Hailing from British Columbia, Theory of a Deadman is a venturous driving force refusing to halt. This well seasoned rock with double-platinum hits stretching its career into a constant whirlwind; never ceasing to create shock waves in the music industry. Already surpassing over 1 billion streams, their major hits “Bad Girlfriend”, and triple platinum “RX (Medicate),” landing #2 with “Say Nothing” on Billboard Alternative Albums Chart, and hundreds more to list, this global entity is full speed ahead. The bands recent creation starts with the single “Dinosaur” the track list continues combusting throughout the entire listening duration. The band recently wrapped the 25-date Rock Resurrection Tour with co-headliner Skillet and support from Saint Asonia that sold out venues across the United States left and right! In addition to this, Theory of a Deadman started off the year in Australia touring with Halestorm! These gents are killing it!
Theory Of A Deadman is Tyler Connolly (lead vocals, guitar), Dave Brenner (guitar, backing vocals), Dean Back (bass), and Joey Dandeneau (drums, backing vocals). Individually and collectively, these guys have 100% dedicated their careers to becoming a global situation and far reaching any expectations of their own. They are a true to the bone hard rock band with major multi-platinum hits and hundreds of sold out shows in each of the past two decades and continue full speed ahead like a train of unstoppable force.
Hi Dean, thank you for getting with us today! First and foremost, how the heck was Australia? I bet touring there with Halestorm was phenomenal! Australia is freaking booming right now it seems! I bet that is one of your favorite places to tour!
- Dean Back: Australia was amazing! We’ve known the Halestorm peeps for a long, long time and we haven’t had the chance to play together for quite a while so it was really great to reconnect with them. They’re such great people and good friends and to do it in Australia was an added bonus. The shows were incredible; the Australian fans were unreal. It was a great time, just a bit too short.
You guys recently were on the Rock Resurrection U.S. tour with Skillet and special guest Saint Asonia. Non-stop touring must strengthen your momentum after being stuck inside during the pandemic! Did your band get a lot of writing done during this time, and how did you guys adapt to this hard time for music?
- Dean Back:Yes, over the pandemic time all the new material for our new record Dinosaur was written. The four of us all live in different cities so there were a lot of ideas emailed back and forth. Thank god for technology! We grew up together as friends even before the band was formed so being away from the guys for so long was really difficult. Like the rest of the world, we took advantage of Zoom to do some virtual hangs. Also, band-wise we did a few virtual meet and greets to try and stay connected to the fans. I think those meet and greets made a big difference in both the fans’ state of minds and ours. After those sessions I came away with a lifted mood for sure.
With all of your phenomenal achievements, Theory is coming into a whole other level and evolving that sound! The release of your new album, Dinosaur, and the lead single of the same name has a lot of people turning heads. “Dinosaur” is a super hit already blasting to the masses with your fans’ unwavering devotion; they are loving every minute of it!
Tell us about this song and how this ultimately came into existence? The video has over 500,000 views since it was released! How does it feel to be one of the most loved bands on the planet? Btw, love the video! Your band captivates us by bringing your own style and all of your personalities to the table. Well done!
- Dean Back: The song is kind of a reaction to all the negative news that we’ve been bombarded with lately. If you watch or read the news it’s just nonstop doom and gloom and the song is sort of a hands in the air reaction. Well if this is it, let’s go out having fun. It has some of the classic Theory tongue in cheek humor. The video was a blast to do. We shot it out in the California desert. Got into some ridiculous apocalyptic/stone age costumes and battled inflatable dinosaurs.
“Two of Us (Stuck)” is one of my favorites, its so good! The lyrics really describe what it’s like to see someone’s true colors! With “Ambulance,” you throw it down with that epic dinosaur in that badass video! Those lyrics! Did you write any of this from personal experience?
- Dean Back: Tyler is the main songwriter and is an incredible storyteller. A song like “Two of Us (Stuck” is about a couple stuck together during the pandemic and watching the erosion of their relationship. And although this didn’t happen to him during the pandemic, like many, he has been through the pain of a failed relationship. “Dinosaur” is his observation on the state of the world and “Ambulance” is a fun song about going out and not knowing where the night will lead you which I think a lot of us can relate to.
Theory Of A Deadman has numerous hits! Is there a band’s “favorite” song throughout the years or recently? What inspired this?
- Dean Back: I think each of us has a favorite but a song like “Santa Monica,” from our second record Gasoline, would probably be the song that could be labeled as a band favorite. It’s a song that never really had a lot of success at the time but it’s one that has become a fan favorite over the years. It’s a song about running away to a brighter, warmer place.
In addition to already getting off to an explosive start, Theory also gets to tour with Disturbed in this spring back home in Canada! I bet that is just icing on the cake.
- Dean Back: Yes absolutely! It’s always a lot of fun coming back home and touring Canada. We’ve bugged our people for years to do some sort of tour package and we finally get to team up with an incredible band in Disturbed. We’ve played a couple big US festivals with them in the past, but never really toured with them so it’s super exciting to get out there and share the stage with them.
How do you all juggle the touring life? Many people don’t understand that the “Rock Star” life can pay its toll. Is it hard to keep strong relationships back home? Do you all Zoom and text your loved ones?
- Dean Back: For sure, I have a wife and 2 daughters back home. It is hard on the family having me coming and going. The real “Rock Star” is my wife Stacey. She’s the one that holds down the fort. It takes an incredibly strong person to deal with the lifestyle that comes along with being with a touring musician. We were together before the band formed so she’s been by my side since the start and we make a great team. The kids have grown up with the constant coming and going so, although it’s always hard when I leave, they know it’s not permanent and I will be home soon. The pandemic really gave us an incredible time together. My girls are now at the age where they have phones so I can text and facetime throughout the day to stay connected.
Your bands’ fan base is extremely loyal! I heard you guys have fans fly to all of your shows. That’s pretty impressive. In addition to that radness, I saw somewhere your fans get ink of your logo on their bodies! That is true love!
- Dean Back: Big time. We have the greatest fans. I’m continuously blown away by their love and support. It always weirds me out a little bit when they tattoo my autograph on them but I appreciate their dedication!
You guys are celebrating 20 years of music since your debut. Can you tell us how much you feel that your band has evolved since then? Were there times that you felt like you needed to go back and try to reach into your guts to why you started doing music, when the music biz gets a little crazy?
- Dean Back: Yeah. We’ve always made a conscious effort to evolve. I think if you go back and listen to our catalogue, you’ll get a good feel for it. We try not to listen to what’s on the radio or what is popular at the time. Writing and creating music that is new and fresh to us is important. You can see this in the success of our biggest hit to date “RX (Medicate).” That song and the entire album was us stretching our songwriting muscles and I feel it did so well because nothing at the time sounded like it. It stood out. We’re pretty good at remembering what got us into music in the first place. Over the years, we’ve seen lots of music biz drama and feel pretty prepared to deal with whatever it brings without letting it affect our love for the job.
You’ve been on the same label, RoadRunner Records, for over 20 years. It’s quite rare to see bands and labels staying together with such longevity! Any advice to other bands that are shopping for labels for support?
- Dean Back: I would say find out what their plan is with you. It’s a tough time now with trying to plan out a career. When we started there was a development plan. They helped us along the way and had patience with us as we figured things out. I fear there isn’t that same level of patience with artists. If you now don’t immediately make an impact, they tend to move along quickly to the next thing. Roadrunner has always been there for us and had our backs and we count ourselves incredibly lucky.
Any wild fan stories being on the road all of these years?
- Dean Back: One classic story goes back many years. We had this fan that kept showing up to our shows consistently show after show. We were impressed how dedicated she was to coming to the show and curious how she could get there night after night. We were traveling hundreds of miles every night to get to the next city. We were traveling caravan style with the other band we were touring with and one night, as our bus was pulling off into a truck stop to refuel, the bus driver behind us radioed our driver to let him know someone had fallen off our bus. It turns out she had been riding on our trailer hitch every night. The police were quickly called and she was taken into safe hands. Again, we have dedicated fans! Ha.
Your music is such an eclectic sound…It’s pretty well-rounded! Can you tell us what you guys are listening to in your ear buds lately? And your musical influences?
- Dean Back: Lately when I have some time to just listen to music I’ve been going back to old 70’s funk. George Clinton, P-Funk, kind of stuff. Growing up, Guns N’ Roses was the band that really got me into music. They would be my most influential band. But also growing up in Vancouver, Canada in the late 80’s, early 90’s and being only a couple hours away from Seattle the whole grunge movement had a major influence on all of us.
On June 24, Theory is playing the Bluewater Border Fest with Pop Evil and Daughtry. Can you give us some sneaky peaks on some other highlights in the future of 2023?
- Dean Back: 2023 is all about touring, touring, touring. We finish the Rock Resurrection Tour at the end of March, then Canada with Disturbed late spring. US dates throughout the summer, UK in the fall and the talks have started on another big US tour at the end of the year.
Thank you for taking the time out with Top Shelf Music today! Any last words?
I think that does a really good job of getting everyone up to speed with everything Theory of a Deadman. I can’t wait for everyone to check out the rest of Dinosaur. Keep an eye on our tour dates and come say “hi” when we come through your town. You can find all the info at www.theoryofficial.com. I appreciate the opportunity to spread the word with Top Shelf Music!
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