Posted Mar 10th, 2009 (12:32 pm) by Joe McCarthy

After a crowd pleasing set packed with old and new sing-alongs interspersed with a few unexpected covers (including ones from Bruce Springsteen and another from Sean Kingston), Deer Tick and I walked outside the venue talk about the fans, the new record, and Metallica(?). Read on for a little bit of – er – ‘live commentary’ as well.

InYourSpeakers: You guys have generated a whole lot of positive reviews and feedback without getting much in the way of the negative side of things. I know that there was that one Pitchfork review...

Andrew Tobiassen: Wait, what's a “pitchfork”?


IYS: And I know that it wasn't particularly accurate, but their review was the only one that I’m aware of that’s has been downright negative. So was all of this positive promotion something that you really had to push for or did it just happen naturally?

John McCauley: I'd say that it was a combination of that and the fact that we work with a group of people that are true believers in what we do. They'd support us to the ends of the earth. The label that we are on [Partisan Records], the guys that run it are the sweetest couple of dudes you could ever wish for. And our booking agent is just a God-send for us.

The fact that we have the people we...

Man on Street: You guys Deer Tick?

JM: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Man: What kinda music are you guys?

JM: We're a rock and roll band.

Man: What's your influences? I'm gonna ask some good questions.


Man: You know what I'm sayin', you gotta ask good questions. You know what I mean?

JM: My biggest influence, I'd probably have to say is Roy Orbison.

Man: Roy Orbison. [To IYS] Yo, yo! Ask real questions man. Roy Orbison is your influence, right? Where you from? The paper?

IYS: No, no. Inyourspeakers.com!

Man: [To Deer Tick] Sorry, I missed the show.

JM: It's cool, man.

Man: What's your group...what's it called again?

JM: Deer Tick.

Man: Deer Tick. My brother had a Deer Tick on his head one time.

JM: That's where I got my first one.

Man: Dude, you got Lyme Disease?

JM: I don't think so.


Chris Ryan: I've got Lyme Disease.

Man: Yeah? You know Chevy Chase got Lyme Disease from a tick one time. So, how you feel about...what you think about, like, Metallica, man?

JM: I like some of their albums.

Man: Which records? How you think about after And Justice For All?

AT: Fuck 'em.

Man: Fuck 'em? Exactly! Black Album was the sell out album, right?

JM: There are some moments...

Man: Was Death Magnetic just blown chance to fucking come back hard?

Dennis Ryan: A lot of the fans, they wouldn't have to do with it.

Some Other Guy on the Street: Metallica? After S&M, nothing. The Black Album, Master of Puppets...fuck it.

[Those two engage in a gripping conversation about the merits of Metallica; everyone else walks away]

JM: I gotta confess, I'm a big fan of Metallica's Garage Inc. album. Anyway, what I was trying to say earlier was that we have the people that we have has really helped us out a lot. Any negative press is fine as long as it is fair. I think my age snuck up on people.

IYS: Yeah, that seems to be an unfair focal point any time someone writes about you...

JM: I think it’s total bullshit.

IYS: What exactly prompted the expansion of Deer Tick to a four person band? It started off as two people and then dropped down to just you, John. And now you have a four person lineup.

JM: I always wanted it to be a band. It started off with just me and my friend, Paul on drums. I guess with how ambitious I was made it hard fro him to keep up so, I had it going alone for a while. I didn't like using a name (other my own) when playing solo, but I just did it so I could build up the Deer Tick name for later when it would be a full band.

These three guys are just amazing, and we all work so well together. To be honest, I couldn't ask for a better group of musicians to play with.

IYS: How has expanding the band changed the dynamic?

JM: I just think it has given us a whole lot more energy. Everybody kinda brings their own thing to the table.

IYS: The other day I read that you have a film about your Fall 2008 tour coming out called To The City of Sin!. How did that come about? Are you pleased with how it came out?

JM: I've only seen the trailer, which I dig. I think it is really funny because I narrated of the trailer at six in the afternoon one day. I had just woken up and I was hungover as hell. The interview footage is hilarious because I'm sitting there in my bedroom, still soaked from a shower, drinking a beer.

Our friend Cory [Lovell] shot most of the footage. He is making the documentary for school as his senior project. I don't know if it is going to be out on DVD, but it will definitely be out there in one form or another.

IYS: Can you give me any word on the new album, Born on Flag Day?

JM: That is actually going to be out in June; we’re mastering it this weekend. As of a few weeks ago, the record is all mixed and we are very happy with it. I should add that it sounds nothing like War Elephant. It is a step in a new direction for the band. Fans of The War Elephant will absolutely love the album, and I think we'll be able to expand our audience as well. Born on Flag Day is very accessible, but not in a way that is compromising. The songs are good, and the performances on it are great. All four of us played on the record, which was the right approach.

IYS: I also read that you have another new album coming out later this year? Anything on that one?

JM: Same lineup, but I don't really want to talk too much about it just yet. I will say that it is a very dark album. It is going to be very different from both War Elephant and Born On Flag Day. It's a motherfucker - quite an album. I'm really kinda shittin' my pants trying to hold back on talking about it. We're really happy with it.

We spent two weeks in New York in this the little town called Westtown. We were snowed-in the entire time. We were champs about it - we recorded it fast and really well in my opinion. It should be out by December.

IYS: So, looking back on your past tour dates, you pass through Albany a whole lot. Is there something that keeps bringing you back or is it just a matter of convenience?

JM: I'd say at first, it was a matter of convenience. I’ve really grown to love Albany. A couple of our friends got married, and they had us play at the wedding over the summer. A lot of the people that were at the wedding were from Albany, and kinda hyped the shit out of us.

IYS: So, enough stuff about the band for now. How about this, perfect song?

JM: “Sleepwalk” by Santo & Johnny.

AT: “Stand By Me” by Ben E King.

CR: I don't know...Come back to me.

AT: It's a perfect song, not the perfect song.

CR: I'm going to have to think about it.

IYS: That's fine. Last question. If you had to describe your music to someone who had never heard music before, but could hear sounds...how would you do it?

JM: I'd probably give them a back massage and then put them in a jacuzzi with jets.

AT: The football team.

CR: I think I would say that it is a voice, but a voice that's worth listening to.

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