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Genre: Blues/R&B, Country, Folk, Rock

Website: http://www.deertickmusic.com


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Deer Tick began in December 2004 as a two-man drum and guitar band as a new vehicle for songwriter, and Providence, Rhode Island native, John Joseph McCauley III. After hearing a Hank Williams song on the radio, McCauley purchased as much Hank Sr. as he could at a record store, got his underage hands on a big bottle of brandy, and locked himself up in his cold and drafty bedroom listening to ol' Hank until the bottle was dry. It was a departure from the dissonant rock n roll scene that McCauley had been familiar with growing up in Providence. Alongside him was his best friend, Paul Thomas Marandola, on the drums. The two made some tapes, played a couple small shows, and tried to find a bass player.

The duo used the tentative band name My Other Face. This went on for a few months until Brendan "Viking Moses" Massei crossed paths with the 18-year-old McCauley, and infected him with the tour bug. Parting ways with Marandola, McCauley drove across country with Viking Moses, leaving his movie theater job and shitty apartment behind. McCauley, all by himself now, ditched the My Other Face name (because it sucked) and began pondering new stage names. Feeling that monikers were stupid, he imagined that he was in a band and that he should be thinking about band names instead.

The town was Bloomington, Indiana. It was the summer of '05. McCauley was now 19. McCauley and Massei went hiking around a state park where McCauley got a deer tick on his head. McCauley discovered the pesky arachnid on his scalp late that evening and, drunk, began freaking out. McCauley grew up in the city, but had taken numerous camping and fishing trips with his pops in areas of the northeast that are notorious for ticks. Still, he never got one until now. The name Deer Tick came to mind once McCauley calmed down and realized that this was really no big deal. From that day forward McCauley was now in a band called Deer Tick, he just had to find his band mates.

Playing with several incarnations over the years with help from all sorts of talent (Dirty Projectors drummer Brian McOmber, New Hampshire bassist and songwriter Nat Baldwin, Spencer Kingman of Spenking), McCauley found himself in love with the stylings of Pawtucket, Rhode Island drummer Dennis Michael Ryan. Ryan had played drums in many local bands that McCauley liked. It was May of '07, and seeing that Ryan was not doing much with his time, McCauley asked him to join his imaginary band Deer Tick to help bring his dreams to life. Ryan agreed, and to McCauley's surprise, this Ryan kid was a damn good singer and harmonist.

However, before Ryan's time in the band, McCauley had recorded <i>War Elephant</i>, and scheduled its release with short-lived Houston, Texas-based label FEOW! Records. No current members of Deer Tick actually appear on that record (except McCauley of course).

The two Tickheads embarked on a very ambitious tour in the summer of 2007, covering the entire U.S.A. and venturing into new places like Canada. The tour was booked months in advance with the idea that Deer Tick would be supporting their first record. Delays happened, and then more delays happened, and the record was not released in time for the tour. Deer Tick enlisted the help of Las Vegas musicians Jacob Smigel and Joe Kendall for the first half of the tour, and Massachusetts born and bred pianist James Alphonse Falzone, Providence songwriter and guitarist Diego Perez, and the Washington D.C. rooted songwriter and multi instrumentalist Liz Isenberg on bass for the second half.

The second half of the tour became a financial disaster and morale remained low throughout most of it, especially during the final weeks. The Tickheads came home to Providence, their souls battered, not reminiscing much of their time on the road, instead drinking and abusing drugs in silence and behind closed doors.

Though not all was wrong with the tour. McCauley and Ryan met "Big Rob" (that's a whole '