Parker Crook/Morning Star Staff
For better or for worse, the term rock and roll has been in a constant state of evolution since its inception.
Vancouver-based rockers Aviator Shades are hoping to revive the era of classic rock with their show at The Green on Saturday.
“It’s very hard, fast rock and roll with an analytical feel,” said vocalist, bassist and founding member of Aviator Shades Dave Gorman.
With a sound parallel to a modern take on the classics, such as Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple and The Eagles, the concept behind Aviator Shades was born while Gorman was in Ireland.
“I started out with a vision,” he said. “I wanted to create a classic style rock band. Through trial and error, I (discovered) I wasn’t able to make a band in Ireland.”
After travelling to Vancouver on vacation, Gorman noticed that classic rock was still alive on Canada’s west coast, and decided to bring his dream with him.
Upon his arrival in Vancouver in 2010, Gorman began hunting for band-mates, utilizing Craigslist and other tools to find like-minded musicians.
Gorman was eventually able to put a line-up together, and they began playing in Vancouver as Aviator Shades.
“We all share the same vision,” he said. “We all like playing together.”
Soon after, Gorman met music producer and specialist in artist development Danny Craig, who has worked with numerous bands, including One Bad Son and Default.
“He mentored us and took us under his wing,” said Gorman.
“Danny was huge. We didn’t necessarily have someone to break it down.”
Craig would watch Aviator Shades’ shows, and provide critiques on their performances.
“He was crucial in the early stages,” said Gorman. “We had the vision for the band, but he makes us better to follow our vision.”
In addition to helping the band grow, Craig produced Aviator Shades’ first EP, Ready to Blow, in 2014.
Aviator Shades saw success with their first single, Who Do You Think You Are, which aired on the radio in 2015, and eventually hit number 42 on the Canadian Active Rock charts.
In preparation for their sophomore release, Aviator Shades is going on a May-long cross-Canada tour, kicking off with the release of Burn it Down, the first single from the new album.
For Aviator Shades’ newest offering, Craig shared production duties with the renowned Canadian record producer Mike Fraser, who has recorded and mixed albums for bands including AC/DC, Metallica, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and more.
“The future, I’d like to think, is very, very bright,” said Gorman. “We grew up seeing his name on our CDs.”
While Gorman is excited about working with Fraser, he believes the stage is everything.
“You can’t reach people any better than playing live,” he said.
Gorman is eager to play at The Green, as it will be Aviator Shades’ first show in Vernon.
“We just enjoy going places for the first time,” he said. “People haven’t generally seen what we do. They can expect a really good, hard and fast rock and roll. We will not disappoint.”
In homage to the classics, Aviator Shades sports two lead guitarists, Shaun Michael Thackeray and George Baker, whose ebb and flow is unmatched, and a thunderous drummer in the form of Spencer Tomlinson, whose beats blend perfectly with Gorman’s bass lines.
“When you get four guys on the same page, there’s an electricity that happens,” said Gorman. “Our band plays with general passion, it’s not contrived in any way.”
For Gorman, the rush of sharing music with an audience is a feeling that can’t be beaten.
“It’s a drug like no other.”
Aviator Shades play The Green Saturday, May 6. Tickets are $5, available at The Green. This is an adults only show; doors open at 8 p.m.