Ian Thornley is a Canadian rock guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and also a proud father. He was born on July 21 1972 and raised in Toronto.
Ian left Canada for a brief period to study jazz music at Boston's Berklee College of Music in the 1990s, where he formed the band Big Wreck in 1993 with fellow classmates David Henning, Brian Doherty, and Forrest Williams. After 2 critically acclaimed albums and extensive touring the members of Big Wreck parted ways. Ian subsequently returned to Toronto, where he played as a session musician on albums by Nickelback, Sarah Harmer and Stephen Fearing before launching his band, Thornley.
Ian Thornley was 13 when he first started playing in a band who's members were all adults. Ian enjoyed playing in this band but chose to quit it because he would rather be playing basketball (what TALL 13 year old boy wouldn't ... ). However, due to the fact that he was such a gifted piano player he was discouraged from playing basketball due to the potential injury to his hands. One only has to watch Ian's fingers as they move all over the guitar to realize that the piano would be a natural fit too.
It would be incredible to see and hear Ian behind the piano...
For some of his influences Ian has been cited in interviews stating he listened to "folk blues like country blues and acoustic styles" before getting into the electric blues of Buddy Guy. He didn't even get into rock'n'roll until he was 15 and even then, it was the mellower melodic stuff like Supertramp whom he cites as a major influence "But they didn't influence the way I play my guitar or sing. They influenced me in the way I hear stuff and put it out. " Ian will quite often slip in a couple of short Supertramp covers during his live performances much to the delight of the crowd.Ian has also cited Bruce Cockburn as an influence:
"It started with Bruce Cockburn as the first person who knocked me out as a guitar player," Thornley confesses. "His album Circles in the Stream was just huge on me. 'Deer Dancing Around a Broken Mirror' was one of the first tunes I had to learn. I already had the dexterity in my hands from playing the piano forever, so picking up the fingerstyle was pretty easy."
Ian's first concert was a Bruce Springsteen show that he attended with his dad. It was after that show that Ian knew it was exactly what he wanted to do!
''The show is the only reason for the effort, but not necessarily for the reasons a fan might assume. It's the rare moment of musical nirvana which accompanies the performance. That's what I look for every night on stage,"he says". We can play a kickin' show, but if I don't get that little moment, I get disappointed. And it doesn't have to be noticed by anyone; it's a completely selfish endeavor. I go out looking for it every night, trying to find the bubble and let it take me somewhere''