Not only did Youngstown get M ∂tley Cr ºe’s only Northeast Ohio date last month, but platinum-act Theory of a Deadman decided to leave its current “Carnival of Madness” tour for an intimate Youngstown show Tuesday at Club Gossip.
“Basically, we’d rather play than having a day off,” said singer- guitarist Tyler Connolly, calling from Indianapolis. “Rather than going to the P.F. Chang’s in Youngstown, we might as well go play a show. So it just made sense for us. There are certain markets it’s like the fans maybe have an expectation from the band when we come to a town, and sometimes we have expectations from fans. If we go into Ohio, we know it’s going to be a great show, and Youngstown is definitely one of the markets that’s good.”
Considering how popular rock radio is in the Mahoning Valley, it should not come as a surprise that Theory of a Deadman is revered. The Canadian band still is riding the success of its breakthrough 2008 release “Scars and Souvenirs,” which included hits “I Hate My Life,” “Bad Girlfriend” and “All or Nothing.” The hard-rock quartet is touring its follow-up effort, “The Truth Is ...,” which in many ways picks up where the band left off with its previous album.
Specifically, the song “The B---- Came Back” appears to be a sequel to “Bad Girlfriend,” with Connolly explaining the connection.
“There was a time last year where I was going through a traumatic experience and wrote the song,” Connolly said. “I’m in a much better place now. It’s cathartic. It’s therapy for myself, and then it becomes therapy for the fans. But it’s not directly tied to ‘Bad Girlfriend,’ which is actually more of a naughty girlfriend. That song was a true story about how I met my ex-wife at a bar and she was crazy, where ‘The B---- Came Back’ was actually a story about the breakup. It’s almost like the yin-yang. The ‘Bad Girlfriend’ was the beginning of the story, and ‘The B---- Came Back’ is the ending. They go together but not in the sense that they’re lyrically the same.”
Another standout track is the new album’s lead single, “Lowlife,” which seemingly finds Theory of a Deadman empowering those folks who by some elements of society are viewed as degenerates or less than desirable. Just like Kid Rock turned white trash from a disparaging title to a source of pride, Connolly is doing the same with “Lowlife.”
Connolly said his intent behind “Lowlife” was like creating an anthem for Theory of a Deadman’s working-class fans and less giving a voice to deadbeats and criminals. He admitted growing up in a lower middle-class household. More so, he remembers being in his early 20s, getting up at 5:30 a.m. and taking an hour-and-a-half bus ride to a crappy job.
If working hard paints one as a lowlife, then that means they’re Connolly’s kind of folk.