Theory Of A Deadman
An unknown musician gives his band's demo to the frontman of a major group. The singer actually listens to the demo and signs the band to his label. It's a great story but it almost never happens. But when it does...
Theory Of A Deadman vocalist Tyler Connolly gave Nickelback's Chad Kroeger a demo at an after-show party.
The next stop was Kroeger's 604 label where the British Columbia based group released their self-titled debut in '02. The group's name originated from "The Last Song," which appeared on the album. Connolly composed the tune years earlier about a man who wrote his memoirs before committing suicide.
Of the four songs released from the set, two "Nothing Could Come Between Us" and "Make Up Your Mind" made a significant impact.
Kroeger and Salvia's Josey Scott, performed the song "Hero" with Connolly playing lead guitar for the first Spider-Man movie. Connolly's involvement in a major hit drew additional attention. Theory Of A Deadman were named New Group of the Year at the '03 Juno Awards.
March, '05 saw the release of "Gasoline" with the single "No Surprise." The group headed out opening for Breaking Benjamin and The Exies. Later that year, the Fahrenheit video game used four "Gasoline" songs on its soundtrack; "Santa Monica" (with Nickelback's Daniel Adair on drums), "No Surprise," "Say Goodbye" and "No Way Out." The last track was also the theme for World Wrestling Entertainment's No Way Out '06 pay-per-view event. A couple other Theory Of A Deadman songs were used in WWE promotions.
Theory Of A Deadman released their third studio album, "Scars & Souvenirs," in '08. Connolly was quoted saying he tried to keep the lyrics simple. "You've got to understand that you're speaking to an audience that isn't songwriters," said the singer. "They don't understand all the metaphors, but if you say, 'I feel like s**t,' they say, 'I feel like s**t, too'."
The band recorded "Head Above Water," a song co-written by The Exies' Scott Stevens, for the "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon" soundtrack which came out just days before the film was in theaters (06/24/11).
And just a few weeks later "The Truth Is. . .," a Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, 3 Doors Down) production, dropped. Again, Connolly discussed his lyrics. "When I write, I either want to kiss someone on the lips or punch them in the face. Anything in between is boring." "Lowlife" was the first single, followed by "Out Of My Head." But it was the track "Bitch Came Back" (actually based on the children's song, "The Cat Came Back") that rattled windows and best illustrated Connolly's point. Rarely has a song been that venomous while still being incredibly catchy.
The group's fifth album, "Savages," arrived in '14. "We went back to where we belong on this record, back to the angst, back to the darkness," explained Connolly.
It worked very well. "Savages" went to #1 on Billboard's Hard Rock Albums chart and #8 on The Billboard 200. "Savages" also marked the band's second straight Top 10 debut on The Billboard 200 as well as their third consecutive #1 Hard Rock album.
Seven months later, "Angel Acoustic," an unplugged set, dropped.
2002 Theory Of A Deadman
2005 Gasoline 2002
2008 Scars & Souvenirs
2011 The Truth Is. . .
2015 Angel Acoustic EP
With a name like Theory Of A Deadman you'd expect Rob Zombie fronting Nine Inch Nails. They're not that.
The break-up dynamic always gets a work out. "The Truth Is…" could be titled "Theory Of A Bitter Man."
Throughout the group's run, Connolly uses relationships as a touchstone but often comes off as out-of-control-bitchy. Occasionally, they get it right, like on the Country-comical "Bitch Came Back." But these bitter songs landing one after another is like beating a dead horse.