Joey Dandeneau of Theory of a Deadman

Talking About Studio Work and Gear

Hello MD readers, Joey here checking in! Drumming has been a passion for me since I started at age three. I got my first kit at five years old and never looked back. Playing in original bands through my years in school allowed me to realize that the dream I had of being a professional drummer was what I wanted for my life.

I was a full-time working drummer by eighteen years old, playing covers and minor session work for six years before I joined Theory of a Deadman when I turned twenty-four. Getting that gig changed my life. I went from playing for people who didn’t care who you were to now signing autographs and taking pictures with fans because of their love of the music. Since I joined, I have recorded four records—including our brand new album Say Nothing, out January 31, 2020.

I’ve worked with two impressive producers; each had very different likes for drums in the studio. One loved using up-to-date drums and many different style snare drums, brand new heads for each song, and different cymbals for certain voicings. The other was the opposite. Old drums, old heads, old cymbals, and the same set for every song. Each way was great for me. The first way was more fun because, let’s be honest, I got to be creative with different gear and play on so many different fun drums and cymbals. The other way was fun but in a different way. It forced me to dig deep into my creativity and make the same sounds work for different songs through different ways of striking the drums and using accents. It was definitely more difficult, but I certainly learned from it. Advertisement

My current live kit is a ddrum USA custom kit. I use an 18×22 kick, 9×10 and 10×12 racks, and 14×14 and 16×16 floors. I have many different snare drums including a custom-made hybrid, a full maple, and hand-hammered brass. I use all Sabian cymbals, Remo heads, DW 9000 hardware and pedals, and Promark sticks. I trigger my toms and sample pads using the Pearl Mimic Pro module. I also use the Remo Silent Stroke mesh heads on my toms and my sample toms as well. Triggering allows me to have a lot of consistency with playing in different size rooms every day and it’s great for in-ear monitoring. Having four less mics on the kit allows for a lot less bleed and it really cleans up the mix for my in-ear monitoring and our front of house engineer.

Since I was a kid, I always dreamed about playing drums and riding in a tour bus. Now it’s my life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m always trying to be a true “modern drummer.” Thanks for reading!

Theory’s behind the scenes studio footage for the song “Strangers” off the upcoming album Say Nothing

For tour dates and more on the band, visit

Photo by Jackson Carignan