Thornie

Thornie

 Nashville, Tennessee, USA
BandAlternativeAcoustic

Biography

Thornie formed in 2004 with Mark Katsumi Kimura at the helm. Mark was born in Mobile on November 12, 1982 to Tateshi and Sandy Kimura. He moved shortly thereafter with his parents and two older brothers to Louisville. His father’s work landed the family in Germany for a few years; after which he moved back to the United States to attend the University of Kentucky where he graduated with a BA in Business.

His enthusiasm for music began as a junior in high school when he purchased his first drum kit. Practicing every day for hours he developed an understanding of music while he wrote various jazz and rock beats for different bands. Above all he considered himself a punk drummer and found a connection with the other musicians he collaborated with. He often received last minute phone calls to fill in as drummer at gigs, despite having never heard the original tracks.

Being of Japanese-American decent; Thornie was a nickname bestowed by his roommates after a movie character with an equally ambiguous ethnicity. At his first live show in Lexington, his roommates continually shouted “Thornie”; leading others to believe that was his band's name. The name stuck and his local fan base quickly recognized him as Thornie.

At the age 20, many of his friends signed him up for open mic nights at a neighborhood bar where he had to use a friend's ID to get in. His first open mic night performance was at “High On Rose” in Lexington, lending it’s name to the title of his first album “High On Roses.” Like many musicians, He began playing at various open mic nights, fraternity parties, tailgates, and charity fundraisers including a United Way benefit and concert for flood victims of Hurricane Katrina. This led to multiple gigs on a weekly basis including Two Keys, Gambino's, and Harvey's. His gig at Harvey’s opened new opportunities such as performing at Keeneland's College Day and various television commercials. For many years the money from his gigs allowed him to pay rent and put food on the table while in school.

While discovering his passion for the stage; he realized that he wanted to do more than just play other people's music and began writing his own, incorporating original music into his performances. Taking the next step, he scraped together enough money to build a makeshift recording studio at his house in Lexington where he started recording tracks; doing the vocals, guitar, bass, and drums himself.

At college his drumming resulted in numerous noise violations and citations and it wasn’t long before he could no longer play until relocating to another part of town where music was more socially accepted. After completing his home studio he upgraded to a recording drum kit.

With his drumming put on hold by the local authorities, he decided to invest in a guitar, and within five months was performing new songs he had written while in self-exile from the laundry room of his house. The guitar opened new doors and subsequently led to more gigs.

As each new piece was added to his recording studio, he gained a greater appreciation for each instrument’s contribution to a song. With this new knowledge, he decided it was time to expand his repertoire and purchased a bass guitar in the summer of ’08. Within fifteen minutes of picking it up he had learned the fundamentals and started recording bass lines.

Though he was desperate to dive into the industry and pursue his dream, he realized it was more important at the time to finish college, so the dream would have to wait.

After graduating from college the time had come to follow his dream. He made many trips to the East coast scouting possible cities for relocation and work that would pay the bills while he pursued music. In early 2010 he received a phone call for a job opportunity in Nashville where he decided to relocate, leaving behind his life long friends, family, and the place he will always consider home, Lexington. After the move to Nashville he finished his full demo introducing new songs and announced the completion of his 8 year project back home at Harvey's in downtown Lexington on October 14th, 2010.