Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Ian Thornley of Big Wreck

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Big Wreck
Big Wreck
shared the stage with some of the greats at this year’s Big Music Fest in Kitchener, with talent ranging from Bryan Adams, to Aerosmith, to Slash, and Myles Kennedy. A Music Blog, Yea? stepped into the life of Ian Thornley to talk about the new album Ghost, discuss tour life, and hear a little bit about his new-found love of napping.

AMBY: Hey Ian, it’s great to chat.

Ian Thornley: Thanks, it’s great to be here.

AMBY: You have quite the day ahead of you! Your sharing the stage with Kim Mitchell, Myles Kennedy, Slash, and Aerosmith- do you ever still get star-struck?

Ian Thornley: It depends. I had dinner with Myles last night, he came to the house and we smoked some salmon for him. For the most part, there’s very few people I would get star-struck by, but I kind of do my own thing, kind of keep to myself. Myles and I were actually talking about this, sometimes you don’t want to meet your heroes because it can be a bit of a nightmare. In the same token, you should ask him that question, he get to meet a lot of people. But not really, I don’t really get star-struck.

AMBY: You’ve recently released your 4th album with Big Wreck. Tell me a little bit about the album Ghost and how it differs from your earlier work.

Ian Thornley: I’m in a different place now than I was for any of the previous albums. I’m hoping it still comes from the right place though and then going somewhere else. It was almost the same process making this album as it was the last one, Albatross, we kept the same core group of people. That core group of people we kept the same just because I thought it really worked well and it was a great dynamic and there was no ego, no bullshit, everything was easy and fun and inspiring and it just rolled easily that way. I find the less stuff that’s in the way, then the music can do what it’s supposed to and then you’ve just got to do your job. It was really easy and fun to make. I’m certainly really proud of it. I’ve been spending a lot of time with it and I’m still not sick of it.

AMBY: I read that with this record and with Albatross, you sort of let go of the mindset that you needed to make a hit, it was more about the music itself.

Ian Thornley: Yea, I’ve kind of giving up on that. It’s just not really for me. I’ve always had the most success just doing what feels right for us, you know? I mean success personally and in every other way. As opposed to trying to play the other game, it just kind of dawned on me, you don’t have to play this game if you don’t want to, you can just make music! I was like, Oh, got it! Let’s just make music that’s inspiring and fun, as opposed to sweating bullets over how to chop something up and fit it into a cookie-cutter thing. It’s great for some people. I don’t know if it’s art, but it’s a craft and some people are great at it and it really works well for them, it’s just not really for us. So be it.

AMBY: You’re heading out on your Ghost tour in September. What do you like most about tour life?

Ian Thornley: Oooh a lot of it. Being away from home is a bit of a bummer, but just being out with the boys and the bond that’s there. Of course, the music and what happens to the music from show to show. Everybody on our tour really cares about the show and the performance and we try to make the next one better every time. There’s a lot of things to look forward to, but mostly napping. I love napping. That’s a new thing for me, I’ve never been a napper, but over the last 2 or 3 years, our security Big Chris, he said, “Ian take a half hour nap before you do your warm up” and started getting hooked on it! It’s great, even if I don’t fall asleep. I can’t do it at home, I’m not allowed to, so if I’m on the bus, it’s my show and I’m taking a nap! I’m shutting ‘er down for a bit. So, I’m looking forward to that.

AMBY: Right on! With the new album out, spending so much time in the studio, do you have a preference between making the album and creating the new material, or getting to tour out the new music?

Ian Thornley: I like both equally. They can both get stale after a while and you need to take a little break because you can be in the studio for too long. I’m certainly guilty of that, I’ll run the boys 14 hour days, with no days off. I don’t even notice it, I just keep going and going and going. Then before you know it, everyone is getting kind of punchy and it’s like, okay let’s take a day off. I find them equally as inspiring obviously for very different reasons, but once you’ve been doing one for a while, it’s time to go do the other. I love them both. I love the interaction with an audience and how that changes every night, it’s like hanging out with a different person. Starting a new rapport with a new audience every night keeps it interesting. Then again, you miss home and you miss a normal schedule. I’m an early riser, so eventually I burn out when I’m on the road because you’re up so much later playing shows and then I still get up early, which is why these naps come in so handy.

AMBY: When you’re not consumed with your music life, what do you like to do to take a break and get away from it all?

Ian Thornley: I don’t really- just different kinds of music I guess. Sometimes I don’t want things too loud, since eventually anything that I do is going to get turned up. I don’t really take a break, there’s just too much work to be done. There’s too many things that I need to learn and there’s always something around the corner that requires my attention.

AMBY: I have to ask, if you’ll share, what was “That Song”?

Ian Thornley: Take the Long Way Home by Supertramp. I actually had the chance to tell Roger Hodgson that, he’s the guy who wrote the song.

AMBY: If you could curate your own festival, where would it take place and who would be the headliners?

Ian Thornley: In my backyard would be great, but I dunno, man. Honestly, I can’t really argue with what’s going on here. It’s turned out to be a gorgeous day and I’m psyched to see what’s going to happen. I guess Bryan Adams was here last night and he’s just fantastic, one of my favourite singers. You can’t really ask for much more than this. Everything here has been super smooth, as far as I know, I’ve kind of been hiding in here.

AMBY: Lastly, what one thing most people don’t know about Ian Thornley?

Ian Thornley: That’s a tough one. I don’t know man, you’d have to ask the guys.

AMBY: It’s going to be a great day for a show. Find Big Wreck online at BigWreckMusic.com, thanks a lot!

Ian Thornley: Thank you.

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Thank you Big Wreck, for giving us your answers!

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