Mike Thorne Interview – Meet Saga’s New Drummer

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:


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…

Mike Thorne


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:

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12 Responses to Mike Thorne Interview – Meet Saga’s New Drummer

  1. BrianDoerner says:

    Hopefully U won't get a black eye by two guys that will sucker punch you then leave U stranded and THEN don't pay U for the tour.. good luck sucker.

  2. Yovo says:

    BrianDoerner is a moron!

  3. Sean says:

    Congrats on the gig Mike – I wish you all the best!
    I do, however, need to echo Brian's sentiments… I hope you are treated fairly and well… until you are on the 'inside' of a band and that life, you can never know the true inner-workings, so the people sitting on the outside have no real clue of how things go, or what happens behind the scenes… and I am quite sure you will find out, fully, and quite quickly, once you start the tour. I hope you enjoy being a 'rockstar' but keep in mind, you are hanging with the hardcore now… and you are also just a hired gun, nothing more… you are not a true member of the band, you are the hired drummer/employee – you will not ever be truly a part of the inner circle… you need to be able to put up with members being constantly drunk and extremely argumentative, to the point of violence at times, and always know this… you can, *easily* be replaced at a moment's notice… they can slap a drummer from a clone band in to fill your shoes with a single phone call… and they have proven that… so you are NOT an important nor integral part of their band… you are just an employee. Make sure you keep good track and records of all your work, time, shows, gigs, etc. – you may need all that information later when you are taking legal action to try and get paid for the work you have done.
    Go in with your eyes wide open, and be well informed… that is the most important thing… go and enjoy the tour, and play the best you have ever played… enjoy the audience and the travelling… it is an experience most people will never get! Enjoy ALL the great things the opportunity can offer, but always keep it in mind that this ride *will* end, and you *will* be replaced… and when that day does come, do not be shocked at how it comes, or the fallout afterwards… go in with your eyes wide open and always make sure to protect yourself.
    Good luck on the tour… have a great time, and play those skins like you never have before… its a once in a lifetime opportunity.

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    Love you Miiiike!

  6. ElDrummer says:

    Dam why so much negativity, SAGA is a great band, BrianDoerner (if you really are him, good work on the album!!) sorry to learn that you got punched, people dont punch for nothing!!!but why call Mike a sucker!!!  He was chosen, saw him in concert, he's got chops, energy and hope to ear him on futur albums and tour. As far as a rookie joinging an established band, I am sure he know's his place, and that he will work is ass off to keep it well seated on that throne.

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  9. Jamie Szydlowski says:

    Mike, I just bought Sagacity today and am totally impressed, as a professional bass player, with your work on this album. Your style is similar to Brian’s but more of a hard edge to it imo. When I watched your audition video of playing along to Corkentellis I knew you were the guy for the gig (so did they!). I’ll see you on this years Cruise To The Edge and hopefully will have a chance to talk to you. Best wishes with the band and future. I’d love to here from any of you as I’m thrilled with the new album (have every cd) and am hearing a lot of new experimentation in it, mainly from Ian and Jim G.

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