Ian Cook and Andrew Carew are two busy dudes. In case you don't recognize those names, they're two-fifths of Bend favorites Larry and His Flask, half of Woebegone and the dynamic duo that makes up freshly formed Regal Manner. I recently sat down with the two in Cook's home studio for a conversation about being in multiple bands and what's next.
"We met at the Northside Pub when I was like 17, in 2006," says Carew of how he and Cook first met. "I was in a band called Zombie Co-Pilot—we got on the same bill as Larry and His Flask back when they were rock and roll. We did a short tour with them and one of those nights in Santa Cruz, we sat around a fire and played guitar."
Through this musical bond, Cook and Carew became fast friends. After that, the duo both got jobs at the same consignment furniture store. They would sit in a moving van, show each other music and go play after work. Carew joined the LAHF lineup in 2008, switching out the guitar for the banjo.
"I want to be able to have a balance between the two that works for both bands and the family."
— Ian Cook
"Our creative collaborative forces jive really well together. We like the same types of music and want to make the same kinds of things happen, Carew says."
After LAHF decided to take a break, Cook and Carew couldn't sit still without creating music. The duo joined forces with Kirk Skatvold on bass, who often plays mandolin for LAHF, and Dayne Wood on drums to form Woebegone.
"I can constantly write songs all the time and I need an outlet for it," Cook says. "Andrew, Kirk and I wanted a more rock-based sound and Woebegone was born from there, trying something a little heavier and more rock. I've been writing and writing, still am. I had an entire record and a half finished by the time the first album came come out. Seventeen more songs."
Thankfully for fans of both Woebegone and LAHF, the Cook creative train keeps rolling full steam ahead. Not only does he have the next Woebegone album done, but also 10 more songs for a new LAHF album.
"Now, we can sit back and see what comes our way instead of constantly pushing to be out on the road," Carew says of touring post-LAHF hiatus. "We get various offers, venues that really enjoyed having us, we can pick and choose instead of doing it all, all the time. This has been the right decision; it's more comfortable."
The decision to pause touring with LAHF couldn't have come at a better time for Cook. In the time since the band's hiatus started, he became a father to twin boys.
"It's been one of the reasons we're moving slower with both bands," Cook says. "Kim [Cook's partner] works full time, I watch the kids during the day and then work at night."
"It couldn't have come at a better time," Carew says. "It still would have been chill, that was already in motion before the big news."
"I want to be able to have a balance between the two that works for both bands and the family," Cook says.
"It's been done, you're not the only father in rock and roll," Carew responds.
As if all of that wasn't enough, Cook and Carew recently added a third band to their resume. Regal Manner, which consists of the two friends, made its debut opening for Human Ottoman at The Capitol a couple weeks ago.
"Regal Manner is kind of the initial movement into making music more of a career path than just a hobby," Carew says. "It's easier to book around two people's schedules than four or six. We can pick up an easy show whenever someone wants us to, doing what we love to do."
"We play some stripped-down versions of Woebegone songs and some Flask songs, too, and some fun covers," Cook says. "We always wanted to have a band where we could do all the covers that we want, but we have so many covers we want to play because we just love so much music. This will be an outlet for that, too, and we'll put fun twists on covers and do that as we keep going.
"It was a really fun, good first show for us. It's a really relaxed vibe up there with just the two of us, we can bullshit and banter with the audience as much as we want," Cook says. "There's not the feeling of go, go, go. You can just take your time and have fun."
For fans of the creative chemistry between Cook and Carew, there are plenty of opportunities to catch their musical collaboration live this summer and into the fall. Next up, Larry and His Flask start with a tour, beginning in Tennessee at the Muddy Roots Festival. They'll also be playing some shows with Reverend Horton Heat, Fishbone and Strung Out. October and November will see Woebegone hitting the road locally and regionally. And with the abundance of songs Cook has in the hopper, new albums from both bands could surface sooner rather than later.
Saturday, July 29. 6:30-8:30pm.
17600 Center Dr., Sunriver.
Wednesday, Aug 9. 7pm.
939 NW Bond St., Bend.
Larry and His Flask
Saturday, Aug 19. 8pm.
American Legion Park
850 SW Rimrock Way., Redmond.