Rhode Island's Deer Tick has had a prolific year, with 2011's "Divine Providence" and the subsequent "Tim -- EP." But it's an even more recent side project that's given frontman and founder John McCauley a glimpse at the band's future.
McCauley and Deer Tick bandmate Robbie Crowell are part of the all-star Diamond Rugs, which released a self-titled debut album in April. Also part of that project is Los Lobos saxophonist Steve Berlin, who in turn has been producing sessions for the next Deer Ticket album.
"I think the recording quality on it will be a little more polished" than "Divine Providence," predicts McCauley, adding that the group has already worked on "about eight songs" with Berlin. "Some of the stuff we've recorded is pretty different for us. It's almost like vaudeville, a variety show, but pretty cool.
"And it still sounds like Deer Tick. I think we can play any music and it'll still sound like Deer Tick. I don't know how we do it, but I'm proud of that."
Meanwhile, McCauley has high hopes for Diamond Rugs, which started out making "a little joke punk album called 'Stoner Drama' " and wound up getting more serious when Berlin came into the group.
"I told him about what we were doing and he was like, 'I like (Deer Tick). I like the Black Lips. Can I be in your band?' " McCauley remembers. "And I was like, 'Hell yeah!' He was like, 'When are we recording?' and I said, 'Whenever YOU say we're recording, dude.'
"But I think as soon as Steve joined, we figured we couldn't make an album like we were planning. If Steve's involved, it's gotta be something smarter."
Deer Tick, Turbo Fruits and Scott Lucas & the Married Men perform Sunday, June 10, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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