Interview date

November 2006


Yann G


Hello Thunder, thanks a lot for accepting this interview for the french metal webzine http://www.auxportesdumetal.com/.
Your latest release's called "Robert Johnson's Tombstone". Why did you choose such a title ?

The LP is named after the song of the same name. All the subjects covered in the LP are summed up in that one song (love, sex, death, temptation, lust etc), so it seemed appropriate. And it gave us a chance to dress up Harry in silly clothes and humiliate him again.

Which importance does Robert Johnson have in the Thunder music ?

Robert Johnson had a major influence on those who influenced us. People like Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton were all influenced by RJ, and through them so were we, a generation later. Hopefully we can continue that.

Did you decide all together of the CD cover design ?

Luke and Chris came up with the concept.

Why did you choose to put a devil beside the tombstone ?

The whole legend surrounding RJ is that he was supposed to have sold his soul to The Devil in return for his amazing guitar playing skill. Our song Robert Johnson's Tombstone covers all that in the lyrics, so was obvious to us to have Harry dress up as The Devil.

On this album, you really sound like a pure hard-rock band. The song "Robert Johnson's Tombstone" contains Eric Clapton's influences, "A million faces" reminds the Rolling Stones, "The Devil Made Me Do It" reminds AC/DC.

Yes well that's where we came from, those bands all played a part in defining our attitude towards how we play music.

How do you explain the success and the particularity of UK hard-rock ?

British bands have an edge that US bands don't have. Not sure why that is, but it's definitely there, and always has been.

What do you think of the hard-rock/heavy-metal stage in 2006 in England ? Do you see some rising bands for the future ?

There are a few good bands coming through, but it's very hard right now. In fact I think it's going to get harder, but the world is changing so fast, the music business and all those in it are going to have to adapt to survive.

Do you think that there is still a place for this kind of hard-rock in 2006 ?

If people buy our records (which they are doing), and people like you want to ask us questions (which you are doing), there is always going to be a place for quality rock bands that can play great shows and make great records.

How would you compare "Robert Johnson's Tombstone" to your previous release "The magnificent seventh" ?

This LP is the continuation of the work, not in any planned sense. Merely in that we write songs and record them when we think we have enough. We can do what we like nowadays, so we're much more relaxed about the song content, and the recording process is easy for us, so the end result is always going to be better than if we had to rush to get an album out because our label were yelling for it. We are the label so we do what we want.

Can you please explain us how do you proceed for writing and recording songs ? Who does what ? Do you start by music or by lyrics ?

Luke writes the songs, I can't help you there. He says it's never the same twice, it comes from the song, so sometimes it'll be music and sometimes words or phrases that spark the creative process.

This new release seems to be very well reviewed by the European metal press. How do you explain this ?

It's a great record, and not many people make great records nowadays. That makes it stand out I guess.

Do you plan to come for a European tour, especially do you plan to visit France ?

Yes, we're in talks now for shows in late February 2007, and if there's a promoter in France that wants us we'll come.

What are your future projects ? Do you plan to record a DVD live during the next tour ?

No more DVDs for a while. We've filmed, produced and released 4 DVD titles in 3 years, so we're going to wait a bit before we do the next one.

To finish this interview, would you have some words for the french readers ?

Please buy our new record. If you buy it you'll make us more popular, and the promoters will pay us to go there, and then we'll play you some great exciting old fashioned rock'n'roll shows