Thunder, fresh from their performance at last weekend’s Calling Festival on London’s Clapham Common, have promised that their upcoming tenth studio album will be worth a wait of six years.
“We’re chuffed to pieces with how things are proceeding in the studio but the songs have to be absolutely fantastic,” reveals singer Danny Bowes. “If they’re not, we know that a whole bunch of people will be waiting to stab us in the back. But if everything goes according to plan, the results will be out early next year.”
The band had said on several occasions that they would never make a new album. “You can call it a U-Turn if you want,” says Bowes responding patiently to Classic Rock’s question, “but so far I haven’t heard much in the way of complaint. It’s what our fans seem to want and there hasn’t been a single negative post on our Facebook page.”
Comments guitarist/songwriter Luke Morley: “It’s one of those things we wanted to do while we are still… I hesitate to use the word ‘young’…”
“…Let’s go with ‘capable’ instead,” interjects a smiling Bowes.
Thunder’s previous album, Bang!, was released in late 2008 and they split up the following summer, only to reunite for Classic Rock’s High Voltage Festival in 2011. Since then the band have toured sporadically and performed annual end of year shows around the country, the most recent of which taking place in 2013 via two sold-out dates at Wolverhampton Civic Hall. Bowes has also toured twice as part of a duo with Thunder guitarist/keysman Ben Matthews (who sat out at the Calling Festival after having his tonsils removed).
“We decided to stop five years ago for a combination of reasons, but I didn’t have a crystal ball then, and none of us foresaw six festival gigs turning into the twenty shows we did last year,” says Bowes. “The overwhelming response we got on the arena tour with Journey and Whitesnake [in 2013] made us think about making another album.”
“The sheer volume of the crowd there for us on those dates was overwhelming,” agrees Morley. “That, on top of the reactions at the Christmas shows, was what planted the seed. It would appear we’re quite popular.”
“I’m really enjoying being back in my Thunder creative space again,” continues Morley, who is keen to stress that the reactivation of Thunder as a recording entity does not affect his other group The Union (whose vocalist/guitarist Peter Shoulder guested in place of Matthews at Calling).
“The Union made three albums in four years, which is a massive output,” he explains, “so in some ways it’s good for me to step back from the intensity of that for a while. Pete’s made a solo album [Feathers & Rain] and is doing some shows of his own, so the timing suits everybody.”
According to Danny, whilst further activity from Bowes/Matthews remains possible there are no immediate plans. “There’s always the chance that if we did a third tour people might realise that the show was actually crap,” he smirks, “but right now everyone’s efforts are being directed towards Thunder.”