diamond rugs

John McCauley plays one of his many Jag-Stangs (the Fender model designed by Kurt Cobain) as the frontman of his primary band, Deer Tick, at the Newport Folk Festival in 2012.
Photo by Tim Bugbee / Tinnitus Photography

Deer Tick’s guitarist/frontman discusses Cosmetics, the new album from his all-star second band.

When does a side project become a band? For Diamond Rugs, the answer lies sometime between a night in 2011—when Deer Tick’s John McCauley, former Black Lips guitarist Ian St. Pé, and Six Finger Satellite drummer Bryan Dufresne shared a beer and mused about working together—and the sessions for Cosmetics, the D-Rugs’ sophomore album.

After that beer, St. Pé continued his tour with Black Lips. By the time he finished, McCauley had recruited the rest of the Diamond Rugs lineup: fellow Deer Tick Robbie Crowell (bass, keyboards, sax), Dead Confederate guitarist T. Hardy Morris, and Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin (horn, keyboards).

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