' is also very good and touching but 'Spinal Tap' remains the daddy!!!
H: Kevin - No I haven't but will do......soon.
D: I have seen it, and I enjoyed it immensely. Mark Wahlberg was very good and the script was very well observed. I even thought Jennifer Anniston was good too and I don't normally rate her.
B: I have seen it and like you thought it was funny in a few places, sort of 5/10.
Q: Right then lads... you can punch anyone in the face, and get away with it scott free...who d'ya wanna punch?? Jonny Wilts
H: That bloody traffic warden who gave me a ticket the other day. Thanks for nothing!
B: You for a start.
D: This is very tempting, but I'm going to very very correct and say "no one, I love the world". Those who know me well will know who is on my "eventual pain" list. I don't want my victims to know it's coming by revealing it here...
C: You know me, I'm not a violent man. But put Gareth Gates in front of me......
L: Ha ha ha .........good question. Jamie Oliver?
Q: What's the best thing in the world? Candy, Kent
H: Health, wealth, and happiness!
B: Waking up on a fresh spring morning, the sun is shining, birds are singing in the trees, a cool refreshing breeze wafts gently through the half open window. As you leap out of bed you can hear children playing in the street below, and people laughing and joking as they go about their day. You take a loaded shotgun and shoot the all the birds, tell the people below to shut the hell up, slam the window closed and go back to bed until lunchtime. Mmmm heaven.
L: Waking up early on a sunny morning without a hangover!
C: The best thing in the world is the thing that you have yet to achieve. Did I say that?
D: For me it's very simple, it's laughter, and more specifically the laughter of small children. To hear little kids laugh always makes me feel so brilliant, and it's because they don't care about anything else except the thing that's making them laugh. No side, no ulterior motive, no plan, just unconfined innocent joy in every giggle. If grown ups took a moment to consider this (maybe play a tape at key moments), I'm certain the world would be a much nicer place.
Q: Two questions really! Firstly were any of you guy's nervous/scared/drunk at the first ever Thunder gig? Secondly how would you describe each other as band mates? Love the album, see you on tour! Andy, Sheffield
H: Just excited really-The start of something new! Pity there wasn't too many people there but the dog enjoyed it!! How would I describe the rest of the band?..............Mad..........All stark raving mad! Simple as that.
B: The only thing we were scared about was getting paid.
D: Nah! May have had a couple of lemonades but weren't drunk, we'd been doing it ages by the time we did that show so no nerves (hard to be nervous if there's no audience), I think the dog was more scared than we were...
L: I don't think we were that nervous at our first gig as there weren't that many people there; about 20 I seem to remember. Danny's got short hair and green eyes, Harry's got no hair, goatee and sunglasses, Ben looks a bit like he could be the son of Brad Whitford from Aerosmith and Chris is tall and slim.
C: My first Thunder show was a pre-tour warm up at the King's Head in Fulham, November 1996. I wasn't really nervous - I don't get stage fright - and I'm never drunk before or during a gig, but I certainly wasn't prepared for the audience. You lot are bloody mad.
Q: Danny, I have a friend 17years old girl. She became Thunder fan recently, so she has never been to Thunder's live. But she saw the your live video on the this web site, she said that she thought Danny is cute. How do you feel hear that? I think you're great cause you got such a young lady's heart like her! Chikako, Japan
D: I am touched and reassured to have appealed to someone so young in years. However I feel she must be in need of a strong pair of spectacles. Don't get me wrong, I've always felt "cute" as you put it, but nowadays it's in a growing old disgracefully kind of way.
Q: Is this mini tour really a make or break scenario, for the future of Thunder or could you go it alone, without promoters, and maybe run the shows yourselves? Shaun
D: Thunder could not do tours without promoters to guarantee the fees. Touring at this level is incredibly expensive and very risky. As it is, by removing record labels the band is effectively gambling with its livelihood so it is very much a make or break scenario. I'm not prone to exaggeration, the cost of promoting a record is terrifying. We need fans like you to help us make this tour and LP a galloping success.
Q: Hey Danny, I've started to learn singing all the songs of Thunder, but do you use any techniques to get your voice so tone accurate? if so could you tell me. Jools, Weymouth
D: I hum, I chant, I sit cross legged in a quiet room and summon the spirits of the dead...And if you believe that you'll believe anything. Seriously, I sing the way I sing, I don't do anything, I just sing it how it feels and how it looks on the page.
Q: Got the new album yesterday. A brilliant comeback. Thanks for letting all fans be a part of it. Cant wait for the London show in may. What was the biggest difference between touring with Thunder and the tour you did with Magnum? And are you an old Magnum fan yourself? Henrik Larsson, Sweden
H: Henrik - Biggest difference really, was just the style of music. Can't say I was an avid fan; I am now of course! But I was always well aware of their music, and very happy to be asked to tour with them. See you at The Astoria!
Q: Hi Ben, When we met you at the Newcastle MOR meet 'n' greet, two Japanese ladies were measuring you for a suit ... we think!! Just wondering if you ever received it? Lynne and Joanie (Thunder's oldest fan we think), Gateshead
B: Nothing as yet, still I live in hope.
Q: Hi Ben, what Was The 1st Ever Guitar & Amp You Brought And You Still Own Then? Ben Jackson, Nottingham
B: The first amp I ever bought was a VPower amp, awful thing, may a terrible noise, I blew it up at the when my band played at the school disco.
Q: Hello, Ben. This a very simple question, what kind of dish do you like? I think maybe you don't remember you promised me at the Brighton centre last year. But if you remember it, please let me know good news as soon a possible. I have a little tired of waiting... Chikako, Japan
B: I guess your fishing for the answer "sushi".
Q: Just received the new album from Townsend and think it is fantastic!! It sounds more raw than the last, was this intentional and how do you think it compares to the others? What is your fave track on it? Am still listening to find mine but so far they all sound excellent! My husband says the guitar solos are better than those on recent albums-nice one! Can't wait to see you in Manchester for the full set! Megan, Wirral
B: My favourite is Loser - seems to be everyones!
D: Glad to hear you like it, please tell everyone you know about the LP and the tour, we need all the help we can get.. The rockier approach was intentional, we decided if we were coming back, we had to go back to our roots. For me the feel is like the first LP but we've got better since we recorded it. My favourite track is Loser. Your husband may well be right about the solos, but I'm the wrong person to discuss it with...
Q: Which Thunder/B&M/El Gringo Retro/Bad Influence song do you think best showcases your ability as a musician/singer? I think Harry's drumming on Moth to the Flame is particularly excellent and I love the guitars on Higher Ground and the solo on "Sick and Tired" and "Out of My Head" The bass on "Pilot of My Dreams" is inspired and, as for vocals, "Until My Dying Day". Ben is best at the funky keyboards, "Gimme Some Lovin" etc. What are your views? Doc', Ireland
B: I've got a couple of moments when I actually liked what I played. One is the guitar solo in Low Life In High Places and the other is the piano part on "In A Broken Dream". There is a piano solo I did on "Hirsuite Boogie" which I did when I was very drunk and just can't play it now!
H: I was listening to "Shake The Tree" today. Quite pleased with the drumming on that track! So maybe I should chose that one!? Singing wise.......Every recording I've sang on, and we're talking mostly backing vocals here, is pure perfection.................It
is!................. Why are you laughing? ............................
D: Self analysis I try to avoid wherever possible. I don't think it pays to concentrate too much on myself. I prefer to leave it to others, after all their opinions matter much more. Being a terminal show off already, I really enjoy doing it so I kind of think it's all great really.
C: There are 2 Thunder songs I'm quite pleased with my playing on - Rolling The Dice from Giving The Game Away, and Lover Not A Friend from Shooting At The Sun.
Q: Right..... You can be one character in one film...whose your character?? Jonny Wilts
H: Woody......Toy Story!
B: Unquestionably Steven Seagal in that one with the boat and the girl in the cake, you know..."show me a move".
D: Anything Robert Mitchum was in. What a guy...
C: I'm going to cheat slightly, and choose one film but two characters. It would have to be either Vincent Vega or Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction, which is possibly my favourite film ever. Unless you count The Matrix in which case I would have to be Neo.
L: James Bond in any of the Bond movies.
Q: Hi Guys, First of all, like everyone else, I gotta say that the new album is totally BRILLIANT. and also to thank you all for your hospitality at Wembley, where me and my fiancé arrived late to the meet & greet, but now to ask a question to keep things fresh, Do you guys like horror movies, and if you do have you seen "Dog Soldiers" which to my mind is one of the finest films to be released in Britain in a while? Look forward to seeing you at the Astoria in May, bringing some new Thunder fans with me, Danny, given the chance I wanna buy you a beer. Dale, London
B: When I was younger I used to be a fan of "The Hammer House of Horror" series of films although they do look a bit crap now. Also the Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee partnership was a lot of fun. How many times did he have to kill him?
H: Thanks Dale. I love Monsters Inc. Does that count? But seriously, yes I do like 'em. Bit of blood and guts! Nice. See you at The Astoria.
L: I love all kinds of movies. My favourite horror pic would probably be 'The Thing' by John Carpenter. Unfortunately I haven't seen DS but I will look out for it.
C: Haven't seen Dog Soldiers, so I can't comment on that. I'm a bit choosy when it comes to horror films - I don't like gore & splatter just for the sake of it. One of the scariest films I've seen for a while is Signs. No special effects, no over the top violence, just suspense in the best 60's tradition.Glad you like the album, I think it's brilliant too.
D: Horror films are not my cup of blood really, so I'm sure it'll come as no surprise to you that I've not seen DS. Sorry. Glad you like the new LP, glad also you're coming to the Astoria show (trust you're coming mob handed, if not you must put this right!). Finally you can buy me a beer any time...
Q: What practical jokes have you (or still do) played on each other? Kevin, Kent
B: I once got Harry to order a glass of snot in a restaraunt in Japan. The Japanese for water is "mizu" and the Japanese for nose is "hanna", so when you say "hanna mizu" you say "nose water". I convinced Harry that hanna mizu was a great kind of drink and that he should order a glass from the waitress, which he promptly did much to merriment of the rest of us. The waitress just stood there looking slightly concerned. Sorry Haz
D: There have been many incidents. One of my favourites follows:- I conspired with the Tour Manager in Hanover Germany a few tours ago on April Fools Day. We gathered discarded hotel room keys (some always get left in pockets and not returned to hotels on departure) from the bus, put them in envelopes with names on (usual routine). Then we got the band and crew up very early from their bunks on the bus. We explained that because of roadworks, we couldn't park the bus outside the hotel, and that there was a bit of walk across waste ground to get there. They rubbed their eyes, yawned a lot, took their keys and duly trudged off across the waste ground, dragging their Delsey suitcases behind them. When they got to the other side (some 500 yards), there was of course no hotel when they got there, so they stood like lost souls, barely awake, wondering what had happened to it. At this point we roared around the corner in the bus, opened the door and yelled "April Fools!" No one laughed...Though they saw the funny side later.
L: I remember on my thirtieth birthday we all went to a Greek restaurant where there was much smashing of plates and general chaos. While Harry was in the loo I filled his half-empty ciggie packet with Whitebait (tiny fish which are often served as a starter). We went to Stringfellows afterwards so you have to imagine H's surprise when he produced his packet of fags and offered one to a girl he was chatting up. H doesn't like fish either....oh dear.
Q: Don't think this one's been asked before Thinny...! If you weren't musicians what do you think you'd be doing instead? Izzy, Surrey
B: Sitting in a studio somewhere.
H: I think I'd probably be a travel agent!? Or a barber!? Anything for the weekend sir? See I could do that!
C: I would probably be a carpenter - I love working with wood.
L: Something to do with the film industry probably although I'm not sure quite what.
D: It's been asked but maybe not here. If I hadn't have been in band at age15 I'm sure I'd have ended up a criminal. All my early childhood friends did, but the band took me out of that social loop. Not sure I would have been a very good criminal though, so I'd probably be hoping for an early release right about now...
Q: Hi all you people, I want to know any reflection of every one about this war, and you know, your point of views and if you're decide to do something for/against the Iraqi conflict. And a suggestion to the wonder-writer (Luke). I'd bought the Shooting but still haven't hear. I hope to do soon and I wonder if there are any more lyrics like Preaching.. in it. That kind of poems I love too much. I hope you can write more lyric on that way. Another question: Guys: Where do you think you will be in next 10 years? what do you think you will be doing? Harry: Do you see yourself with your drums? Luke, ripping up good sounds from your guitars? Danny, will you be there, singing like today? Chris, amazing with his powerful bass and Ben, doing his fantastic arrangement with the piano and the guitars? Or do you have any other plans for you? Well questions enough. Wonderful site. Walter Jorge Valdez, Argentina
B: I'm sure I'll be sitting in a studio somewhere.
H: It's a shame it had to come to war! Something needed to be done for the Iraqi people's sake! Not sure that war was the answer though. In ten year's time..............Who knows?? Like to think that I'll still be banging and crashing about.....on the drums I mean.
C: To be quite honest, I'm just astonished that it's happening. I have my own ideas about the agenda for this conflict which I don't intend to air here. In ten years time, I imagine I will be doing pretty much the same thing that I'm doing now. Musicians don't die, they just fall over and can't get up again....
L: The war in Iraq is absolutely dreadful. There has been nothing to even remotely justify what is happening. There's something very wrong with 24 hour a day coverage on TV as well; it almost reduces the significance of the horror that's going on to a sort of grizzly, perverted MTV level. I just hope people are smart enough to realise that there's a lot more to this than simply kicking Saddam out and opening a few more branches of McDonalds which is what a lot of the propaganda would have you believe; phrases like 'surgical strike' and 'collateral damage' almost make it sound reasonable and clean but they're really both euphemisms for 'lots of people dying horribly and unnecessarily'. In 10 years time I hope I'm happy whatever I'm doing.
D: Quite simply I think war is wrong, and I believe there must be a great deal of information we were not told in the months leading up to this sorry point in time. I hate death, suffering and destruction being shoved in my face in real time across all my TV channels. It's surreal to simply sit and watch from the safety and comfort of our homes, while
innocent people are terrified and killed. It's too horrific, too scary, I don't understand how the world has become such an ugly place. I cannot begin to wonder what I'll be doing in 10 years time, and in the context of the previous question, it doesn't matter, what matters is right now. You asked. Sorry.
Q: If a movie were ever to be made about the group, who would you get to play each of you? And if a catch phrase were to be associated with you, what would it be? Nichola, Kent
B: I'd like Jonathon Creek to play me. My catch phrase would have to be "is he up yet?"
H: Maybe Phil Collins - He'd have to play right handed though! My catchphrase would be "ice and a slice".
D: My sense of vanity says I'd need it to be Brad Pitt or George Clooney. My catch phrase would have to be "I'm not having it!"
L: Samuel L. Jackson although he would have to spend at least 12 hours a day in make up! Catch phrase would be 'Whose round is it?'
Q: Hey Guys, What is your favourite song from the latest album ? I am swaying between "Loser" & "Shooting at the Sun" ..Trying to pump up this album here in NE Pennsylvania. Keep rockin'. RJ Gula
B: Moving between Loser and Shake The Tree, but it does change.
H My current personal fav is "Shake The Tree". Tomorrow it may be something completely different! And thanks for spreading the word.
D: Thanks for the support, keep up the good work in whatever way you can.. I trust you have an advantageous rooftop you could shout from. My favourite is ever changing like yours. I am rocking constantly....
C: My favourite has to be Loser.
L: Once again it's very difficult to pick a favourite as I tend to look at it as one piece of work at the moment. Ask me again in a few years!!!
Q: What's your favourite beer/drink? Kevin, Kent
B: I'll tell you when you get a round in.
D: This is getting a bit poor, we'll be on to toothpaste and favourite colour next... I have no favourite anything really, I like quality beers and/or a nice bottle of red wine. Colgate and blue (just in case).
L: Red wine, cold Japanese beer and hot sake, J+B and coke but not all in the same glass.
H: A pint of Fosters Top please! Thanks.
Q: Right two reasons for the question (one an alteria motive)...he he!! Do any of you guys know or associate with Anthrax (the band...)?? You heard their single, enjoy their music?? Oh yea...Thunder fans keep voting!! Losers just off top spot...CUMON get it back up to no.1!! Jonny Wilts
B: Not really my cup of tea, still each to their own.
D: I've had no knowledge of Anthrax's music for many years. They simply don't do it for me I'm afraid. As for the recent voting it would appear their fans are just as nutty as ours...I won't go into a passage about you guys having better taste etc as that would be tacky...
H: Not familiar with their music. I'm sure they're good at what they do though!
C: Don't know anything about them
L: I don't know any of Anthrax and I'm not a fan of what I've heard by them although I think they deserve respect as they've been around at least as long as Thunder. Although I find that particular genre of rock difficult to listen to, as far as I can tell they do it very well.
Q: Hello boys, what's your favourite chat up line. Past, present or one's used on you? Nicola Griggs-Walker
B: I always like the one about brass etchings.
H: "Come here and get your card marked" That has always amused me! Used it once and got my face slapped! Wonder why?
L: 'Take me upstairs and show me your lyrics' was a particularly good one.
Q: I've asked Luke and Danny this already.....If there were to be a Thunder tribute album with current chart acts covering Thunder tunes who would you have doing what songs? Luke said he would try and do a WWW post on the subject...... Elliot, London
B: I'd like Rolf Harris to do a version of Like A Satellite.
C: I would ask The Red Hot Chili Peppers to do everything. But Avril Lavigne could be in the studio because she's pretty.
Q: Hi guys, I've been watching The Old Grey Whistle Test on BBC2 recently, 6 programmes, I think it was '72 thru '77 showing the best performances for each year as chosen by Bob Harris. I was a young girl of 9 back in '72 and this programme, like many others in the words of my Mum was 'not suitable for a girl', so for the past 6 weeks I've indulged myself, and what a sheer pleasure it's been! Did you have an opportunity to see the programmes, and if so, have any of the performances motivated you to go out and invest in some back catalogues of CD's and if so, who were they? I ask because I've heard and seen many of the artists featured on tv over the years, but there were two performances which moved me enough to go out and purchase a couple of cd's, John Martin prompted the purchase of 'Solid Air' as recommended by a friend. The other performance was of Rory Gallagher with Taste, he really put his heart and soul into his music, and his blues are just awesome, whether it's acoustic or rocked up on his electric guitar. There are some really great photo's of him playing on his website www.rorygallagher.com he's having a love affair with his guitar and it shows! I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I never came across anyone who listened to Rory when I was younger/growing up, I had never listened to his material, I've now put that to rights and the article on RG in Classic Rock this month has just fuelled my appetite to listen to this guy. Kerry
B: I remember these shows the first time round too, these and others like it helped shape my musical taste. Rory Gallagher was a fine artist, my old band even did a cover of Shadow Play.
H: Kerry - Unfortunately, I missed it! Sorry!
C: Didn't see the Whistle Test, but I have been replenishing my collection of CDs, most of which I originally had on vinyl and lost for one reason or another. I've recently bought Physical Graffiti, Trick Of The Tail, Burn and Stormbringer.
L: Unfortunately I haven't seen any of the Whistle Test re-runs but I was an avid watcher in my teenage years. Back then the only music shows on TV were OGWT and TOTP and both were unmisslabel events. I remember dissecting each show the day after at school. Rory Gallagher was a fine guitar player and quite popular amongst my schoolmates so I know quite a lot of his material.
D: I haven't watched the OGWT re-runs lately, but when we were growing up it was absolutely must watch TV. It introduced us to so many fantastic bands, and very influential it was too. On another note I saw Rory Gallagher a few times in the 70s (just one of the positives about being 40 plus), and you're right, he was a fantastic guitar player, both live and on record. You could do much worse than get into RG.
Q: What was the last gig you went to see and did you have to pay to get in or were you on the guest list? By the way, any news on the in-stores idea yet? Mark Burton, London
B: I was with Danny at the Linda Lewis show at Ronnie Scotts, we didn't pay and I got to see Simply Red in the afternoon.
H: Last gig I went to see was Deep Purple at the Hammersmith Apollo - Fantastic! Chris and I were on the guest list, courtesy of our old mucker Don Airey.
C: The last gig I went to see was Deep Purple at The Hammersmith Apollo, and I was kindly put on the guest list.
L: Def Leppard and I was on the guest list.
D: Linda Lewis at Ronnie Scott's in February. I didn't have to pay, we share an agent. No news on in-stores yet, but there will be some very soon. Watch this space...
Q: Hello boys, picture the scene...Brand new music shop with instruments all shiny and new. You each sit down for a test drive. What do you play/sing to see if they're any good? Nicola, Kent
B: A bit of boogie woogie, then the solo from Van Halen's Eruption. The problem is boogie woogie sounds terrible on the guitar and as for Eruption on the piano errrgh.
D: Vibes for me please...
H: I would walk over to a kit (Pearl of course!) and just bash and crash around for a while - like a drum solo?? Then the owner of the shop would probably throw me out!
C: If I'm testing out a bass guitar, I wouldn't necessarily play a particular song - I would just 'widdle' around on it for while (widdling is musicians speak, otherwise known as the thing you do in the privacy of your bedroom, but should never be done in public).
L: Normally the first thing I play when I pick up a guitar to check the tuning is an E major chord. That's an incredibly exciting fact isn't it? Not a lot of people know that.
Q: Have any of you guys heard of a band called Little Egypt? Pabz, Sheffield
B: No, should I have?
H: Pabz - Can't say I have! Sorry and all that!
L: No.....why, should I have heard of them?
D: I have heard the name but nothing more I'm afraid.
Q: How do you spend birthdays, Christmas and new year?? and what were the last things you bought each other?? Mark Field, Swindon
B: Bahh, humbug!
L: B'days and New Year are always occasions I try to spend with friends but Xmas tends to be more of a family thing. Although the band are my closest mates we don't tend to buy stuff for each other apart from the odd pint!
H: Normally spend Christmas with the family - Birthday's depend on what I'm up to - Last Birthday was spent on the road with Magnum - That was a nice little jolly up! Spent quite a few birthdays with the boys on the road over the past 10 or 20 years. A few hangovers there I can tell you! And New Years Eve - either family occasions, or I've been gigging, or a good old Thunder Fancy Dress Party! Last thing I bought the guys was a drink. Hic!
Q: Does Harry get in a bad mood when crystal palace lose and do the rest of you like footie. Mick Hodd, Luton
B: I stick to F1 and Cricket mainly, still it's nice to see Harry feeling miserable.
H: I don't get in a bad mood if Palace lose. My disappointment is normally taken out on the drum kit! If there's no drum kit, I destroy anything in my path! (Believe that and you'll believe anything!)
C: I'll watch big matches and get as excited as everyone else, but I can't say I'm as enthusiastic about it as Harry.
L: I enjoy football very much particularly England matches (see W.W.W.# 6th May 2002) and I remember Harry being late for a soundcheck in 1990 when Palace were drawing with Man U in the cup final. Unfortunately they lost the replay and I think it's fair to say he wasn't happy.
D: Harry does get a bit peeved when CPFC lose, but it happens so often he's got used to it now. Ha ha! Luke is a big footie fan, I like it but not as much as him, Chris and Ben could care less...
Q: After repeated plays of SATS, (which gets better each time), I put together a sort of mental greatest hits and was surprised to find that nearly half of my selections come from this album, (first one was the title track - "gonna take my dreams......" is a classic piece of lyric writing), anyway, question is if you were putting together the track selection which would be the first 3 on your list. To everybody including Thinny. Andy, Sheffield
B: Like most people, it depends on the mood I'm in, but Until My Dying Day has always been one of my favourites.
H: My choices would change from day to day, month to month, year to year! I'm not indecisive you know! But today I would say....."Shake The Tree"/"Blown Away"/"Just Another Suicide"
L: I am the least qualified person in the world to answer this but it is always interesting to read what other people think.
T: Today it would be Loser, Just Another Suicide and I'll Be Waiting. Ask me tomorrow and I'd probably give you 3 different ones...
D: I've always found this to be an impossible task. Favourites move up and down my personal chart.
Q: I've heard that you guys supported Status Quo in Germany, 1998. Is this true and if so, what do you think to them? Would you consider touring with them again, preferably in the UK? Pabz, Sheffield
L: We did indeed tour with Quo in '98 and it was very pleasurable. We had quite a lot in common, sense of humour in particular. I do remember the last night of the tour both bands took over a restaurant in Berlin and had a thoroughly good time. They are also a very enjoyable live act.
Q: Hi to everyone! Hope you're all well. Two questions for the ROCK GOD that is Danny Bowes if I may! What is the highest note you can hit vocally? Mine's a C - 'Can't Get Enough' style...(stop laughing!) I've been singing properly since about 16yrs, now 19 and wondered is it possible to improve my vocal range by pushing it lots?! Take lots of care and will see you all at Glasgow! Dave, Newcastle
D: My top note is an F (apparently). Pushing your voice to develop your range is good, provided you're singing correctly in the beginning. If you haven't had any lessons find a vocal coach and have a few. This will help your technique, he/she may even be able to help you develop your range. Remember your range should extend down as well as up (you may want to become a crooner one day), seriously it helps your overall tone if you can control your pipes down low as well as up top. If you have had lessons disregard this rubbish..
Q: I read in a previous Q&A that Danny had an ACL repair/reconstruction. That's really interesting to me as I work for one of the largest orthopaedic companies in the UK - we design, manufacture and market total joint replacement prostheses (hips, knees, elbows, wrists, fingers etc). I work in the International Training Department, showing our orthopaedic surgeons how to perform a total knee or hip replacement using our products (I should add we use plastic bones for training) in a classroom environment before they hit the OR for real. My question of sorts ... Would you be free following the tour in May to attend our Advanced Training Course as a patient case for discussion on treatment options following ACL repair? PS: If you start getting some gip (sp?) with the knee let me know and I'm sure I can sort out some kind of substantial discount on any prosthesis/treatment required or recommend some great surgeons for you in return for say, 2 backstage passes for me and a friend at Rock City in May?! Looking forward to seeing you there. Kate, Leeds
D: You must be psychic! I am currently experiencing a small degree of gip (sp?) as you call it. Not too much but it's strange you should bring this up right now, just as it's begun (cue spooky music).. Let me have the dates you'd like me to be your patient case and I'll check my diary. If I do this surely I should have backstage passes to your shows rather than you to mine? Not sure I approve of bribery and corruption though (ha ha).
Q: Hi lads! I couldn't figure out who would be best to answer this one so I'll put it to all of you. During "Spin" when Danny mentions Napoleon's lack of height (or length?) I can just make out a burst of laughter in the background. Simple question, who is this laughing and why??? Jamie, Suffolk
D: If I remember correctly it's me. I often laugh in between lines when I'm singing wry or witty lyrics.
Q: Hi Danny, what was the largest crowed you have ever played to at an out-door concert or festival?? Ben Jackson, Nottingham
D: Donington in 1990. Officially there were 78,000 people but unofficial sources say 82,000. From where we stood on the stage the crowd was so big you couldn't see where it ended...
Q: I need help. I don't know what to do. I haven't bought SATS yet because I want to wait for it to be in the shops, to get you higher in the charts. But its killing me... I need my fix of Thunder. What would you guys prefer I do? Website or Shop? Kevin, Kent
D: Don't kill yourself waiting for it, that would mean you'd be dead before you had a chance to buy it. Self-defeating methinks. Seriously, we appreciate very much your desire to help us with the charts, but so many people have already bought it via the website I'm sure this will have already impacted on a chart position. We knew this would happen, and planned for it. The single is where we want to make an impact on the chart. More news on that once we have a plot in place.
Q: Hi, Please can you tell me if the track listing will be the same on the British and Japanese versions....Or will there be bonus tracks in Japan....Look forward to hearing from you. Mark W.
T : The track listings are the same - no bonus tracks for Japan this time!
Q: Hi Guys, one of my favourite Thunder songs is History In The Making, but I've never heard it live, so have you ever played it live, and is there any chance this time around? Gareth, Hampshire
L: I'm glad you like 'History' but we won't make a decision on what material the set contains until rehearsals which are the week before the tour.
Q: Luke, do you write songs constantly. I mean, one a week - every week, or do you write them directly for an album that's on the horizon? How many songs do you write a month? roughly. Kevin, Ken t
L: If I'm not actually writing then I am thinking about it for a good percentage of the time. It's not as simple as writing a certain number per month; sometimes it'll be none other times it might be as many as 7 or 8. It all depends on how much time pressure I'm under. SATS was written in 3 months and I was very disciplined about it. Sometimes pressure makes you produce better work. All I can tell you is the more I do it the less I understand it!
Q: Luke, what song are you the proudest of? Kevin, Kent
L: Difficult to pick out one..........there's a few that I'm very proud of but it's not what I think that matters; it's what you lot think that counts!
Q: Harry, were you and Fabien Barthez of Man. Utd separated at birth?! Nick
H: I know what you're thinking Nick! ..............I obviously got the good looks there! I'll have a word with my mum. I'll get back to you on that. Comment allez vous? Sur mon tete fils !
Q: Hello All, I have an irrational fear of flying and no matter how many times I tell myself that it's the safest form of travel etc. I'm still poo-ing myself. I've done a parachute jump and wasn't that scared (maybe because I had a parachute!!). So, I was wondering if you have any fears or phobias? John
L: I have to admit to not liking heights at all. Apart from that I think I'm phobia free.
H: I am fortunately "fear and phobia" free! Although, having said that, I'm not keen on going to the doctor!
Q: Thinny, is maintaining the Thunder web site your full time job? Were you mates with the band before you started doing it? Do you design and maintain any other websites? Anyway, thanks for doing it so well. John
T: Although sometimes it feels like it, no, maintaining the Thunder site is not my full time job. I do lots of other things to earn a crust, all I.T. related. No, I didn't know the band personally before they asked me to work on their website. There are quite a few other websites out there that I have designed, the most recent being www.fantasticplasticpeople.com. I don't really maintain any site, other than the Thunder one (this one keeps me busy enough!). Glad you think I'm doing a good job - I love doing it most of the time, but it wouldn't be half as much fun without you lot!
Q: Harry, what do you seriously think of Trevor Francis? Palace were going through a slight resurgence but now they've lost it again. Do you think it's weak management or is it the team? It does seem that every time they nurture a player and they start doing well for the team they go and sell them. This goes way back before the Francis days - I know money's tight but come on. The other question is to any person in the band. Has there been any moment which has left you in stitches on stage and as a result been unable to play or sing for a couple of minutes? I'm trying my hardest to get people along to the Astoria. Looks like 8 (including me) so far. James, Croydon
H: James - I am reliably informed that Trevor is a nice guy, but tactically, slightly naive. After the FA Cup run, our form has been pretty awful - there is a big injury list though, which may contribute to our recent string of bad results. There's many things going on behind the scenes, most of which I'm not privy to. Yes money is tight at the club and to be honest, I've heard that the Chairman's man management skills, are not the best in the footballing world. There's been quite a few funny moments but they've never stopped the show. We try and be professional and try and play through it, to be honest. Apart from the time that someone breached security (not a dirty word), and walked on stage and just said....'allo......, to Danny whilst he was bearing his soul. That was funny! That stopped the show momentarily. See you at the Astoria! Good man. Bah!
Q: Hi Guys, was discussing the new SATS album with my brother the other day we both loved it but he reckons ballads are the way to go, as Bon Jovi did this and made quite a few bob at it, and got themselves a whole new fan base my question is would you ever consider doing this? Ann, Swindon
L: Funnily enough it has occured to us (Love Walked In, Better Man, Satellite etc.) but it's not as simple as just putting out a ballad and sitting back while you're catapulted to global success. You can release the greatest song ever written but if nobody gets to hear it on the radio or TV then it won't stand a chance of being a hit.
Q: Luke...is it in fact true, that you favourite song is 'Welcome to the Jungle', by Guns N' Roses?? Heard it on the grapevine, just looking for conformation!! Jonny Wilts
L: No it isn't. I do like it but I couldn't say it was my favourite song. I couldn't even say I have a favourite song as there's so many great ones I love.
T : So, there you go all you guitar players out there....thanks for the help Lee!
Q: Hi, I was just wondering if any of the individual performances of either you or you know if any of Alice Cooper's performances during the Monsters of Rock 2002 tour were filmed or recorded? Great new album by the way! Antong
T : None of the acts on the MOR 2002 tour had their sets at any of the shows professionally filmed. There is some hand held camera footage of some of the Thunder shows, but nothing fit for a full on release. Total Rock Radio did record the whole of the Wembley show (audio only). Parts of the Thunder and Alice sets were aired on the station the night of the gig.
Q: Where can I get the single "Loser"???? Stephen Way
T : Well, you can buy the song 'Loser' on the new Thunder album, 'Shooting At The Sun' (in shops April 7th or available now from HERE ). You can't actually buy it as a single yet, but hopefully you will be able to soon. Keep checking back and when/if there is any news we will post it on the site!
Q: Hi Luke, I've just bought your solo album and got surprised by that note giving thanks "to the good people of Spain". In fact, the album has a strong Mediterranean air, and I bet that the pictures in the booklet were taken in
some Spanish town. What was that place exactly? Did you write the songs there? And finally, are you planning to come to Barcelona sometime? Daniel, Barcelona
L: The pictures were taken in and around Marbella and yes, a lot of the songs were written in Spain. There are no plans to come to Spain at the moment but that doesn't mean we won't at some point so keep watching this space!
Q: Having managed to see you at three different venues in one week, I was thrilled to see you in Manchester on the Monsters of Rock - I take it you got the response you wanted? Are you never disheartened that you are never featured on the mainstream rock channels on digital TV. I used to mail Tommy Vance weekly for you to be included in the Friday Rock Show - PAH! Can't wait to see you once again in Manchester!! Sally Hill, Crewe
L: I would say that we haven't had too much help from the mainstream media over the years. If anything it makes us more determined as opposed to disheartened. The one thing we have is great fans and as the Total Rock vote thing shows, punter power can be just as powerful as untold amounts of hype. Glad you enjoyed the Monsters show.
Q: Hey, question to Danny and Luke. Ever (have you Luke) considered writing a song purely based for piano, with just Danny's vocals accompanying it?? Danny, would you be prepared to do so?? Have you done so?? Jonny Wilts
L: What you're talking about is more of an arrangement issue than a writing one. There's quite a few Thunder songs that would sound reasonably good done with piano and vocal. The live version of 'Satellite' hinted at it. Who
knows, maybe it's something we'll do in the future.
Q: Gentlemen,........ first of all, I'd like to thank you for writing the soundtrack to most of my life. As a failed songwriter ,it is always gratifying to hear it done properly. However....my enquiry concerns certain t.v. appearances made during the mid-nineties. I can re-call coming in from the pub, bouncing off the walls and watching a show in which you were performing "stand up" . Are any of these performances available on VHS or DVD? I also missed out on the MTV years, where can i get this stuff !!! Roy the plumber
T : The sad truth is that there is officially no real way to get a hold of this stuff. The band do not own the right to any of this material. The TV appearances are owned by the production companies and the video clips are owned by EMI (for the most part) - so the chances of them ever being released are slim. Your best bet is to ask fans on the message board if they have any of these performances on tape - they may be willing to make you a copy!?
Q: Sorry, just dropped into the stream of consciousness today (23/03/03). Up until about 30 minutes ago I was under the impression that THUNDER were sadly gone (but not forgotten). It appears that you are all back together again and a new album is about to appear? Can anybody fill in the gap for me? Being a THUNDER fan since seeing you supported HEART in Edinburgh, which I think was pretty near the beginning, I managed to see you again in Edinburgh and once in a really small venue in Glasgow - always a GREAT event, you guys always seemed to be having great fun! If indeed you are back together, I would love to know the history. Anyway, look forward to the new CD. Keep creating great music and not taking it too seriously! Stephen, France
T : Where have you been Stephen? You'll find the answers to most of your questions by searching through the Q+A, but to cut a long story short - Thunder were asked to play the Monsters Of Rock U.K. tour last year. They agreed and also recorded and E.P. to sell at the gigs and through the internet. They then decided to record a full record, which resulted in 'Shooting At The Sun' (available now from Townsend Records). There's a U.K. tour in May, but what happens next remains to be seen...
Q: Hi Guys, childish question if I may - if you were a cartoon character which one would you be and why? Oh by the way H - I hear Reading are gonna give Palace a good beating on Saturday, will you be there? Alex, Southampton
H: Mr Magoo - Someone once told me that I looked like him! Nice compliment I thought! And Reading didn't give Palace a good beating did they? Eh? Although, I've since heard that Reading deserved the points. Ho hum! Well done Mr Pardew!!!!!!!!!
C: Bananaman. Or Shaggy from Scooby Doo.
D: I'd have to be Wily Coyote. The constant trying, and the look of resignation as he goes over the cliff yet again. I understand that look.
L: I'd have to be the lothario from Top Cat; the one with the Cary Grant voice......can anyone remember his name?
Q: Chris: Do the guys let you shine like on the *PHAT* bass line on the track "Shooting At The Sun" very often in the studio ?? You are *well* up in the mix. Harry: I can't find (yet!!! (Grrr!!)) any click tracks on the new album. Was this your seeing to, or the engineers ??? While I'm at it ... Danny - on any "normal" cd player the vocal level on "Loser" is fine. Stick it thru any AC-3 sound system (digital telly, xbox, PC home setup, whatever etc) and you can *hardly* hear the vox over the geetars ? 'Spect Ben might have something to do with this ?? Sorry for being an Audiophile but ..... Cleggy
H: Clicky - I clicked my sticks a couple of times - I did it with you in mind! Clickety click! Can't you hear it?
C: No, they don't often let me do anything. In fact, most of the time we're in the studio, I'm chained to the wall in a gimp mask. They're like that.
D: Thanks for pointing it out, though I had noticed this already (ha ha). Technical me? No....
Q: I have read that Ben does a lot of studio work, but do any of the rest of you have any business interests outside of Thunder? Paul Morgan, Harpenden
H: Just the modelling contracts - I'm in big demand these days!
L: I write and produce and that's all really. I'm not a person who enjoys business for business' sake.
Q: Guys, what would you do if you had a power cut during a big gig? Would Harry entertain us with his tub thumping skills! Dom, Southend On Sea
H: It's happened before Dom, but let's pray it doesn't happen again -Yes I did a little solo during a power cut - Just seemed the right thing to do at the time!
L: We actually did have a power cut at a gig in Derby a few years ago and I do recall a short flourish from H. What happened was that the power to the sound equipment was fixed before the lights so we did one song lit by only the crew's torches!
Q: Dear Danny, I heard that talks of your agent and a Japanese promoter broke down. Is it true? In order for the Japanese fan to look at LIVE of THUNDER, does a chance have only the U.K. tour in May? The Japanese fan is waiting for five persons to come back all the time from March, 2000. Till when should a Japanese fan just wait? I believe that my heart and a Japanese fan's heart reach you. Yukiko, Japan
D: At this moment, despite our best efforts we have not managed to secure any shows in Japan. This is a bit of a mystery to me but this is what I have been told. More than that I cannot say, if this situation changes we will of course let you know.
Q: I know that you have previously given your reasons for not doing the Monsters of Rock this year but for purely selfish reasons I'd like to ask if you would consider doing the Dublin date. It falls after your six date tour and you haven't been to Ireland in ages. Surely it would provide an opportunity to re-visit what has been a very successful market for you in the past, your Irish fans have always been very loyal to you. I have met many fans who travel to see you every time you tour. Also it would give me another excuse to see you. don't make me beg, it's not a pretty sight! Any possibility of an Irish date or twelve? Doc', Ireland
D: The Whitesnake show in Dublin is a Whitesnake show and not part of the Monsters Of Rock tour. As such I have no influence over the bill. As of today we've not been asked to play so....We have always had a blast whenever we've played in Ireland, and the fans are great, but shows don't happen just because we want them to. Would that it were that easy, we'd have a world tour that went everywhere...
Q: Firstly, I have to agree with you Luke. My favourite guitar solo ever is Goodbye to Love by the Carpenters. Pure Genius! Just one question that has crossed my mind a few times. When you guys record an album why is it that only Luke and Danny do the backing vocals (along with assorted guests) but never Ben, Harry, and Chris? In a live set up they prove to be more than competent with all the harmonies. Pretty damn good in fact. So why not on the albums? See you at the Astoria for a bit of a party! Jim, London
L: It's really a matter of convenience. When you get several people around a microphone at the same time of varying vocal abilities it can take forever to do something very simple. Also not everyone is in the studio all the time apart from me so it's just easier and quicker. When we play live all the vocal harmony parts have already been worked out so everyone knows exactly what they're doing.
Q: Luke, gotta ask, why were you sober on millennium eve? Sarah, Derbyshire
L: Because I foolishly started the night drinking Champagne (which gives me galloping indigestion) and there was nothing else to drink at the party so I was on the PG Tips; rock'n'roll eh?
Q: Just a couple of questions for Danny and Luke. Danny, this may be a very stupid question but is just something I have always wondered. When you are recording an album or a particular song do you take your voice to the limit or would you always consciously try and leave a bit of leeway? The reason for the question is that on a tour hitting the high notes night after night has got to take it out of you a bit making some songs a bit more difficult than others to do live especially if you have given it everything in the studio. Could this be the reason why we never get "The Day the World Stopped Turning" live, which I still think is one of the best? Luke, when you are writing are you always writing for a particular album or do you just write? For example when writing for Bowes and Morley or your solo album did you come up with bits and pieces that you knew would be best for Thunder and if so would you continue with these at the time, shelve them to come back to or try and modify them to what you are currently doing, if that makes any sense? Tim, London.
D: My approach has never been to hold anything back in the studio or in the live environment. I try to treat every song and every show as if it could be my last. This makes a rod for my back, and it does make it very hard both physically and mentally to sing the songs live, but I can't do it any other way. For some strange reason the most popular songs are without exception the hardest ones to sing, especially when you have to sing them all one after another. Some songs would be possible to sing live but I'd have no voice for any other songs so it would be a rather short show.. Some (not many) simply don't work live. Still having bled to death all over your computer with my answer, I have to say it could be worse, I could be singing crap songs in a crap band in front of an audience who didn't appreciate any of it...
L: I am in a permanent state of writing as I enjoy it and I try not to worry too much about who or what the songs are for. That decision is made when they're finished.
Q: Out of your studio albums which song do you think has the best guitar solo? Also what is your fave guitar solo by another artist? Mick Hodd, Luton
L: I don't have a favourite solo of my own as I tend not to listen to my own stuff. I like everything by Hendrix, Page, Skunk Baxter and all my fave guitarists. The one solo that would surprise people is the one at the end of 'Goodbye To Love' by The Carpenters which is quite brilliant!
Q: Any particular reason why Glasgow has the honour of getting first night? Can't wait and have been voting on TRR site (No 1 two days in a row!), emailing Simon Mayo and bringing 2 others to Glasgow gig. Oh - is there a particular event that made Luke write Everybody's Laughing? Ian Doig, Glasgow
L: Thanks for your efforts and support. Everybody's Laughing was written about what a miserable Millennium night I had due to the fact that all and sundry around me where off their collective tits and I was sober.
Q: Thinny, I have posted three questions over the past few months on the Thunder website 1) any guitar tab available? to my disappointment YOU answered not one of the guys. 2) Could you show some tab on the web site from that guy who had a copy of LOJD? you deemed his illegal... fair enough. 3) I responded to a question from Sarah from Warwickshire and made some points about Thunder, You didn't post this... why? Can fans not converse on this page? if not then fine, but if yes then why didn't you post it? it DID have praise of the boys and questions in it. And finally do you thick that you could put me in touch with that guy who had the Thunder tab for LOJD or at very least post something on the website somewhere so that he might see it and considering sharing his info???? A Loyal Thunder fan
T: 1) Sorry to disappoint you Kevin, but the guys are very busy - why would I bother them with a question that I already knew the answer to? Besides, the main reason that I answered was because Luke had already answered the questions regarding guitar tabs on the site on numerous occasions. If you had took the time to search through the Q+A archives before asking the question (as it clearly asks all people asking questions to do first) you would have discovered this for yourself. 2) I don't understand what you are asking. His book isn't illegal. It is illegal for us to reproduce the tab from the book on the website when we don't own the rights to them (the publishers own them). I didn't "deem" this illegal, it IS illegal - FACT! 3) We don't post everything. Due to the sheer volume of questions that get sent in to the site it would be impossible to do so. Besides, the Q&A page is not for fans to converse - it is for the fans to ask questions to the band or myself - we have a message board for the fans to chat!! And finally, I can't pass on his details without his permission. If you want to contact him try posting a message on the message board and hopefully he will see it and respond - it's there for things like that...
Q: Not really a question, but have you seen the total rock request chart!? What a result eh? Power to the people!!!!!!!!!! Rock on! Dom
D: I have to say a massive THANK YOU on behalf of all the band for this amazing feat of support. You have excelled yourselves, voted yourselves close to death I'm sure, and made us number 1 in the TRR request chart. We are truly chuffed and amazed by you sterling work. Big Respek etc, etc. It just shows it's fans who make things happen. Power to the people indeed... Q: Can you do it again tomorrow?
Q: Danny, I managed to hear your interview the other night and therefore some of the new songs in full, for the first time - very good indeed and very interesting. I am glad to hear that you are really trying to push the record, and that you even included a mention of America too. OK, a couple of questions really. If and when you release a single (which looks to be Loser), are Virgin Radio showing any support concerning daytime airplay? I think you said a while ago that they considered you not to be suitable for daytime radio, but I can't understand why. (if no support, is it because as part of their research, they keep telephoning the same ten people who don't like your music and then judge accordingly!) In addition, if you don't mind me asking, has your marketing team contacted or will they contact The Simon Mayo Album Chart Show on Radio 2 obviously concerning the shop release of your new album? If you've never heard it before, besides running down the official top 20 album chart and a couple of other charts, Mayo highlights various albums being released in a given week and plays clips and sometimes a whole song or two, especially, if he is interviewing someone about their new album. Besides being quite brilliant, your album is especially worth mentioning, due to the way it came about and how it is being released. Anyway, I will e-mail the show. Tim Smith, Suffolk
D: Thanks for both your support and your input. We're aware of the show you mentioned, and our promotion team is treading all the traditional radio and TV paths, but your email requests to them will do no harm I'm sure. We're under no illusions about how much support we can expect from the popular media, but that doesn't mean we won't try. I always say the same thing, you don't know what you'll get if you do, but you know what you'll get if you don't...
Q: Hi Thinny, After many plays and constant cleaning my GTGA CD is packing up. do you know if the Japanese version of this album is still available on import - apparently it's got the extra track Wonderland on it which is supposed to be brilliant! Alex, Southampton
T: The Japanese import of 'Giving The Game Away' should still be available. The cheapest place I could find for this one was 101cd.com who charge £19.99 and say that they should be able to get a hold of it within 1-2 weeks. Hope this helps.
Q: Danny: During your Extreme Radio interview, you mentioned that you were considering doing some festivals on the continent over the summer. Flicking through my local rag on Friday, I noticed an ad for the Isle of Wight Festival which is taking place on the weekend of 14 & 15 June. As you probably know, this event was reactivated last year for the first time since that halcyon summer of 1970 (you're far too young to remember, I know!) and it was obviously so successful that it's being staged again, with Paul Weller and Bryan Adams as the headliners on the respective days. It would appear that apart from Starsailor and Counting Crows, other bands are still being sought to complete the bill (see www.isleofwightfestival.com and www.soloagency.com for details). So how's about giving us south-coasters a treat to remember at a truly legendary venue ? Paul Edmondson, Pompey
D: Our agent is fully armed and seeking opportunities for us. Rest assured the news on whatever we do will be here first...
Q: Hi Luke, Just read your answer on which cartoon character you would be. I can't find lothario in the dictionary (and my computer's Thesaurus didn't like the word either) but presume you mean the smooth, suave, ladies-man type cat with loads of sex appeal! Well, in that case, it was definitely Fancy. Now, for a question or two...how much of your luscious locks did you get cut off at the hairdressers? Being a bit of a VW fan myself could I just ask what type of VW Golfs you owned (Mark I, II, III, IV and what modeL: GTi, VR6 etc)? Congratulations on SATS (it's FABULOUS), not having a cigarette since new year and best luck with the tour (I'm doing my bit to spread the word). Lynne, Gateshead
L: My haircut isn't too severe; just a major trim really. I drive a Mk.IV GTI in racing green.
Q: Reading articles in the music press on some artists they become critical of past albums. Are there any Thunder albums you wish you could change and if so why. Mick Hodd, Luton
L: If I were being critical I would say that LOJD is a bit long and BCD is a bit too dark. The trouble is that just like life in general, you can only do the best you can do at the time. I have no regrets and I do think that our standard has been very high overall.
Q: Hello, lovely people! We finally got our copies of SATS, and it's a brilliant album! We love every single track and Augh!... we're in bliss, thank you very much! There's one little question, and being Californians, we feel a bit stupid, but what do you mean by "Californian denial"? Since we don't know what it means, maybe that means we have it :) Oh, and we bought our tickets for your shows in May, and we're almost definitely coming (just waiting to see what the state of the world will be at that time). Hope to see you soon! Fumi & Dawn, California
L: Hello ladies! Nice to hear from you both....'Californian denial' refers to a few people I've met in L.A. over the years who would have you (and themselves) believe that they'd never consider using cocaine. The 'Sunset Bar' in the song is in fact 'The Whiskey Bar' at the Sunset Marquis hotel where I have spent many an evening in a queue of people allegedly waiting to use the loo (or restroom). Mysteriously they tend to enter the convenience in pairs and leave rubbing their noses! The extent of my naivety when it comes to cocaine is demonstrated by the fact that I initially thought everyone in Hollywood had a cold!
Q: When I've first heard "Everybody's Laughing", I immediately thought that it reminds me of "Fly On The Wall"... Maybe the drum intro + rhythm of the song? Did you notice that ? One totally different question : What do you think about the new generation of English movie directors like Guy Ritchie? Personally, I think that, opposite to American movies, the English ones are getting better and better. Do you agree with that? (Please, be indulgent with my English) Olivier, Belgium
L: You're right that 'Fly' has the same kind of intro but I don't think 'Everybody' is as funky; it's much more of a rock groove. There are many great films that come out of England and they do tend to be a lot more original than Hollywood movies in general. It's like comparing major record labels to independents; one has the ideas and one has the money!!
Q: Hi Chris, what was the 1st ever bass & amp you brought and did you keep your 1st bass or amp??? Ben Jackson, Nottingham
C: The first bass I ever owned was one which I built myself. I sold that one many years ago. The first bass I ever bought was a Jazz copy - I still have the component parts in various guitars! I got my first amp when I was still playing six-string guitar - a Selmer Treble & Bass 50, given to me by my brother. I used a Trace Elliot GP11 with a power amp for 20-odd years before I got The Hughes & Kettner gear, it's a reliable piece of kit, never let me down. I'm a terrible hoarder, I don't like getting rid of equipment, which means there's not much room in my shed....
Q: Harry, I remember you telling me at a meet and greet at the Apollo, Manchester, not long after your daughter was born that she looked like you. I hope she's grown out of it by now and have you got any more children? Also, are you looking forward to the tour and do you still drink Southern Comfort? Jan, Wrexham
H: Yes, thankfully she has grown out of it now and is quite a "looker". What exactly are you trying to say???? She has a sister now, equally as gorgeous! Looking forward to the tour immensely, and I won't be going near a bottle of Southern Comfort! It hurt me one time too many you see, and I have to say, it's a drink that makes me feel sickly, if I even smell it.
Q: I know I am going to upset some people by asking this question so apologies in advance but here goes anyway. Although I very much enjoyed SATS, with the exception of a couple of tracks I did find it very much 'Thunder-by-numbers'. I have also noticed the comparisons to BSS with many people saying that this is Thunder back to their best. Do you not find it frustrating that as a band you can't seem to move away from an album that is now over 10 years old? I have been a Thunder fan since Dirty Love and have enjoyed every album but find it annoying that so-called fans just want a rehashed BSS with every release and are not prepared to allow you to develop and try different things. For example, I particularly like the Cosmetic Punk track in TOIA but having read the message board find that this is a popular skip. The GTGA album is, in my opinion, under-rated by a lot of people purely because it is not typically Thunder. The Bowes & Morely stuff is also excellent yet at the gig in Nottingham it seemed that the most popular song of the night was Play That Funky Music, traditionally part of the Thunder set list. To get to the point then, did you feel with SATS that you were writing the songs for the fans rather than yourselves and did you feel restrained in any way by their expectations for the new CD particularly after a few years away from being Thunder. Sarah, Warwickshire
L: BSS is always going to have a special place in peoples hearts. Some of it is plain old-fashioned nostalgia, some of it is because it was a good album; either way we can't change what people feel and we're flattered that people do like it so much. I think if you look at the content of 'MSA' and 'El Gringo' you'll find that we have at times moved a long way from the style of BSS. In fact making those albums definitely refueled my desire to write tunes that were in a more rock vein. As the person who writes, produces and arranges the material I can assure you that SATS was definitely not a case of me trying to rehash BSS. Because I hadn't written any out + out rock for a good few years, I thoroughly enjoyed myself writing SATS. As to what the people that buy our albums think that is up to them. We do what we feel we have to do and hopefully people will like it but if they don't then we can't make them. I also think that GTGA is one of our best so I am in total agreement with you on that. You shouldn't worry too much about us feeling artistic frustration of any kind because we do love what we do and we've never felt beholden to our audience anymore than they have to us. I think that Thunder fans trust us to do the best job we can and how SATS comes to be judged is something that will take the passing of time.
Q: Have you seen the 'Shooting At The Sun' review on melodicrock.com? Not too shabby, I think you'll agree!?! How is that you, as a band, go about getting product reviewed and also getting interviews in the press? Is it you personally or management? Do the music press ever come to you directly? Fingers crossed for an appearance in Classic Rock soon, as Kerrang! is becoming way too fickle... Mark Cole, Basingstoke
D: Good question. We have relationships with people within the music industry that have been built up over many years. Using these sometimes helps indirectly with promotion and marketing, but mostly it comes from hiring specialists to do a job. This we have done for this record, and most of the promotion we've done so far has come about because of the efforts of a small but dedicated team of people. This is just one of the things you have to pay for when you release your own record.
Q: Reading the 'Wit, Wisdom and Whiskey' feature you talk about how many nasty little accidents you have had, but I am particularly interested about the screwdriver through the face jobby. What was it like and was there blood? Stephen Woloszyn, London
D: I'm more than a little disturbed by your apparent interest in my pain... The screwdriver through the face incident was indeed painful and most bloody. As you clearly want to know the details, said screwdriver made it's way through my face at the front between the lower lip and the chin. I lost 2 teeth and part of my lower gum at the time, but the body is miraculous and only a small scar remains as evidence. I have a great many more childhood injuries not previously mentioned in the www piece, but I'm sure you'd be bored and probably wouldn't believe me. I was a most adventurous and sometimes nutty kid, and as a consequence, no stranger to pain..
Q: 'Shooting for the Sun' - Love the songs and the Album cover colours. I'll be bringing some 'Thunder Virgins' to L.Astoria. Will you be playing both old and new stuff? I'd just like to bring them up to scratch with your music - thanks. Also would you ever think of playing Glastonbury? Angela Burrows, Switzerland
L: As I have said in previous answers the set list isn't finalised until we are in a rehearsal situation and that won't happen until the week before the tour. Having said that I think it's safe to assume that there will be an amount of new material as we are promoting our new album (the title is actually 'Shooting AT The Sun') and we will also play some older material. Glad you like the album and cover.
Q: Dear Luke, thanks for answering previous question, I have to say that amongst 5 "rockers" none of you ride bikes - and only Harold likes the Foo Fighters??? Anyway I've just noticed (after listening thru studio albums) that they all have a title track apart from BCD. was this a deliberate decision? Bernard, England
L: I had the idea to call the 1st album 'Backstreet Symphony' before it was actually a song. The song itself was the last thing written on that album. LOJD was a case of us liking the phrase and not being able to think of anything better at the time. BCD seemed appropriate as there had been a lot of negative rumours about friction within the band. TOIA was a song title
obviously but we'd been through a tough year and made many changes so by the time we got into the studio we were just chuffed to be there. Also there was no bass player at that time so we pulled together and had a great time so the album title was a genuine reflection of the mood in the camp. GTGA was once again a nice phrase and SATS has a touch of black humour as the song's subject matter is futility and we didn't want the album to be a futile act in itself!
Q: I have always wondered when an album is finished, who decides the running order of the tracks ? When you were with a big company do they have input? Is a lot of thought needed to get the "curve" of the album right? Would you ever own up to using any "fillers". May I also say that the recent question of you losing a fan because you only reformed for the money etc...... What about Whitesnake, Purple, Budgie, Magnum, Maiden, Styx, Foreigner, Toto etc etc etc.....all have recently got back because of the money....this makes the original question rather naive, Don't you think ???? Andy Byrne Liverpool
L: Deciding the running order has evolved into something I do since I started producing the band's albums. It's like fitting the last piece of the jigsaw into place and I do agonise over it for a good few days usually. Our previous labels didn't have any input into it at all. I think it's possible to describe any song which you don't like on an album as a 'filler' but we have never put a song on an album that we thought was weak or inferior to the rest of the material. It's simply not in our nature to do that. I think you have to believe that what you're doing is as good as it can be and I'm very proud of the consistency we've achieved in our career so far.
Q: Luke, how are the New Year's resolutions panning out three months on (i.e. giving up smoking, cutting the drinking etc)? Also, I've picked up from previous questions that your hair is an issue of interest/concern to a number of your enquirers and its cutting a pathological fear to yourself (as it was to me at your age, although I finally succumbed to a wife and kids nagging me to have a Danny!) Have you considered giving Thunder's public prime-time profile a boost by volunteering for a barnet makeover on CH4's "The Salon"? Perhaps you could take the rest of the band along for an unplugged (shampoo & ) set? Paul Edmondson, Pompey
L: It might come as a shock to some people but I haven't touched a cigarette since New Years Eve. It's not been easy but so far so good. I did also manage to overcome my fear of hairdressers long enough to get my hair cut a couple of weeks ago. I'm not ashamed to say I haven't actually watched 'The Salon' so I can't really comment on your last question. I'd like to pass that over to our resident hair expert......... Harry?
Q: Pearl drums, Paiste cymbals but what make and type of Fire Extinguisher do you prefer ;-). Mine's a Chubb CO2!. Webby, Up North
H: Just give me any old fire extinguisher and I'll play it. I'm not fussy - I'll bang anything!
Q: We all know that David Coverdale and members of the Quireboys and Bad Company have joined Thunder on stage at various times in the past. Have any of the band performed guest appearances for other artists in the past? Mark Burton, London
H: Think I'm right in saying that we leapt around onstage with Heart (I felt silly galloping round with that bloody tambourine - larf
though - couldn't hear me!) and The Quireboys (in Iceland). Me personally.........don't think so.
L: We all got on stage with Heart at Wembley Arena in 1990. Danny, Harry and myself got on stage with the Quireboy's in Iceland in 1991. Apart from that I can't remember any other occasions.
D: Heart in 1990, we did woh! hang on a minute, isn't this song title the answer to one of the quiz questions? You wouldn't be trying to trick us would you? Not saying any more, clearly everything is a plot...
Q: Hi all. great new website well done. In this months issue of Classic Rock there is section on concept albums, so do you like the idea of such albums, what is your favourite, (mine has to be Operation Mindcrime), and would like Thunder to record one of their own. Oh and Harry have you listened to Anouk yet, if so let the other lads hear it as I would be interested to know what you all think. Gareth, Hampshire
L: Without a shade of a doubt I would say Quadrophenia by The Who is my favourite 'concept' album. It's a staggering piece of work from all points of view.
H: Gareth, me old Welsh mucker - Have to agree with Luke here - Got to be Quadrophenia. And no - not yet! But I will - I promise you!
Q: Hey guys great you're back together. New album is fantastic (love Loser by the way) my question foes to you all. Were you taught guitar/drums/bass or did you self teach. I am self taught drums and love to try to do some of Harry's rhythms. As for Danny the voice is fantastic every bit better as albums go on. I managed to spread the word and have got I think 37 people coming to see the tour. go for it guys I'll be at Astoria looking forward so much. Dave Westgate Kent
H: I did have a couple of drum lessons but I'm basically self taught. Drum teacher showed me a few exercises to practice, and how to read drum music. But most of my ideas and influences are taken from listening and watching other drummers - Like Ian Paice, John Bonham, Keith Moon and Cozy Powell to name but a few.
B: I did have a few piano lessons but I taught myself the guitar.
L: I'm self-taught apart from one lesson when I was 12 years old. The teacher said he couldn't help me because he was strictly orthodox classical and I wanted to play like Jimi Hendrix. Well done on the tour posse by the way.
C: I was completely self-taught - never had a lesson in my life - I just sat in my bedroom playing along to records.
Q: I wondered what you guys are currently listening to in your home/car stereos. Can I be so bold as to recommend a couple of albums to you: Eric Martins new CDs "I'm Goin' Sane" & "Pure". Seriously good set of soulful/rock pipes he has much like your good self Mr.Bowes. Also I must apologise to Harry for my team Gillingham FC unleashing the buffoonery of Ade Akinbyi on the world. Saul, Kent
H: Saul - Currently listening to latest from Coldplay, Chilli Peppers, Robbie Williams and Thunder!!!!!! Thanks for the recommendations. Apology accepted - Thank you Gillingham FC.
B: Currently on my playlist : Shooting At The Sun (I really do love this album and I'm very proud to be a part of it!). Physical Graffiti (it's never off). The Best Of Cream (vinyl). There is a reason for this, check out the other Q&A's. Pat Metheny - First Circle.
L: I'm currently listening to Audioslave thanks to a tip-off from Thinny; It's reminiscent of a lot of great rock music from the past and sounds great loud!
D: I'm currently driving everyone mad with By The Way by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I hated it at first but now I find myself bursting out loud into the choruses at the most inopportune moments... I'll leave Haz to comment on Adi.
C: I'm rediscovering all the stuff I loved in my youth - the early Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple albums. Those guys could REALLY play!
Q: Dear Thunder, I'd also like to offer thanks & congrats for the new album, absolutely bloody fantastic!!! 2 simple questions to the band. as well as Shooting At The Sun, my CD player is currently hammered with the superb Foo Fighters album - "One By One" - wondered if this was up your street? Do any of you ride bikes, if so what flavour? Bernard
H: Thanks Bernard - Glad you love the new album - Hopefully see you on tour in May. Yes - Foo Fighters - Definitely up my "rue". I have a mountain bike in my shed which will get a bit of use in the summer. Never been one for motorbikes really. Never found a crash helmet small enough for my head!
B: I'll go out and buy it now. I tend not to ride bikes, I like a better class of woman.
L: I haven't heard 'One By One' but everything I've seen or heard by The Foo Fighters is interesting or amusing, especially their videos. The only kind of bike I ride is my mountain bike or the exercise bike at the gym!!
D: Thanks for the kind words, glad you like it, please tell the world! The Foo Fighters is not a band I would have got excited about hitherto, but what I've heard so far from this new LP is v good. I may have to invest. Bike wise I have a mountain bike only, I've had nothing with an engine for quite some years. Thinking about maybe re-kindling that little fire also...
C: Foo Fighters are not really my cup of tea, but they're very good. The only bike you're likely to see me on is one that's powered by my somewhat skinny legs - when I was a child my elder brother had a pretty horrific motorbike accident, and that kind of put me off ever getting on one.
Q: Ben, what have you been up to for the past two years? Sarah. Derbyshire.
B: Rehab mainly, no not really. I've been off recording and producing other people. For those of you who don't already know I am a recording studio engineer in my spare time! It's something I've always loved doing and I get the chance to work with some great people. Recent albums include:
Blues And Beyond - Dick Heckstall Smith
Dick is the sax player for Coliseum and has a wonderful musical history too long to list here, his guest players on the albums includeD:
Paul Jones - Manfred Mann
John Mayall - The Blues Breakers
Mick Taylor - The Rolling Stones
Jon Heisman - Coliseum
Clem Clemson - Humble Pie - Coliseum
From Clarksdale To Heaven (Remembering John Lee Hooker)
This was a tribute to the late great John Lee Hooker, someone to whom all blues based bands are grateful, a fantastic line up playing some great tunes. Each artist choose and recorded their favourite John Lee Hooker tune. Jeff Beck, Gary Brooker, Jack Bruce, Clem Clemson, Andy Fairweather-Low, Peter Green, Dick Heckstall Smith, Zakiya Hooker, TS Mcphee, Jonnie Johnson, LLC, Gary Moore and Mick Taylor.
As I still engineer and produce now, you will find that my answers on the board will come in bursts as I am often away in studios up to my neck in tape! But rest assured Thunder is my main priority - how could it be any other way?
Q: Hi there, I've got some questions for Ben; What did you learn to play first, Guitar or Piano? Are you self taught? What do you consider your first instrument, guitar or keyboards? When Luke presents a new song are you given free reign with the your guitar/keyboard parts or are they already pretty much written? John
B: I consider my guitar as my first instrument which I first picked up when I was around nine. I sat on my mums dining table working out guitar solos on an nylon string acoustic guitar. Luke loves any input from the band, it's why we are here and we try out any ideas I might have. But with Thunder it is usually quite clear what the song needs in the way of keyboards so we are generally of a like mind. Thunder have never been a major user of keyboards, we use them to compliment rather than lead the overall sound of the band as they can add nice textures to certain songs.
Q: Just wanted to say how happy I am that you are back as Thunder. I'm a cheering fan that newer will let you down... The only thing I'm disappointed with is that there is only 11 great songs on you're new album... Why don't you fill up the CD's with more songs. Hopefully you can make more songs on the next one because I can't tell how happy I am that you are back. I know it costs me a lot of money to support you, but trust me guys...you're worth every single penny.... Btw.. someone whispered that Ben made the Quiz... Do you got a enormous brain remembering all those strange questions or did you spend several days like us that had to solve them? I'm quite impressed with the questions and that I finished 5th, but I'm also impressed by the question maker..... Inge Hassel, Norway
B: An album is about quality not quantity, records should be balanced in the way they play. It isn't a list of songs but a coherent body of work. The band, and Luke in particular, spends a lot of time fitting these jigsaw pieces into place to give a correct representation of the music. Sometimes more is not a good thing. I have to admit I did design the quiz, however the questions were set by all the members of the band and the legendary Thinny himself. I pestered them for weeks until I had enough to make you all suffer. You should have seen some of the questions and answers - not printable I'm afraid but very funny! I have to say I'm very pleased that you all are having "fun" with the quiz it gives me great satisfaction to know there are people suffering through my handiwork - Keep it up or I may just have to do a new one - Ha ha.
Q: If you could pick only one word in the world to be your favourite, which would it be? Lee Burgess, Ashby de-la Zouch
B: No. Look how useful it is!
D: Easy, my all time favourite word would have to be...Bum. It does everything you ever ask it to do. Any situation, universal, substitutes virtually any other word with ease. Can't fault it. Bum, that's my tip for the top.
Q: What's your feeling about the fire at the great White concert in the USA that took so many lives. We all feel sad for their families and friends but I would like to know your feelings about packing so many people it a club so small that something bad was bound to happen. And was there any need for the special effects at all. It is all about money and trying to sell as many ticket as they can? Doesn't anyone remember the who concert in Cinn. Ohio? Lance Costello, Florida
B: As Lance has pointed out in his question, there is always a real temptation to pack as many people into a show as possible, this is not just a financial consideration but one of atmosphere. As I'm sure all of you who have attended a live concert will attest to, there is nothing like a full house to generate a great show. The audience is such an important part of the overall proceedings and the more of them the better, BUT peoples welfare and safety must be the first consideration. When the balance is not correct the result can be catastrophic as we have seen at the Great White concert, no show on earth is worth a life. The use of pyrotechnics must be in the hands of professionals and whilst I don't now all the facts and do not wish to appear judgemental, I think questions should be asked. I recently saw a photograph from the show with someone smoking a cigarette nearby the store of pyro's. We will all learn lessons from this tragedy and shows will be safer because of this, it is such a shame that people had to lose their lives before hand. Complacency is a dangerous thing.
H: I was quite shocked when I saw this on the news-why were the special effects allowed to happen in such a small venue? I too, feel sad for the victims, families and friends.
L: It's an awful shame and a terrible waste of life. I dare say that the truth regarding the safety aspects will become known in the fullness of time. It's difficult to know what to believe without the facts in front of you.
C: I don't know the full details of this event, so I would hesitate to voice an opinion. I would suggest that the problem arose from a lack of communication between the band, production crew and the club - no-one seems to be taking full responsibility.
D: It's simply tragic, and as you say we can only feel huge sympathy to the families of those who died. It's difficult to comment on a specific incident without knowing all the facts, but it makes you wonder how it can be allowed to happen (every time it happens), and quite naturally under the circumstances, there can be a tendency to rush to judgement. Until all the facts come out we simply don't know. It's true that there's always a risk when you attend any kind of public gathering, but we place our trust in the organisers that proper procedures will be in place, so that if and when anything does go wrong, the potential danger to life is minimised. I've seen no information about the specifics of this tragedy, but let's hope that the investigations and its subsequent recommendations will stop it happening again.
Q: Danny, how old were you when you knew that you wanted to be a singer and what singers did you dig when you were younger? I don't think that there are many singers around with your class. Can't wait to the gig at the Astoria. Stephen, London
D: I have been known to embellish, but the following is completely accurate. I was always into music in a big way, thought of nothing else from the age of 13. Spent all my money on records, sang along in the bedroom (and in the bath like everyone else) with everything and anything I could get my hands on. I was 15 years old when I made the decision I wanted to try it in front of people, and it happened at Luke's house one lunchtime. The smokers congregated in the living room, and not being a smoker I was made to sit in his bedroom with his giant posters, mess, guitar etc, and THE DRUM KIT. It was a red Maxwin kit, Paul the drummer had bought it from the Freemans catalogue. He'd left it there after one of their band "practices" as they used to call it in those days. I knew they were in a band and was very curious, but it was sitting with the drum kit that sealed it. I was fascinated, amazed and deeply affected simply by being in the same room as this incredible thing. It was almost like I could see sparks coming off it, such was the magic of the moment. I decided I had to be in a band so I could be near one. Sat next to Luke in Economics next day (two things stick in my mind about this day, it was a Friday, and we never sat next to each other in Economics). I told him I was a singer (I couldn't play anything so I'd decided by process of elimination I had to be a singer), he told me to f**k off. I repeated, so did he, saying he knew all the "musicians" for miles around. Eventually (desperate), I told him I had a microphone and his ears immediately pricked up. Like I said, we were 15 and none of us had any money, so equipment was scarce. I didn't have one but my uncle did. He told me to come by his house after school, so I went, and he gave me a big pile of records and a list of songs to have learned by Sunday at 11:00am when I was to audition (with my microphone). I borrowed said mic, learned the songs, did the audition, then made tea while they talked about me. I was convinced I was utter crap, it was much harder singing out loud with all the instruments and the noise, and I really thought I'd blown it. To my surprise, they said I was great and gave me the job. I've been making the tea ever since... I bet you're sorry you asked....
Q: Hello guys. Great to see you back... Just a quick question, who is it that says "On with the show" at the end of the Bowes and Morley CD?! Also, I still treasure my 12" copy of "Dirty Love" where Danny slips in a surprise at the end of the track. Good luck with the album, the tour and the future... Adrian Smith, Cambridge
L: To be honest I haven't got a clue. There was some tape hanging around in the studio which had an old recording of a West End musical on it (no idea which one) and when we heard it we roared with laughter and the rest is history!
Q: Congratulations on the new album! Stunning stuff. 'Spin Doctor' would make a great single...(subtle hint). Great to see you on form and see you at Wolves. Q 1. I recently managed to get hold of a long expired copy of LOJD guitar tab that was put out in Japan many moons ago. Is there a chance that the marketing gurus will be considering something similar for SATS? Q 2. Will you consider extending the release formats to include vinyl etc? Dave Ulke, Brize Norton
L: It is possible that the Japanese publisher of SATS may publish tabs but I have to say it's unlikely. There simply isn't the money in sheet music these days. As Danny has explained elsewhere on Q+A we are releasing and financing this album ourselves so we are having to be very careful with how we spend money. As a consequence, right now there are no plans to release the album in any other format apart from CD.
Q: Reading March 03 Q+A. Comparisons are been drawn to your re-launch with SATS and BSS. Were you tempted to get Andy Taylor involved to help with recreating that BSS magic? Not that you need it. Although it is always healthy to have extra input on the writing front, so get writing H and D. Sold a few tickets for the Astoria gig, won't tell you how many so that you don't feel indebted to me.....tee hee. P.S. just keep on playing guys you deserve all that you seek, 10/10!! Brooksie, Copenhagen
L: We weren't trying to re-create BSS although you're right to point out that AT was crucial to that particular record as he was to 'El Gringo'. We know what we're doing in the studio so it would be difficult for any other producer to come in at this stage of our careers without me looking over his shoulder all the time.
Q: I'm gonna be predictable and say ta for the new album. It's stunning! In fact I cant get it "out of my head". Sorry, childish, I know. My question is: how do you keep it so fresh on stage? I've been to many of your gigs and not once did I leave feeling that you'd been on 'autopilot'. You always look as if you're having a ball and I know being on the road is not as much fun as you chaps make it out to be. There must be moments of tedium, homesickness and the like, but it seems like you guys leave those thought back in the dressing room. So what's the secret? How do you achieve that performance level every single time? Why doesn't 'arry get to sing more song? Yes I know thats like 3 or 4 questions but you see where I'm coming from. See you at the Astoria and corn ex and ('arry n Chris) the cartoon. Pablo the clueless
L: There's no secret to it because we do genuinely enjoy it 99% of the time. Even if one of us is feeling a bit down or a bit rough or whatever before the show, once we get on a stage we have fun. The audience is also a vital part of the process as well. I could ask you guys the same question!!!! If a song came along that we felt suited Hazza's vocal talents we would have no hesitation in getting him to sing it whether it was humourous (as it has been so far) or serious. It's just that we have a great lead vocalist already as well as a guitar player who is a frustrated vocalist!!! The humourous side of Thunder is an important part of who we are and what we do but we are a rock'n'roll band first and foremost.
Q: “Shooting At The Sun” was even better than I expected. I listen it over and over everyday. My favorite is “If I Can't Feel Love” that is absolutely brilliant. Luke, I've got a question, when you write beautiful ballads like that song, did you picture in your mind a someone special person? If so, I think that person is very lucky. Anyway, I loved this new album, please come to Japan very soon. I would love to meet you! Chikako, Japan
L: Sometimes I am thinking of a particular person or persons when I write and sometimes I just use a mixture of imagination and experience. Glad you like the album.
Q: Every time I have seen you live you play AC/DC's Thundersruck as the intro. Have you tried playing this live or even considered it. If so as you do covers so well how about it? Mick Hodd, Luton
L: I can't see the point in us covering Thunderstruck to be honest as the AC/DC version has become a part of the show in it's own right. Also I think Danny would not be too chuffed at the prospect of singing it and who could blame him!!!!!
Q: I've just read the reply from Danny where he went into great depth about the reformation and the money issues. I just wanna lend my support to Danny and the band here and hope that fans arent daft enough to believe that thunder are in it for the cash. You've always been true to yourselves and, for that matter, the fans. Im pretty sure the majority of us are still backing you guys. hell, just look at the turnout for the Monsters Of Rock tour! Sean, Glasgow
D: That is very gratifying to hear. I do feel it's right and proper to justify the band's decision to fans who ask. It's a valid question and I'm glad it's been asked, and I am very glad to read your very supportive words. Thanks, we just need about half a million people like you and we'll be in very good shape. You have your orders number one, make it so...
Q: Dear chaps, First of all the new album, "BRILLIANT" can't stop playing it, easily on a par with the first album and "Loser" best song I've heard in yonks. But my question is have you ever considered contacting mothercare to stock Thunder CDs, DVDs and the like ,because an amazing thing happened this afternoon, my four month old daughter was rather "unsettled" shall we say and I thought I'd stick on the old "thunder live" DVD, and hey presto! before "Higher Ground" had kicked in she was out like a light, sparko as it were, I think playing all the Thunder while she was in womb must have had an effect! If you contact mothercare and the deal comes off a nice thank you in the next album credits would be nice. But seriously well done lads on the new album and see you in Manchester!!! Ian Helliwell, Rotherham
D: It's an idea, not sure the Mothercare people would think much of having their nauseating in store theme tune replaced by Loser, still, I'm up for it if they are, you can't get the fans early enough these days...
Q: Hi Danny. To start with I'd like to say that I love the new CD and it's fantastic to have Thunder back! I am also a big Marillion fan and I wondered if they have inspired you with regard to their moves away from reliance on record companies? Thunder and Marillion would have been label mates for a while in the UK, do you know any of them personally? Elliot, London
D: Thanks for your support re: the new LP. Please tell anyone who'll listen. Marillion have done amazing things and I'm very impressed by the way they've gone about it. We worked with Lucy Jordache on The Rare The Raw & The Rest when she was at EMI. She's very nice and very passionate about her work, so they're very lucky to have her, but I'm sure they know that. I don't know them personally.
Q: Hi Luke, I saw you at last years SXSW Music Festival in Austin Texas. Am heading out there again on Monday did you get anything out of the event? I will be hooking up with cool music writer called David Glessner he writes for Metal Edge magazine. He'd love Thunder hasn't heard any of your music yet! am going to bring some Thunder CDs with me for him to listen to, this guy has a lot of great contacts in US. I think real shame that you can't rock USA, sure go down very well indeed. I'll be at your Manchester show, maybe catch up with you then? keep up the great work. Steven Blackmore
L: I thoroughly enjoyed SXSW (see W.W.W. elsewhere on this site) and came back from there feeling very energised. I ran into a few old friends and it was a worthwhile trip. I won't be going this year as we are so busy but I would like to go again at some point.
Q: Gentlemen, My mate's band recently backed out of signing with a record label over publishing rights and controls. As a new band with little recording experience, have they any hope of retaining some sort of control? Bearing in mind EMI's retrospective treatment of your recorded output from your time with them, do you wish you'd been able to maintain more control over song ownership and rights? Great to have you back, by the way. The new album is superb, as I knew it would be! Mark Cole, Basingstoke
L: If a record company want to own your publishing rights be very afraid. A record company should only own the copyright in recordings of the songs made while you are under contract to them. Copyright in the song itself is owned by the writer/s unless they assign their rights to a publishing company who would then collect all royalties earned by the song/s in question and pay the writer/s having taken their commission. Maintaining control of everything is very difficult when starting out as you are probably going to need some kind of investment from a label to pay for promoting your records, getting you in the press and on TV etc. This does amount to a lot of money but in order to get your music heard and seen by a lot of people you really don't have a lot of choice when you're beginning. It's a bit of a catch 22 really.
Q: Rock-tastic, mates! Me and Nicey have been a-listenin' to the new Long Player (I guess the Radio Fab-FM complimentary copy got lost in the post?), and think it's definitely your best work since the last one. Absolutely Riff-mungus! And those quieter ones will sound fabulous on our Radio Quiet show in the quieter hours. Question? - what question? Arise, Sir Luke - LET'S ROCK. Smashy, Milton Keynes
L: Ha ha ha ha .........and I thought I'd never get knighted!!!!
Q: Got the album yesterday and just wanted to say a big thanks to Luke for writing the title song. You explained the meaning in answer to an earlier question and getting the album was incredible timing as I was in this very situation till yesterday morning when I received a message telling me to sling my hook as she is staying put. Listening to it last night has made me feel a bit better, there's a few long nights in the pub ahead though. Thanks again, the album is superb and see you in London. Tim, London
L: Thanks Tim. Glad I could be of some assistance. Have a pint or two on me and good luck.
Q: Hi guys, got the album at last, and what can I say, except fantastic, marvellous ,super, etc, etc. I think, like you Danny that my favourite track is Loser, but it does remind me of a track off The Rare The Raw And The Rest, called History In The Making, which I also think is a great song, are there similarities there or has all the stick I've taken about the demise of Welsh rugby finally left my brain numb. (another great song there). see you in London and Cambridge . Gareth, Hampshire
L: Thanks for your nice comments about the album and glad you like 'Loser'. I have to say that I don't see the similarity with 'History' though........
Q: Hi again lads, so so glad your back and just took delivery of the new album, fantastic lads welldone we love every song. I noticed an earlier question regarding the sales of the album and why you had decided to sell on the internet ect ect. I would like to ask how many shops will sell the album and are they large record shops, would you be near to selling anything like the amount you need for the album to chart (would love to see Thunder in the charts again) or are you simply not bothered with things like the top forty and charts? Carl, Norwich
D: Glad you like the CD, please tell everyone...Good Question. The CD is being handled by a nationwide distributor called T.H.E. They're the biggest of their kind in the UK, and as such are more than able to get records to any shop if the shop orders it. The reasons for the internet first release have been dealt with in earlier answers, as for chart positions, I suspect the chart will evade us this time (thankfully we've sold a lot of CDs via the website) but you never know... We're currently working on a plot to assault the singles chart, and if it works we'll make a big noise that way, but we're not quite ready to announce it to you yet. It's a big gamble for us, so we've got to get it right, hopefully if all goes well, and with the help of you lot, it will pay off. More asap.
Q: Danny, of all the live versions of Backstreet Symphony out there, I've never heard you do that big scream/heeeey thing at the start like on the record, why is this? :) Also, does more or less two years away from the band/recording effect your voice? Matt, Notts
D: I sing most songs pretty much as per the record, but not all. There are various reasons for this, too many to go into here (I have a life, as do you), so here 's a general answer. In the context of a live show, over time you slip into certain habits and mannerisms that are different from the way you did it when you originally recorded it. It's mostly done sub-consciously I think to keep it fresh, for boredom would ensue if you did everything the same way night after night. Apart from that there's a certain amount of wear and tear (lots) and pain (lots again) involved with singing these songs live, so when you bolt them all together in a live set this (and the adrenalin) has to be managed correctly if one is to have sufficient voice left to do it all over again the next night. The 2 year break was a break from singing Thunder songs, not singing. Apart from the odd bit of chirping here and there, I demoed and recorded the Bowes & Morley Moving Swiftly Along LP (available via this site d on't you know) with Luke so there was no problem with singing Thunder stuff again.
Q: Hi there, my little brother is the biggest Thunder fan I know. Or should I say KNEW ? I mentioned to him that you were touring again, and would he be interested in seeing them. Now, his name is Andrew Bedford, and he absolutely adored you. He bought all your singles - numerous times, was a member of the Thunder Fan Club (the name escapes me, was it THUNDERCHANNEL or something), and has met you backstage numerous times. He always said you were really cool, down to earth guys, and he said that Harry was particularly cool and funny. His response to seeing you live was, "Maybe". I had to quiz him on this because he's such a mad fan. His response was : "Thunder only got back together for the money, and they p*ss*d a lot of fans off, including me. But I bet that they are still good live." I don't know whether this is true or not, but as far as I knew, Danny wanted to put together a Monsters Of Rock Tour and one of the promoters offered you a "substantial amount of money" to reform Thunder to appear on the bill. So the claim that you got back together for the money is "technically" correct. However, since getting back together, you realised the desire was still there so you took baby steps (E.P., Album, 6 date tour), all the time not expecting to much. So at the present time, you're not back together for the money. I hope my understanding of this is correct. Now, I'm not trying to stir things up or annoy you, but are you worried that you may have lost more fans than gained new by others that may have taken this same viewpoint that you only got back together for the money and so turned their backs on you ? I'm only curious because for a fan as big as my brother to turn his back on you, it must have been fairly serious. It would be like me turning my back on Van Halen... I love the album by the way. Good to have you back. Not sure I'm going to be able to catch you on your 6 venue tour. As I never got an opportunity to meet you through my little brother, are there going to be chances to meet you backstage ever again ? Luke's playing and Danny's singing are incredible, and it would be nice to finally meet you guys. Sorry for the length of this question, but one last question for Luke : What still inspires you to write the music, and where do you get the ideas from ? Your rhythm playing is quite frankly beautiful and your spin on life is really refreshing. I just wondered where the ideas and inspiration keeps coming from, and where you got your styles from? Cheers guys... Dave J Bedford, Reading
D: This is a valid point, which I'm afraid I shall have to answer in some depth...I've never made any secret of the fact that MOR was financially attractive, but there was a lot of head scratching and soul searching before we agreed to do it, and it wasn't just the money that swung it. The simple truth of the matter is that we missed it, MOR came along and gave us the impetus (and the cash) to be able to make another record, albeit an EP initially. We felt if we were to come back, we would have to be completely in charge of our destiny and not have to rely on record labels (the main reason we split up). The reasons we split up are still there today (record label apathy), and we never made any secret of that either. So to not rely on a label meant we had to do it ourselves, and to do this properly you have to commit to spending huge sums of money, to pay for literally everything you need to do. The sales of the EP gave us the cash to be able to finance more recording and thus complete the new LP. We made a commitment to producing the best quality record we could make, and will use the money from the sales to continue that process. We have great plans, but they take a lot of sweat and toil and all of them cost money, and to make them happen we'll use the money you the fans give us when you buy the records. I completely accept that some fans will have been disappointed when we split up, and betrayed when we got back together, that is their prerogative. We're only too aware that we can't make anyone come to shows or buy the records, but we hope true Thunder fans will understand our reasoning, respect our integrity, and like the record enough to buy it. We've been straight about it all from the start, we felt it was right, we know we need people like your brother to come back to us. Otherwise it really won't last too long. Whilst I completely understand the "you only got back together for the money" view, I know it's formed without any knowledge of the true facts. After all, if we were only in it for the money, far from pursuing the course we have, we would have simply signed a deal with a label, took the cash and put our feet up. This is so far from the truth it's not funny. Your take on the situation is more or less correct, so tell your brother to stop acting like a two year old and get to a show. He's met us, he said we were cool and down to earth, and we haven't changed, so has he?
L: You can tell your brother that you'll always get a degree of irony in any quote by us concerning money. We all need to earn a living whether it's us, you or your brother but take it from me when I say that money is not and has never been our motivation. If it was we'd have given up 20 years ago......If you look around in the Q+A archive you'll find all the answers to your other questions.
Q: Is there a song you've written that you've later thought of a better way of doing it, but its so popular you can't change it? Kevin, Kent
L: When we record a song I'm normally happy with the arrangement but it can change at a later date. Sometimes during rehearsals for a tour we'll extend certain parts of a song to accentuate dynamics or we'll accidentally go off at a musical tangent by that sounds so good we'll keep it in the set. Making albums I think you need to be more succinct and streamlined in everything you do whereas in a live situation, because of the adrenalin felt by band and audience and the visual element, you have the opportunity to be more indulgent.
Q: This is mainly directed at Luke . I still have a copy of an old guitar magazine about guitar gods and you are in there talking about you influences Jimmy Page, Hendrix etc and not wanting to blow too many bubbles in a certain direction you on the top of the list of my influences/Gods. I have read previous Q's about guitar tab books being released and i'm at the moment trying to find some of the old releases. Just a seed to plant in your mind though,If you found yourself with a bit of time on your hands or God forbid it should go all a bit wrong for Thunder in the future would you consider giving guitar lessons or seminars? I'd love to gain just a bit of knowledge about the Morley style.And how the chap himself puts it all together..............Just a thought. T999BYE
L: I'm not sure whether I would have the patience to teach guitar. Both my folks were teachers and seeing how hard they worked was enough to put me off! Thank you for the nice comments....
Q: Having just returned from the States where I saw Whitesnake in concert, I went back with a weird impression of having seen one of the finest heavy rhythm 'n blues band ever having to kinda transvestite it's music just to please the stupid American masses. What is your opinion on this integrity/success devilish bargain ? Would you have done the same? Vincent, Paris
L: When we started Thunder we were very determined that we would play the kind of music we wanted to play and we've always had that philosophy. If people like what we do we're always happy about it but if they don't there's not really a great deal we can do. I don't think we've ever been troubled by the 'selling out' thing; it's not in our nature.
Q: First question...if all goes well with the new album and tour (as of course it will)...are there any plans to set up a fan club along the lines of the old channel!? Second question...how will I be able to gain entry to the greets after the shows in May??...I was a member of thunder channel...for a few years but cant find any of my old id cards...does this mean I will miss out??? Lynzi, Darwen
T: There are no plans to re-launch the fan club! Meet and greet rules will be as they were for M.O.R. Details will be posted on the site nearer the time. These questions have been answered in the Q+A before. Please everyone - use the search facility above before sending in questions! Thanks!!
Q: We are always hearing about celebs being badgered for more details on their private lives, do you ever get intimate questions from females (or even males!) that just could not be answered or printed? Margie B., Wales
D: Yes I've had some "awkward" moments over the years, but thankfully only a few. From the outset we made a conscious decision to make ourselves both available and approachable. Every decision has its upside and downside, sometimes people cross the unwritten line and get a bit over familiar, but it's rare, most of the time people are very nice. I suppose in some ways it's like any other job though, you meet some nice people and and you meet some idiots. We've always felt the pros outweighed the cons, or we simply wouldn't do it.
Q: I have only just found out you are playing again in London, so just booked my tickets for the Astoria. I was beginning to wonder whether I would ever see you again! I saw you at Brixton many years ago and remember Danny blowing David Coverdale off the stage at Hammersmith! Back to the question, my brother in law Frank Callaghan says that he knows you. Is this really true? Fiona, London
D: Thanks for coming back to see us, please tell absolutely everyone you know about the tour and the new LP. Frank is not fibbing when he says he knows us, for he was the one of the drummers with the south London legends that once were The Brockley Boogie Band. Please send him our best regards.
Q: Hey guys, can't wait to get the new album (when it's in the shops) but how come there's such a delay between the internet release and the domestic release? Either way, I'll get it when it's out in April and learn all the songs before I see you guys at the Astoria. Also saw you at Wembley Arena last year, by far the best band on the bill, shame you only had an hour set. Andy
D: I have to be honest, it's the best way, it's simply a case of money grabbing marketing I'm afraid. . We have no record label, so we have to fund absolutely everything we do. This is our choice, we've had offers, but we want to do this because we feel we know our fans, and we think we can do just as good a job as record labels. With your help I'm convinced we can do this very well. Also, we've been promised much in the past... I'll leave that there I think. Back to the internet/shops issue, if we offer it earlier via the site, it galvanises fans into buying it as early as they can, and this helps us with the further marketing of the CD. We're approaching this from a very business like standpoint and as promoting records is extremely expensive, we need the sales to fund it. Finally the retail side of things has only really just been agreed, initially we weren't sure if we could persuade a distribution company to sell the record to the shops for us (that's how it works), but the nice people at T.H.E have come on board so all is rosey in the garden. Tell all your friends to buy it, any way they like... See you at The Astoria...
Q: Hi all. great new website well done. In this months issue of Classic Rock there is section on concept albums, so do you like the idea of such albums, what is your favourite, (mine has to be Operation Mindcrime), and would like Thunder to record one of their own. Oh and Harry have you listened to Anouk yet, if so let the other lads hear it as I would be interested to know what you all think. Gareth, Hampshire
L: Without a shade of a doubt I would say Quadrophenia by The Who is my favourite 'concept' album. It's a staggering piece of work from all points of view.
Q: I was wondering what the story was behind the song "Once in a Lifetime" that appeared on the Greatest Hour and a Bit CD. I really love this song, it's just so bluesy and cool! As far as I know it wasn't a B-side or anything so I'm assuming it was a new track written for the greatest hits package. Any chance you would ever play it live? I'm coming to the Astoria and Cambridge gigs so if you are taking requests, consider it requested! Kenny, Milton Keynes
L: OIAL was actually written during the period I was writing songs for Laughing On Judgement Day. It started life as a seven minute blues epic and we thought it was a bit indulgent to put on the album so it was forgotten about for a while. When we were putting together Their Finest.... somebody suggested recording it so it was re-arranged somewhat. We have played it a few times so you never know, maybe it'll make a comeback.
Q: Hi Luke, I know you play a Les Paul like Jimmy Page and a few other guitar gods, but do you also play Fender Strat? I bought a Mexican Fender Strat at Soho Sound warehouse at Charing Cross, recommended by my guitar tutor for playing Jimi and Hendrix rock and blues. Should I upgrade to a Les Paul now or later? Lee Friend, East London
L: I do own two Strats and they are as much of a design classic as a Les Paul. They have amazing tonal variety, even more than a Les Paul in my opinion, but for some reason I'm more comfortable with a Les Paul or a Telecaster. It's not really a question of 'upgrading' to a Les Paul; they're just different guitars that do different jobs. It's more about which instrument suits you personally.
Q: The first time I saw Thunder was at the old Town and Country Club in Kentish Town supporting FM. The Little Angels were also on. Was this the first proper concert you? I must admit I never saw FM again but the Little Angels and yourself have been my favourites ever since. The new album's brilliant. Good luck in the future. Darren Nunn
D: Thank you for the words of support. Seeing as you asked no question I shall return the sentiment and not answer it. Instead here's some previously little known insight into the show you mentioned. The night before we did the show in question we played in Manchester (International II I think), and right at the end of Backstreet Symphony, the last song of the night, I jumped off the drum riser and bent my knee the wrong way. It was an old football injury (cruciate ligament) from 2 years before that had well and truly returned to plague me. Much pain and swelling ensued whilst concerned managers paced corridors with furrowed brows. Sufficed to say instead of traveling back to London with the band next day, I was driven back to London that night, straight to Harley St for giant pain killing jabs and high tech laser treatment. Chances to get on television were (and continue to be) hard to come by so there was no way we were going to pull out, so we did the show but I was in agony throughout. So if anyone sees a copy of the tape you'll note that (uncharacteristically) I don't move at all throughout our performance. Now you know why. It took another 7 years to finally get it fixed.
Q: Hi Thinny, please could you let me know I ordered my tickets for Manchester in January on aloud.com and all it says is waiting for tickets to come into stock when will they come into stock? Samantha Swindells
T: It all depends on when the promoters print the tickets and distribute them to the various outlets. It could be any time between now and May, but realistically I would expect them yet. They're not usually sent out until a few weeks before the gig, but this isn't an area that we are involved with so it's impossible for us to give a definitive answer.
Q: First off guys, it's bloody great the new album!! received it today, could not have hoped for such a stunning piece of work, exceeded all my expectations, well done! Question/s for the tub thumper at the back, Harry do you play double bass pedals, as a drummer myself when i see you play at gigs I always try to pick up tips and you have influenced my playing, but I'm not entirely sure if you play the double pedals or I have heard you play them before as your tom work especially at the end of songs is very tight and flowing so it's difficult to pick out the sound. Do you find the double over rated and over used by some drummers? Dom, Southend On Sea
H: Dom - Thanks mate - Tub thumper here! Glad you like the new album. We're very proud of it. Yes I use double bass drum pedals but pretty sparingly. Normally for "ralls" at the end of some songs-don't think it's "over rated" When it's called for, it's sounds bloody brilliant! Can sound a bit tiresome to me though if overly used. Fantastic invention - I was never one to use two bass drums. Thanks again and see you in May.
Q: Where have been taken the pictures that compose the Shooting At The Sun cover? I've recognized the drum kit but the rest??? I've noticed a nice nose and lips ... but who the hell is that girl ? Olivier Monnard
D: This question has already been answered. Please search the Q&A for the answer.
Q: "Shooting at the Sun". Any meaning to the Album title? It's a great track on the album! Simon Cherry, Chelmsford
L: In the context of the song itself, the title sums up the sense of futility that the guy singing the song feels about the affair he's having with a married woman. He knows in reality that she's never going to leave her husband . To put it clearly 'Shooting at the sun' is a waste of time as you're never going to hit it! The reason it became the album title is because we just liked the sound of the phrase.
Q: Hi guys, nice to see you back. Love the new album. How do you decide on a set list when touring? I know there are certain tracks you must play but what about the others? Personally I would love to hear some of the more obscure stuff like 'Somebody To Love' or 'Dangerous Rhythm'. Rob, Bradford On Avon
L: You're right inasmuch as there are certain songs we couldn't not play. The rest of the set usually consists of new songs and a mixture of stuff from various points in our past. The final decision doesn't get made until we're in the rehearsal room and it all comes down to what feels best at the time really. We could pack the set with obscure stuff but in most cases the songs
which are the most popular are also the most fun to play. I think a lot of people would be disappointed if we only played a selection of b-sides.
Q: Danny, I've just got my copy of the superb new album but there's a question I feel needs answering! Just look at the photo on the back cover, Danny, judging by your posture and the reaction of the rest of the band it looks suspiciously like you're in the process of 'dropping your guts!', were you?!!!!!!!!! Sampjames
D: You may feel it's a question that needs answering but I have no intention of lowering myself. The state of my guts are no business of yours, either in the past, present or indeed the future. I trust you get my drift? They did....
Q: Hi Guys, been a Thunder fan since day one...would like to ask Harry and Chris if they get as much buzz from playing in small venues with Bad Influence as they do from playing Wembley and such big venues with Thunder. The Bald One (Watford fan with Thunder tattoo)........Harry will know who I am
C: It's not the size that's important.... where have you heard that before? But it's true - if you have a great audience in a small club, it's much better than having an indifferent audience in a huge arena. The response from the people listening is what makes a gig good or bad.
H: Barrie - Got to be honest here - Much rather play big venues like Wembley and I'm sure Val and Richard would agree with that. As a musician (OK - cue drummer joke!) you'll always strive to play bigger venues. I get a different buzz when I play with Bad Influence. It's good too, playing intimate, smaller venues ( especially when some of you loonies turn up). At the end of the day, I'm playing drums and that's all that matters. AND...............Yes, I know who you are! How could I miss you mate! You're the small guy, no glasses, with lots of hair aren't you?
Q: Hi H, Caught your good self and Chris in Bradford with the omnipotent Graham Bonnet (Good work!!) What was it like playing all those legendary songs of Rainbow, and imitating the late, great Cozy? (for the record you done good san!) Mick, Stockport
H: Thanks Mick for the compliment! It was tough job following in Cozy Powell's footsteps, but nevertheless, an enjoyable one. I grew up listening to Rainbow, so Cozy was one of my influences in my teenage years. It was fantastic to play those legendary songs and even better, playing them with two of the original members in the band. A memorable experience for many reasons.
Q: Hi Harry, Who is your fave all time drummers and did they influence you? Ben Jackson, Nottingham
H: Fave all time drummers are John Bonham (power and sound) , Ian Paice (technique and sideburns), Cozy Powell (loved Rainbow and "Dance With The Devil" was one of the first records I purchased) and Keith Moon (more for his attitude and complete madness). And I was a fan of all the bands they were in too.
Q: Harry, I've been hoping to ask you this question ever since this whole q&a thing came about. It turns out I was wrong to ask Danny or Luke, but is it true you're very good friends with a friend of mine called Kevin Peach (Keyboard-player) here in Gibraltar? From day-1 of being a Thunder fan it came up in conversation by chance because I mentioned you guys as one of my most influential bands. And to my surprise he turned round and said he knew you well. I've never doubted him but I just need the confirmation... Craig Macdonald, Gibraltar
H: Yes Craig - I know Kev and Rosie Peach - I was in a band with him many many moons ago. Great keyboard player - Good geezer too! A real Peach (sorry). Bruce Springsteen look-a-like!
Q: Hi everyone, good looking new site – well done! 2 Questions for two different people. Chris – If memory serves me right, you stepped into the bass role as Thunder were going on tour, and not into the studio. Were you taken on as a permanent member of Thunder at that time, or was it a “see how it goes” type of situation? How long did it take you to “feel” like a true member of the band? Harry – What is your current state of play with Magnum? Will you be recording the new album that Tony is currently writing, or will they get a session drummer in and you just go out on tour? Did they drink you under the table? Gordon Hall, Manchester
H: Gordon - When I toured with the guys in December, the plan was to record another album, and maybe tour later in the year. Tony did ask me to be involved with the recording and I'm looking forward to being a part of it. So .......watch this space! They do like a drink those boys I must say! As far as the table is concerned, I didn't see one at all. You see.....I was very........very.......... drunk at the time.
C: I was taken on as a permanent member of Thunder from day one - there was no probationary period, and I felt like part of the team right from the beginning - that's how it is in this band, and that's one of the many things that makes it so special.
Q: Why are you not playing any venues in the NE of England? PS New album is fabulous - Loser is a classic. Graham, Newcastle upon Tyne
D: First of all let me apologise for not coming to the North East this time. It's not personal, the reasoning is simple, it's that having been away for over 2 years, we had no idea how many tickets we could sell when we arranged the shows. Therefore we decided to play it slow and steady, play 6 shows only and see what happens. The last thing we could afford was to assume all would be fine, book a huge tour and play to half empty halls. That would have spelt complete disaster for a band coming back. The shows we arranged had to fit in with venue availabilities for the time period we needed, and I assume (I didn't book them) it didn't work for the NE. Fear not, if these 6 shows gowell, we'd to come back in the Autumn and do some more, but it really all depends on how many tickets we sell this time around, and that's not in our control. We've done our bit and arranged the shows, and we're telling everyone we talk to about the new record and the shows, but word of mouth is the best way to spread news, so we're counting on you guys to tell the world and his wife (or her husband) to come and see us. If you can get there, please do, bring everyone you know, it will be great.
Q: Hi guys, welcome back! There were times when we thought this would never happen, we're so glad it has. Received the new album on Saturday morning and couldn't wait to play it. Superb!, Excellent!, spot on!, just what the doctor ordered. At last some REAL music to listen to, absolutely classic Thunder - its like welcoming an old friend back into our lives. We love every track and are looking forward to singing along at Manchester and Cambridge. We really hope that your come back is successful as we'd hate to see all this effort go to waste. We have several questions, firstly will the album sales from Townsend go towards chart sales as the official release date is still a month away? We would love to see your name in the album charts again so we want our purchases to count. We have 1 copy but intend to buy another so we have one each and of course we want them both to count. Secondly, will you be releasing any singles from the album? Basically we are greedy for more and a single means extra tracks. Ian and Angie, North Wales
D: Thank you for your very kind words, and of course we're completely chuffed you like the new record. Thanks (again) for your question, it's a valid and important one. Sales from Townsend's don't help with chart positions I'm afraid, but those via shops do. We want Thunder fans to be able to buy the CD in whatever way they feel most comfortable, and when you're making and funding your own record releases, every sale counts, so we're not fussed how you buy it as long as you do. If you really want to help with any chart position, wait until April 7th to buy your second family copy, but if you can't wait we really don't mind, and we're grateful. Your next question about the possibility of a single release is equally valid and also well timed. We're seriously considering doing that very thing, and going full out to see if we (the band) and you (the fans) can pull off a serious case of "people power" and get the single into the chart. This would really prove once and for all that it's possible to do it without a record label. No firm details as yet but plans are being hatched, once we have some information we'll lay the whole plot out to you all.
Q: Chris, firstly, welcome to the board hope you find it as entertaining as we all do. My question is a bit muso really. Who are your bass playing heroes or influences? (mine are Mccartney & Mark King & I also think Sting is way underrated as a player). There, Nice easy one to start with. Saul, Kent
C: I fully agree with your choices, and I'll add a few of my own. I've taken influences from many bassists over the years - Jaco Pastorius, Louis Johnson, Larry Graham, John Entwhistle, John Paul Jones, Pino Palladino, Marcus Miller, Abraham Laboriel, Boz Burrell - they've all contributed something to my style of playing. In my opinion, it's not necessarily their expertise as a musician, but what they add to a song.
Q: Hi Chris, just wondered whatever happened to 'Never the Bride' and if you're still in touch with any of them? Also, did you ever consider them as a support act for the forthcoming tour? Belinda Raeburn-Cowell, Hertfordshire
C: As far as I know, Never The Bride are still gigging around the club circuit, and have a new album out. Unfortunately I haven't managed to keep in contact with them so I don't know exactly what they're up to, but if you're interested, they have a website at www.neverthebride.com
Q: First off, to Thinny & the guys, well done on the new site, it looks brilliant. Hi Chris, I've posted questions on here a few times but being a bassist I've been waiting to ask you a few things. Someone beat me to it on a previous post, the one about what equipment you use, but I wanted to ask you about one of the show you did recently. I was at the Wembley show, at the back near the huge banner on the left hand balcony. Overall the sound was great but at times I had to strain to hear the bass. It could've been Wembley Arena's acoustics but I've used jazz basses before but sometimes find that the pickups don't have the volume boost to give them some extra kick. I noticed that the ones you use are either standard or american standard right? Have you ever tried those deluxe Fender jazz basses that are out now with the built in active pre-amp? Peter Jordan, Dublin
C: The model that I use is an Active Jazz bass V which has the preamp circuitry built in, and I find it really makes it come alive. As far as the show at Wembley goes, take it up with the sound man! Once it leaves the stage, it's in someone else's hands I'm afraid.
Q: Wow, Danny, I love the shoes you are wearing on the cover of the new album. What brand/designer are they? Margie B., Wales X
D: Thanks, it's about time someone asked me about my shoes. I must say though that you're in a minority of one, everybody else hates them, but to be honest that's part of the reason I bought them in the first place...They're from Shelly's, not too expensive, very comfortable etc, etc. Do they have Shelly's in Margie B Land?
Q: Thinny (or anybody), superb site and the bonus video footage was a great surprise. Was this whole gig shot, and have you got future plans either releasing more over the Net or will it be coming out on DVD? G ordon Hall, Manchester
T: Yes, the whole gig was shot. There are plans for a DVD in the not too distant future - stay tuned....
Q: Are there any plans to produce a Region 1 (US & Canada) DVD version of Thunder Live? We are starving for video of Thunder over here. Forrest, New York
T: No plans Forrest. Sorry...
Q: Can I just start off by saying that I’ve been a fan of Thunder for as long as I can remember, my father and his mates are also big fans and have all your albums. Got the tickets sorted for Astoria in May, 3rd time lucky having seen you before at last years MOR at Wembley Arena & supporting Bon Jovi at Cardiff Arms Park in ’95. Ok, whilst listening to the Donington 1990 CD, I’m stunned at how good you guys played and sounded, “She’s So Fine” ranking as the “best” version of “any” song ever! , Mark Luckhurst basslines sound so clear, were they overdubbed in a studio at a later date ? Also, what kind of buzz do you get when you get the crowd participation going for some of your songs at your gigs? You really make us feel like part of the band! Lee Evans
L: Everything on the recording of Donington '90 was exactly what went down on the day. I mixed the album and there are no overdubs at all. There have been amazing moments for us as a result of audiences reacting and participating but the most memorable occasions are always when we're not expecting it. The feeling is an incredible high and I guess that's one of the reasons we love playing.
Q: I would love to know how many White Custom Les Pauls you have at the moment and how many of those do you take on tour with you??? Dean Raeburn-Cowell, Hertfordshire
L: I have 2 White Customs but one of them is in a bit of a state at the moment so I only take one on tour.
Q: Has anyone ever told you that you look like Wurzel Gummidge? (I mean that in the nicest possible way!!!) Rebecca Lascelles, Ashby de-la Zouch
L: Never Wurzel Gummidge; it's usually Nicky Clarke!
Q: Hi Chris, you've probably been asked this many times before but what kind of amplification do you use and which is your prefered make of guitar. I use Trace Elliot Amps with a Stingray 4 string and a Line 6 Pod pre-amp. Despite having what I feel is a fairly decent set-up I cant seem to get anywhere near the beautifully resonant tones that you great. Also, are you involved at all with the Then Jericho revival? Jamie, Suffolk
C: I'm currently using Hughes & Kettner amplification - a Bass Base 600-watt head with 4x10" & 1x18" cabs. It's without a doubt the best rig I've ever used and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. I use a Fender Jazz 5-string, Fender Jazz fretless, and also a Squire P-Bass, which sounds great in the studio, and was used on Shooting At The Sun. As you can see I'm quite a fan of Fenders, although I have to admit that Stingrays are a firm favourite of mine, and I've been really tempted to get one on many occasions. I steer clear of modeling amps - they sound really good in the bedroom or in the studio, but live there always seems to be something missing frequency-wise, a lack of clarity and punch, so that no matter how loud you turn them up, it's difficult to make them cut. I always try and achieve the shortest possible signal path, and if I have to use effects (which I do with Paul Young - the obligatory chorus and octave for fretless) I use boss analog pedals. I've not worked with Then Jerico for quite few years now.
Q: Would you all consider doing small venues in what you may class as out of the way places eg. Shrewsbury, Chester etc. If so I would certainly be interested in organising such gigs in my locality as outlined above. I used to organise a mini Rock Week-end called 'Tetchworth' it all started as a joke in my back garden at the time Knebworth was on!! Some of my mates in a local band played in a frame tent in the back garden and for a laugh I put a sign up calling it Tetchworth after the village I used to live in (Tetchworth) it got bigger and we eventually ended up with 4 bands on a specially constructed stage at a local farm complete with bar and food etc etc. Unfortunately it ceased to happen a few years ago, I was going to try and get you guys down to play the next one but you packed up - oh well!! Now you are back together it would be great to see you in this locality, you have a good load of fans in this area, what do you think? Please let me know, let's KIK ASS!! and rock this place!!! Jon Bovi, Shropshire
D: Can't promise anything but ask away once you've got your plot in place. I warn you we're very expensive, bands like us spend a lot of money on production values to maintain a high standard of show, apart from the necessary food and drink rider from hell of course... Oh and the hot and cold running semi naked nubile model type women, and the sheep for Harry. Save up, we'll talk about it..
Q: Ben, as a guitar player (of sorts) my dream would be to play before an adulating audience. So my question is this: Your standing at the side of the stage, the house lights dim, Thunderstruck starts to blare through the P.A. and the throngs of ecstatic Thunder fans roar in unison. Yours are the first notes they will here as you launch into "Welcome...". How do you feel and what goes through your mind? BJ
B: This is a nice question to answer because that moment before you walk on stage is the reason I do this job. Personally it's not a case of getting nervous but getting excited, these are two very different emotions. As I have total confidence in the other members band there is no need for nerves, instead I just want to get out there enjoy myself. My main concern is "I hope I don't start the song to fast!" it's very easy to do because of the adrenalin racing around our bodies, you really have to pull back the reigns somewhat. I must get around to thanking AC/DC for writing such a nice intro tape for us.
Q: Where can I check out the forthcoming tours support act Zico? I've never heard of them but would like to hear them before May. Fuchsiagroan
T: Zico are currently working on their official web site. It's not ready yet, but as soon as it is I'll post a link on the Thunder Online site!
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Colour Code: DANNY, LUKE, BEN, HARRY, CHRIS, THINNY