Theory of a Deadman are coming to the end of their touring cycle in support of 2014’s Savages album.
It is believed that the band will enter into the studio later this year, with a new album earmarked for release in early 2017. National Rock Review recently caught up with the band’s frontman Tyler Connolly on the opening night of their UK tour in Newcastle to discuss their recording plans, touring and what they miss most about home whilst on the road.
NRR: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us here at National Rock Review, we really appreciate it.
Connolly: No problem.
NRR: So you are in Newcastle, this is the first night of your UK tour, what can the fans expect from your show, this time around.
Connolly: I think the last time we played here, I think it was with Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry …so that would have been a few years ago. Before that we played here a long time ago, it was like a pub, I can’t remember now it was 2008.
What can they expect, well we will play songs from all five of our records, so it will be this and that. It will be a stew, it will be a nice shepherds pie of Theory of a Deadman (laughing). Then you know we gave Joe a drum solo which he loves to do, they seem to like them over here a lot more. In America when you do guitar solos and drum solos that’s when everyone goes and gets a beer, but over here people are like fuck yeah, so that’s kind of cool. You know other than that it’s just pretty much a rock show, just an hour and a half of rock.
NRR: I know you released your acoustic EP Angels last year, and you also did a 15th-anniversary unplugged tour. Is there any chance of you including an acoustic segment in the show or are you going to keep the show pure rock?
Connolly: No, the last UK tour we did a little portion, 15 minutes and it’s great, we have fun just we decided to take it off. I think maybe we will just focus on the rock, so maybe we can do an unplugged tour here at some point, maybe on the next record cycle.
NRR: Obviously 15 years together, that’s quite an achievement. What would you say has been the most memorable moment for the band in that time?
Connolly: For us it’s like touring, which is kind of a good thing. Some bands would be like oh you know we got a number one single or a platinum record and that’s great but honestly for me I think it’s just the travelling. We continue to go to more places, like last year we went to Japan and 2014 was the first time we went to Russia, now Russia has kind of become a staple for us now.
We love coming to the UK now, this is a staple for us too, now it’s a great market for us. It’s the touring, I think it’s just going to great places, there’s not one …Playing Madison Square Garden with Motley Crue was pretty badass. We played Wembley a couple of times, which is also pretty famous too.
NRR: You are still touring off the back of Savages at the minute. Could you tell us a bit about that album and the inspiration behind it?
Connolly: Well you know we started off having no clue what the fuck we were going to do. Our label kind of wanted us to do something different, do something more poppy. When I heard that, I was like I don’t know. They were kind of getting tired of our fun rock stuff and they wanted to hear something different.
So we went and did the opposite and went really heavy and sang a bunch of heavy songs and our A&R guy loved it, his favourite songs were the heaviest songs, so we kind of stuck to that. There are some Theory songs like “Blow” that’s kind of a funny song, but the inspiration I don’t know.
I think this one I kind of wanted to go to more …kind of difficult places. Like “Savages” talks about kind of how you know we’re beating the shit out of planet earth, you know. I never really talk about shit like that because I don’t know it’s kind of a roll your eyes idea, it’s a little preachy and I don’t like to do that, but I don’t know I thought maybe we had been releasing so many records for so many years I think actually it was time for me to just bitch.
There are some Theory songs like “Blow” that’s kind of a funny song, but the inspiration I don’t know. I think this one I kind of wanted to go to more …kind of difficult places like “Savages” talks about kind of how you know we’re beating the shit out of planet earth, you know and I never really talk about shit like that because I don’t know it’s kind of a roll your eyes idea, it’s a little preachy and I don’t like to do that, but I don’t know I thought maybe we had been releasing so many records for so many years I think actually, it was time for me to just bitch.
NRR: The last video you released was for “Blow” and that’s a fun video, could you tell us a bit about the song and the concept behind the video. I know you also did a follow-up video, like a news segment, “The Blow Report.”Â
Connolly: “The Blow Report” (said dramatically in the style of the video), where we had puppets, yeah I know that was awesome, we had fun filming that.
“Blow” well the song is just about all the social media and these celebrities that are famous for nothing, we are all obsessed with it. It’s just kind of gross, I know that I’m getting old when I start bitching about shit like that. You know when I was young you had to have the talent to get on TV, Johnny Carson you know (said in a comedy voice) and nowadays it’s just like the KardashiansÂ and you are like Jesus Christ really, my god. So that was just kind of the idea for the song. I was on a train from Boston and I just started writing, everything is just fucked up.
The video they just wanted to make a fucked up funny video and I said hey let’s do the Three Amigos. Have you seen the movie the Three Amigos where they are around the campfire?
Connolly: Let’s just emulate that, so we all got the Three Amigos outfits and Joe was the fourth amigo with the pink hat and it was such a weird video, but it was fun. I’m glad we did it because we never do videos like that, it’s always me on top of a mountain with a girl, and every time we do those videos I’m like please stop putting chicks as my girlfriend in videos it’s so cliche.
NRR: Obviously Savages was recorded a couple of years ago, do you have any plans to do a new Theory of a Deadman album anytime soon?
Connolly: Yeah, this is our last tour and then we have four months off, so that will be most of the record will be written in those four months. Then we have a whole summer booked and in fall we are doing another acoustic tour of Eastern Canada and some American dates and that will take us to the Winter and then we will record. So we will have something out early 2017.
NRR: I was watching a video that you uploaded to YouTube called “You Don’t Know Me,” where you guys are travellingÂ around London and asking everyone questions. You are obviously proud Canadian’s, what do you miss most about home when you are out on the road?
Connolly: Ahh Hockey. I don’t know, other than that. You know it’s kind of weird, I kind of miss the … I live in California, I’ve lived there for eight years now, my family all live in Canada so I kind of sometimes miss the seasons, in California there are no seasons, it’s summer all the time. So as much as I love that I do miss sometimes the snow and the fall.
NRR: You don’t miss Canadian food like poutine or Tim Hortons?
Connolly: Nah, that’s Eastern Canada. Poutine is like Ontario, Quebec, French, that’s good. Like when we go and play Montreal after the show we have a bunch of poutine and then everyone just gets sick for days straight.
NRR: What’s your favourite track to perform live and why?
Connolly: “Drown” off our new record, it’s just so heavy, it’s so durgy. As soon as we kick into that riff, it’s just so fucking dark and the whole song is so dark too, especially if we play something like “Blow” or like “All or Nothing” right before it and then you kick into “Drown” and it just flips the switch, it’s such a dark song. I love playing that, I love kicking that every night.
NRR: If you could choose any artist to cover one of your songs, which band and which song would you choose?
Connolly: I don’t know, that’s a great question. It’s so narcissistic, how do I not have the answer? I love U2, I would love U2 to cover one of our songs maybe “Angel,” I can see Bono singing Angel. There ya go.
NRR: Do you listen to a lot of music yourself and if so which bands are you listening to at the moment?
Connolly: For me, I rarely ever listen to stuff that’s on the radio. So I always tend to, like you probably do, you kind of stick to your favs. Like so right now I’m listening to some Peter Gabriel, Tears For Fears, I don’t know what’s going on but I’m starting to listen to a lot of eighties shit.
NRR: What do you have in store for the rest of this year?
Connolly: Ermm …golf, golfing, writing and recording record number six, and then more touring. This is the most time off we’ve had in two and a half years or something coming up, four months so we are looking forward to it.
NRR: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak to us we really appreciate it.