Big Wreck to play Algonquin College Commons Theatre

October 14th, 2014 by  |  Published in Interviews, Show Announcements

Big Wreck - promo 2014 - photo credit - Brooks Reynolds

Photo credit: Brooks Reynolds

To say Ghosts, the fourth studio album from Canadian rock favourite, Big Wreck, is haunting… well, that would be too easy. But bad jokes aside, it really is that good.

The most recent release from the band following 2012’s hugely successful Albatross is composed of a diverse palette of sounds including stronger melodies and even better solos; it grabs the listener’s attention and refuses to let go from the very first track.

“[With Ghosts] we were afforded the ability to do what we wanted to a little more; not even a little more, a lot more,” said lead singer and guitarist, Ian Thornley. “When you’re given that kind of freedom, you don’t really know what to do with it at first. I couldn’t wait to get in there and start really flushing things out and seeing what we could do creatively.”

Releasing a solid, polished product is nothing new —all Big Wreck albums are perennial in their ability to create a musical experience that reminds the listener that classic rock is here to stay, even upon the age of what could be considered a digital and electronic takeover.

Often labeled by critics as an album of “a band that sounds refreshed and rejuvenated” Ghosts gives its audience a peak at a band flexing its musical muscle. It’s an album that stays true to the Big Wreck sound and identity, but gifts fans with something a little different—a record exploring new territory.

“I think there’s a certain freedom that you can hear when musicians are doing something they love,” said Thornley. “It’s easy to hear when a band is excited and in the studio for the first time after working so hard to get there, it’s easy to feel that excitement and that joy. Then, after you’ve been beaten up a few times and rolled around and some doubt starts to get in there; it can mess you up and screw up the chemistry of making records. Once that happens, the sheer love of making music, it doesn’t go away, but it gets dampened. It gets bruised and it gets beat up.

Once you realize that and go through it, you realize you still have that love of music and there’s the realization that you’re allowed to make it and carve a living out of it. That’s kind of the biggest thing. It’s not about being able to buy a yacht, it’s being able to make music and survive. [This record] isn’t a second lease on anything, I haven’t stopped, none of us have stopped, but it’s that realization that we’re lucky to have a career, and I can see how it would sound that way, like someone kind of lit a fire under our ass. It’s still within the confines of what people would expect from us, we’re just trying out different drum sounds and song forms and atmospheres and whatever.”

Complete with the driving intensity, lyrical depth, smooth transitions, and guitar playing comparable to that of Dave Grohl that Big Wreck fans have come to expect from the group, Ghosts delivers 13 multi-faceted tracks that leave you wanting more; even with the album being unapologetically long, defying the four-minute-single structure.

“The whole game has changed now. As far as writing songs that are designed to go on radio goes, that’s not something that ever interested [us], that’s just not my bag,” said Thornley. “ And that’s what we did with Albatross, and we got a number one song out of it, and it’s a song that kind of breaks all those little rules for writing radio hits, so it was sort of, okay, well, I guess that’s what works best for us. That was my M.O. going in, I didn’t look at a song length once. Music isn’t supposed to be looked at. I wasn’t aware [this was our longest album] until someone pointed it out in an interview. We could chop off the extra two minutes at the beginning or end of a song, but if it’s still worth being there, it’s going to be there.”

After releasing Ghosts in June, Big Wreck embarked on what was originally planned as a Canadian tour, with several American dates since being added, undoubtedly due to the record’s success and the band’s reputation for putting on a fantastic set. Their next stop? Algonquin College.

“We were just saying- Brian [Doherty] just said he can’t wait to go to Ottawa, we love going to Ottawa, we always have,” said Thornley. “Even back in the day, it was always a great destination for us. We always looked forward to that. It’s always great there, we always have great shows.”

Great shows and a packed crowd. The year they played Bluesfest (2012), Big Wreck was designated to play on the River Stage, a smaller stage to the side of the festival grounds, but was surprised at the turnout they received.

“I was kind of bummed when we pulled into Bluesfest and there was this little stage and they said that that’s where we were playing, but then when I came out on stage to start the show, there was, like, 6,000 people or something like that and I distinctly remember that it took my breath away. I’d rather that than being on [a] big stage; that was awesome.”

Another packed audience is an outcome the band is sure to receive upon their return to the capital next week when they play at Algonquin College’s Commons Theatre on October 21.

“[This] tour’s been great. We started off really strong and hit the ground running with the first show, and, you know, you always want to beat the last show, so it just seems like we’ve raised the bar as far as big Wreck shows go- and I think the bar was already pretty high- but it’s just another level for me. I’m enjoying it a lot more, and I feel like everything’s working. I think this might be the year; we’re at our best right now.”

Tuesday Oct 21, 2014
Algonquin Commons Theatre (1385 Woodroffe Ave, Algonquin College)
Doors: 7:30 PM
Show: 8:00 PM
All Ages

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