If Theory of a Deadman's Tyler Connolly sounds a little surly on "The Truth Is...," the Canadian hard rockers' just-released fourth studio album, it's wholly intentional.
Connolly went through a divorce last year, and he freely acknowledges that seeped into everything he wrote, whether in the tongue-in-cheek form of the title track, "Bitch Came Back" and "Gentlemen" or in the more heartfelt paeans of "Easy to Love You" and "Hurricane." "A lot of it stems from the relationship ending," Connolly, who had moved to Los Angeles, tells Billboard.com, "ending not to my liking, me having to deal with the consequences, continuing life in a strange city, all alone. It's all true, which is a good thing; it would be funky if people were like, 'Why does the album sound like this?' and I'd be going, 'I dunno...' "
Connolly adds that he found it "easy" to dig into his personal experiences for the 12-song set, which he considers to be a personal evolution as a songwriter. "It used to be hard, so I think I'm becoming more secure," Connolly explains. "In the beginning, the late 90s and early 2000s, I didn't know what have the songs were about. But this time, having (producer) Howard Benson, too... He'd go ever every single world with me and go, 'What does this mean? I'm not clear what you're trying to say here...' and that made everything stronger. Howard's point was when a 14-year-old girl listens to a song on the radio, she doesn't focus on what the bass is doing or the guitar noodling. She's just really listening to what I'm saying, so everything had to make sense."
Connolly says he and his bandmates were also driven on "The Truth Is..." to prove that the platinum showing of 2008's "Scars and Souvenirs" -- which spawned the rock hits "So Happy," "Bad Girlfriend" and "Hate My Life" -- "wasn't a fluke. I think the last record spoke for itself. It wasn't like we had just one song that overtook the world and, 'Wow, we don't know how to do that again.' It was an overall consciousness of writing great songs, and for this record we tried to do the same."
Theory hits the road to promote "The Truth Is..." on July 22 in Fond du Lac, Wisc., but will spend most of the late summer on the Carnival of Madness tour with Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Adelitas Way and Emphatic. "The bands that are on it are all great bands," Connolly says. "They're not necessarily like us, but they have radio support so it's a good opportunity for us to win over new fans. We're always looking to do that."
Theory is planning some shows with 3 Doors Down in the fall, while a U.K. tour with Alter Bridge is scheduled for November. The group is also looking at late winter swing through Canada, Connolly says.