An Interview With: BlackthunderX4
Many things can be said about BlackthunderX4 (aka Tony), but he is one of the rare few people who wears his heart on his sleeve, and you can get an honest snapshot within a first few minutes of speaking to him, about what motivates him. Community driven and always out to make the world a better place one smile at a time. He is consistent, resistant, reliable and hard working.
It has been a genuine pleasure to get to know Tony in the last year, and I invite you now as we interview him for
Chatty Chimps, so that you too might be able to understand what makes him tick.
Noob: I would like to take a moment to thank Tony for taking the time to participate in the interview and share his pearls of wisdom with us.
Noob: If it is okay, please may we start with what name or names you use when streaming?
Tony: Tony, BT or Thunder.
Noob: And what is your channel name?
Noob: Do you mind if I ask how old you are Tony?
Noob: If it is not too personal a question, what is your nationality? From where do you ‘do your thing’?
Noob: Very nice. Just as a follow up for the readers to know a little bit more about you, I have a few outside the box questions.
Before we get into them. How long have you been streaming?
Tony: Full time since 05/2019.
Noob: What types of games, or should I say game genres, are your favourite?
Tony: RPG, Story Rich, Action-Adventure.
Noob: What would you say was your go-to film genre?
Noob: Do you have a favourite type of anime at all?
Tony: None specifically.
Noob: As a connoisseur or the munchies, do you have a favourite type of food at all?
Tony: Many Types: Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Pizza, Steak, Lasagna, pork chops, I can go on and on!
Noob: That is an excellent variety right there. I am very partial to lasagna myself.
Do you mind if I ask if you have any hobbies at all?
Tony: Streaming first and foremost. Collecting pop culture figurines and collectables.
If BlackthunderX4 is live now, you can check him out here. Alternatively drop him a follow to be notified
when he is next going live.
YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR
Noob: In your own words, Tony, please would you be able to tell us what it is you do?
Tony: I’m a streamer who uses this venue as an outlet to chat and make (hopefully) some good friends. It’s about the community, not the $$$.
Noob: And on which platforms do you ply your trade?
Tony: For now, Twitch and Twitter are it.
Noob: Was it another streamer or content creator that got you into streaming? What prompted the start to your Twitch journey?
Tony: Honestly, I started watching streams a few years back, and I do like to play games so one day I said I’ll give it a shot. A few weeks later, I had a handful of people who came in to talk, and it grew from there.
Noob: That is a charming start to your journey. Having been in a few of Tony’s streams and talked to him very frequently in Discord, he is a super engaging person with a bit of a magnetic personality for other positive souls.
Have you come across any positives when streaming?
Tony: This is a great way for me to vent, open up, share, laugh and just unwind with some really amazing people. You can’t put a price on that.
Noob: When it comes to personalities and people I hope Tony will not mind me saying be he is very old school where honesty, loyalty and mutual respect go a long way.
Unfortunately, though with the good, often comes the bad. Have you found any negatives?
Tony: There’s always the “me me me” crowd or the “downers”. Lastly trolls. Trolls have not been a major issue for me yet, but the me me me and downers have been an interesting commodity to address, dodge and get past.
Noob: And bar having a very lumpy patio with all of those people buried under. How do you deal with the negative aspects?
Tony: I try to either bypass the situation entirely, time out and in the nicest way, explain why or I just sever the cord and ban. You can’t change people at their core, but you can address sporadic behavior issues. IF nicely addressing it doesn’t work, THIS does work.
Noob: I can respect that, a firm but fair approach. It is always lovely when people take time to try and talk trolls around or see the different views of others and help amend them from a toxic to a constructive.
If I were to say, where do you see yourself in a year, what would you say?
Tony: Honestly, not much different. This is not a business first and foremost. It’s a hobby that has been instrumental in connecting with some amazing people. If things blew up and became lucrative, yes, I’d be positive regarding it, but it is not a priority or a short term goal. I’d like to see my community grow and connect. Meet each other and have true friendships spawn.
Noob: I like that, it’s honest, humble, and really does promote meeting new people organically.
If I asked where would you see yourself in three years for a long term plan as opposed to short, would it differ much?
Tony: Same as above. Also, I’ll be 50, and nobody wants to be looking down at 50 lol.
Noob: On a personal note, even at 50 I am thinking Tony will still be his super cheerful and super friendly self as opposed to a grump who just growls at people coming in to talk Mass Effect with an ‘old-timer.’ Sorry I mean veteran.
- Negotiating with chat (and failing) -
Platform: Twitch Sings (Karaoke)
Noob: At the beginning of the interview, I had a few random and outside the box questions, but they are truly going to get a little weird and interesting now if you don’t mind. Answering or dismissing as many as you want to, let’s jump in.
Who is your favourite Pokémon, and why is it Cubone?
Tony: Gengar because who can hate a purple ghastly ghost!!!
Noob: So you like pineapple on pizza, can you tell us why?
Tony: NEVER ON PIZZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m from Chicago originally, this is a law of the land!!!!!!!!!
Noob: Okay, I am going to take that as a maybe, but not something you are keen on. But that is a lot of exclamation marks.
If you were stranded on an island, what is the one thing you would want to have with you and why?
Tony: My home with full power available. This way I wouldn’t notice the inconvenience lol
Noob: Okay, just. Just imagine me facepalming at this stage.
What is your go-to excuse for getting out of things you just can’t be arsed doing?
Tony: Always use health excuses. Anyone who questions those looks deplorable 😊
Noob: That is actually disturbingly logical.
Wait a minute, when I was talking to you the other day, and you had to disappear off to the dentist… Actually no, no… Don’t answer that.
If you were to be hunted by an infamous horror character, who would it be? And what is wrong with you?
Tony: The Alien. Truly I’d like to domesticate one and have it on call for those who need true evil face-hugging...
Noob: Got any good jokes to tell us?
Tony: Not specifically but here’s a quote I hope comes true someday: “If history does indeed repeat itself, I am so getting a dinosaur!”
Noob: Are Jaffa cakes a cake or a biscuit?
Noob: If you could be an anime character, who would you be? And why?
Tony: Not a huge anime fan. I would love to be animated Batman for a day though!
Noob: What’s your perfect Sunday? And which movie did I pinch this from?
Tony: It would start off with the obvious of like probably going to a caff and reading the Sundays. When I’m on my own, I tend to get quite antisocial, so if I’m on my own in the flat, I like watching the extras on DVDs.
Noob: You certainly do have a thing for comedies and from what I have learnt a considerable love of British Comedy and more specifically Eddie Izzard, who is a go-to source for many quotes.
If you were an absolute badass in any form of media, what would your catchphrase be?
Tony: I’m bringin’ the rain people!!!
Noob: I am tempted to ask, but I am afraid your response would be a superhero striper or gigolo. You might be able to work out what the question was going to be.
- It's all about the timing -
Game: Mass Effect 2
IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE
Noob: At this stage, people may be as worried as I am for the next question, but there is a very high possibility, with his enthusiasm, energy and social skills - that Tony is in a position to influence up and coming creators. To influence the next generation of streamers.
If you could impart any advice for the up and coming streamers/creators of tomorrow, what would it be?
Tony: Millennials & Gen-Z’ers listen: Nobody hands you anything. Move out of your parent’s homes, pay your student debt and stop being so damn sensitive. Life is difficult and never sugar-coated. Work for what you want and earn respect. It’s never given freely. Even your Bernie would have to agree.
Noob: That is actually quite blunt but very true. Roll up your sleeves, work hard, and rewards and benefits will come. But you need to get up, go out there and earn what you want. Always be respectful too to others. Treat them as you wish to be treated. And it can go a long way.
- Don't feed the ego! -
Game: Beyond Two Souls
Noob: Before I move onto a closing statement, I was just wondering if you had any final thoughts, Tony?
Tony: Why were my measurements not covered? Are you chunk shaming now?????
Noob: ...Why do I keep doing this to myself? Honestly, you invite these people in to talk to the masses, and they are menaces. Absolute menaces. Almost as if they are part of the Menace Squad or something (a group of like-minded friends and well-meaning streamers who literally positively terrorise one another. Such as attempting to sabotage streams with dad jokes and seeing if they can make each other laugh while streaming, to the point the stream grinds to a halt).
In all seriousness, though I would like to thank Tony once again for taking part. He is genuinely a very nice guy who wears his heart on his sleeve and takes a firm but fair approach to both his channel and discord. Having known him for almost a year, I can highly suggest checking him out especially if you are a fan of Mass Effect as it is his go-to game series. And also a series whose lore he knows inside out and backwards.
If you would like to check Tony out, you can do so on the below social media…