By Ian Bremner
Not all bands are friendly with each other. Many have struggles with power and jealousy. Others have creative differences between members leading to awkward dynamics and unease. Deer Tick is not one of those bands. On record and on stage, their connection is palpable. They genuinely like each other. When one member of a band chooses to do a side project, sometimes you wonder what sort of pressures they are feeling outside the band, or maybe they don’t want to be in the band anymore? Again, not true with Deer Tick.
Over the years, front man John McCauley has collaborated with many other folks, even creating bands like Middle Brother and Diamond Rugs. Vocalist/guitar player Ian O’Neill has played with other bands and has a side project in his hometown of Providence, RI called Happiness with drummer and bass player Dennis and Chris Ryan.
This time, Dennis is the one to have “gone solo.” Under the moniker, Vincent Van Gold, Ryan teamed up with former Deer Tick-er, Robbie Crowell and producer Adam Landry. The trio came together to create a wonderfully weird pop record titled, Box of Light.
Though McCauley still remains Deer Tick’s primary singer and songwriter, both Ian O’Neill and Dennis Ryan have contributed songs to the group’s records since 2011’s Divine Providence. Fans have come to love Dennis unique vocals, somewhat dark lyrical themes and pop sensibilities. On Box of Light, he gets to further express his personal thoughts and talents. His voice is the main attraction, but he gets to experiment with synths and other oddball new wave sounds with a soul-fulfilling, DIY flavor.
Buy Vincent Van Gold’s Box of Light on Bandcamp
Listen to Box of Light via spotify