The Gentlemen’s Expo is proud to announce a series of special guests to help educate and entertain audiences at #TGE2016. Our GENTLEMEN OF MUSIC SERIES will feature discussions with compelling artists, singers, and songwriters.
- WHO: Ian Thornley of Big Wreck
- WHAT: In conversation with Ian Thornley. Hosted by Jeff Woods
- Thursday, Nov 10th at 9:15pm
- Friday, Nov 11th at 6:50pm
- Saturday, Nov 12th at 8:00pm
Use code FIVEOFF to save $5 off General Admission tickets. #BEBETTER at The Gentlemen’s Expo. November 10-12 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
About Ian Thornley:
What does it mean to be a rock and roll band in 2017? When you have a bunch of modern rock radio staples to your credit, earned platinum sales status, and shared stages with music icons, where do you go next? The answer is simple: To be an artist these days, one needs to embrace everything, and have the skill and savvy to put it all together with a clear vision of an end result.
“Musically, I’m still searching for the stuff that turns me on and takes me somewhere,” he says. “You want to be brought to tears or have the hair on your neck stand up, and if the search for that takes you to new territory, then so be it.”
For the Toronto-born Thornley, that search began in his youth when his classic rock heroes inspired him picked up the guitar. The original Big Wreck line-up, including Brian Doherty, was formed in the early 1990s while all members were attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. After a few years of honing their sound, the band was signed to Atlantic Records, which released their instantly embraced debut album In Loving Memory Of… in 1997. It proved to be a major homecoming for Thornley, as singles “The Oaf,” “That Song” and “Blown Wide Open” were all Top 10 hits in Canada, boosted by the band’s intense live shows.
Big Wreck chose to go their separate ways following the 2001 follow-up album The Pleasure And The Greed, with Thornley quickly forming a new group bearing his surname, which over time brought Dave McMillan and Paulo Neta into the fold. Although Thornley the band released two commercially successful albums over a nine-year span, Thornley the musician eventually grew disenchanted with the group’s approach, and a rekindling of his friendship with Doherty sparked the notion of a re-born Big Wreck.
It proved to be an astute decision on all fronts, as the “comeback” album Albatross turned in a Top 5 first-week showing on the Canadian Albums Chart, the highest debut of any previous Big Wreck or Thornley release. It would go on to earn a 2013 JUNO nomination for Rock Album of the Year and spawn three Top 10 Canadian Rock Radio singles.
The fresh start invariably led to Thornley’s creative renaissance, with other facets of his life and career eventually following suit. What he’s also come to terms with is allowing Big Wreck to be whatever it wants to be, whether that’s a riff-spewing, multi-guitar beast or a vehicle for sonic boundary pushing. There are no longer any limits.
As Thornley explains, “It’s like when you run into someone on vacation and they ask what you do. When I say I’m a musician, they’ll ask what kind of music I play, and I’ll always just say rock and roll. But within that are so many flavours you can’t even begin to describe.”
About Jeff Woods:
The most talked about Jeff Woods attribute is his voice. It has been heard on radio and television for decades. Jeff’s life and career has been about creating content and context around music and the promotion of bands and recording artists. Jeff has also programmed radio stations and websites including Q107 Toronto, The FOX and Rock 101 Vancouver, in addition to being on the team that launched the original brand known as The Bear (Edmonton). Canada’s leading vintage rock authority, Woods has been at the centre of conversation and context around music for 30+ years. Jeff has hosted radio programs and series, since 1983. He was the creator and host of The Legends of Classic Rock, heard internationally over 14 seasons, by a million weekly listeners across Canada and around the world. His many one-on-one interviews include artists like The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Rush, Ozzy Osbourne, The Band, Pearl Jam, Santana & David Bowie.