The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Interview-Tyler-Connolly-August-2011

INTERVIEW - TYLER CONNOLLY, THEORY OF A DEADMAN

 

By Todd Jolicouer

 

 

Toddstar: Thanks so much Tyler for taking time out for The Rock Pit today.


Tyler Connolly: No problem. I appreciate you wanting to talk to us.


Toddstar: Well, let’s jump right into the new album, “The Truth Is…” I love listening to it. A lot of these songs seem to be autobiographical. Can you give us a little insight regarding the songs on this album?


Tyler Connolly: Thanks so much, we are really proud of this record and all the songs on it. This album is very close to us. I was really trying to open up as a lyricist. All of these songs are kind of constructed from my past and present mind, I guess. You know, a kind of “where I am” state of mind. You know in our earlier stuff, it was maybe a little more difficult for me to open up and go “Hey, this is me” on a record, but now days it’s kind of you know, it’s just what I gotta do and I feel a lot more… I guess I feel better about being able to do it so that’s cool.


Toddstar: Well, you know, the title is “The Truth Is” and it looks like you’re hitting the underbelly of a lot of people and what really goes on in a lot of minds. That being said, lets hit on a couple of songs I mean, you got the lead single “Lowlife” which is really kind of strikes a nerve with maybe just ….it really is the truth.


Tyler Connolly: Yeah, right. Well that’s what’s kind of the fun thing about the record title, “The Truth Is...” cuz you can really go thru each song and the truth is. Yeah, maybe each and every one of us is a little bit of a lowlife once in a while and I think maybe lowlifes in general get a bad rap, because there’s a lot of people out there that wouldn’t consider themselves lowlifes that are. So it’s just a fun song that maybe makes people go “Yeah, I’m a lowlife once in a while,” so I’m digging that. (Laughing)


Toddstar: Well, cool and I know it struck me as you know, just a little bit of everybody but another song – actually there are 2 more songs that really struck me - but the song “The Bitch Came Back” sticks out. Any history in that one or is that just something where you said “Oh, this is what it would be like.”


Tyler Connolly: No. I mean, I went thru a divorce a year ago, so that song typically is exactly what you think it would be about. We broke up and she tried to get back together and that’s kind of what was going on. I mean, the thing is there’s no ill will, there’s no bad stuff between the two of us; everything’s great, but that’s where that song stemmed from for sure is from that break-up.

 


Toddstar: Ok, I just didn’t know if it was your experience or someone else’s and…


Tyler Connolly: Yeah, it’s mine.


Toddstar: And then my favorite is “What Was I Thinking?”


Tyler Connolly: (Laughing) Yeah cool.


Toddstar: Is that a tour song or is that just an “I wish that’s what a tour was all about?” (Laughing)


Tyler Connolly: Well, it is kind of a sweet song. It is about being on the road and having this one person somewhere else and then doing all these you know, ridiculous things on the road, regretting it, and wishing that you didn’t screw it all up because really you have it all. You have this perfect life that’s so amazing, you’ve got you know, a stereotypical life: the cars, the girls, the touring, the tour bus and the life that everyone wants, but in reality all you really want is that girl that’s somewhere else and you’ve kind of screwed it all up. The best story behind that song is the fact that the end of the song there was a banjo and there’s a guy that goes “Tyler, what were you thinking?” and that guy actually is just kind of semi-homeless dude that I found on the street outside the studio playing banjo and I was like “Dude, you wanna come play on our record?” and he was like “Sure, you’re gonna have to pay me” and we were like “Alright” and he came in and played on that song. He ended up making like $800 bucks or something because it turns out we talked to our lawyer and he’s like “Oh yeah, you got to pay him union wages cuz he’s an outside, he’s contracted outside, a hired musician” or something like that. He’s like you have to by law by the union you have to pay him the union fee or whatever and I’m like “Oh sure, this guy just made $800 bucks!”


Toddstar: (Laughing)


Tyler Connolly: For like half an hour. Just playing a little banjo and saying “Tyler, what were you thinking?” so he must have been pretty happy with. Right, it was pretty cool, we thought that was kinda something a little fun and different to just grab some guy off the street come and sing on something.


Toddstar: Well, definitely a very cool little anecdote. Well, of the songs on the album, what came the easiest to you, Tyler?


Tyler Connolly: What came easiest? That’s difficult to say. I don’t know, there all kind of up and down. Something like “Lowlife” or “Bitch Came Back,” but I kind of had those choruses come out of nowhere. They literally just one day were in my head. “The Bitch Came Back” is kind of a spin-off of a children’s song from like a hundred years ago, but where that came from I don’t know. Seems “Lowlife” I literally had the whole chorus in my head and it just kind of came out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s nice to have songs that kind of just pop in my head and I just pick up a guitar and I play it and its like “Alright, I just got a chorus for some song and I gotta figure out the rest.” But what came naturally? I don’t know. I’m trying to think of all the songs that are there. I guess “Bitch Came Back” was probably the simplest one, that really just came fast and it’s fun. I like writing fun songs just like “The Truth Is…” the title track. That one was really fun and easy to write too. It seems like sometimes the songs like “Hurricane” or “We Were Men” were more serious songs and sometimes a little harder to dig in and get the right lyrics for.


Toddstar: Well, what I like is that this album, even thou like you said, there are more serious moments or songs like “Lowlife” that just kind of strike and make you think, this is fun. The whole album is just fun from front to back. It’s something you can throw on, everybody can listen to, and it’s nothing too heavy, nothing too light. It’s just really strong from front to back and I really appreciate that as a guy who loves music.


Tyler Connolly: Thank you man.


Toddstar: No problem. Let’s talk about the big tour coming up. I know you have a couple off-dates here and there, but “Carnival of Madness.” How pumped are you for that gig?

 


Tyler Connolly: We can’t wait. Honestly, we got a couple festivals this week coming up, ones in Canada, ones in the United States. We love doing those, those are fun but it’s just like, it seems like we are like “Come on, let’s go.” We like being on the road and having a routine. I was just talking to Dave, the guitar player, at breakfast today about it, just “I can’t wait to get back on the bus” you know and have a routine, play a show every night in a different city and hang out with our brothers, hang out with our friends and crew guys and stuff like that and so this tour is you know, specifically is going to be great. The bands on it we played with all of them, except for Emphatic, the first band. We never played with them before, but all the other bands we’ve played multiple shows with and it’s the summertime. There are a lot of outdoor shows so it’s, we’ve already talked about barbeques and stuff. It’s going to be great. I think everyone’s going to have a good time. It’s just every night I think, is going to be just drinking, cranking music, and throwing the football around. It’s going to be a dream come true.


Toddstar: Oh, great. Is this something were you guys have kind of handpicked the bands or is this something that was kind of put together and they said “Hey you guys wanna headline this?”


Tyler Connolly: Ah, I think it was… I think there was some mention about it a year ago asking you know, saying “you guys should you know, headline at ‘Carnival Madness’ tour next year and we’re like “We’d love to, that would be amazing. I don’t know where we’re going to be next year” but, the timing is so unbelievably perfect for us because our record, the week we managed to finish the record and get it done. The records coming out and the single on the radio, so we were asked to do it recently and we were like “Yeah.” I mean everything’s just ready and was on board and I think we just had to. I think the rest of the names just were picked by someone else and we were just digging every one of the bands. We knew them so it just made sense.


Toddstar: Awesome. It’s a strong lineup just and you guys are very amply filling the shoes of Shinedown who headlined the inaugural run. I couldn’t, I mean, I would have picked you guys for the inaugural run last year. I think you guys are just ready to kill this whole tour.


Tyler Connolly: Yeah, it’s going to be great. It really is.


Toddstar: Cool. Tell me, if there were 3 people out there that still hadn’t heard of Theory of a Deadman, how would you describe your sound to them to make them want to listen to you guys?


Tyler Connolly: I don’t know. That’s a good question. How to describe our sound, I think that we’re ah, I like the fact that you said fun. We’re a fun rock and roll band that has music for everyone. I think generally you know, we have rock and roll music that is from kids all the way up to the parents and now, hell, the grandparents. Why not. (Laughing) I think you kind of already kind of said it, you know? “The Truth Is…” record kind of sums it up. Its fun – fun front to back - and we’re not trying to take ourselves too seriously, but neither does Motley Crue and look how you know, how amazing they did so.

 


Toddstar: Right. Well, if you weren’t writing music and fronting one hell of a rock band, what would you be doing these days?


Tyler Connolly: I’d probably be dead. OD’d in a ditch, probably somewhere. (Laughing) No, you know what, I’d probably be the opposite. I’d probably be a dad and have kids and be a firefighter. I actually always dreamed of being a firefighter. There are a bunch of firefighters in my family so I was always kind of expected to be one. It was just kind of my path, but now I’m in rock and roll so you know, it’s just different. I’m thinking that’s probably where I would be.


Toddstar: Well, very cool. Tyler, if there was one song or one album in the history of time that isn’t yours that you wish was, that you wish you had played on it, written it, or sang it. What would it be?


Tyler Connolly: I mean, I could say something stereotypical which I guess would make sense; it’s either “Imagine” from John Lennon or “A Day in A Life” from the Beatles. I mean, that would probably be a good answer. Both those songs are pretty bad ass. I mean they are simple, but it’s kinda like Theory of a Deadman. We’re simple and right to the point and you know, those songs are both huge classic songs so…


Toddstar: Much like some of yours are apt to be at some point.


Tyler Connolly: Hopefully man, that would be great.


Toddstar: (Laughing) Well, they are in my book. Listen I know you’re busy so I’m going to turn you loose in just a second. I just have one final question for you. Tyler, what’s the meaning of life?


Tyler Connolly: The meaning of life is knowing that you one day…you’re going to die, so every day you should spend that day, make that day its fullest. The best. Have fun, you don’t know when you’re going to die so don’t waste any minute. That’s what I think.


Toddstar: Excellent answer. I appreciate that. Well, listen I can’t wait until you roll thru Detroit on August 16th out here in Royal Oak at the Royal Oak Music Theatre with the Carnival of Madness. Again, the Rockpit thanks you so much for your time and we’ll get this interview and get a review up real quick so everybody rushes out and buys that killer album.


Tyler Connolly: Thanks man. Yeah, I’m excited. Come and say hi when we’re in Royal Oak.


Toddstar: Will do. Thanks again Tyler.