Wreck 'n' roll

MIKE BELL

, Last Updated: 2:53 PM ET

It's rather fitting that an interview with vocalist-guitarist Ian Thornley and drummer Forrest Williams from the band Big Wreck should descend into Maxim terrain.

The two were recently in town to promote the band's long-awaited sophomore record, The Pleasure and The Greed which hits stores next week, and by the time we were through we'd covered all of the bases: Booze, L.A., cars, rock 'n' roll, and girls.

In that order.

The booze? Well, with what was apparently many, many behind them from a CD listening party the previous evening in Vancouver, one was placed firmly in front of them to do the interview.

L.A.?

Big Wreck spent six months recording The Pleasure and The Greed in silicone city with producer Dave Jerden, who's previously worked with acts such as Alice In Chains, The Offspring and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The experience is not one that the Toronto-born Thornley, who co-produced the record, much cared for.

"I hate it down there," Thornley sneers. "It's so culturally vacant. And unashamedly so."

The recording process itself also took some getting used to. Jerden's strict nine-to-five work schedule was in direct contrast to Big Wreck's night-owl approach used to good effect on In Loving Memory Of..., its 1997 debut.

The result was a lot of nights spent sitting around because

Thornley not only doesn't have a car ...

"I don't have a driver's licence," he says. "I never got one.

"But I should ... I need some wheels, man."

Which linguistically -- "wheels, man" -- now brings us to rock 'n' roll.

The Pleasure and the Greed is rock 'n' roll.

A big, bombastic, massively-produced slab of old-school riff-filled, Zep-esque blues rock that sounds as though it was excavated from the '70s, dusted off, and touched up for modern consumption.

"It's certainly in the vein of rock's past," Thornley agrees, stating that, like a throwback producer, he spent so much time in the studio adding layer after layer of guitar parts and assorted sounds.

"But it's still a rock record," Williams says. "There's no word in front of it, like 'agro rock,' or 'alt rock.' "

As for the babes. Well, what would a rock record be without songs about girls?

Lots af songs about girls and relationships, fresh from Thornley's aching heart and head.

Though he admits to having hit a dry patch, it's on the heels of a string of what he describes with a grin as model types, and also a publicized long-term relationship with former MuchMusic VJ Rebecca Rankin.

Could she be the subject of any of the tracks on The Pleasure and the Greed?

"Is there a song about her?" Thornley asks laughing. "I wrote a whole album about her."


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