The Triton Review

EdCC graduate reflects and rocks on

The+members+of+Asterhouse+pose+for+a+group+photo.+Brothers+John+%28left%29+and+Russ+%28center%29+Thornburg+play+drum+duos+on+stage+during+performances%2C+while+bassist+Julio+Posada+%28right%29+holds+down+the+groove.
The members of Asterhouse pose for a group photo. Brothers John (left) and Russ (center) Thornburg play drum duos on stage during performances, while bassist Julio Posada (right) holds down the groove.

The members of Asterhouse pose for a group photo. Brothers John (left) and Russ (center) Thornburg play drum duos on stage during performances, while bassist Julio Posada (right) holds down the groove.

Bryanna Amaro

Bryanna Amaro

The members of Asterhouse pose for a group photo. Brothers John (left) and Russ (center) Thornburg play drum duos on stage during performances, while bassist Julio Posada (right) holds down the groove.

Kyle Whitmer, Photographer

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If you’re anything like me, then you sure as hell know figuring out what career or job you want to pursue is a daunting task.

I decided to look into the direction other students of Edmonds Community College went after graduating. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon a recent EdCC graduate that I realized the level of talent and inspiration some of our alumni exude.

Imagine a drumroll and picture the man, the myth, the legendary John Thornburg from the local band Asterhouse.

John and his younger brother Russ Thornburg, who have been playing music since nearly before they could remember, used to call their three-person band Jar of Rain.

The third band member is Julio Posada. While Russ pours as much heart and soul as any rock legend into shredding the guitar, Julio can be found steadying the stage as a bewilderingly talented bassist.

John stated during an interview, “Julio’s personality fits his instrument. He is a quieter, introspective guy.”

The passion during the band’s performances, so present it could be cut with a knife, could not exist without John’s pure enthusiasm and energy level – which skyrocket over anyone else’s.

During concerts and shows he always seems to find a way to uplift the crowd with animated performances, soulful singing and front-and-center drum playing.

As the band has been picking up in popularity, they’ve started to perform more and more but are restricted to some extent. “We’ve been busier lately,” John explained. “We have been playing one or two shows a weekend every weekend.”

Although they seem hopeful for the future and are driven to push the band to the next level, some members are still balancing academic priorities. “The reason we don’t perform more is usually school; we’re just waiting for the right time to go on tour.”

Asterhouse performed recently on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 6:00 p.m. at the globally recognized Hard Rock Café in Seattle.

Along with The Daisy Strains, The Fame Riot and Cashing in Karma, Asterhouse stole the night with an electrifying show on the upper level of the café. As should be for such music, it was ear-splittingly loud and filled the entire floor of the building for all to enjoy.

At one point Russ slid his guitar to his side and picked up some drum sticks for a wicked fraternal drum duo that pulled fanatic cheers from the lively crowd.

Tables filled with people stationed along the sides of the room. All eyes were pulled to the stage to witness the fantastic and uproarious music being played. With a bar in back and a crowd up front, it was a highly entertaining night with great and heartfelt music being played by all of the bands.

Watching their show at the Hard Rock Café was highly energetic and entertaining with a low cost of $12 to get through the door.

Although a T-shirt to remember the night was a sting at $35, for a Hard Rock Café shirt, the cost was well worth it in the end.

I got a chance to speak to John and Russ earlier the day before that show. “The band is fun. It’s been going really well,” John said.

I asked them which bands inspired them, only to be flooded with musician names. Right along with the bands Smashing Pumpkins, The Who and Incubus, they went on to list individuals such as Jimmy Page and Neil Young.

John also said, “When we were young, we were obsessed with Jim Morrison from The Doors.”

Appropriately, Asterhouse’s website includes a section explaining John had “perfected his Jim Morrison impersonation by the time he was four years old.”

You can find out more about the band on that website, Asterhousemusic.com. “You could go to Facebook.com and search Asterhousemusic,” John suggested.

When asked what their favorite song was, John recalled: “There’s a song we’re putting out called ‘1778.’ I like this song because I’m kind of a sucker for the mellotron.”

He described the sound as, “this old, almost eerie sound.” He continued to explain, “We finally got to put it in one of our songs (1778).”

For his favorite song Russ answered, “It was a song called, ‘Out of This Town.’ We wrote it probably six years ago; it was the first song that I felt like I was maturing as a guitarist when coming up with the guitar rift.”

John talked about his time at Edmonds Community College and what led him there.

“I was going to go to Cascadia, but when I parked there the machine wouldn’t take my card. I saw a cop coming up so I left and decided I wasn’t going there.”

Laughing, John also explained what led him to look at Edmonds specifically.

“I thought EdCC was going to be on the water, but then when I got there I realized it was in Lynwood. I was wrong about that, but I did find parking, so it seemed like destiny.”

John got his AA while at EdCC. “I’ve decided to wait a few years to transfer. If I do transfer, I will probably get a four-year degree in education.

“It took me a while to get my two-year degree because I was working a lot as para-educator, or para-ed,” John said.

“I worked at several of the schools in Edmonds School District,” he added, “although mostly at Scriber Lake High School. I usually worked with special ed students.”

John also explained he was just out of high school while working and looked very young.

“It was funny … Students would be like, ‘You work here? You look like you go here.’” While laughing he added, “In the hallways teachers would tell me to get to class, and I’d have to explain.”

Asterhouse’s website also states John “teaches bands of tomorrow at Jam Academy in Woodinville.”

A final note that John wanted to bring up about EdCC was a teacher that really helped him.

“David Breed saved my ass; he was amazing as a teacher. For the first time in five years I felt like I retained information from a math class.”

He also said about Breed: “What was really amazing about him was he didn’t use fear tactics, and did everything with love. He worked really hard to make sure everyone understood the material, probably overworked himself.”

Coming from someone who isn’t hugely into rock and roll, Asterhouse definitely has the heart and soul to entertain while playing great music. I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a good time, loves rock, or just need to fill their night on Dec. 22 to watch Asterhouse play their big Christmas party show at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard, W.A.

Contributors
Kyle Whitmer, Photographer
Kyle Whitmer signed on as a photographer for the Triton Review shortly after transferring from Cascadia Community College to EdCC the fall quarter of 2017. Inspired to make a difference, he is driven by his passion for photography and writing to become a better journalist all around. Kyle is working towards his AA and to transfer to a university in the fall of 2018.

Contact Information: [email protected]
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