Ian Thornley

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Ian Thornley
Birth nameIan Fletcher Thornley
Born (1972-07-21) July 21, 1972 (age 51)
Toronto, Ontario
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals, keyboards
Years active1993–present

Ian Thornley (born July 21, 1972) is a Canadian rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He is best known for his band Big Wreck as well as Thornley, his solo project during the 2000s.


Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Thornley studied jazz music at Boston's Berklee College of Music in the 1990s, and formed the band Big Wreck in 1993 with classmates David Henning, Brian Doherty, and Forrest Williams. They soon relocated from Boston to Toronto and eventually signed a US record deal with Atlantic Records. Their 1997 debut album, In Loving Memory Of..., was a significant hit that year on rock radio in both Canada and the United States. Big Wreck released a follow-up in 2001 called The Pleasure and the Greed, but went on to break up in 2002.

Thornley subsequently returned to Toronto, where he played as a session musician on albums by Nickelback, Sarah Harmer and Stephen Fearing before launching a new band, Thornley, who released their first album, Come Again, in 2004. The follow-up record, Tiny Pictures, was released in Canada on February 10, 2009, via 604 Records. The album was produced and mixed by Nick Raskulinecz.

Performance line-up for the 2010 Grey Cup Festival showing Ian Thornley and Big Wreck

Thornley also auditioned with Velvet Revolver for the position of their lead singer. However, this did not materialize as he did not feel comfortable being a lead singer without playing guitar.[1] The band eventually chose Scott Weiland as their lead singer.[2]

In the fall of 2010, Ian Thornley started touring with ex-bandmate Brian Doherty from Big Wreck. Ian had seemingly[speculation?] stopped calling his band "Thornley" and was touring under his full name.[3] On November 26, 2010, they were billed as "Ian Thornley and Big Wreck" at the Edmonton Grey Cup Festival.

Ian Thornley left 604 Records in 2011 and signed with Anthem/SRO. During this time, he reunited with his former Big Wreck bandmate, Brian Doherty, to resurrect the group. They then began work on a new album entitled Albatross, which was released on March 6, 2012. His group toured around Canada as Big Wreck from April to July 2012. The album "Albatross" debuted at No. 5 on the Canadian Albums Chart. This is the highest peak position ever for Big Wreck or Ian Thornley on the Canadian Albums Chart.

On February 5, Big Wreck performed at the Sound Academy in Toronto for Canada's Official Super Bowl XLVI party. They completed two tours in 2012 across Canada from BC to Ontario in the Spring/Summer (April to July), and later they joined Theory of a Deadman for the Jingle Bell Rock tour in the Fall/Winter of 2012 (November to December 2012).

The released their fourth studio album, Ghosts, in Canada on June 10, 2014, and in the US on July 15, 2014. The album has since been released in South Africa. The album debuted at #5 on the Canadian Albums Chart,[4] selling 4,000 copies in its first week.[5] The album also debuted at #4 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart,[6] which is the band's highest position on that chart in their history.

Thornley released Secrets in October 2015.[7]


Solo work (as Ian Fletcher Thornley)[edit]

Year Album
2015 Secrets

Big Wreck[edit]

Year Album
1997 In Loving Memory Of...
2001 The Pleasure and the Greed
2012 Albatross
2014 Ghosts
2017 Grace Street
2019 ...But For the Sun
2023 7
2023 Pages


Year Album
2004 Come Again
2009 Tiny Pictures


Thornley's early influences were "folk blues like country blues and acoustic styles", and later the electric blues of Buddy Guy. At the age of 15, he got into rock and roll, but it was mellower, melodic rock like Supertramp. He also cites Bruce Cockburn as an influence to his guitar playing. Ian's first concert was Bruce Springsteen. It was after that show that he knew that was exactly what he wanted to do.[8]


  1. ^ "Ian Thornley talks Secrets, guitar gear and nearly joining Velvet Revolver". March 17, 2016.
  2. ^ "Interview: Vocalist/Guitarist Ian Thornley Discusses Auditioning for Velvet Revolver and Reuniting with Big Wreck". December 3, 2012.
  3. ^ "Current Tour Dates | thornleymusic.com". Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  4. ^ "Canadian Albums : Jun 28, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  5. ^ A Journal of Musical ThingsWeekly Music Sales and Analysis: 18 June 2014 - A Journal of Musical Things
  6. ^ "Heatseekers Albums : Aug 02, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  7. ^ Ian Fletcher Thornley prueba landing 2 - Ian Fletcher Thornley
  8. ^ "THORNLEY ROCKS – Bio". Archived from the original on October 29, 2009. Retrieved October 28, 2014.

External links[edit]