Atlantic Thrills
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Atlantic Thrills


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"DCist Interview: Deer Tick"

Deer Tick's John McCauley started his musical career like so many other performers: as a teenager with a solo act and a larger vision of what was to come. Members have come and gone, but the DIY ethos that started with McCauley distributing homemade cassettes and CDs as he criss-crossed the country remains intact. Deer Tick shows are spontaneous, lively and imbued with passion for rock and roll the way it was meant to be played. It's not uncommon for McCauley to surprise fans by bringing like-minded friends on stage, or to play a solo set for three hours, just because he's in town. DCist spoke with McCauley ahead of his Sunday night show at 9:30 Club in support of Deer Tick's fourth album, Divine Providence.

Can you talk about the inspiration behind Divine Providence? How does a sense of place influence your songwriting?

I guess the only place that influenced me would be the recording studio. I don't really care to write anywhere else. It doesn't matter if it's Providence or anywhere else. The name came from this black metal song that we recorded that didn't make it to the album.

A black metal song?

Yeah. [Drummer] Dennis [Ryan] wrote the lyrics. It has very anti-Christian lyrics, so he called it "Divine Providence".

How do you think Providence's music scene is faring as smaller cities like Baltimore see a surge in attention to their creative communities?

I think Providence is doing a pretty good job. There are a lot of bands coming out of there that are getting recognized, that are really good.

Any favorites?

Right now I'm pretty into The Silks, The Atlantic Thrills, The Wrong Reasons, The Low Anthem.

What shows do you remember playing in D.C.? What was your best experience here?

I always love playing at the 9:30 Club. It's one of my favorite places to play in the country. The last time I played there with Middle Brother, we played in the balcony. I got nailed with a cupcake. D.C.'s really fun; we always have a pretty good time there no matter where were playing, but I'm glad we get to return to the 9:30 Club.

You've shared a stage with a diverse range of artists. Who have you yet to share a stage with that you'd like to? Any artists you'd like to collaborate with in the future?

Patti Smith. I haven't had a chance to see her yet. We were supposed to do some festival with her last year, but we had to cancel. I was pretty bummed out. I'd love to share a stage with Neil Young. That'd be pretty killer. I just started a new project with a few people I've wanted to work with for a while.

What are you called?

Diamond Rugs. It's me, Steve Berlin from Los Lobos, Ian [Saint Pé] from Black Lips, Hardy Morris from Dead Confederate, Bryan Dufresne from Six Finger Satellite. Rob [Crowell] from Deer Tick also plays in it.

What does Diamond Rugs sound like?

It's kind of trippy, pretty rock and roll. We sound a little bit different, I guess you're going to have to wait to hear.

Are you still working with Taylor Goldsmith [of Dawes] and Matt Vasquez [of Delta Spirit] as Middle Brother?

We don't have any plans to do anything right now. Dawes and Johnny Corndawg came through Nashville the other day and we did a Middle Brother song together. I live in Nashville now. I'd really like to do something again with those guys, but it was kind of hell trying to put that tour together. I'd like to make another album at some point.

You guys were great at Newport [Folk Festival] this year.

Thank you. I think if we play more it'll probably be more like that: festival stuff.

As we enter autumn officially, how does your taste in the music you like to listen to change? Is it seasonally related, or does it change with the recording and/or touring schedules?

I probably mellow out a little more when it gets colder. I listen to more jazz and folk music. Nights like last night, I listen to a lot of punk rock, classic rock, cock rock.

Deer Tick fans were surprised to hear that Brian Williams talked about how your song "Dirty Dishes" was one of his favorites, and on his iPod. Were you expecting that? Do you ever hear or read about fans of your music that have surprised you?

It's pretty cool. Anybody's allowed to like our band, you know? Yeah, I guess we've had some unlikely bands, and just people curious about us. I'm pretty sure I saw Mos Def at one of our shows. And Mike Mills from R.E.M. at one of our shows...I heard a rumor that Paul Westerberg [of The Replacements] at one of our shows, but I don't know if I believe he was there.

The last time I saw Mos Def, he was wearing a sailor hat like the one you've been wearing lately, because he was performing with Gorillaz, and that was the visual theme for the Escape to Plastic Beach Tour. But he came out in a full sailor costume. How did your sailor hat come about?

When my manager was driving to the Newport Folk Festival this year from New York, he stopped at a truck stop and they were selling them. There's this video of me backstage at Newport this year wearing a bear costume and the sailor hat. Ramblin' Jack Elliott nicknamed me Captain Tipsy. - DCist

"Atlantic Thrills Nominated Best Punk/Garage Act In Prov. Phoenix !"

The Providence Phoenix has nominated locals and KLYAM faves Atlantic Thrills for 2012's best Punk/Garage act!
Check it out and vote Thrills, no matter where you from or who you are:
Also if you haven’t seen these guys live yet and you live close to the Boston area, you ought to go to the Kids Like You and Me Presents show that they are headlining tomorrow (Sunday night) at PA’s Lounge. 8:30 doors. 21 and over. Also performing: The ROACHES and Gangbang Gordon. Link to event

"Those Darlins, Movers and Shakers (we missed :( ), Atlantic Thrills"

Artists: Those Darlins, Movers and Shakers (we missed :( ), Atlantic Thrills
Date: Saturday, October 15, 2011
Venue: Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Act I: Atlantic Thrills- Atlantic Skillz is kind of like what would happen if the Black Lips were a twelve year old kid caught masturbating by their shady uncle Los Saicos and were forced to sing and dance for a half hour. I’m not sure how that makes any sense whatsover, but in more common terms you could say these guys have that nice Punk Slime flavor of garage rock found in the Lips music amongst other practicioners of said style. Just fun, rock and roll you can dance and drink along to- I mean what kind of rock and roll can you not do that to? Well, if you can, then you don’t like rock and roll and I don’t like you, but that’s another whole can o’ worms. The Thrills set some nice vibes for the evening and “Acid Rain,” everyone’s fave was a particular stand out; got me all revved up and ready to go. And when that happens, you know to move back about five feet or else*…
Act II (That KLYAM saw): Those Darlins- Those Darlins have been a favorite of mine for about two years now; a band I often recommend to those kids lurking around, asking for “new” or “good” music. Apparently, they have yet to discover the internet, but that is okay. That’s what I was put here for, to spread my love. The Darlins put on a great, rockin show per usual- well at least in my experience, they have been a fun, live band; I saw them last year at T.T the Bears. That was a cool show, but I’d say they rocked even harder this time around and the PA at the Middle East was/is superior, so that definitely amplified the greatness. The set consisted of tunes from both their studio albums, Those Darlins (2009) and Screws Get Loose (2011). I prefer the former, and “Red Light Love,” “The Whole Damn Thing,” and “Wild One,” got me real excited as they always do, definitely some of their finest songs to date. I really dug their encore (I noted this the last time I saw them) which featured some sick classics including “Night Jogger” and “Funstix Party.” FP is a Darlins fave of mine for sure, it sorta reminds me of King Khan & BBQ at their raunchiest. In any case, it was a fun show, so if Those Darlins are stopping by your town, GO AND SEE THEM!


Up next are Rhode Island’s finest garage rockers, Atlantic Thrills. The Thrills are a New England band I keep in touch with often and over the past year they have developed a small fan base that shares their love for pure, unadulterated, rock and roll. Typically, the Thrills produce vast amounts of high energy, but this show is much more reserved. Though, the fun is still there and the songs take care of themselves without the assistance of any outside theatrics. The songs are classic odes to 60s garage rock and their 21st century revivalists like The King Khan & BBQ Show. This performance helps me get a better sense of their strengths as songwriters and makes me want to further invest myself in their studio recordings. Wildness aside, they still rock hard as performers and my eyes are constantly glued to guitarist Kelly Riley, who looks possessed the whole time. (Chris DeCarlo) - The Noise - Boston


Still working on that hot first release.



Atlantic Thrills play rowdy garage rock for punk slime dance parties. Possessed by the spirit of Los Saicos and the galloping beats of 60’s garage, the Atlantic Thrills make rampant Rock and Roll in the shadows of dark psychedelia. Simple but considered chord structures hold together their primitive heartfelt songs that range from snarling punk to surfed out desperado anthems. Known for chaotic live shows, bourbon soaked belligerence, and psychedelic oatmeal cookies, Atlantic Thrills survived their first tour this fall and are currently organizing a Spring 2013 tour in support of their upcoming self titled album. As a local Providence band, Atlantic Thrills have opened for Thee Oh Sees, The Black Lips, Deer Tick, The Vivian Girls, Those Darlins, The John Spencer Blues Explosion, Bloodshot Bill, Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons, Moto, Turbo Fruits, and more. They are looking forward to playing in Austin this coming March!

In a near fatal accident Dan Tanner aka DJ Full Frequency was struck by a car in 2009, he awoke from a coma with no memory of the accident and severe nerve damage affecting his arms and legs. Throughout his physical recovery, Dan and Eric Aguiar played acoustic guitars, and began to write the first Atlantic Thrills songs, an activity that Dan credits with helping him to regain fine motor control in his hands. His experience as a working DJ developed from his focused and wide ranging pursuit of music. Dan’s ear for melody and understanding of song structure are guiding forces shaping the sound of Atlantic Thrills.

With a background as a hip hop mc and compulsive record collector, Eric Aguiar was known for producing piles of notebooks scrawled with lyrics and combing thousands of records to pull obscure samples. He tackles the stripped down garage rock format with a studied lyrical hand. An experienced soundman, Eric spearheads Atlantic Thrills studio recording in their practice space at The Atlantic mills, Olneyville R.I.

In the summer of 2010 Atlantic Thrills began playing out with Eric Aguiar on bass and lead vocals, Dan Tanner on lead guitar, Mark Ferrara (Ref) on drums, and Corey Pacheco on rhythm guitar. Eric, Dan, and Ref were long time musical collaborators spanning several projects, and Corey is a childhood friend of Eric’s.

In the winter of 2011 Kelly Riley, began sitting in with the band adding a second rhythm guitar and sporadic screaming. Kelly, a documentary filmmaker had attended RISD with Eric, they collaborated on various film and video projects over the years. He was new to playing music but experienced in altered states and spirit possession. In April 2011 Corey left the band to fulfill familiar responsibilities making Atlantic Thrills a four piece again.

In the summer of 2012 Ref was stricken with a severe case of narcolepsy, causing him to sleep through practice after practice. It was then that Josh Towers left his fiancé at the alter and joined Atlantic Thrills on drums. A seasoned veteran, Josh played with The Sleazies , The Midnight Creeps, and Moto for years, reenlisting for tour after tour of debauched madness.

In late September 2012 Atlantic Thrills set out on a two week tour of Eastern United States. They returned from tour and dug into recording their first album. Atlantic Thrills is focused on attending SXSW 2013.