Catasauqua Press

Monday, November 20, 2017

Deadman co-founder has a Theory about group’s success

Friday, October 13, 2017 by LUKE MUENCH Special to The Press in Focus

For Tyler Connolly, Theory of a Deadman was born from a want to enjoy what life has to offer.

“I don’t know that we knew we had anything. We were just having fun and enjoying music,” says Connolly. “We didn’t play many shows. We just jammed. I had two jobs. We were all just blue-collar dudes getting by, and this was the one thing we could vent our frustrations through.”

Theory of a Deadman performs in concert, 8 p.m. Oct. 13, Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg.

The band includes, in addition to original member and founder Connolly, lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar (2001-present); Dave Brenner, rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals (2001-present); Dean Back, bass, backing vocals (2001-present), and Joey Dandeneau, drums, backing vocals (2009-present).

The Canadian band, formed in 2001, has released five albums, with a sixth, “Wake Up Call,” to be released Oct. 27.

“We went and recorded this [‘Wake Up Call’] in London, really dialed into something we hadn’t done before. The demos were recorded and they were very skeletal, stripped down, and we wanted to wait to get into the studio to dress them up. It was such a great time, one of our favorite albums. It just felt great to get out there and do something completely different.”

The group has had eight Top 10 hits on the US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, including two No. 1 hits, “Bad Girlfriend” and “Lowlife.” The band released its eponymous debut album, “Theory of a Deadman” in 2002.

When asked about the group’s success over the years, Connolly described the reality of it all as “surreal.”

“We won the lottery, and I try to remind myself of that. This is sheer luck at times. Such great bands don’t get noticed or signed. We’re living the dream, as cheesy as that sounds. What’s funny is the longer we’ve been doing it the more fun it gets. At first it was difficult and now it’s getting easier as time goes on.”

While many have searched for the meaning behind the band’s memorable name, the title stemmed more from need than anything else.

“We were getting signed for our first album and we didn’t have a name, and we had a white board with all of our song titles at the time, and we just decided to use [‘Theory of a Deadman’] as a name. We were like ‘That’s cool. That’s heavy, man.’ For us, it’s been a bit of a thing because we have to make fun of it.”

While the band’s sound has been described as rock, alt-rock, country, acoustic, and even post-grunge, Connolly cares very little for how it’s categorized.

“How many times have you been in a conversation with someone where you have to describe the sound as something? ‘They sound like Led Zeppelin,’ ‘They sound like rock,’ ‘Really heavy.’ You have to do it. I get it, but I don’t like it. We’re all over the place. We’ve never had a musical niche or certain style or anything.”

Ultimately, Connolly hopes his music in some way speaks to audiences as it spoke to him in the moment of creation.

“I don’t listen to my own music once the record is finished. It’s gone, I don’t wanna hear it because it becomes someone else’s.

“That’s why I love touring because we’re playing for the fans. There’s no expectations. We give them whatever they want and as much as possible.”

Tickets: Sherman Theatre box office, 524 Main St., Stroudsburg; shermantheater.com; ticketsales@shermantheater.com; 570-420-2808