GateHouse News ServiceTheory of a Deadman bassist Dean Back has two small children — age 3 years and 14 months — at home in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“If I could freeze this moment in time, it’d be awesome,” he said.
But his job requires him to travel — a lot — to concerts in far-flung places. So Back, who said he resisted buying a cellphone for as long as he could, now relies on digital technology to keep up with what’s happening at home.
“There are a lot of phone calls, and opportunities to Skype and video conference and iChat and stuff like that,” Back said during a telephone interview in late July. “I can’t imagine the bands of the 1970s when they went and toured with no cell phones — up to the 1990s, really. There were just postcards and letters and a pay phone would be their only communication. I could not imagine that.
“ … If I’m not talking on the phone with my girlfriend, I can text. She can send pictures (of the kids) over the phone. … Now, even the tour buses have Internet access. I can’t imagine what it was like for bands back in the day.”
Back and his Theory of a Deadman bandmates are playing nightclubs, fairs and festivals this summer, fresh off releasing their fourth studio album, “The Truth Is … .” Rock radio stations have given significant airplay to “Lowlife” and “Bitch Came Back.” The latter is the band’s most recent collaboration with former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi, who co-wrote arguably TOAD’s biggest hit, “Not Meant To Be.”
While digital technology allows Back to stay in touch with his family while he’s touring, it also gives the quartet a chance to continue working on songs even during their breaks from playing shows.
Back and guitarist David Brenner live in Vancouver while singer and primary songwriter Tyler Connolly lives in Los Angeles (drummer Joey Dandeneau lives in Las Vegas). But if Back or Brenner have an idea for a guitar riff or melody line, they can record it, email an audio file to Connolly, and then see if he can use it for a song.
“You no longer have to be in the same room,” Back said. “We all have our private lives and our personal lives.”
When he’s back in Vancouver, Back is like most other dads — getting his oldest child ready for preschool in September is on his to-do list.
But while he’s on the road, Back updates his Twitter feed (#theorydean) to stay in touch with fans, and tries to live up to his description of Theory of a Deadman as “one of the hardest working touring bands,” particularly at events such as the state fair when there are many other things going on.
“I remember, we were doing the Motley Crue tour, all the sheds (outdoor stages), going on in late afternoon, and me playing in the daylight. When the sun is still up, you can see everybody’s faces. Sometimes, they are not ready to party yet, they’re sitting up with feet on seats, and having conversations. It makes you think, ‘Are we not doing our job out here?’
“So we dig in a little bit harder.”
See more from Brien Murphy’s interview with Theory of a Deadman’s Dean Back at www.sj-r.com/blogs/offtheclock.