Like any self-respecting guitar-bass-drums power trio, Thorn doesn’t want much, they just want it all.
“We want to take over the world, and have a good time doing it,” is how bass player Chad Davis, 21, puts it.
Mr. Davis joined guitarist Drew Guthrie, 21, and drummer Aaron Winn, 23, in Thorn almost by default. Having known Mr. Guthrie since high school, Mr. Davis tagged along to a rehearsal session at Mr. Winn’s backyard shed one afternoon. When the regular bassist didn’t show, Mr. Guthrie handed Mr. Davis a bass guitar that just happened to be laying around.
“Think you can play one of these things?” Mr. Guthrie asked. Mr. Davis had not picked up any kind of guitar in his life. But, this was no time for hesitation.
“Oh, my God, these guys sound seriously good. I can’t pass this up,” he said.
After a few rudimentary lessons from Mr. Guthrie, Mr. Davis found himself playing a few notes. Then he joined in for an entire song.
It seems he had a knack for the bass all along and just never knew it. But he did know that he liked it. A lot.
So, he jumped right in. “Well, guys — what if I really learned how to play, and I was your regular bass player?” Mr. Davis asked.
“They both looked at each other with visible approval on their faces. That same week I bought a bass on-line, and within a month I learned it.
“Initially it was difficult, because my fingers weren’t use to being stretched the way a guitar requires. The first bass I got was a Squire Affinity Series Precision bass, known for being a beginner’s bass. After I learned how to play, I bought one of my most prized and precious possessions — my Epiphone Thunderbird, modeled after the Gibson Thunderbird from the 1960s.
“This baby has a gorgeous sunburst color scheme and the tone will make you melt. In the span of a month, things just got easier and easier, and I started learning the songs really quick. Aaron, who was the bass player for another band (Y-Knott), was astounded by my natural ability to play bass. That’s a direct quote. And two months later, we played our first gig July Fourth weekend at (Boyd’s) Billiards in Morehead City with 26 songs under our belt,” Mr. Davis said.
Rounding out the instrumentation
Mr. Guthrie said he plays three different guitars, “but mostly I use my Neon green BC Rich Gunslinger and my Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro Silverburst plugged into a Boss Katana 100.”
Mr. Winn’s kit features Tama drums with Sabian cymbals, PDP hardware and Vic Firth Nova Sticks.
All three lads share the vocals. For now, Thorn’s repertoire is cover versions of 80s heavy metal and Southern rock FM radio staples.
“Drew’s influence is the hair metal scene of the 1980s — Ratt, Cinderella, LA Guns,” Mr. Davis said. “Aaron’s is 1970s Southern rock (Lynyrd Skynyrd). Mine is the psychedelic rock of the 1970s (Pink Floyd). But we also know songs by Motley Crue, Poison, Def Leppard, Van Halen, the Allman Brothers Band, and a lot more.
“At the moment, we’re just covering songs so we can be making a name for ourselves by playing places. But when we do eventually write our own songs, we’ll already have the crowd’s attention,” Mr. Davis concluded.
What’s in a name
As far as the band’s name goes, it was originally going to be Hot & Wild, but that went over like, well, a Led Zeppelin.
“Hot & Wild got criticism for sounding too blatantly vulgar and just dumb in general, even though Drew and I still liked it,” Mr. Davis said. “We decided it was best to change it. After a brief identity crisis, we thought about all the other bands in the area and that there would be competition. So, we figured we’ll just have to be a ‘thorn’ in people’s sides, and the rest is history.”
Thorn has a gig coming up at (Boyd’s) Billiards, 504 Arendell St. Morehead City, Saturday, and the band is checking on other venues to perform.
Mr. Davis said the hardest thing about playing in a rock band is finding the time to do it, but there is no doubt about the commitment driving them.
“With Drew being a full-time student, Aaron working for the state, and me juggling two jobs, you don’t really have all the free time you need for something like this,” Mr. Davis said. “But the commitment and passion is really what’s driving us. The potential to go far is a real motivator. We love the music we cover and are excited to start working on our own.
“We’re definitely hoping to record a CD and tour one day. With the luck of Thorn, anything is possible,” Mr. Davis said.
For more information about Thorn, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/thornband.