Theory of a Deadman’s Tyler Connolly: ‘I Rather Have People Hate Us Than Not Care About Us’
Theory of a Deadman have been very busy since they dropped their latest album ‘The Truth Is…’ They have heated up airwaves with singles from the disc such as ‘Lowlife,’ ‘Bitch Came Back’ and their latest track ‘Hurricane.’
The band is currently in the midst of an extensive tour that is scheduled into September. When we recently had the chance to chat with the very funny Tyler Connolly, the frontman dished on the various layers of ‘The Truth Is…,’ why he's accused of offending women, and Theory's seemingly inappropriate relationship with tour mates Pop Evil. Connolly also talked about the false impressions people may have about the band and their music and why he rather be hated than not cared about at all.
I’d like to talk to you about your album ‘The Truth Is…’ Hurricane is a very sentimental song and it’s really different from ‘Bitch Came Back’ there’s a lot of duality on the album, can you talk a little bit about that?
For us it all comes down to balance. There’s I guess this perception about us being just I don’t know misogynistic to party band to dirty rock but for us we always have songs like ‘Bitch Came Back’ or ‘Lowlife’ but then we do have the songs like ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Easy to Love You’ and ‘Outta My Head’ that take on – not necessarily a lighter side -- but maybe a different aspect. People always seem to forget about – when they come to see Theory of a Deadman they just think “Oh yeah dirty rock band, party band ‘Bad Girlfriend’” and it’s like yeah we did have songs on the last record like ‘Not Meant to Be’ which was a huge hit for us. I always want to make sure, like you said, it has the duality musically.
What song do you identify most with on the album that you think describes your personality the best?
It’s hard to say because I’m a bit of a goof but I’m also a hopeless romantic so there’s songs like ‘The Truth Is…’ that’s just a fun, funny song and I love writing lyrics like that. Then there’s a song like ‘Easy to Love You’ which is something I really enjoy writing because – I feel like it’s almost like I have to write songs from my own point of view but I also like to write songs for the fans, like they hear a song and they’re like “Oh I can totally relate to that” or “What a beautiful song” so I don’t know if I really have one. It’s probably those two that I really enjoy writing.
You just released the album last year but is there any work on a new record at all?
No, not yet. I mean we’ll definitely be on the road touring the whole year. We've got the American tour which we’re doing now, we’ll probably spend the whole summer in North America and then we’re starting to talk about what we’ll do in the fall – there’s talks to go back to Europe. Usually when we tour we don’t think about writing a new record, I think it’s not smart ‘cause you don’t know where the record’s gonna end up, what songs you’re gonna release - so it’s kind of where the record will finish is where you should try to think about where the next one should start.
You've toured a lot with Pop Evil, talk a little bit about the relationship you have with that band.
It’s purely sexual; we usually bang a bunch of chicks together…no. [Laughs] I don’t know, they don’t necessarily have the same style of music we do, except they rock. They’re just really great guys and their fans are great. I remember when they were talkin’ to me about what bands you guys want to tour with and we mentioned Pop Evil because we did a tour with them and 3 Doors Down and we thought it’d be a great fit once again. They’re good guys, we get along.
You mentioned earlier that people might think Theory of a Deadman is a party band; you guys have a lot of fans but there are a lot of haters out there. There does not seem to be much middle ground between the two;, what do you think it is about the band or the music that divides people so much?
Well I think it’s the perfect scenario for anyone, for any art form – it’s the perfect scenario to be loved or hated. You never want to be the middle ground, that’s the worst place because that’s the “I don’t really care” area. So I rather have people hate us than not really care about us. It’s not insulting at all it just means that obviously you’re making a statement with the music and it’s really rubbing people the wrong way or the opposite. Once again sometimes there been this misconception but I think it’s about the fact that we make a statement and that’s why we’ve been successful because when a song comes on the radio it definitely feels different than anything else you hear.
We kind of see that when we tour, we go to these festivals and we’re out there playing shows with Godsmack and Five Finger Death Punch and Killswitch Engage like really heavy acts and they never ever want to put us on with the closer on these festivals because I think they’re always scared to death that maybe we’re just too - I don’t know what the word is – diverse? Yeah I don’t mind it, being that band.
Do you find with women that they’re more offended by some of the songs or they find it to be more lighthearted and humorous?
Well I think they just have to get it. I think people don’t spend enough time trying to understand. When I was growing up I was a guitar player I never really listened to lyrics, I never really actually sat down and listened to what the hell the singer was actually trying to say. Now I spend a lot more time doing that because the reality is that’s the most important part of the song, is what the singer’s saying, it’s not the bass line. Yeah I don’t know, women get offended but it is all lighthearted, it is tongue and cheek, don’t take it seriously, I’m not onstage wearing a shirt with a female with an “X” through it or something, it’s not my goal.
Can you talk about growing up in the Canadian rock scene, if there was one.
Where I grew up in Vancouver there wasn’t much of one. I don’t know, it was kind of scattered all over the place. We grew up about two and a half hours from Seattle so for us it was all the Seattle scene. I don’t think there was much of a Canadian scene. I pretty much listened to all the Seattle bands, Nirvana was big at the time, Alice and Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam – that was like the fab four for me as well as the rest of the guys in the band.
What is currently on rotation on your iPod right now?
Oh man what am I listening to, it’s all over the place. I’ve been listening to the new Alice in Chains but then I’ve been listening to the Police a lot lately and a lot of U2.
With all of this nonstop touring what is one thing you must bring on tour with you. No electronics.
A video camera, wait I guess that’s like electronics.
That's totally electronic!
[Laughs] I guess my blow dryer, I gotta do my hair every day. I feel like I don’t look good on the bus unless I have my blow dryer.
[Note to Tyler: A blow dryer is electronic, too, but we'll forgive you since your hair looks so damn good.]