INTERVIEW: Theory of a Dead Man becomes the query of a dead band (cute huh?)

Plush couches line the walls, staring down a satellite television wired for 700 channels. The lounge, like the kitchen, is sleek and spacious, possessing the luxurious air befitting rock royalty. Legends of the industry should be basking in the warm comforts of this remarkable bus, not newbies. Regardless, this is the home of a troupe of rock novices. It’s not that Theory of a Dead Man is a bad band, it’s just that the music, like the men, is thoroughly uninteresting. And it also seems that the band’s accommodations have exceeded their credentials.

Playing protege to recent rock act Nickelback, Theory of a Dead Man owes its success to that band’s lead singer Chad Kroeger. Chad, a friend and fan of the band, recently signed the group to his new label 604 Records, and then went a step further to secure the band a deal with Roadrunner Records. Theory of a Dead Man, comprised of Tyler Connolly (vocals/guitar), Dave Brenner (guitar), Dean Back (bass) and Tim Hart (drums) is in the midst of their first tour, promoting their self-titled debut. They might not have a lot of experience, but they certainly are surrounded by a lot of toys.

I guess it pays to have friends. Hopefully the band’s buddies will be enough to ward off the discriminating ears, because as Tim admitted in a recent Hatchet interview, Theory of a Dead Man certainly doesn’t have originality on its side.

Hatchet: So you’ve got the Sopranos on DVD?

Tim Hart: Yeah we’ve got season one and season three.

H: You don’t have two?

TH: No man. We’re looking for it. Dean our bass player and our guitar tech Jay are huge into it.

H: What’s the difference for you between playing with another band as opposed to headlining a gig?

TH: When you open up for a band like Nickelback, you’re playing for eight or 10 thousand people. It’ll be awhile before we do that on our own. When we do our own shows, you know people are there to see us.

H: So what about Nickelback? I hear you guys have gotten a lot of support from them.

TH: Well first off we’re on Chad’s label and he co-produced the album. They’re really supportive of new acts.

H: Is that kind of what you aspire to be?

TH: Yeah, I mean every chance we get we try to encourage other bands to bring demos to the shows.

H: Do you get back to people?

TH: Not yet. Tom has a list of bands we have to get back to. Maybe not ‘I’m gonna sign you’ or ‘I’m gonna help you.’ But more like ‘Here’s some pointers to make your songs a little bit better.’ I mean some stuff, there’s just nothing there. It’s so bad it can’t get any better.

H: So you think it’s probably better to listen to it while people are actually there?

TH: It’s like, I don’t want to tell you it sucks. So, let me not phone you at all and let that be the answer.

H: So you’ve been on tour for two months now. Is that the longest you’ve ever been out?

TH: We did a little week and a half through Canada, but this is our first CD and our first tour ever. We’re brand new at this.

H: How are the other guys on the tour, the other bands?

TH: Great. Right now we’re with Saliva and Audiovent, and they are really nice guys.

H: So you’re having a good time with them?

TH: They’re nice. I don’t know the bands that well, but whenever we’re out there the crew is really willing to help us out.

H: Do you end up spending a lot of time on the bus?

TH: We get the Playboy channel for free.

H: Your TV gets cable, eh?

TH: Yeah we get like 700 channels.

H: And it looks like you’ve got James Bond (the video game).

TH: Not, quite, it’s like Bond. It’s called ‘Half Life.’

H: So you are into video games?

TH: Yeah, we all are. We just got the Playstation 2. Eventually we’re all gonna get individual consoles for our own bunks.

H: You have TVs in your bunks?

TH: Yeah.

H: How does that make you feel? I mean the label is really taking care of you. This is definitely not a van.

TH: Think about it. We have to live here for months on end. We have to be as comfortable as possible to do our jobs. We have to be rested. We can’t be distracted at all.

H: As far as your sound, what would you say distinguishes you from all the other rock bands that have suddenly popped up?

TH: I don’t know. We don’t consider ourselves to be a unique band, or groundbreaking. We just play what we play, and if we get compared to other bands that’s fine. It happens a lot.

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