NiteTalk: On Tour With Indie Rockers Deer Tick

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Deer Tick, which has been on tour pretty much since its 2004 forming, is about as road-worthy as a band can get. And when a crowd came out to catch the Rhode Island-based itinerants at Grand Central last week where the group sang songs that sounded as rough-and-tumble as the road itself, everyone in the grand room was transported elsewhere. Niteside grabbed Deer Tick's Ian O'Neil and John J. McCauley III before their rousing set:

You guys tour like maniacs. How's this just the first time you made it to Miami?
John: I don't know. For some reason we never made it past Orlando.

What did you expect when you got here -- barely dressed bathing beauties, gangsters on every corner? What?
Ian: Last time I was here I remembered it being a country in and of itself -- not because if the ethnicity, but because it's just a bizarre place. So it's kind of exciting to me to be in a place that's unlike any other place in the United States.

John: I didn't know what to expect.  I'm just gonna see where the night takes me.

You recently played Letterman -- was that surreal?
Ian: It was kinda surreal, I guess. It was certainly the most formal date we've ever played. They usher you in and you have to follow some pretty serious protocol.

John: I don't think we've ever been on such good behavior.

Is it true the band's first real profile was on BriTunes, the online music interview program hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams?

John: Yeah, it was a little odd.

What other bold-face names have championed the sound of Deer Tick?
Ian: Blublocker sunglasses.

Really? Officially or unofficially?
Ian: It's kinda unofficial, but we just did an infomercial for them, which was a pretty interesting experience.

Do you tour every other month?
John: Pretty much, yeah.

You cats must not like Rhode Island much.

Ian: I like Rhode Island, but you have to climb the tree, right?

I read that you guys pounded down the drinks "two-fisted" at your recent Maxwell's show then someone dropped a case of beer on stage and you drank that too. How important is liquor to Deer Tick?
Ian: Pretty important, I would say.

Is that why you tour so much -- for the liquor?

Ian: Touring certainly makes it easier. The liquor is free and you're kind of encouraged to drink it.
John: It's impossible to avoid on tour.

What do you most like to drink?

John: Vodka and Budweiser.

Not mixed, I hope.

John: No (laughs), usually with either Red Bull or grapefruit juice.

As we mentioned, you've done a lotta road work since you formed -- did you trash any hotel rooms?
Ian: That's happened a few times. Sometimes it just happens because drinking so much leaves behind a lotta litter. But there have been occasions when we've broken a few things and had to conceal it.

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