Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Theory of a Deadman takes Clyde stage

Gearing up to play hits as they continue to finish up latest album


Chris Hupe

Whatzup Features Writer

Published July 6, 2022

Releasing an album in January 2020 wasn’t the best timing. 

Canadian rockers Theory of a Deadman know that firsthand since they weren’t able to tour following the release of Say Nothing because of the pandemic. 

But the album still managed to reach No. 5 on the Billboard Alternative Albums chart and No. 14 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart. 

Local fans will hear plenty of songs from that album when Theory of a Deadman stops by The Clyde Theatre on July 12, with Nonpoint.

Trying something new

Asked to reflect on Say Nothing during a recent Whatzup interview, lead singer Tyler Connelly said that, unfortunately, because of COVID-19 lockdowns, the project was dead before it ever even got a chance to be promoted. 

“It kind of got left in the dust, because we never actually got to perform many shows with that record,” he said. 

“It came out Jan. 31 (2020), and we all went into lockdown around March, so we really didn’t do any touring for the last two years. We really didn’t get to digest it.”

That album was a bit of a departure for the band, featuring a decidedly poppier sound and lyrics broaching darker topics, like domestic violence and depression. 

While the record was able to draw rave reviews from many, some longtime fans were unhappy with the band’s new direction.

“We really accomplished what we were trying to do with that record,” Connelly said. “There were some specific songs, like ‘History of Violence’ and ‘World Keeps Spinning’ that are a couple of my favorites. I think it focused more on some content that we usually don’t write about, as a lot of our previous songs are relationship songs and tongue-in-cheek stuff. But to have that kind of a departure was almost necessary for a band that has been together for so long. It was nice to do something different.” 

With all of that in the rear-view mirror, a new album has been written and recorded, with the band returning home from the United Kingdom just a few weeks ago after putting the finishing touches on that eighth studio effort.

“It’s definitely more riff rock,” Connelly said about the new album. “There’s some really cool songs, and definitely some heavy songs. I would say it’s similar to our third or fourth records. Everyone who’s heard it is really happy, so we are really excited for our fans to hear it.” 

‘In this weird zone’

Fort Wayne is a special place for Theory of a Deadman, as it is one of the cities Connelly remembers playing from the beginning. 

“We’ve been playing there forever,” he said. “We’ve played there since our very first record (2002’s self-titled album), I think and, of course, every time we go, some of the guys go down and hang out at Sweetwater.” 

Though Connelly said the band has played primarily at Piere’s over the years, Theory’s most recent show in town was at The Clyde Theatre in August.

Connelly remembers being very impressed with the state-of-the-art facility. 

“The Clyde is awesome, and we’re looking forward to playing there again,” he said.

The band is celebrating more than two decades together on this tour.

But since they are between touring cycles, there isn’t anything they are specifically promoting at this time. 

When they hit the stage at The Clyde, Connelly said they won’t be able to play any of their new songs, so fans will get a heavy dose of the hits. 

“We’re in this weird zone where we have to wait a few months, maybe even four months, before we can start playing the new stuff, but it’s definitely similar to some of our older stuff,” he said. “So, it will be nice to go back and revisit some of that fun stuff again.”

Take a chance

Connelly thinks the band is sounding better than ever on stage, and, in turn, putting on the best shows they have ever performed. 

His advice to people who have never been to a Theory of a Deadman show is to take a chance and check them out, because you might just end up liking them. 

“We try to play every song that people want to hear,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s a compliment or insult, but inevitably fans come away from our show saying, ‘It was some much better than I thought it would be.’ “

When asked to take a final look back on their career so far, Connelly said he and the rest of Theory never imagined having the kind of success they have had. 

“We went into the studio the day after Christmas in 2001 to record the rest of the first album, and we had no idea where we were going to go,” he said. 

“I don’t think we cared. We were just excited to play music. Twenty one years later, we look in the mirror, and there’s some gray hair and it’s not as easy getting up in the mornings, but you still feel like a kid when you’re on stage. It blows me away that we can still do this after all these years. It’s awesome.”

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