TOAD Music

Interview: Theory of a Deadman at Sheffield Motorpoint Arena

SHUlife had the full package of interviews at Black Stone Cherry’s concert at Sheffield Motorpoint Arena. The team spoke to Theory of a Deadman’s Vocalist, Tyler Connolly. The band is currently supporting Black Stone Cherry along with Airbourne. Many fans were just as much a fan of them as Black Stone Cherry. The band who took us back to our teenage years, told us about their latest album and what it’s like touring with other big names in rock music…

“So, how are you?”

“I’m good, I just had a Starbucks so it’s pretty much just like doing a rail of cocaine”


“What’s it been like in England so far?, because obviously it’s been windy and rainy and horrible”

“The weather here sucks all the time, it’s actually nice here today… some blue skies out there”


“Yeah, it’s pretty good for Sheffield.”

“Where are we in England?”


“We’re in the North, so it’s meant to be horrible everyday!”

“North West? East? Where?”


“Kind of central, close to Leeds and Manchester”

“Ohh OK so were not that high up”

“So, I know you released Savages over the summer here and it’s been quite different to your previous albums… you used to be quite happy, so what’s the reason for the change in intensity?”

“Well, you know, I did an interview yesterday and they put it perfectly the, the interviewer was like, it’s just totally where I am in my life so she was like “you know at first you were singing about women, then you’re angry at women and then your new record is like you’re kinda over it” and I was like “yeah! because I am”, so that’s probably what it is, it’s just where I am in my life so yeah. The last record was a little bitter, I was going through a break-up, so with this one I’m single and I’ve got nothing to write about so there’s a lot more songs about new stuff, like ‘savages’ and ‘drown’, more self-pity songs like ‘blow’ that are about stuff in the world that annoys the s*** out of me. There’s not as many songs about break-ups and women and how they annoy the s***out of me – that’s the reason for the change”


“So how have your old-school fans reacted to it?”

“Well I mean if you wanna go old-school old-school, our first record was very similar to this one in the sense that it was very riff-rocky and dark, and then we kinda changed, we got a little more pop and by the time we got to our third record we had gotten to where everyone kinda knows us, it was like I hate my life, bad girlfriends and songs that were kinda fun rock, I mean I think we just got tired of that so i dunno, our old fans probably see it as a return to the old sound but I dunno, I mean no one’s complaining! Every band has to go through these changes, these ebbs and flows, because if you do the same thing forever you really just… you gotta have fun, you gotta try new stuff, I mean I always try and relate it to a big band like U2, U2 is a good one! I remember I loved the old U2 stuff and then they did like the big Joshua Tree record which was just like the apex, and then they went into the weird ass s***, Pop and Zooropa and I couldn’t stand that, it was crap! But you could tell they had to go through some weird instrumental phase, I dunno, so I guess that’s where we’re at”.


“What was it like having Alice Cooper as part of Savages? How was that for you?”

“Well, I mean we’ve had people guest sing on our songs before but never someone like Alice Cooper! We were surprised at how we pulled it off, I always wanted someone to do the spoken word on this song, I just didn’t know who. We kinda talked about it a little bit in the studio, we brought up some names… we were really looking at more modern guys like Ivan from Five Finger (Death Punch) and some other guys, I know Corey Taylor from Slipknot, we asked if he would do it but then our producer Dean mentioned “why don’t you get someone like classic, someone that everyone knows that’s just like a classic rock name”, so we thought about Lemmy from Motorhead but I was like “no one’s gonna understand what he’s saying!” *impersonates Lemmy*, so errm Howard, our producer brought up Alice Cooper and he went for it straight away”.


“The video was really good.”

“Yea the video was cool, it was really darkly set. All our videos are fun and we always have a girl in it and stuff and now we were like No, that’s enough.”


So this is completely unrelated to the current tour, but what was it like touring with Chris Jericho (WWE)?

“We met him once years ago, he’s Canadian too. We were doing a show in his hometown and he came up after the show and we hung out a little bit. So it was cool because we’ve done so many songs for WWE. We’ve had three or four songs with them. We did a tour with him and he has got some hardcore fans. There were all these crazy people showing up hours before the show wearing full wrestling outfits and “Chris Jericho” shirts and stuff. He was a super great guy and we’re lucky to meet him and his band. It was great.”


You guys have toured a lot with Black Stone Cherry. So what is it like to be back in England with them?

“Last time we came over here and did a gig with them was for the Alterbridge tour and they work so hard over here. I’m really, well I don’t wanna say “proud” because it almost sounds like we’re parents or something, but it’s really great to see that their hard work has paid off because they toured with us probably for three years so we’re really good friends. It’s good to see them do so well. We got a question asked the other day, like “Black Stone Cherry opened for you guys in the states and now you guys are opening for them!” and I was like, No! It’s weird for Black Stone Cherry to be opening for us sometimes. So we’re just happy they brought us over here.”


So you toured with Black Stone Cherry along with Alterbridge, they’re a pretty big name as much as you are. How was the experience touring with them?

“We did a tour as co-headline tour a few years ago with Alterbridge at Carnival Madness in the States which is fun. It’s the same thing, they’re good guys. We thought they were good people and they did turn out to be good too. As you know, some people can be d***h*** and they behave all queer. I’m not naming bands but some can be total a*******. So it’s nice to actually be able to tour with people like Black Stone Cherry and Alterbridge. We’ve been lucky because well, we’re a******* (laughs).”


What is your first concert memory?

“When I was young, I listened to a lot of rap so the first concert I went to as a kid was Ice Tea. You guys know who Ice Tea is?”


Yea he’s some sort of actor now?

“Yea he was a rapper and the guy performed with Emcee Everlast but he changed it to just Everlast. So someone just threw a hankerchief into the audience and I went to grab it and then some other dude grabbed it and then the dude started punching me in the face. I have never been so punched so much at a concert. That was my first concert memory and I was only 13 years old.”


How about the Best British band of all time?

“Led Zeppelin is the best British band of all time. I’ve never seen Led Zeppelin as a full band before but I’ve seen Page and Plant when they did a concert in Vancouver. I waited overnight at the mall to wait for tickets. So we slept overnight at the mall and we still got bad tickets. We got ours at nine in the morning and first in the line and we still got s*** tickets. But hey, I got to see Page and Plant from Led Zeppelin; it’s two out of the four so it was very cool.”


Interview by: Catherine Christy and Zoey Robbins

Image Credit: Cosa Nostra PR