WITH a brand new album ready for release in February, rockers Thunder will also unleash themselves on an unsuspecting public in a nationwide tour in March.
Singer Danny Bowes, who can also be heard fronting his own music show on the digital station Planet Rock, is very pleased with the outcome.
“It’s probably the best we’ve done,” he says.
Formed in 1989, the London-based band have notched up no less than 20 top 50 singles and a brace of Gold Albums along the way, as well as establishing themselves as a top live attraction.
The new album, entitled Rip It Up contains some great rock anthems and comes two years since their last album — Wonderdays.
“We recorded the album in three sessions over about six months,” Danny explains.
“We didn’t want to go in the studio for six weeks and do the whole thing, and we only recorded the best stuff that Luke (Morley — chief songwriter) wrote.”
With Luke being the one who writes the songs, I wondered if he wrote them in order to be played live.
Danny says: “You know, I’m in awe of Luke, how he can keep coming up with great songs. I suspect that deep down, while he’s writing he’ll be thinking — oh, that’ll be good live. But there are sone songs that you think will be good, but don’t work for some reason.”
With albums like Bang, Backstreet Symphony and Behind Closed Doors in their catalogue, plus others, and of course the two latest albums, the band has yet to work out what will be in the live set for the tour.
“We have to be mindful that some people will want to hear new songs before they buy the album, and of course there are always songs that you have to play.
“But I think we’ll be playing as much of the new album as we think we can get away with.
“When you call your band Thunder, heavy metal will spring to mind, but to be honest, in comparison we’re nowhere near the really heavy sounds. We’re more generalised rock music and 70s based.
“Even though bands like Bad Company, The Who and Led Zeppelin are our influences, there’s also soul music and Motown incorporated.”
Danny adds that the band likes to progress, and says: “The urge to make this record better than the last was very strong and we were always pushing ourselves."
“For instance, the ballad Right From The Start on the new album. At first I didn’t know how to sing it. In the end I found things in my voice that I didn’t know was there.
“We all had to raise our game on this one and I keep saying that we couldn’t have made this record five years ago — we just weren’t good enough!”
But for the live shows, the band wants to have fun. “That’s right, we want the shows to be hugely enjoyable. We wanna play the tunes and have a great time and we expect the audience to join in with us.
“If people don’t go away as tired as I do, I think I’ve failed, but most of the time we win.”
The future? “Yeah, we’re off to Australia before we do the UK dates, then after that it’s around Europe and some summer shows.”
Thunder will be playing at the City Hall, Sheffield on March 18. Tickets are available from the box office and all the usual agencies.