The new Thunder album THE MAGNIFICENT SEVENTH has just been released and here comes and interview with member Luke Morley ? main songwriter and guitarist of the band. Thunder are also booked for several shows throughout Europe and I was curious as to what the guys have been up to the last few years.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Frontiers Records for the promo pictures of the band.
Thanks to Stefan at Atenzia records for the help with the interview
What do you think of your two first albums BACKSTREET SYMPHONY and LAUGHING ON JUDGEMENT DAY today? They are considered being two modern classical albums.
Backstreet is full of energy and a little crude in places but a good debut. LOJD has some really good moments but on reflection I would say it?s a little too long.
Did you do a lot of touring on those albums? I thought you were here in Scandinavia all the time in the beginning of the 90?s.
We did tour a lot but mainly in the UK. We didn?t really come to Europe, particularly Scandinavia, enough.
What kind of respond have you got in your home country England through the years? And what kind of respond have you got from the media?
We have a large and very loyal fanbase in the UK which is why we have survived many different fashions in British music. The media were very positive at the beginning of the band?s career then they became quite hostile during the middle nineties. Now they appear to like us again! Maybe we?ve been around long enough for them to realize we?re not going away!
Why have you released so few albums through the years, only 7 since the beginning of the 90?s?
The band stopped touring and making records for two years in 2000. Apart from that period our output is about average for a rock band; probably about an album every 18 months to 2 years.
You have managed with getting 17 top 40 hits in England without hardly getting played on the radio, how does that feel?
Great. That?s an indication of how popular we are with the fans but not with the radio programmers!!! It?s good to know we can survive without the help of mainstream media.
What was the plans from the beginning, play and tour your way to success or making videos and gain fans that way?
Touring has always been the best way of selling ourselves and we realized that from the start. Having a popular video is/would be a bonus but it isn?t something we could have ever relied on.
Why did you chose to call the band Thunder?
Because Thunder is elemental, loud and not something you can ignore.
Thunder were put to rest for two years, what did you do during that time? And what was it that make you start up the band again?
I made a solo album which was only released on the internet and in Japan called ?El Gringo Retro? and Danny and me made two albums under the name of ?Bowes & Morley?. These were called ?Moving Swiftly Along? which was released in 2002 and ?Mo?s Barbecue? released in 2004. We were offered a special guests slot on an Alice Cooper UK tour and we thought it would be fun.
How was your first album after the reunion SHOOTING AT THE SUN greeted by the press?
Kind of OK without being brilliant.
Did you do any live shows on that album?
Yes. I believe they are all listed on our website www.thunderonline.com.
Do you think that Thunder have developed musically through the years? If so how and what?s the difference between now and then?
Yes. We?re all better musicians now and life has taught us many things, some good, some bad.
The bio describes you music as being hardrock, is that a fair description and how would you like to describe your music?
I always refer to us as being a rock band but like most musicians I don?t like categories much.
How long did it take to write the album and who has written the lyrics? Are the lyrics about anything in particular?
The album was written over three months in 2004. If you look at the album notes you will see it says ?written by Luke Morley?. The lyrics are also there for your viewing. I think if you read them you will see what they are about.
Why have you recorded the album in two studios?
Because we needed a large studio to get the best sounds for drums and guitars and we only needed a small studio for recording everything else and mixing.
What are the thought behind the cover artwork and what do you think of it? Who has done the cover?
As it says on the album cover the artwork was done by a guy called Hugh Gilmour. As I?m sure you know ?The Magnificent Seven? was a very popular western movie released in 1960. The title of the album was a reference to this because we all loved the movie. We think it?s great.
Thunder have it?s own studio, Chez Bez, is it only used by the band or have other bands recorded their albums there as well?
Nobody else has recorded there yet but it is a possibility for the future.
Are there any current plan on going out on tour now that the album is released?
As I said earlier our touring plans are on our website. We are also discussing a further European tour early next year.
For how long have you been signed to Frontiers Records? And how does the co-operation with the label go?
We are not signed to Frontiers. We license our albums on a album by album basis. Our next album might be through a different label. We have our own label in the UK and license it through different labels worldwide.
In which country or territory do you think Thunder are the biggest at the moment?
Do you receive a lot of fan mail?
No. We don?t have a fan club anymore, only a website.
Do you have any favorite song on the album? Are you happy with the album or is there anything you would like to have done in a different way?
No favorite song. I?m very happy with the album.
You are indeed a legendary band, do you feel like legends?
No. Only Harry looks like a legend.
Have you got any number on how many album Thunder have sold altogether so far?
No idea. Enough to feed myself and my 15 illegitimate children.
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to the readers of metal-rules?
Sk?l! (In Swedish that means ?Cheers? but due to some misspellings I?m not sure that?s what he means).
Read the reviews of Thunder?s CD?s here