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Sat Nov 13 2021
8:00 PM (Doors 6:00 PM)
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Theory of a Deadman
Songs make statements at just the right time. Born at the intersection of insurgency and inspiration, music props up a sounding board for the people to be heard. Theory Of A Deadman amplify this voice on their seventh full-length offering, Say Nothing [Roadrunner Records/Atlantic Worldwide]. The award-winning multiplatinum Los Angeles-based Canadian band—Tyler Connolly [lead vocals, guitar], Dave Brenner [guitar, backing vocals], Dean Back [bass], and Joey Dandeneau [drums]—flip the pulse of the world into scorching song craft, integrating experimental vision, rock ‘n’ roll attitude, and clever pop ambition.
In the midst of this storm, Connolly and Co. speak up like never before.
“This album allowed me to say all of the things that were on my mind earlier, but I was too afraid to say,” the front man admits. “Our previous material was pretty much all relationship-driven. Everything was about me being unhappy. This one was about what’s going on in the world, the state of American politics, and everything else. It was a completely different way of writing for us. I remember Dave asked me, ‘Hey dude, did you watch a lot of CNN or what?’,” he laughs.
A whirlwind two years awakened this feeling in the group. After nearly two decades together, Theory landed their biggest career hit in the form of “Rx (Medicate)” from2017’sWake Up Call. Not only did it receive a platinum plaque, generate 100 million-plus streams, and become their third number one on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, but it also received a nomination in the category of “Rock Song of the Year” at the iHeart Radio Music Awards.
The musicians quietly reached this high watermark by remaining consistently prolific. To date, their discography encompassed the double-platinum single “Bad Girlfriend,” platinum single “Not Meant To Be,” platinum album Scars & Souvenirs, and gold singles “Angel” and “Hate My Life.” Plus, they notched two Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top 200, namely Truth Is... and Savages, as well as eight top tens on Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart. In addition to selling out shows worldwide, they’ve toured with everyone from Alter Bridge and Bush to Stone Sour and Big Wreck and more.
In 2018, Connolly turned his attention towards the next chapter. It started at a Los Angeles dinner with Wake Up Call producer Martin Terefe [Jason Mraz, Yungblud].
“I went out to dinner before Halloween with Martin, began discussing the record, went home, and had a panic attack,” recalls Connolly. “After‘ Rx (Medicate)’, there was a lot to figure out. It was really fantastic, but I don’t think we had a lot of time to live in it and digest it. There was pressure. I was like, ‘Okay, I have to get to work’. One day when I woke up, I knew what I needed to communicate. I was motivated to talk about things I want to talk about and not just write about girls. It’s not where I was 15years ago, but here I am now.”
“What makes this record important is the content,” Brenner elaborates. “Tyler approaches some really tough topics like domestic violence and racism. We never did that in the past. ‘Rx (Medicate)’opened the door though. This is almost a continuation. There are real discussions happening in the tracks backed by heavy stuff to make you think .”
Once again, the group hopped a plane to London and worked out of Terefe’s Kensaltown studio. Staying in an Airbnb for six weeks, they pushed themselves creatively like never before, incorporating new sounds and sonics.
Theory introduce Say Nothing with the single “History Of Violence. ”Finger-picked guitar by Brenner brushes up against the singer’s searing snapshot of a woman afflicted by abuse at the hands of her husband. Between sweeping strings and airy solos, Connolly sings, “She need a sedative to get her straight, ya know she need a cigarette, she got the shakes, put them sunglasses on her, hide her face, such a waste...maybe the way out is a .38.”
“It’s a story about a woman who gets beat by her significant other, shoots him, kills him, and goes to jail,” he explains. “Even though she’s in jail, it’s still a better place to be than being imprisoned in real life by this man. It’s very similar to stories we hear in the news all the time, unfortunately.”
A pilgrimage to Abbey Road Studios left its fingerprints on “Ted Bundy.” Swaggering piano and boisterous horns resound beneath a Sgt. Peppers-gone-Silence-of-the-Lambs story.
“We did a private tour of Abbey Road, and I got to play on The Beatles piano,” recalls Connolly. “We went up to the room where they played ‘A Day in the Life’. When we got back to our studio, we were so inspired. We put tuba on ‘Ted Bundy’. After six albums, we don’t want to be complacent or stale. We try different things. Lyrically, it’s funny. I watched a documentary and got inspired to write about Ted Bundy falling in love.”
Elsewhere, a gospel choir kicks off “Quicksand,” adding yet another dimension to the aural palette. Meanwhile, the orchestration on “Black Hole Of Your Heart” moves in lockstep with an arena-ready beat punctuated by creaky guitar, nodding to Silverchair’s Diorama.
“All around, we really pushed ourselves in terms of the sound,” adds Brenner. “It’s like we finally fit the square peg in the round hole here!”
In many ways, “Strangers” encapsulates a pervasive feeling and strikes a chord with its powerful and provocative prose. “It’s about what’s going on in America with politics,” says Connolly. “You have to pick a side. It’s interesting how people stick to their party and forget the country. We’re all like strangers now. It’s gotten too nasty.”
However, Theory’s music might be something everyone can ultimately agree on.
“I look at the record as a microcosm of our current era,” Brenner concludes. “It’s a reminder to look inward at what’s happening and what we’re becoming. I hope everyone dives into the words. At the same time, music is still an escape. Maybe we can give the world a little solace and encourage everyone to treat each other better.”
“We just want to write what speaks to us,” Connolly leaves off. “The best thing is when people sing lyrics back to you ,or if a song gets somebody through a tough time. There’s something we all might be able to dig here.
After a year and a half on the road touring 2010’s Feeding The Wolves, 10 Years reached
a turning point. It was time to move forward and take full control of their career by
launching their own label, Palehorse Records. In addition, the band decided to selfproduce
their fourth album, Minus the Machine, at drummer/guitarist Brian Vodinh’s
Splitting up with a major label after five years was “a very scary step to take,” Hasek
admits. “It’s like breaking up with a longtime girlfriend. You’re used to the motions, but
when it becomes stale and unhappy, you need to move on and get energy back into your
life. There was no anger on either side. We just painlessly parted ways.”
Working together as a band for the first time since writing the Gold-selling album The
Autumn Effect helped 10 Years go back to their roots, without label-enforced pressure to
create a radio-friendly “hit,” and free to experiment with the hard rock sounds that lie at
the core of their music. “Our true fans who buy the albums, not just the singles,
understand that our singles, for the most part, misrepresent the entire album,” says Hasek.
“As a band, we like to explore more and go a little left of center with song structures. We
wanted to create an album that has no boundaries, and where we didn’t have to make
every song ‘three minutes and 30 seconds’ for a label to approve it. There’s a fine line
with that, of course, and we’re very aware of it. We all grew up on rock music, and as
many albums as we’ve written, the way we’ve written them, it’s ingrained in us to work
within a time frame that fits radio. There are definitely songs that work well for that, but
as a whole, we wanted this album to represent a journey in a sense.”
This chapter of 10 Years began in 2001, when Hasek took over as vocalist. Three years
later they released their independent album, Killing All That Holds You, featuring the
groundbreaking single “Wasteland,” which led to their signing with Universal Records.
“That song was created in 2001 or 2002,” says Hasek. “We weren’t seeking to write a
smash single. We were just writing music.” The Autumn Effect (2005) led to widespread
radio and video play, a fiercely loyal fan base, and tours with heavyweights like Linkin
Park, Korn and the Deftones. When their sophomore effort, Division, was released in
2008, 10 Years had cemented their place as one of hard rock’s top contenders and most
sought-after live bands. Still, says Hasek, despite the success, “it all came to a head” with
the band’s 3rd major label release, Feeding The Wolves. “When you feel like you’re being
told to go through motions and jump through hoops, it takes the heart out of it,” he says.
“We know that we need a hit and we understand that it’s important. However, as
musicians, we’re not a band that says, ‘We’re going to make a hit.’ It’s better to do what
comes naturally and then figure out the after-effect.”
With that in mind, 10 Years created their most powerful songs to date for Minus The
Machine, with Hasek again relying on personal experiences for his lyrics. [Insert
something about the songs here; reference titles and content.] “Everyone asks about my
inspiration for lyrics, and the best thing I can give them is a very generic answer: life,” he
says. “Life is the experience — it’s everything you go through: the ups, the downs. I tend
to gravitate more toward the therapy method. I’m not great at writing happy pop songs.
So, I usually get the negative emotions out through music. As a person, I’m very happy
and thankful for my life, but when it comes to lyrics, it’s therapy for me.”
One thing that won’t change is 10 Years’ connection with their fans. With the release of
Minus The Machine, the band is looking forward to hitting the road, performing in close
contact with their dedicated audience. “After the last touring cycle, we realized where we
should strive to be, and that’s to be totally fine in the club environment,” says Hasek.
“We don’t plan to chase after arena rock or amphitheaters. If things like that happen, then
so be it, but we live and die by the loyalty of the club audiences. Our fans are loyal. They
travel with us, and they want us to be loyal to ourselves. That’s what keeps them coming
back. What we tried to do on this album is really give them what they want and what they
need because they’ve been so good to us through the ups and downs of our career.”
“First and foremost, when it’s all said and done, we’re proud of this album in its
entirety,” he says. “That speaks volumes to us because we’re our own worst critics. We
pick everything apart. An album is your child, it’s your baby, and you know it better than
anyone. To sit back and be 100 percent proud of what we’ve accomplished is so
gratifying, and we think everything else will fall into place. We hope that everyone will
enjoy what we’ve tried to do.”
Theory of a Deadman
Sat Nov 13 2021 8:00 PM
(Doors 6:00 PM)
$28.50-$31 Ages 18+
Valid photo ID required at door for entry