The band formed 20 years ago, did you think two decades later you would still be doing this?
No. I didn't really give the future much thought, I probably just assumed that I'd be making music somehow, some way.
Eight years into Big Wreck, you called it quits and went solo, what prompted the 2012 reunion?
The real catalyst was the re kindling of the friendship between Brian and myself. From that grew the idea to make music together again, although I don't believe either of us would have thought to put it under the Big Wreck moniker. That was someone else's idea, to which we figured "why not?"
The new record is called “Ghosts,” is this a record that signifies anyone or many from your past?
I think I'm using the term 'Ghosts' in a much broader sense. So it may not necessarily be a person or persons from my past, but could be decisions or actions that one continuously grapples with. Tough to pin point the meaning really.
In a day and age when everyone loves singles, you crafted your longest record to date, was that your intention making this album?
My only intention making this record was to make something that I really enjoy. The whole game with singles is fine, but not really for me. I tend to like songs that develop and surprise me, that will grow with me. A lot of single-oriented music feels somewhat dishonest and disposable. I had forgotten all about track length as we were putting this together. Quite liberating indeed.
“Ghosts” debuted at No. 5 on the Canadian charts, what was it like to see that you had a top 5 record in your country?
It was great! Of course. It's always nice to see your hard work appreciated.
What did you do on this record that you had not done before?
Quite a few things, really. I think we were further along before we actually started to record as the demos were very elaborate with most of the ideas sketched out in detail. And gated reverb on the drums. I've been wanting to do that forever and always ran into "absolutely not" or "you're joking, right?". Not this time though. I think I want to use more of that in the future. Great noise. Worked for Phil!
Like all of your previous work, this record is very autobiographical and a piece of you is on every single song you write. Is songwriting a cathartic / therapeutic experience for you?
I suppose in a way it is, although I don't really set out to deal with a specific situation by writing about it. It comes from the music first, generally, and then an image or a line that conjures something may pop out. I just find that it's easier for me to perform a song if it relates to me personally and directly.
That band had much success in the 90’s and are labeled a “90’s band,” other “90’s bands” have had much success reforming in recent years like Afghan Whigs, Soundgarden, Toadies, etc. Was seeing these bands get back together put the idea in your head and try it out?
Not at all actually. As I said before it was a real natural progression from Thornley back into Big Wreck. The current lineup of BW is basically an amalgamation of the two bands.
Hailing from Toronto, which these days is mainly known for the music of Drake and the city’s mayor these days, how has the city played a role in your music?
Oh I don't know that I could say, really. If my city was an influence on our sound, I have no idea what that would be. Good question!
When can we expect Big Wreck to tour the States and hit NYC?
I'm not sure. We have a tour of Canada coming up in the fall, so I would assume sometime after that. We did a short run of US dates last year and had a great time, but there are so many cities we didn't get to. New York being one of them. I'm told we will definitely be going down there to do some shows, but haven't heard when.
BURNING QUESTION – What is “That Song” that you really love in “That Song?”
Take the Long Way Home" by Supertramp. More or less.