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INTERVIEW: Thunder

Pic by Jason Joyce

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

DB: Very busy, but nothing’s dropped off yet, so all good, and thanks for asking.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “She’s So Fine”?

DB: It’s a reworked version of the opening track from our first album, released back in 1876. On the new album we deconstructed a load of our previously released songs, then threw them around a bit, before re-recording them in very different styles. This one was originally a pretty full on balls out rock tune, and here it’s very laid back and quite bluesy. It demonstrates the album feel pretty well

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

DB: Luke wrote it back in 1989, with our producer Andy Taylor (he of Duran Duran & Power Station). It pretty much put us on the map with rock fans.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

DB: There’s a clip for the song on our YouTube page, with us pretty much being idiotic in the studio while we were recording it.

The single comes off your new album Please Remain Seated – by what I understand, would you call this a Greatest Hits type of record or the concept goes much further?

DB: It’s got some of our better known songs on it, but there are also a lot of deeper cuts too. The basic idea was to see what it might be like to cover our own songs, make them different, and see if they could assume a new identity. We had no idea what we were going to do when we began, we just made of tunes to try, threw them around until they felt different, then recorded the best ones.

What’s the story behind the title?

DB: We were sitting down pretty much all the way through the recording, and as we’re usually a jump up and down type band, so we thought the irony might make some people smile.

With the songs being heavily reworked – was the idea to use these old songs and rework them to the point that they are pretty much entirely new tracks?

DB: Yes and no, as we didn’t really have a plan as such, we just wanted them to be different, so as we went along we threw out those that sounded just like quieter versions of the original, and kept those that felt different and interesting.

How was the recording and re-writing process?

DB: It was very much a real time thing. We sat about experimenting with keys, tempos and styles until we found an arrangement that we felt was worth trying. I had to play around with metering and delivery when singing them, in some cases losing words and reinterpreting the song completely to suit the new style and arrangement. It was actually quite hard and very frustrating some of the time, but also a lot of fun, especially when it clicked. If the trugh is told, it was mostly chaos though..

What made you want to go for a much lighter direction this time around?

DB: We did the same thing with a song called Love Walked In in 2017, and the song went from a power rock ballad to a very low impact piano based song, in a diffeent key, with a recorder on it. That started the whole thing really, and made us wonder if we could do it with other songs. We didn’t make a conscious decision to go lighter, it just happened.

After more than three decades in the scene – how would you say you have grown since and how will it be showcased on this material?

DB: We’ve played in a few styles on this album, some that are not really that natural to us as musicians, so it was a challenge. I don’t think we could have done it 30 years ago, we just weren’t good enough, but we made a conscious decision when we came out of retirement in 2014 to raise  the bar and challenge ourselves with the songs and the performances. I think it shows, as the last few albums have been really well received.

Do you take in consideration any of the latter trends in music, either sonically or technologically?

DB: We’ve never really been interested in fashion. We’re more interested in what’s good. We like good songs, well played and sung, and we like a good mix, so we’re always listening to music, but not copying.

Known for playing with different genres – how do you go balancing them together?

DB: As long as it feels good and it still sounds like us, we don’t think too much about the genre to be honest. Making the same record over and over would bore us to death.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

DB: Sorry, you’re asking the wrong person. Luke writes the tunes, and I am in awe of his ability to magic them up out of thin air. I can’t do it, so it’s lucky he sings like a drain, or I’d be out of a job.

Any plans to hit the road?

DB: We’re touring this new album in the UK in February, then doing an electric jump up & down tour in March in Europe (we can’t sit down for very long). If possible we’d love to go back to Australia for some more shows in 2019. It was great to finally play there for the first time in 2017, and we’re keen to repeat the experience.

What else is happening next in Thunder’s world?

DB: We’re about the play an Xmas show in the UK, then we break to get fat over the festive period, then lose all the weight in the gym in January, before heading out on tour.

That’s the plan at least, but the bit about the gym might not happen.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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