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The best kept secret in music


"Dynamic hard rock band Thornley are led by guitarist/singer Ian Thornley, whose previous band, Big Wreck, released two well-received albums on Atlantic. His new outfit is more direct, but their sound retains an impressively epic quality. Their first album, Come Again, sports undeniable hooks and sparkling musicianship."

Nominated for:
"Rock Album Of The Year"
"New Group Of The Year" - Junos

"The only thing you need to hear from Thornley’s debut Come Again are tracks 1 & 2, “Falling To Pieces” and “Come Again”, because game over, you’re hooked. Vocalist Ian Thornley can hang words out there to die like Layne Staley did in his day, a voice that is rich in texture and made for this type of solid rock action. "

"they craft melodies that rock, unashamed and confident in their delivery. “Easy Comes” digs in and bites down with a slithering riff that lies underneath the track like a rattler under a rock in the hot sun. The off-kilter acoustic beginning of “Bright Side” displays a band that isn’t about to fall into categorization because truth is told, not many straight ahead rock bands use that type of chording, while the all killer, no filler of “Clever” is slow motion knuckle mojo. " - Justin Press


Come Again - (2004) Debut LP

So Far So Good - Debut Radio Single
Come Again - 2nd Single Radio/Video
Beautiful - 3rd Single Radio/Video


Feeling a bit camera shy


“Once you start writing a song, just get out of the way and let it write itself,” says singer and guitarist Ian Thornley. “That’s the only way to do it.”

By “getting out of the way,” what Thornley means is not cluttering every song with unnecessary flash and flourishes, so that what comes through most clearly is the melody – something simple, direct and deeply emotional. “I used to over-produce, putting in lots of ear candy,” he says. “But when there’s too much candy, it rots your teeth out”

“On this record, melody is king.”

But the Toronto-based songwriter makes sure King Melody is kept company by such courtiers as heavy guitar riffs, ass-kicking drums and emotionally intense vocals. “It’s what rock music should sound like – simple and to the point, but of a really high caliber,” says drummer Seiku Lumumba. “When we play for other people, seeing that response – just seeing them with their mouths open – feels so good. I can’t wait for people to hear this record.”

For Thornley, this new band is the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of playing and writing. After moving to Boston to study guitar in the early ‘90s, the young Canadian began jamming with a group of musicians who eventually coalesced into the band Big Wreck. “I became singer by default,” he says, chuckling. “I was writing the stuff, and couldn’t find anyone to sing it who I could stand listening to.” Big Wreck recorded two albums for Atlantic Records, and enjoyed wide success with the 1998 track “The Oaf (My Luck Is Wasted).” But as much as Thornley enjoyed the instrumental complexities Big Wreck’s songs afforded him, over time he found himself drawn to a more direct mode of expression.

“With Big Wreck, we did a lot of experimenting, taking it outside and bringing it back in,” he says. “With this band, it’s just song, song, song, song. I just want to stack the record with as many great songs as I can.”

He adds “A lot of it has heavy parts – and I mean heavy. But it’s all in the context of a song, a sweet melody. To me, that’s the most important thing.” The range of material is impressive, stretching from the can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head hookiness of “Keep a Good Man Down,” Which Thornley describes as Beatlesque “but in a cool way,” to the Sabbath-style riffs of “Piss It Away,” to the slow and beautiful “Lies That I Believe” – “a real epic rocker,” in Thornley’s words.

As for the lyrics, Thornley draws heavily on his personal life, although only a few are, in his words, tear-jerkers – “you know, about feeling the pressure of having a family and buying a house, little things like that.” He smiles mischievously. “There’s definitely a singer/songwriter vibe going on, except I am screaming it at you. Some of it I’m screaming because I’ve got to get it out, and some of it I’m screaming because I like to scream.

“There’s a lot of screaming on the record…”

He began work on this new project as Big Wreck began winding down in 2002, finding a valuable ally in Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger. The two had known each other since the late ‘90’s, when Big Wreck took Nickelback along to open a big Canadian tour. Thornley later contributed slide guitar to “Good Times Gone,” from Nickelback’s 2001 smash, Silver Side Up. Kroeger returned the favor by signing Thornley to his Canadian-based 604 Records (also home to Theory of A Deadman), which in turn led to the U.S. deal with Roadrunner.

Meanwhile, Thornley was busily turning his songwriting project into an actual band. He literally ran into Lumumba, a much-in-demand session drummer who was living at the Toronto studio Thornley was using. “I had a writing room, and Seiku was in the next room,” he says. “He’s got his bed and his TV and everything in this little room.” “That’s how we met,” says Lumumba. “He had some stuff he needed some drums for, I put them down in a miraculously short time.” Next onboard was bassist Ken “The Worm” Tizzard, whose credits include a long stint with Canadian rockers the Watchmen. The final puzzle piece fell in place with the arrival of Tavis Stanley. After working with several guitarists, Thornley decided on this aggressive young bar-band vet from Trail, British Columbia. “I saved him from a Neil Diamond cover band,” laughs Thornley.

While Thornley is excited about the release of the new album, he’s even more stoked at the prospect of getting out on the road. “Bruce Springsteen was my first concert – my dad took me – and I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do,’” he says.

“I love getting onstage and boiling people’s minds. Because when you have, like, 5,000 people who are all your buddies… That’s a real buzz.”