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Theory of a Deadman at Saint Andrews, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017

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It’s never too late to teach an old band new tricks -- and Canada’s Theory of a Deadman isn’t that old of a band.

But on its sixth album, “Wake Up Call” -- coming out Oct. 27 -- the Juno Award-winning hard rock quartet made a sonic sea change into a territory much closer to mainstream pop than Theory had gone before. The set was produced by Martin Terefe, who’s worked with the likes of Train, Jason Mraz and Mary J. Blige, and it features some of the smoothest, hookiest fare frontman Tyler Connolly and company have created. The jury won’t convene until the album is released, but initial indications are good; The first single, “RX,” hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Rock Songs and Mainstream Rock charts.

Meanwhile, Theory has hit the road to thump the drum for what’s coming -- and reminding fans of its track record of hits such as “Bad Girlfriend,” “Lowlife,” “So Happy” and “Hate My Life”...

• Connolly says by phone that the new approach of “Wake Up Call” was partly due to his obtaining a piano at the suggestion of a friend who “wanted to live vicariously through me. She said, ‘Y’know, you should just buy yourself a grand piano. I’m like ‘What are you talking about? I don’t even know how to play piano!’ So I don’t know why but I was like, ‘Alright...’” I got this beautiful piano and I put it in my house and just started playing and writing songs like I’d never written songs before. “And the songs were so different and the lyrics were so different. It came from a place of complete freedom. It didn’t come from a place of, ‘Where’s music at right now? What’s rock doing?’ It was just me sitting at a piano and playing chords and notes and then all of a sudden I come up with one song idea after another. To me this is the most exciting writing process and funnest record I’ve ever done.”

• Connolly’s new direction did set off some alarm bells in certain quarters, however. “I told our management and label (Roadrunner) this wasn’t a conscious thing. I wasn’t like, ‘I’m sick of rock. I want to change.’ It was the opposite. It wasn’t a conscious thing. It was just me finding a place of freedom or happiness, maybe. Something was happening that was great, in my opinion.”

• The single “RX” was inspired by the prescription drug addiction, and even though it was written prior to Chris Cornell’s death Connolly is confident it’s an eerily appropriate song for the times. “I really wanted to discuss how messed up America is with this prescription drug thing,” he explains. “When I got divorced, I went and saw a therapist and the first thing she said was, ‘I want to put you on some Beta blockers or some sort of anti-depressant stuff’ and I’m like, ‘No! No Way! What? How is that the first thing you want to do?’ I just feel like something’s wrong and I felt like the song needed to be written and people needed to hear it. It seems like every week something terrible is happening. I mean, Chris Cornell...and when we shot the video for it all these directors we talked to were like, ‘Oh yeah, I had a huge prescription drug problem, so this hits home’ ad all that stuff. So it’s a really important song and I’m so happy we get to release it first.”

If You Go:

• Theory Of A Deadman

• Saturday, Oct. 7. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

• Tickets are $51.

• Call 313-961-8137 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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