If you have been to a local music venue with any kind of regularity in the past couple years, or if you’ve made your way to the 80/35 festival in recent summers, odds are good that you have seen Jordan Mayland do his thing. Whether it is as the front man for Volcano Boys, the drummer of The Wheelers, as Tires’ multi-instrumentalist or fronting his newest project — Jordan Mayland & The Thermal Detonators — Mayland has been a familiar face to a diverse group of music lovers in the capital city.
Each band has scratched a different itch for Mayland, with Volcano Boys and the Thermal Detonators being his outlets for writing, while Wheelers and Tires providing him with opportunities to just follow the lead of other talented artists, most notably songwriter/producer Phil Young. And while each band appeals to a slightly different audience — Tires has a synth-infused indie sound, while the Thermal Detonators are more piano-driven and jazzy — Mayland considers himself a rock guitarist first and foremost.
“Absolutely,” he concurred in an interview from Royal Mile. “Because I didn’t know what I was doing at the beginning. I didn’t have a guitar teacher, so it was all barre chords and me turning up the amp and screaming over it.”
“Volcano Boys is my voice of rock,” he continued. “I feel, at times, like things get watered down a bit in music. Even in pop music you can’t be screaming all the time, but I try to do my best with that pop formula, but make it intelligent at the same time.”
Meanwhile, Tires, arguably the most popular of the bands Mayland has been a part of, has recently taken a break (we won’t call it a break up), while its component parts focus on other projects. For Mayland, that has meant devoting more time to Thermal Detonators. If Volcano Boys is Mayland’s voice of rock, Thermal Detonators is his chance to improve. Thick with jazz influences and with a live set that places a high level of import upon freedom and expression, Thermal Detonators is unlike just about anything else Mayland has been a part of. The project started as a solo effort but has quickly morphed into a full band, and it’s a project that Mayland has thrown himself into with gusto.
“I haven’t written a song on guitar (for Volcano Boys) in months,” he said. “Everything’s been on piano (for Thermal Detonators).” CV