Over the last few years, the Rhode Island band Deer Tick has seen its popularity steadily rise with each album. That trend continues with 2011’s “Divine Providence.” Though the band has been playing bigger rooms, for the current tour, Deer Tick is sticking to more intimate venues, like Saturday’s show at the Vaudeville Mews.
“Even when we play in bigger spaces, we insist they take the barriers away. It’s not like we have a big, fancy stage setup. We just have a few bar signs that say ‘Deer Tick,’ ” frontman John McCauley said during a phone interview. “We all stand close together and still jump out in the crowd. It’s been a lot of fun so far.”
It’s been a busy year for McCauley. He was a part of the Middle Brother trio with Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit. McCauley and Deer Tick’s Robbie Crowell collaborated with Ian Saint Pe of Black Lips, Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and Bryan Dufresne of Six Finger Satellite to form Diamond Rugs, which released an album last month.
McCauley recorded a hip-hop album, which he leaked to torrent sites under the name “Divine Providence,” to throw off music pirates. Deer Tick also recorded a death metal song, to be released later this year.“I understand I’m completely talentless in that department,” McCauley said in reference to his rapping ability. “Black metal is something we probably won’t try again either, but we were pretty good at it.”
Deer Tick started as a solo project for McCauley, but its membership has grown. On “Divine Providence” McCauley turned over the mic to drummer Dennis Ryan for the song “Clownin’ Around,” which Ryan also wrote. McCauley said opening the door for other singers and songwriters has been his plan for some time.
“I guess I kind of want to be in a band like The Beatles or something,” McCauley said. “Ever since Ian (O’Neil, guitarist) joined we’ve been playing some of his songs. ‘Divine Providence’ was the first album we’ve put out since Dennis joined, so we gave him a shot.”
If McCauley has always wanted to be in The Beatles, this tour is akin to The Fab Four trying to return to The Cavern Club for a few shows. You might want to catch them before Deer Tick reaches the Candlestick Park portion of their career.