Deer Tick began in December of 2004 in the bedroom of Providence native, John McCauley. With a tape recorder and a nylon string guitar, he did what most anybody would do; he made tapes for his friends.
When McCauley, then 18 years old, got his hands on Hank Williams Sr.’s “Gold” collection and locked himself in his room listening to it on repeat until he finished his bottle of brandy, it all became fairly obvious to him– he was on his first tour just a few months later.
After years of being on the road, fully developing his distinct howl of a voice, anddo honing his guitar skills, McCauley had earned himself a following of devoted fans and supporters. Throughout all of this touring and selling his songs on CD-R, it became apparent that putting out a real album was the natural next step in McCauley’s musical life. McCauley recorded Deer Tick’s debut War Elephant at age 19, performing every instrument on the album. War Elephant was originally released in September of 2007 to much critical acclaim from The New York Times, Brooklyn Vegan, Spin, and many others. But McCauley’s vision from the start was for Deer Tick to be a real band, and a rotating cast of characters simply wouldn’t suffice anymore.
In April of 2007, just weeks before a national tour, McCauley turned to Dennis Ryan, a hard-hitting young drummer who had just decided to cut his college career about 3 years short. The two had played together before and their energy while performing was something unmatched for the both of them. It took no convincing Dennis at all that this was a good idea. He said “yes” before McCauley even finished asking him.
Dennis Ryan grew up in neighboring Pawtucket, RI. His dream had always been to become a famous, and perhaps more importantly, badass drummer. His epiphany occurred at the curious age of 3, while watching Ronnie Tutt play the drums with Elvis Presley in a rerun of the “Aloha From Hawaii” special.
After the national tour it was time for Deer Tick to find a bassist. McCauley had tried to convince Chris Ryan, a bass player in town, to join Deer Tick for quite some time. That August, Chris Ryan returned from a trip driving his VW Van from Providence to Costa Rica and back (though he only made it as far as Guatemala and back). Chris came speeding down Empire Street in downtown Providence, where McCauley was sitting at a table outside enjoying a beer. A swarm of people surrounded the van welcoming Chris and his traveling companions home. Before you knew it McCauley was asking the road weary traveler to join Deer Tick again. The band was completed in August 2008, when Andrew Tobiassen, a funky, young guitarist living in Providence, RI joined up with the band.
Born On Flag Day is Deer Tick’s highly anticipated second full-length album and follow-up to the band’s 2007 internationally acclaimed debut, War Elephant (reissued in 2008 by Partisan Records). This release follows two years of extensive touring in sold out clubs across the country and abroad.
Unlike War Elephant, this album features the three new members of Deer Tick that principal songwriter John J. McCauley III recruited to become the band’s current incarnation – Andy Tobiassen, Dennis Ryan and Chris Ryan. Born On Flag Dayreflects a natural evolution from a singular vision of one songwriter to something much greater. The album is set for a June 23rd street date on Partisan Records.