Early next month, Theory of a Deadman will begin a festival tour with Nickelback, whom they consider to be their guardian angels and best friends. It wasn't always that way.
Theory of a Deadman were discovered by Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, who produced their music, signed them to his label 604 Records and introduced them to the road (see "Nickelback's Chad Kroeger Brings Theory Of A Deadman To Life). When Kroeger first told frontman Tyler Connolly that he wanted to produce his band's record, Connolly was thrilled, but Kroeger's hands-on production approach at first left Connolly wanting to strangle his savior.
"It took a while for us to hit it off, because at first I made a lot of mistakes," theorized Theory's leader. "Chad was basically like, 'They're not going to play what you've written on the radio, because it's long and we've got to chop all this sh-- up. This is how it has got to go.' And I was like, 'F--- that, man. You can't do that to my songs.' "
When Connolly distanced himself from his songs and looked at them from a different perspective, he realized that Kroeger was right. So he resolved to let the Jedi Master take control while he sat back and absorbed the tricks of the trade.
"I guess I was a little scared he was going to destroy my songs," Connolly explained. "But then I realized he had a reason for everything he wanted to do. I think we're pretty much on the same level in terms of what we want to do in music, and we're the best of friends now."
Theory of a Deadman aren't the only ones who didn't like Nickelback at first. On Monday, an audience at the Ilha Do Ermal festival in Braga, Portugal, gave the band two songs before pelting them with rocks, forcing Kroeger to remove his guitar and exclaim, "Have we got any Nickelback fans in Portugal?"
Unlike Theory of a Deadman, the crowd didn't give Nickelback a second chance. Instead they booed and flung more debris.
"Are you sure? It's up to you. You guys wanna hear some rock and roll or you wanna go home?" Kroeger asked. At last he gave up, said, "See ya," and flipped the audience his middle finger as he walked off.
Nickelback are still touring behind Silver Side Up, which has sold over 4.27 million copies to date, according to SoundScan. Theory of a Deadman's self-titled debut comes out September 17.
Nickelback/Theory of a Deadman festival dates, according to Theory of a Deadman's publicist:
- 9/5 - Blackfoot, ID @ Eastern Idaho State Fair
- 9/6 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Utah State Fair
- 9/12 - Kearney, NE @ Buffalo County Fairgrounds
- 9/13 - Hutchinson, KS @ Kansas State Fair
- 9/14 - Sioux Falls, SD @ Lyons Fairgrounds
- 9/15 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Lockhart Stadium
- 9/20 - Louisville, KY @ Broadbent Arena
- 9/21 - Antioch, TN @ AmSouth Amphitheatre
- 9/22 - Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
- 9/24 - Birmingham, AL @ Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
- 9/27 - Huntsville, AL @ Big Spring Jam
- 9/29 - San Antonio, TX @ Sunken Gardens Amphitheatre