Theory have not only changed their band name with their latest album; their sound has also shifted quite a bit when comparing Wake Up Call to all their previous work. Formerly known as Theory of a Deadman, a hard rock band that had been taken in by Chad Kroeger of Nickelback and 604 Records in 2001, the band’s sound now incorporates much more pop and piano. Frontman Tyler Connolly has stated that writing with a piano this time around allowed him to be more creative when he felt like “every riff was written” with a guitar already.
Read the full interview with Tyler Connolly to get more insight on the album, their recording process and more!
ITA: With your new album, your sound has changed quite a lot, especially when compared to your beginnings. How would you describe your sound in one sentence now?
Tyler: It’s rock n’ roll with vibe. Having additional instrumentation on the new record allowed us to diversify our sound, but its still a rock record.
ITA: Was the writing/recording process very different this time around, considering the addition of a lot of piano and a more pop direction?
Tyler: Probably the easiest record to write, and funnest to record. Being out of our element allowed us to try new things and say yes a lot more than we ever had, literally sometimes doing the opposite of what would be expected.
ITA: Now for a few “which track”questions: Which track represents the album best?
Tyler: “Wake Up Call.” This song encapsulates how we feel on many different levels and is a statement on its own. One of the reasons we titled the record that.
ITA: Which track took the most work?
Tyler: No tracks really took a lot of work on this record, but I know what you mean. “Rx (Medicate)” had a different middle section for a while that we decided to redo and “Loner” was a track that we trashed and re-recorded all on the last day in the studio. I’m glad we did, sounds great!
ITA: Which track means the most to you?
Tyler: I love “Echoes,” it reflects how myself and lot of other people see the past and can’t seem to move on from it.
ITA: Which track do you like to play live the most?
Tyler: “Straight Jacket” is fun. Soon to incorporate a piano onstage as well so I can play it on this track.
ITA: Now for some “which song” questions but from what you listen to: which song would people be surprised to find you listening to at the moment?
Tyler: Post Malone – Rock Star, Bad At Love – Halsey
ITA: Which song would you recommend everyone listen to right away?
Tyler: Into The Great Wide Open – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
ITA: Which song is one that you can never get sick of listening?
Tyler: Going to California – Led Zeppelin
ITA: Now that you have been in the industry for a while and you’ve seen it evolve, especially with the arrival of social media, what is the biggest change you’ve noticed from when you started? And what is something that has not changed?
Tyler: Personally I kind of miss those big moments, things that stick with you for awhile, it seems we are fed so much information now that we are over it before it begins, I still want music to be like a kid on Christmas morning. I remember when Michael Jackson came to our town and my friend went I was so jealous. Or maybe I could just be getting old. What hasn’t and will never change is the true litmus test that great songs will always win. Fans will find it. People will hear it.
ITA: What has been your proudest moment of being in the band?
Tyler: Being able to stick together after 17 years and to still love what we do.
ITA: What is the most important advice you’ve gotten or you’ve learned on your own?
Tyler: Always remember that there are 100 bands right now playing and practicing to be where you are so always work hard and treat people with respect.
ITA: I usually ask my interview-ees to draw something that represents them (or the band), what would you draw?
Tyler: This is something I drew at a festival this summer. They have you draw a picture on this card then put drops of different essential oils on it to represent you….. Anyways, it was memorable because Tom Petty headlined that night and he unfortunately passed away 2 months later. It was amazing. I’m glad I got to see him play.