INTERVIEW WITH JOE FROM THEORY OF A DEADMAN

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On Stage Review contributor, Janelle Rominski, recently sat down with Joe Dandeneau, drummer for Theory of a Deadman.

On Stage Review: So with your new album that came out. Tell us about it. I know it’s a departure from usual music you create, right?

Joe: It’s a huge departure. We have never really gone this direction before, well we kind of have. The first record was definitely in the heavier section. And then as we progressed as a band we kind of changed, our style went to, we did more pop stuff. And, this time around we decided we just wanted to kind of go back to the roots. But, really step it up. So we went from the hard rock side, and on the pop side we went to the real pop side. And then, we actually have a country song on the record as well.

On Stage Review: Oh my gosh that’s amazing. Now with your single “Drown” that just came out – that was fabulous, where did you film the music video at

Joe: Everything was in L.A. As a matter of fact, you remember the show Little House on the Prairie?

On Stage Review: Yes! I remember that one.

Joe: So there was this old, way up in the mountains way up in the hills they had these super old just wooden log buildings. And so, that’s where they shot that show we shot our video there.

On Stage Review: That’s so cool.

Joe: Yeah and as a matter of fact one of the ladies in the video was on that show.

On Stage Review: Oh no kidding? And then who was the director of that video?

Joe: The director I think its Rich Ragsdale.

On Stage Review: Okay, and then did you guys have a collaborative process with that and your ideas or did you just come and there was a story board for you and you just did what the director said?

Joe: No we kind of had a say in what was going to happen. I mean obviously the treatments came to us, we read them, we pick the best one we like, and then we’d kind of give our ideas and things we’d like to see or maybe not see from what’s in the treatment.

On Stage Review: That is amazing!

Joe: Yeah it’s a mix.

On Stage Review: What out of all the music videos that you’ve done what was your favorite?

Joe: Ever?

On Stage Review: Yes. (Laugh)

Joe: Ha, ha, that’s a good question. I am not quite sure. Probably “Bitch Came Back”, my girlfriend would kill me for that.

On Stage Review: (Laugh) Nice.

Joe: But it was, not for my role specifically, but it was just where we shot it. It was this beautiful house way out in Malibu and then it was kind of cool. I did get to sit in a hot tub with two other girls.

On Stage Review: Sounds awesome.

Joe: Like I said girlfriend’s going to kill me for that, and it wasn’t the girls that excited me, it’s just I got to sit in a hot tub for an hour you know while I did my shooting so that was probably the coolest.

On Stage Review: In terms of music videos do you like doing them?  Do you find them necessary for your marketing purposes or do you just kind of find them unnecessary and just ‘oh it’s something we have to do’?

Joe: No they are absolutely not unnecessary. They are very necessary. I mean if you look at, you know, like MTV doesn’t really play a whole lot of music videos anymore. However, YouTube and Vivo and all these outlets now for videos there is still a lot of people that like to watch them. They still like to associate videos with songs.  And yeah, it’s not like it used to be but it is definitely pretty crucial that we do it.

On Stage Review: Fabulous. Now, I am going to go on to a different tangent with the “Single Savages”. How did you guys team up with Alice Cooper on that?

Joe: Ha, we just simply asked him.

On Stage Review: Really? It was that simple?

Joe: It was that simple. We just called him up and said “We would love to have you featured on this song”. And, he was like “Well let me hear it”. So we sent him the song and said “Love it. Sure”. And that was it. So then we asked him to be in the video so he’s going to be in the music video.

On Stage Review: How long did the whole recording with him take? Was it just a one day thing or?

Joe: Yeah, one day. My singer Tyler, he flew to Alice’s house out in Arizona and they just recorded the tracks right in his home studio.

On Stage Review:  Oh my gosh in his home studio?

Joe: Yeah.

On Stage Review: That’s great!  I love songs, I love music. I have actually written papers in college on how music has changed my life. So have you ever had an experience where you are like ‘oh my God I am in music, I am a musician, this is what I am supposed to be, this is what I am supposed to do’?

Joe: Yeah I have been playing drums since I was 3 years old. So you know, I’ve never had a band that has changed my life. I do have a favorite band of all time, but the cool part about that is we get to play shows with them. So for me that’s like a life changer for me.

On Stage Review: What is one of your favorite bands?

Joe: 311.

On Stage Review: I love it.  In terms of your album for this one with the huge departure how did you guys decide to do that first of all, and what was the collaboration process for getting this written?

Joe: We knew right at the gate when we finished the last recorded The Truth Is we needed to go a different direction. We made Scars and Souvenirs and The Truth Is basically back to back and we knew it was time. So that alone was an easy decision, then at that point we had to decide, you know, how heavy are we going to go and what are we going to write about. And so, Tyler really took it upon himself to really look at today’s society, the whole world’s society and basically write about it. So it’s like another The Truth Is record except not so fluffy and soft, it’s really dark and…

On Stage Review: I get it. And in terms of you writing personally, have you ever come up with or have you ever had writers block as a band, and if so what do you do to combat that?

Joe: Not really…you know sometimes when Tyler writes lyrics he might come up with there might be a line or two that he is stuck on. He will from time to time write with people just to you know have a second opinion and make sure that what we are writing is legit.

On Stage Review: I dig it.  So, ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’?  Long drives between cities?

Joe: I Dislike.

On Stage Review: What do you do to pass the time on the bus?

Joe: TV and movies.

On Stage Review: And then, what about American Idol, the Voice and TV shows that have singers go straight to the top, ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’?

Joe: I guess I don’t hate it. I guess I’ll say Like.

On Stage Review: And then, people taking photos and videos at your shows throughout the whole entire set?

Joe: Well you know I don’t Dislike them for doing it because it allows people to see our live show and you know they get snip-its of it from their phone. But, for them I think it’s stupid because they are watching our live show through their phone or camera.

On Stage Review: A few last minute things. Your favorite band Is 311, what is your favorite song?

Joe: By 311?

On Stage Review: By anybody. It can be…

Joe: Oh boy… I don’t know that I have a favorite song ever…

On Stage Review: Well what’s your song of the day right now? (Laugh)

Joe: I am going to say ‘Waiting’ by 311 might be my ultimate.

On Stage Review: They just came to Chicago a few…

Joe: I heard.

On Stage Review: Our On Stage Review contributor Nicci got to photograph 311.  So, what’s your favorite beverage?

Joe: Coffee.

On Stage Review: And then, favorite food?

Joe: Probably a burger.

On Stage Review: And your favorite non-music related hobby, activity, anything like that?

Joe: Probably hockey.

On Stage Review: And then, oh yeah! Speaking of that I was at your Rock and Jock Hockey event with 95 WIIL Rock a few years ago. How fun was that?!

Joe: Unbelievable. Yeah we want to do it again. We have been asking everybody if we can do that again.

On Stage Review: I have some great pictures I’ll have to try and forward them to your management.  Thank you for taking the time to speak with On Stage Review.  I appreciate it!

Joe: Thank you!

Janelle Rominski interviewing Joe from Theory of a Deadman. Photo by Samantha Wilson.

Janelle Rominski
Janelle Rominski’s favorite place to be is in the photo pit. She has been to over 600 concerts and loves the feeling of being close to so many talented musicians and taking quality photos of their shows. She began her passion of “rocktography” and show reviews as soon as she could drive herself to concert venues.