Interview: Theory of a Deadman
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Let’s not beat about the bush here: university students love to party! And Theory of a Deadman know it. That’s why the Canadian hard rockers are making sure that, on their upcoming UK tour, they hit up a few campuses along the way, including the student unions at Cardiff and Leeds Beckett Universities. And naturally, when I asked front-man Tyler Connolly why students should check the band out on their tour in March, his response was, “I think the beer’s 50% off that night. That’s probably the only reason.” Clearly, he knows us very well. “I think we’ve actually played a university there before, which was a great show. University shows are great and like I said, sometimes it’s just all about the beer.” The band will be raising hell all over the UK with a little help from supporting bands Forever Never and Royal Republic. “We actually had no idea who those bands were. We went and checked them out online. Because they’re so far away it’s something that their agent puts together. “They’re great bands. We’re good about it. It’s tough to find bands to play with, especially in different markets we haven’t been to in a long time. I’m sure they’re gonna be great.” The band’s tour of the UK will be their final in support of their fifth album, 2014’s Savages: an album which is probably the darkest and heaviest entry in Theory of a Deadman’s repertoire. “Our label wanted us to try and get away from some of the more fun songs like ‘Hate My Life’ and ‘Bad Girlfriend’ [from 2008’s Scars and Souvenirs] and ‘Bitch Came Back’ [from 2011’s The Truth Is…] for some serious stuff. “So there’s heavier songs on this record, more musicality. But then there’s songs like ‘Blow’, which is one of our most popular songs, that kinda call back to that sound. So I don’t know what’s gonna happen the next record honestly, it could be much the same, it could be something different, who knows?” Throughout its entire career, Theory of a Deadman has always been a band in touch with that lighter side in their songwriting. “That’s just who we are. I think if you hung out with us long enough you’ll realise that we’re really just fun guys. It’s important, I think it shows some diversity. “We’ve always done something that’s a little more left of centre so I think it kind of makes us stand out and not be one of those rock bands that is deliberately trying to be heavy.” Savages was also Theory of a Deadman’s fourth consecutive album to be produced by Howard Benson. But the band also got to work with some new musicians: most notably, shock rock legend Alice Cooper. “It’s just familiar. It’s like a family over there. We know what we’re gonna get with Howard, and we just really enjoy working with him and the engineer Mike [Plotnikoff]. I don’t know, it’s easy. We’re able to go in there and just know what we’re gonna get. “That’s the easiest way to describe it: it makes for a fun, stress-free environment, which is nice. Sometimes if you’re going to work with a new producer every time, you don’t know what you’re gonna get. “And [Howard] was once managed by Alice Cooper’s manager so he just give him a shout and asked him if he would be interested in singing on one of our songs. We sent Alice the music and he was interested. “I got to go around Alice’s house and work on it with him and watch him record it. It was pretty amazing, and the guy’s just a legend. Having him on one of our songs, it really was a dream come true.”
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