|Mike Thorne of Saga|
April 20 2012 – Saga is without a doubt one of Canada’s best rock exports (to the rest of the world I personally apologize on behalf of Canadian rockers about Nickelback). Saga has sold over 8 million albums and have achieved gold and platinum album status throughout their long career. Saga combines classic rock riffs with progressive synths, and features one of rock’s most charismatic front men. We have seen Saga play twice last year and reviewed those shows here and here.
|Michael Sadler of Saga|
The band’s lineup has been fairly consistent throughout the years and features Michael Sadler on vocals, Ian Crichton on guitar, Jim Crichton on bass, and Jim Gilmour on keyboards. The one exception to the mostly (we say mostly because Gilmour was not the original keyboardist and Sadler took a leave for a few years) stable lineup is drums. The band was on their 3rd drummer when on February 1st 2012 they issued a statement that began with: “We would like to announce that after 6 years of touring and recording together, Brian Doerner and Saga have parted ways.” A subsequent release posted on the bands site on February 18th 2012 read:
ATTENTION ALL DRUMMERS!!
Want to be in the running for the position of the next SAGA Drummer?
All you have to do is video tape yourself playing along with any 2 of the following songs;
“Careful Where You Step” (from the CD Silent Knight)
“Framed” (from the CD Worlds Apart)
“The Writing” (from the CD Heads or Tales)
“Corkentellis” (from the CD 10,000 Days)
Then post your video on YouTube as “Saga Drummer Search – (song name) – (your name)”, and send the video link to sagaontour [at] cogeco [dot] ca
Almost exactly 2 months later we get the following announcement:
April 17th 2012
And the winner is!
After much deliberation,we have found our new drummer. Would you please join us in welcoming to the band…
As massive Saga fans ourselves we rushed to congratulate Mike and ask him if he would like to give our readers an exclusive interview. Here is what Saga’s new drummer had to say to us:
1. Mike, congratulations as becoming Saga’s new drummer! Are you excited?
Thorne: Oh, I’d say so, yes! I can’t wait to actually play with the band; they seem really cool and easy-going, and accepted me in the band without even an audition! Since it was officially announced, I’ve been flooded with welcoming greetings from just about everyone I’ve ever known and half the Saga fans around the world. It’s a bit overwhelming, but exciting nonetheless!
2. Is this your first interview as Saga’s new drummer?
Thorne: Yes it is. Aren’t you lucky!:)
3. We sure are and we thank you for it! Tell us a bit about you, where are you from, when did you start drumming, what bands have you played with before?
Thorne: I was born at the age of zero & raised in Scarborough (Ed Note: Scarborough is the eastern most part of Toronto and where Wayne (Mike Myers) from the movie Wayne’s World would rock out), have been playing since I was six, and have played with far too many bands to include here, but some fun times with Diamond Zye, The Dayjob Orchestra, The Ozzyborn’s, Endless Summer, John Baldry, The Drifters, as well as lots of recording. I’ve also done lots of work with video and audio, and music and voices for radio & TV. I’ve also been a drum instructor for most of my life.
4. What are your top 3 favorite Saga tunes?
Thorne: The Perfectionist, Humble Stance & Corkentellis.
|Mike Thorne – Saga’s Drummer|
5. How did you find out you were selected as the new drummer?
Thorne: I got a call from Ian asking if I was good with the tour dates.
6. Were you involved with Saga’s upcoming album 20/20 at all?
Thorne: Not at all. In fact, I haven’t heard any of it yet!
7. What are your favorite rock bands (and you can’t say Saga)?
Thorne: If you can call all these “rock” bands … Rush, Yes, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin, The Police, Toto, Trilok Gurtu, ELP, Van Halen, Max Webster, Genesis, Shakti.
8. Any word on when the first concert we will see you live at?
Thorne: July 7th at the Prog Rock Festival in Loreley, Germany.
9. Mike, thank you so much for your time, any closing words for all the Saga fans out there?
Thorne: Yes! You all have great taste in music, and I’ll see you at the show.
Mike thanks again for talking to us and we look forward to seeing you live in your home town of Toronto. I think it is very clear from Mike’s answers that he is a great guy and he will make the most of this opportunity he rightfully earned. We leave you with one of Mike’s YouTube audition videos: