Larry and His Flask are a high energy, five piece band that have incorporated many facets of Folk, Punk, Gypsy Jazz, Bluegrass, Soul and Brass band Music to create their very own unique brand of rock and roll. Some people call it folk-punk, some people call it down right wild. But no matter what you call it, their live show is one to be seen and heard. They are from Redmond Oregon, USA. Smack dab in the middle of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. The band members are Jeshua Marshall on Contra Bass and Baritone, Ian Cook on electric guitar and lead vocals, Andrew Carew on Banjo, Trombone and vocals, Dallin Bulkley on Acoustic Guitar and vocals, and Jamin Marshall on Drums and vocals. In any given performance you will hear harmonica, contrabass, electric and acoustic guitars, drums, banjo, trombone, trumpet and baritone horn. They trade off instruments mid-song as they dance back and forth across the stage in a punk rock ballet of sorts, narrowly avoiding collisions constantly. Their love of old school country, folk, hip hop, gypsy jazz, and everything in between comes shining through in their full length album, “All That We Know”. Their new album, “By the Lamplight,” was released in June and is available on iTunes now.
We talked to the band’s guitarist and lead vocalist, Ian Cook and you can check out our conversation below!
How long have you guys been together?
It’s kind of a complicated history. Larry and His Flask has been a band for around 10 years now. It started in 2003.
You’ve had a lot of lineup changes during your time as a band. How has that affected the band’s music?
It affects it quite a bit I think. When we first started out in 2003 and up until 2007, we were a straight punk-rock band and our lineup was totally different. Then we lost our drummer and it kind of forced us to move into more acoustic stuff and roots music like Americana and bluegrass, because we were all really interested in that anyway. And then we ended up fusing it with our punk-rock roots and it kind of just came together. It really had a big thing to do with what happened to our sound – when our drummer left. We made a conscious decision to switch it all up and kept on going.
How do you connect with an audience on stage?
It’s all about energy. It’s an energy exchange. We put out everything we can in hopes to get a fraction of what we put out back from the audience. We send it out there and are hoping to get some of it back. Sometimes it works better than other times. It’s always a good result.
What’s the strangest thing a fan has done for you at one of your shows?
I’m trying to think. There’s been so many shows and weird instances. Nothing that is coming to mind other than your usual people coming up on stage and yelling into the mic and they won’t get off stage so you literally have to shove them off. Or, just your usual drunken buffoonery. Nothing that is coming to mind as something that is really really strange. Mostly it’s positive stuff. We had a dude build a cigar box guitar and bring it to us when we were in Toronto. That was really cool. Out of the ordinary and really awesome.
You guys have done so much touring and have played in so many great places. Any places you would like to play but haven’t yet?
All over. We’ve really wanted to get out to Japan. We’ve done Europe and the UK a couple times. Everywhere really. We’re one of those bands that wants to take it all over the place. There’s been talk of us wanting to go to Brazil and make our way more Easterly through Europe and maybe into Russia. Anywhere and everywhere. We just want to go where we haven’t been yet.
How are you perceived in Europe?
Really good actually. We have a two-week tour coming up in December. This will be our third time over there. It’s really cool. Everyone’s really appreciative. It’s different than what everybody is used to over there. We really enjoy the energy. We get a lot of the same reaction as we do in the US. It’s just a party and everybody’s having a good time.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Nothing too serious. We do a huddle and scream in each others’ faces. We call it the “man hug.” We get a man hug in before every show. It gets the energy going. Yeah we just scream and scream in each others’ faces and that gets us pumped up for the show.
You have received such praise for both of your full length albums and rightly so. Any new projects in the works?
Nothing really. We’re about to go on this tour. We have time off for the holidays and New Year’s and hopefully we’re going to get to write some stuff and put material together for a new album and starting that process again.
Larry and His Flask will be at The Earl on 10/27 with Onward, Etc. and The Law Band. Doors open at 8pm. Tickets are $10. Online and phone sales end at 6pm on the day of the show. Get your tickets here!