It's been easy to define Theory of a Deadman's music for much of its career. Nickelback vocalist-guitarist Chad Kroeger discovered the band and collaborated with frontman Tyler Connelly. Both bands hail from Vancouver and represent the post-grunge wave.
Nickelback is at the top of that subgenre and Kroeger's influence was all over Theory of a Deadman's first two albums, 2002's eponymous release and 2005's "Gasoline." So Theory of a Dead Man is constantly compared to Nickelback.
"I guess that's inevitable," guitarist David Brenner says.
However, the band seems to have grown up while crafting its latest disc, "Scars & Souvenirs." There are some brooding songs filled with angst but this is the grittiest, most passionate release yet. The band can be muscular in one song and relaxed in the next.
"We wanted to step it up with this record," Brenner says while calling from Greensboro, N.C. "We worked to make this our heaviest, but at the same time the mellowest, album we've ever made. It was time to show more than one side of this band."
Theory of a Deadman, which also includes bassist Dean Back and drummer Joey Dandeneau, will showcase the tracks Tuesday at the Cotillion.
"We're still way into this album even though it's been out (since April 2008)," Brenner says. "We'll focus on the next album when the time comes. We're just trying to keep building on what we started. Our numbers have been respectable. You don't go out of the gate and sell five million albums anymore. Our first album sold 250,000 copies and our next one sold more and we're still trying to spread the word about this album. We love being on the road behind it. We're doing well and we're proud of everything we've done."
That includes hooking up with the man behind Nickelback.
"That was a case of being in the right place at the right time," Brenner says. "There's nothing wrong with that. You need some kind of miracle like we experienced getting discovered because it's so hard to get anywhere in this industry. But it's a double-edged sword. He (Kroeger) helped us get our start but we're constantly compared to his band. But we're stepping away from that with this album."
The only downside to the group's current tour is that the band will miss the Winter Olympics in its hometown.
"We're all big hockey fans," Brenner says. "It stinks that we're not going to be home for the Olympics but I can't complain. We're doing our job, which is something we love to do. You won't catch me moaning about that. We're living a dream."
If you go
theory of a deadman
What: Rock concert with opening bands Halestorm, Adelita's Way and Taking Dawn.
Where: Cotillion, 11120 W. Kellogg
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
How much: Advance tickets $22.50, $25 day of show. Tickets available at Select-A-Seat outlets, the Cotillion, House of Sight & Sound and employee clubs, unless otherwise noted. Credit card orders, 316-722-4201 or www.thecotillion.com.