Theory of a Deadman

An interview with lead singer Tyler Connolly of Theory of a Deadman
by Aaron Manogue
August 2011

Theory of a Deaman

Theory of a Deaman

Humor is a part of most happy people’s lives every single day. It’s one of those things that no matter who you are, where you’re from or how old you are, you can brighten someone’s day by making them laugh. There are all kinds of comedians that make a decent buck off of it, but very few musicians can do it and still be taken seriously. Theory of a Deadman is one of those bands that can make you laugh and cry in the same verse. They write music that anyone can relate to, whether it be about a break up or about life in general, when you listen to their music you feel as if you’re a part of their story, because you are. Vocalist Tyler Connolly spoke with Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue about why humor is such a big part of their music, their latest album The Truth Is, and their upcoming appearance headlining The Carnival of Madness 2011 Tour.

Maximum Ink: Your single “Lowlife” has kind of catapulted your new record The Truth Is. Tell me what that song means to you or what you meant it to mean to the fans.
Tyler Connolly: Basically, it’s just one of those “Don’t judge what you don’t know” kinds of things, you know? We’ve done so many festivals and just looking out at the audience and seeing chick fights and kick ass hillbillies. And you know it’s more of a song saying it’s ok to be a hillbilly because a lot of them are our fans. That’s pretty much what it means.

MI: The Truth is really has a lot of humor woven in and out of it and that kind of seems to be the theme of your past few records you have made. Is that a reflection of who you guys are as a band or who you are individually?
TC: Yeah, I think that’s kind of the secret to our success in a way. It’s been the fact that we’ve finally honed in on that and it’s natural. We’re all the type of guys that joke around non-stop and it really comes out in the music. There’s a song called “Hate My Life” where everyone wanted to make the video really fun. Not just have the band playing in a room, that’s so boring! I think it started coming out when we became a band but not to have something that’s kind of fake or something that’s over done; it’s just natural.

My favorite track on the new album definitely has to be “The Bitch Came Back.” It’s a funny song and there’s a very clear message to it. Is there a story behind the song or is it just something you wrote to mock relationships as a whole because we all know how they go.
TC: It’s actually about a relationship I had. I just got divorced last year and that’s the song on the record that stemmed from that break up is “The Bitch Came Back.” The moral is, the bitch came back, so it’s self explanatory there but there’s a lot of people that relate to that song. I actually did an interview with a woman the other day and she said “I don’t think women are going to like these songs.” So I told her, “I think you’re wrong.” If you write a book about women, guys aren’t going to buy it but music is so open that they can relate to it no matter what.

MI: Do you think that’s another aspect of your success? It seems that you guys write a lot of songs that people can relate to.
TC: Yeah, being a lyricist I don’t listen to the radio that much, but when I do there’s a lot of music that’s got a lot of hook but the lyrics I don’t know what the hell this! It doesn’t matter if it’s the best song in the world, if people have to be able to relate to it. That’s who we write the records for is the working class people and that’s what we still consider ourselves is working class people who just happen to sing or play in a band.

MI: Do you guys write records based on the things that are going on in your life or do you make a plan of where you want to go with a record and write towards that direction?
TC: It’s just so much more important in rock music because it’s taken a weird turn in that generally rock music has been about going against authority almost like the punk attitude. It doesn’t matter though because cool riffs and lyrics were always number one and they always had to make total sense to the listeners. Lately it seems like a band will have songs with really cool guitars or solos but then you get to the lyrics and you’re like “What? Spend an extra fifteen minutes on the lyrics or something!” That kind of goes with our last few records, our producer would go “Tyler, some fourteen year old girl is not listening to some cool bass riff on your songs.” And he was right. It’s a lot about what you say and how you say it and that made me put a lot more effort into the lyrics. Now we’ll sit down and listen to the whole record and we’ll find certain parts and he’ll ask me, “Do you think the message is clear enough?” We just want to be sure that everyone knows what we’re talking about.

MI: You guys are headlining the Carnival of Madness tour with Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Adelita’s Way and Empathic. Are you looking forward to playing with any of these guys for the first time or is there anyone you want to see again?
TC: We haven’t played with Emphatic before but all the other bands we have; Black Stone, tons of shows, Adelita’s, tons of shows. Done a few shows with Alter Bridge. One of our earliest shows ever was with Alter Bridge was when they first got together. And then I remember the first thing with those guys was that they were nice right up front. They’re all generally good people and you know about the history of Creed and how they sold millions of records so I thought maybe they wouldn’t want to talk to me but they all turned out to be down-to-earth cool dudes. So I look forward to hanging with those guys and the rest of the bands of course. It’s a summer tour so lots of festivals so we’re going to barbeque all the time!

MI: Do you look forward to the outdoor festivals or do you prefer indoor venues?
TC: Summer festivals are a different energy. Outdoor shows, it’s usually an all day thing so people get drunk too early and there’s more freedom. They aren’t confined to a certain space. The benefits of an indoor show though, is that they are confined so you’ve got their 100% attention, which is sometimes great. There’s definitely benefits to both.

Theory of Deadman’s latest release The Truth Is is in stores now and make sure to check them out when they come to WIIL Rock the Ranch in Twin Lakes, WI on August 13th!

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