• By: Katie Hartai

The Secret Side of Ian Fletcher Thornley

Ian Fletcher Thornley is best known as the lead singer and guitarist for multi-platinum selling hard rock band Big Wreck. On December 11, he will be stepping on stage as a solo act for what is sure to be a captivating performance at Mavericks.

Thornley’s first independent album Secrets was released on October 30, 2015 through Anthem Records/Warner Music Canada. The 13-track record is earthy and acoustic at its core with some atmospheric movement.

According to Thornley it’s different from any Big Wreck album.

“I spend so much time combing through every detail of a Big Wreck album before it comes out,” he says. “This record was not about that. This record was about capturing the moment, about capturing the emotion and the personal intention. It wasn’t about making it perfect and fixing every little detail.”

The singer-songwriter took his personal project to producer Mark Howard who has worked with legends like the Tragically Hip, Neil Young and Lucinda Williams.

“What he was after is something I am not used to revealing because I am usually a much more guarded person,” Thornley says. “It let out a lot of magical moments.”

Accompanied by only a rhythm section, Secrets was laid down and mixed in 12 days at a remote Northern Ontario cottage. Thornley recorded it with Blue Rodeo drummer Glenn Milchem and Big Wreck’s bassist Dave McMillian.

“It was a therapeutic experience,” he explains. “I really needed to go there emotionally, personally and musically. It was like being dipped in some sort of pool that gave me a breath of fresh air.”

Everything on the album was captured just as it was performed, without click tracks or auto-tune. The haunting melodies and emotional songwriting depth is about as real as it gets.

“There has been a lot going on in my personal life that was right at the surface and easy to draw from,” Thornley says. “It is nice for me to document it, to remember there is always a silver lining.”

Thornley says he’s looking forward to his upcoming show in the capital.

“I have always had great memories of playing in Ottawa,” he says. “Even the first Big Wreck record, people seemed to click with it.”

Visit the Ian Fletcher Thornley website for more information about Secrets or his current tour at ianfletcherthornley.com.