After releasing Divine Providence in late 2011, alt-country band Deer Tick decided the songs that didn't make the cut deserved their own record. Thus the EP Tim was born. The Rhode Island rockers are now hitting the road in support of both releases, but there's a twist! Billed as the Freedom Bus Tour, they are aiming to register new voters regardless of ideology. Here's what else Deer Tick have in store for us.
OC Weekly: What's going on for this tour? Are you going to mix up your set lists with covers or songs that haven't been performed live?
Deer Tick perform at the Yost Theater. Sun., 8 p.m. $15 in advance; $18 at the door. All ages.
John McCauley: We usually change up our set list each night. We'll obviously play some songs off Tim. I can't tell you about the cover songs. Those are the real surprises.
Why was Tim released separately?
Those were just some leftover songs we liked a lot but didn't think they fit the mood of the record for whatever reason. That's Tim Putnam who owns Partisan Records on the cover. We did that to fuck with him. We're in an ongoing prank war with him.
What was it like playing both Conan and Letterman? How were the experiences similar and different, aside from the fact they're two different shows?
Letterman's a little stricter backstage—security, we had to bring our own booze, etc. Being backstage at Conan was a lot like being backstage at a good club. Security was lax, they gave us a bunch of beer, they fed us really well, we had a Wii, and they let us warm up for a while. When you actually film it, though, it's always awkward.
Who came up with the concept of having people register to vote? It seems like a very responsible thing to do.
Everybody should be registered to vote. If you're not, you're lazy. Your vote for president doesn't really matter at all, but you should be aware of your local and state politics. I don't know whose idea that was, though.
In the past, rockers who have supported presidential candidates have influenced fans' vote in one direction or another. Is that the goal here, or is it to simply raise awareness?
Awareness. [Mitt] Romney gives me the willies, though.
What do you like to do when you're in Southern California? Is it the sun, weed, beaches or anything else I'm forgetting?
Girls in sandals. I've got a thing for feet.
In-N-Out or Dunkin' Donuts?
Dunkin' Donuts is okay. The donuts are fine, but they really screwed up on the breakfast sandwiches. In-N-Out, for as long as I've been going there, has remained consistent and delicious. I love In-N-Out.
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What's the prognosis for the Red Sox this season?
They've gotten off to a bad start just like last season. But they have the option of calling in some good players. It's still early, but I'll keep my hopes up. To quote Kevin Youkilis after a loss, "Nobody wants to win more than we do"—so go win!
This article appeared in print as "What Makes Deer Tick? Girls in sandals, responsible voters and anyone but Mitt Romney."