Bringing The Big Show

By Charelle Evelyn on Febuary 16 2015

There’s a treasure trove of rock and roll
splendor spread amongst the members of
Burn It Down.

Lights, lasers, smoke machines, high-quality speakers – not to mention all the instruments – are all at this four-piece’s disposal to put on a rock spectacle.

Members Gerry Hicks, Les Johnson, Justin McLean and Brian Newton have been beating the rock and roll drum since 2011. The group’s repertoire focuses on the best of the 1980s and 90s (ie. Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Journey, etc.).

“That’s kind of our direction because nobody’s doing it anymore, for one, and two, that’s what we’re kind of about,” said Johnson. “If we’re playing and you come to see us, we put on a pretty good rock show.” Looking at all of the gear amassed in the Burn It Down’s rehearsal space, it’s hard to believe that music isn’t the group’s full-time occupation. The band practices once per week and gigs when they can in a city where dance music is an increasingly popular form.

Music is strongly steeped in bandmates Hicks and Johnson, who both have been playing since they were youngsters. Hicks began playing in bands in 1992 and hasn’t stopped. A decade ago, he was playing bass with Powersludge in Alberta. “Every town I go into I end up playing with someone,” he said. Johnson started out with piano lessons as a child.

“It’s the typical story: everyone else is out playing baseball and I’ve got to do my piano lessons,” he said. “It was a bit of bummer but I thank my mom every day for it.”

The bandmates both have original music up for grabs on ReverbNation, as Gerry Hicks and Hear on Earth, respectively.



Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.


M2015, MusiciansNorm Coyne