The alt-rock supergroup Diamond Rugs came together in 2011 with the simple goal of writing a record full of songs about weed.
The impromptu idea came about in a Rhode Island hotel room when former Black Lips guitarist Ian St. Pé, Deer Tick’s John McCauley and Six Finger Satellite’s Bryan Dufresne were sharing some beers after a Black Lips show. Long after the hangovers went away, it still seemed like a good idea, so the trio coaxed Deer Tick’s Robbie Crowell, Dead Confederate’s Hardy Morris and Los Lobos’ Steve Berlininto into a studio, where they pulled together a stellar album that was actually about so much more than pot.
So ended the tale of Diamond Rugs (a.k a. D.Rugs), a brilliant one-off band that blazed out faster than the lone roach in the ashtray weeks before the next payday… or so many assumed.
Through scheduling gymnastics, the guys eventually reconvened long enough to pull together 11 new songs for Cosmetics. Their sophomore album somehow manages to be an even greater time than their impressive self-titled debut. The record is soaked in organ and saxophone, and manages to be a flawless run of catchy rock and pop tunes.
With the record coming out, the band is about to pack up the van and spend the next few months on the road. St. Pé, who also just finished his own solo record, was cool enough to answer a few questions about the band.
I think when the first record came out, many people assumed that Diamond Rugs was going to be a one-time project. What made you decide to write and record again?
Never assume! Downfalls start that way. With us, once we got together and realized we had a chemistry, it was on. We just had to find the time [to get back together]. And two years after the first record, we found it.
That transitions nicely into the next question, Given the fact that you all have other commitments, how hard was it to schedule the time to work on a new album?
It wasn’t easy, but the special things aren’t.
Did you guys approach this record any differently than the first one?
We did the exact same thing. For real real, double exact same everything.
Have you already talked about getting back together and making a third record at some point?
Any plans to tour when this record comes out?
Yes, the Tour starts March 26 (dates listed below).
Off the top of your head, can you name your three favorite supergroups?
Cream, The Rolling Stones, D.rugs. Three groups that are all Super!
What’s next for you?
I just finished my first solo record and once that comes out, tour, tour, tour.
Fair enough. Those are all the questions I have. Anything else you want to cover?
Blue is my favorite color! –John B. Moore
Catch the Diamond Rugs on tour this spring:
March 26 – Philadelphia, PA, Ortlieb’s Lounge
March 27 – New York, NY, The Bowery Ballroom
March 28 – Pawtucket, RI, The Met
March 29 – Cambridge, MA, The Sinclair
March 31 – Toronto, CA, The Horseshoe Tavern
April 1 – Ferndale, MI, Loving Touch
April 2 – Chicago, IL, Lincoln Hall
April 3 – Saint Paul, MN, Turf Club
April 4 – Iowa City, IA, Gabe’s
April 6 – St. Louis, MO, The Firebird
April 7 – Indianapolis, IN, Radio, Radio
April 8 – Cleveland Heights, OH, Grog Shop
April 10 – Washington, DC, Black Cat
April 11 – Brooklyn, NY, Brooklyn Bowl
May 4 – Austin, TX, The Belmont
May 5 – Dallas, TX, Gas Monkey
May 7 – Nashville, TN, Mercury Lounge
May 8 – Athens, GA, 40 Watt Club
May 9 and 10 – Atlanta, Shaky Knees Festival