The red and white… and blue?

By James Keller

One of Canada’s rising rock acts isn’t as Canadian as it might first appear.

According to Big Wreck guitarist Brian Doherty, only a quarter of the band, frontman Ian Thornley, is from the Great White North. The rest, which includes New Yorkers Doherty and drummer Forrest Williams, and Boston bassist David Henning, are living the American Dream on this side of
the 49th.

"In terms of playing together, it’s not like it was when we were living in Boston," says Doherty, explaining some of the difficulties of living in different cities and countries from the rest of the band. "It’s harder to get together. We’ll all fly up to Toronto, get a rehersal space and jam for a couple weeks and go home."

However, Doherty doesn’t think this is neccesarily a bad thing.

"There’s a little more pressure–you’re not just hanging out. Once you get together, it’s time to go to work," says Doherty. "I think the band works best under those situations. You’re more focused on what you have to do. There’s no screwing around."

This pressure has certainly had a positive effect on the band’s sound in the studio. The new album, The Pleasure and the Greed, features a harder, more polished sound than their previous work. This is due in part to changes to how the record was created.

"The process was a lot different. We did the record with a big name producer, which we didn’t do on the first one–we pretty much did that one ourselves," says Doherty of
the changes. However, these do translate into the style of music which has more complex elements than we’ve seen in older Big Wreck work.

"There’s a lot more material on it, a lot more layering and a lot more vocals," explains Doherty. "It’s more intricate that way."

Another reason the sound might be different is this time, the band
has evolved. Since their last release in 1997, and after touring for two years straight, the band was fairly inactive. During that time, although they’ve changed producers, recording locations and style, Doherty hopes they still aren’t forgotten by fans.

"We finally released a record and people still remember who we are," he laughs. "Things are pretty consistent and we’re not coming back in any huge way. We’re doing better than we were and we’ve made some small steps which is good."

So while their success is slowly growing, the band doesn’t have any reservations about not being big-name rock stars.

"It’s not a really fast climb–it’s nice and slow and consistent," says Doherty. "We’re still developing our audience.

"We’re comfortable. We’re not rich, but we pay our bills and we pay our rent."

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