As the popular Canadian rock band Theory of a Deadman prepares for the release of their sixth album Wake Up Call (release date October 27) and tours across the United States, they are tackling a critical national issue—something they haven’t done on their previous albums.
The foursome – lead singer Tyler Connolly, guitarist David Brenner, bass player Dean Back, and drummer Joey Dandeneau – have taken a more serious turn with the album’s first single “Rx (Medicate),” which focuses on prescription drug addiction. Tyler says the inspiration to write “Rx” came from hearing news reports about the opioid epidemic and knowing people with substance use disorder. “We all have friends and family and people we know dealing with addiction. But for some reason people were keeping it hush-hush. It seemed like no one wanted to talk about it and that inspired me to say something,” the band’s front man says. “We talk so much about terrible things happening in the country—like terrorism and whatnot—but we weren’t talking enough about something that starts with your doctor.”
When it came time to shoot a video for “Rx,” Tyler wanted it to be more than just a performance video. He knew it had to poignantly tell the story of what’s happening in the country right now with addiction. The video centers on a teenage girl as she sells opioids to her community and the band watches how it affects everyone. “The video had to fit the lyrics perfectly and needed an interesting perspective since the song is an interesting concept,” Tyler explains. “So for us to cruise around downtown L.A. in a car as outsiders looking in and watching the girl do her thing all day, and watching these people, was a great idea. Maria Juranic, the director, did an amazing job and it’s one of my favorite videos.”
The feedback for “Rx” and its video has been extremely positive and the group has garnered many new fans and younger ones as well. “People have said to us, ‘You have no idea how much this song means to me, you hit the nail on the head,’” Tyler says. “It’s a huge accomplishment for us to hear that. We don’t usually tackle songs like this, so the fact that it’s working and the reaction has been great, is incredible for us.”
On the heels of the success of “Rx,” Theory wanted to make an even bigger impact so they began looking to partner with an organization working to end addiction. “If you’re going to release a song like this, you have to do more than just have an opinion and complain that nobody is doing anything it. Our contribution goes beyond that,” says Tyler.
And then they discovered Shatterproof.
The band had never heard of Shatterproof before but after some research and talking with a few staff members, Tyler knew teaming up with the organization would be a great fit. “They’re great people and we’re happy that they welcomed us to help them raise awareness and support them.”
As the band hits several stages across the country, they are displaying the Shatterproof website on the screen behind them after performing “Rx” each night, while encouraging fans to reach out to Shatterproof if they are dealing with substance use disorder and need help.
In another effort to reduce the stigma of addiction, Theory is providing prescription “Rx” pads at each show with Shatterproof’s logo, where fans can write messages about how addiction has affected themselves and loves ones, or messages about recovery. The group is also selling “Rx” and Shatterproof pins that fans can purchase at the show or online.
Tyler says the band is on a mission to increase awareness about addiction and plans to do more with Shatterproof in the future. “We’re just getting started here and we want to continue working with Shatterproof,” he says. “This is an important issue. The government is talking about it a little, but I hope it doesn’t get swept under the rug. We will continue to talk about addiction. The bigger ‘Rx’ grows, the more attention addiction gets and the more we can do.”
Theory of a Deadman wants to hear from you! Share your story of how addiction has affected your life.