Interview: Dave Brenner of Theory Of A Deadman

With the current state of the economy, many bands have been finding it harder and harder to launch tours on a scale they might have been used to in the past. Unless the band is U2, The Rolling Stones or Bon Jovi, the notion of headlining a large-scale summer tour isn't an automatic financial reality.

As a result, many bands have been going out each year as part of a large-scale package tour. And while package shows have been around for many years, they’ve only recently become the most consistent way to ensure that fans will pay money to attend a concert.

One of last year’s most successful summer tours was Carnival of Madness. It was such a hit that it’s been brought back for another run this summer. One band that will be included is Vancouver's Theory Of A Deadman.

The band recently finished up work on their upcoming fourth studio album, The Truth Is (Roadrunner/Island Records), which is scheduled for release on July 12. They’ll also be out on tour promoting the record for the entire summer, with one of the tracks being included on the upcoming Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon soundtrack.

Guitar World recently spoke to guitarist Dave Brenner about the Carnival of Madness Volume 2, their new album, and the Stanley Cup Finals. Remember, they're from Vancouver.

GUITAR WORLD: I read that one of the songs off of the new album, "Head Above Water," is going to be on the soundtrack of the new Transformers movie. How did the band get hooked up with that?

Well, we wrote a couple of songs with Kara DiaGuardi again on this record. I remember when we were in the studio, she was there talking to us and she said, "We should get one of these songs on the Transformers soundtrack." I don’t know if it was her publishing company or something that was involved with it.

We ended up putting “Head Above Water” on the soundtrack, which isn’t even one of the songs we wrote with Kara. But I think somehow she opened the door for it and for us. We say yes to everything. We want to be involved. Any way we can get our music to people, we’re all about it. So we’re excited to have a song on the soundtrack.

Well, you couldn’t have picked a better movie.

Yeah, it’s kind of full circle. We kicked off our career by putting one of our songs on the Spider Man soundtrack way back in the day. We love that kind of stuff.

Where did you record your new album? Was it all done in a recording studio, or do any of you have home studios with Pro Tools?

Tyler has a pretty decent little home studio, actually. So he would demo a lot of the songs out of his house. They sound awesome and they turned out so great.

I saw that you’ll be on this year’s Carnival of Madness tour. How did the band wind up on that tour again this year? Was it something you knew from the last time that you wanted to do again, or did the timing just work out where you wanted to tour for the new album, and the opportunity was there?

It’s kind of based around bands that are in the groups' management company. They approached us and said, "Hey, what do you think of headlining the Carnival of Madness tour?” We thought, "Hey, that’s a great idea, but what other bands do you have in mind?"

A lot of it hinged on getting the right bands. Nowadays, you need a package to make a tour successful. People don’t want to come and see one band. You have to make it worth the price of admission, and I think that’s something we’ve successfully done with this tour.

It’s always good to see nice package tours like Carnival of Madness. With the economy is the way it is, it gives fans a chance to see lots of great bands in one show. Keeping with that theme, what are some of the biggest differences or challenges you’ve noticed in the music world since the release of your first album?

I think a lot of it is trying to embrace the digital download medium and the way that computers are taking over. It’s not about, "Let’s point the finger" and "Who do we blame for stealing music?" Let’s figure out a way so people don’t want to steal music. I think iTunes has really helped in making it so easy and convenient to download music. I also think there’s a lot of room to improve.

You guys are from the Vancouver area. I assume you were keeping up with the Stanley Cup Finals.

Oh man, our Canucks went all the way to Game 7 for the Stanley Cup! We’re die-hard. We were on tour with Stone Sour and the playoffs started. We were literally running back to our bus after our set to watch games -- and watching games up to our set time. We don’t get on the tour bus unless the NHL package has been ordered.

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