On their last set of records, Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2, the Nashville-based, Rhode Island-bred band made peace with their dual sides: one acoustic and one electric, it showcased the breadth of their range and their ability to hop from somber folk one moment to raucous, sweaty punk the next. Now a new documentary film, Straight Into a Storm, tells the story of how Deer Tick, fronted by John McCauley, surfed the waves and tempests of the rock & roll life to accumulate a diehard fan base and a cultish identity that has kept them on the road for well over a decade.
Centered on the band’s 10th-anniversary shows at Brooklyn Bowl in 2015, Straight Into a Storm uses never-before-seen archival footage, interviews with friends like Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and plenty of live shots to bring to life Deer Tick’s lengthy story. Directed by William Miller and funded on Pledge Music, it follows the band through substance abuse, stardom and the formation of McCauley’s unique songwriting identity, an artist whom Stevie Nicks once described to Rolling Stone as her “favorite new singer-songwriter” and “a little bit Tom Petty, a little bit Johnny Cash and a little bit spectacular.” The film also shows how vital the band dynamic – now including Ian O’Neil, Chris Ryan and Dennis Ryan – is to Deer Tick’s sound.
An official pick of the Nashville Film Festival, Straight Into a Storm will be released theatrically nationwide on June 15th by Abramorama, coinciding with the band’s summer tour, which includes dates with Trampled by Turtles and Liz Cooper & the Stampede.