Rock ‘n’ roll needs to hit all the right spots. With sky-high hooks, riffs as thick as a 2x4, rumbling grooves, and a razor-sharp sense of humor, Theory Of A Deadman have quietly persisted as an unapologetic, unbreakable, and undeniable hard rock force with major multi-platinum hits and countless sold out shows in each of the past two decades. Picking up the pace for the next chapter, the award-winning quartet—Tyler Connolly [lead vocals, guitar], Dave Brenner [guitar, backing vocals], Dean Back [bass], and Joey Dandeneau [drums, backing vocals]—once again deliver a barrage of anthems on their eighth full-length offering, TBD [Roadrunner Records].
“It feels fresh, but it also feels like home,” notes Tyler. “We were trying to amalgamate the old Theory of a Deadman with a new approach. Our last two records were really dark. This one is tongue-in-cheek and banging right out of the gate. It’s a lot more fun. That’s what I’m personally looking for in life, and I think people need it as well.”
“With this album, we wanted to get back to our roots,” agrees Dean. “For as much as we’ve grown, we’re still a rock band.”
“We essentially took what we’ve learned from the journey and applied it to what we’ve always done,” Dave elaborates. “We’ve been playing for over twenty years, but we’ve got the same excitement we had on the first day.”
Jamming together in basements throughout high school, Theory of a Deadman burst out of their small hometown of North Delta, British Columbia with the self-titled, Theory of a Deadman, during 2002. In addition to the double-platinum breakthrough album Scars & Souvenirs  and gold-certified The Truth Is… , they have notched a procession of hits, including the gold-certified “All Or Nothing,” “Bitch Came Back,” and “Lowlife,” platinum-certified “Angel,” “Hate My Life,” and “Not Meant To Be,” double-platinum “Bad Girlfriend,” and triple-platinum “RX (Medicate).” As the biggest smash of their career thus far, the latter marked their third #1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart and garnered a nomination for “Rock Song of the Year” at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. Not to mention, they have logged two Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top 200. In 2020, Say Nothing landed at #2 on the Billboard Alternative Albums Chart and #3 on the Rock Albums Chart. Plus, it earned praise from American Songwriter, Billboard, and Classic Rock Magazine who awarded it “4-out-of-5 stars.”
The global pandemic saw tours canceled and plans for Say Nothing irrevocably changed, so the boys refocused on Theory of a Deadman in 2021. After sharing ideas remotely, the group crossed the pond to once again record with producer Martin Terefe [Jason Mraz, YUNGBLUD] in Sweden at Atlantis Studios made famous by ABBA. On the heels of a year of social distancing, there was nothing like being in the same room again.
“We all recorded as a band,” recalls Tyler. “You’d hear Joe’s drums in Dave’s guitar, because they were literally ten feet away from each other. We kept all of those touches too. What you hear on the record is the four of us playing together. The guitar was so raw. It was awesome.”
“You can feel the history of Atlantis,” adds Dean. “I even got to play the ‘Dancing Queen’ piano. Benny from ABBA came in one day.”
“Benny totally wasn’t interested in playing with us, but he did eat all of our snacks,” laughs Tyler.
Theory Of A Deadman returned in true form with the single “Dinosaur” in October 2022 to introduce this new chapter. The riff lumbers ahead with all the swaggering force of a T-Rex and the grace of a Brontosaurus. Tyler sinks his teeth into one of the band’s biggest and boldest choruses yet, “Hey kids, boys and girls, now we’ve really done it, it’s the end of the world…Now, we’re going out, going out like the dinosaur.”
“The song essentially says, ‘We’re all fucked, so let’s have fun and blow it uprather than be all dismal’,” the frontman goes on. “It’s a ‘Hello, we’re back’ tune. I literally picked up the bass and tried to write a riff that would sound like a dinosaur. Usually, I come up with lyrics first and the music after. On this record, I started going back to the riffs. If you watch the news, it sounds like we’re done, man. So, let’s have another wild ride.”
“Rock is where we made our bed for all these years,” adds Dave. “It’s been a while since we had an up-tempo in-your-face track like this—and it felt good.”
Evocative of the band’s signature wit, “Just The Two Of Us” takes a hard left from the refrain of the Grover Washington, Jr. and Bill Weathers classic into a breezy piano-laden breakup bop, “Just the two of us…we couldn’t make it if we tried!”
“I heard ‘Just The Two Of Us’, and I thought, ‘How cool would it be to make it about a COVID breakup?’,” Tyler recalls. “This guy and girl love each other, but they’re confined to a small apartment for 24 hours a day and hate each other now.”
Meanwhile, strings wrap around gritty guitar on “Medusa” where a little double entendre goes a long way.
“It’s about being attracted to someone who is bad for you,” Tyler reveals. “It’s a very sexual song. It’s not about a woman being evil, but there is an idea of her turning a guy to stone, you know what I mean?” he grins.
Cut front-to-back in one take, the aggressive “Get In Line” deals with how “people seem to get in line for whatever someone tells them to believe in religion.” Then, there’s the recklessly raucous and righteously catchy “Ambulance.”
“It’s a club song about getting fucked up and ending up in the ambulance,” Tyler says. “When you first start getting drunk with your friends, it’s like they’re literally trying to kill you with alcohol poisoning. It’s almost like ‘Bad Girlfriend’in a way.”
Ultimately, Theory of a Deadman give rock ‘n’ roll exactly what it needs once more.
“I want Theory fans to know we haven’t become complacent,” Dave leaves off. “We’re always pushing ourselves, and we’re driven by the fact we get to play live for them. We write with a lot of intention, and this was no exception.”
“I hope you listen to this and say, ‘Fuck yes’,” Tyler sums it up. “This record is a U-turn back with a little more knowledge and experience. With any luck, fans will say it’s exactly what they needed too.”