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The Truth Is...
Theory of a Deadman
If a producer wants to tell a band a song sucks, fine. But if it is something you just don't want to hear? Who cares. - Tyler Connolly
by Michael Shinafelt
Theory of a Deadman
Theory of a Deadman (Photo Credit: Travis Shinn)

Can you handle the truth? Honesty is always the best policy. Theory of a Deadman adheres to that age-old adage on their fourth album, "The Truth Is..."

The platinum-selling Vancouver quartet Theory of a Deadman features David Brenner [rhythm guitar], Dean Back [bass], Joey Dandeneau [drums] and Tyler Connolly [lead vocals, lead guitar] who is in the house and here to tell it like it is. Get ready for a bumpy ride!

MS: Hey, Tyler, normally I never ask this, but I am intrigued. Where did you come up with the band name, Theory of a Deadman?

TC: Well, Theory of a Deadwoman, sounded, totally lame. (laughs) It's actually a song title from the first record, and we thought it was a really cool thought-provoking name.

The label at some point told us we should just change our name to "Theory." Would you change your band name once you are established? No!

MS: Yeah, really, and it's not quite as catchy. You stated that the "The Truth Is..." is a shared experience with your audience. In what way?

TC: I like to write from a fan's perspective, whatever topics they are talking about, so... it's one of the biggest compliments you can get, when a lot of fans relate to the songs and think it's about them.

MS: Do tell.

TC: So, the truth on this record is, I went one step further and became outright with my lyrics. They are not so generalized, or vague. They may be a little over-the-top and stuff, tell people the truth, ya know? The album is like saying to someone: "You have a mole on your face and it's so huge."

MS: When I was listening to it I thought "There's no room for interpretation here."

TC: Yeah, the songs are about love or hate, nothing in between, which is exactly what I think needs to be done right now, people are so afraid of it these days. The last label we had, we had to fight them to put the album out because we had so many f-bombs on the record. We said "there are f-bombs on the record because that's how people talk, it's not offensive".

MS: Hey, I talk like that around my good friends. By the way, I bet you have heard of the song, "The Cat Came Back."

TC: Nooooo! Yes, of course... (laughs)

MS: The minute I heard your song "The Bitch Came Back" I went, "oh, they know that song."

TC: Everybody comes up and whispers to me "Dude, I know about "The Cat Came Back." It's not like I stole the song, so I was like, "dude, yeah". The songs are very similar, but different.

MS: They are different, but the chorus sounds pretty much the same.

TC: Hey, that's where I got it from, man.

MS: You have said that a lot of the songs on this album came from a rough period of your life. Care to expand on that?

TC: Well, I got divorced, me and her are great friends now, but there was a time, for about a year, that it was not good. I didn't know what the hell I was going to do with my life. The way I felt, which was angry, I wrote a lot of the songs on the record based on that anger. But I broke free and became a butterfly! (laughs)

"Easy To Love You," which I always try to give reference to, is a really beautiful song. It's about how you want that someone special in your life, they are so great and so easy to be around. You love them, which is nice. The record needed a balance, the whole thing was angry initially and, if it were all anger, I think we would have been in trouble.

MS: The songs are very reflective of you statement that when you write them you "either want to kiss someone, or punch them in the face."

TC: If a producer wants to tell a band a song sucks, fine. But if it is something you just don't want to hear? Who cares.

MS: Your video for "Low Life" is a lot of fun. How did you get Donal Logue to star in it? Is he a fan of yours?

TC: He's a Canadian guy, too. I don't think he knew who the hell we were before he did the video. He's friends with the director, Paul Boyd, who has worked with Sting. Paul told us he had gotten Donal Logue to do the video. I'm like, Donal Logue, how do I know that name? Then it clicked and I am like, yeah, yeah, yeah... this guy would be perfect! It was a fun shoot, it was nice watching a real actor act, instead of one of us band members trying to do something and then having the director say: "Do it again, you guys sucked." (laughs)

MS: It looked like a blast to shoot!

TC: Yeah, you don't get to blow up a trailer everyday, which was all real. We were really there. People said to me: "No, that was a green screen shot." I was like, "No, dude, that was real."

MS: Know a "Low Life" for real?

TC: Yeah, I know a lot of them, I grew up with people like that. I kind of used to be one to some degree. I'd always be running into somebody in some part of town, or go to some party and think, "Jesus, who the hell are these people?"

MS: Where did you grow up?

TC: I grew up in Delta, Canada, which is about a half hour outside of Vancouver. It's a nice little town, but there were some interesting characters there when I grew up.

MS: By the way, when I was watching the video for "Low Life" I noticed you have a sort of Elvis Presley-type swagger.

TC: Oh, I should have struck an Elvis pose or something in the video then! (laughs)

Find out what "The Truth Is..." and log onto www.theoryofadeadman.com.

Michael Shinafelt
Michael Shinafelt has covered pop & dance music since he first burst on to the writing scene, interviewing everyone from pop icon Olivia Newton-John to pop artist E.G. Daily. Not to mention the many dance divas (male and female) who he has crossed paths with. Other interviews of note are Pamela Anderson, Heidi Fleiss, as well as cover stories on Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin. Peace.
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