Theory of a Deadman’s David Brenner talks Rock Jam, Canada


If Canadian rock band Theory of a Deadman has played Rock Jam before, guitarist David Brenner doesn’t remember it.

All he knows is the group is excited to play western Colorado’s Rock Jam this year at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. The group plays before headliner 3 Doors Down.

The music festival is set for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24–25. The headliners Friday, Aug. 24, are KISS and Motley Crue. Tickets to both days are available at

On a recent, windy day in Wyoming, Brenner took time out of the band’s touring schedule to talk on the phone about Rock Jam, the state of rock music and the Canadian music scene.

Melinda Mawdsley: For those who haven’t heard Theory of a Deadman, tell them a bit about your music.

David Brenner: We’re straight up rock ‘n’ roll. For these large festivals, that’s where our music suits it well. I think people know our songs without knowing they are our songs. It’s always been a struggle for our band. We’ve always had radio success, but it’s been a struggle to have people put our name with the music they are hearing.

Mawdsley: What do you think about rock music today?

Brenner: It’s changing, unfortunately. It seems like country music is the music people are still buying and pop music is where all the rock stars are, so rock music is being left by the wayside a bit. But it seems like rock music is such strong music that it will never disappear. Rock music I just don’t think it will ever die. To me, I feel like rock music is rebellion in a way. It’s anti-pop, anti-country.

Mawdsley: Who do you listen to when not listening to yourselves? Do you listen to yourselves?

Brenner: Never. I think it’s weird to listen to your own music. I like to listen to the same stuff I grew up listening to and was influenced by: Stone Temple Pilots, Blind Melon, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains is my favorite band of all time, Soundgarden. I’m two hours from Seattle, so the Seattle scene hit Vancouver like a ton of bricks. I live literally a two-minute drive from the border.

Mawdsley: Yeah. You’re Canadian. Is the whole band Canadian?

Brenner: We’re all from Vancouver, but the drummer is from Winnipeg. I don’t spend that much time in Canada anymore. I haven’t listened to much Canadian music on the radio.

Mawdsley: It’s probably all Carly Rae Jepsen. (She sings “Call Me Maybe.”)

Brenner: She’s actually on our label.

Mawdsley: Nice. Growing up in Canada, was playing guitar in a rock band always your dream?

Brenner: It was always the only thing I ever wanted to do. I remember getting out of high school and my mom being like, “You going to school now?” I said, “I’m playing guitar.” She didn’t seem to think it was a smart plan. ... I couldn’t imagine going home and doing something else with my life. I’d be starting over. All I ever wanted to do was make a living playing music.

Mawdsley: Does the band enjoy playing large venues like Rock Jam, or are you guys into more intimate, indoor settings?

Brenner: I like them both, but I feel like summer is the perfect time for these large, outdoor events. You play to so many people. ... You have the opportunity to play to people who wouldn’t normally be your fans. It’s a great way to build your fan base.


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