John McCauley started Deer Tick as a solo project while still in high school. Growing up in Rhode Island, McCauley taught himself drums, guitar, piano and pedal steel. He began writing and performing in high school, and continued after graduation, touring the country.

While primarily a solo performer, he would on occasion add a drummer or use a small group to support his songs. Recording was strictly a homegrown affair on self released CD-Rs. Through 2007, McCauley was the only official member of Deer Tick. Finally interested in having a permanent band, McCauley turned the project into a group in 2007.

Deer Tick quickly released five albums over the next six years.

Deer Tick continued their quirky album release cycle by pausing for four years with no new material. The band toured during that time, but apparently saved up their material for one big release – delivering two albums in 2017.

Two years later Deer Tick released Mayonnaise, a record they describe as a companion to the two 2017 releases. It included some reworked material from those albums, covers that they often played live and some original content.