Over the past decade, Larry and His Flask have evolved from a traditional punk band to one of the best bluegrass bands to ever call the Northwest home. It has seen its ranks swell to almost a dozen members at one time, settling into a solid, and more manageable lineup of six, centered on brothers Jeshua (bass) and Jamin Marshall (drums); and toured with everyone from the Dropkick Murphys to Frank Turner.
And no wonder; they play a refreshingly original mix of punk, folk and bluegrass, and nowhere is that better showcased than on their latest EP Hobo’s Lament. Though the band has been meaning to get back to the studio to record a new full-length, constant touring will keep them on the road for the next few months. Jeshua did take a few minutes, though, to speak recently about the new EP, his brother’s fight with cancer, and touring the world.
Innocent Words: I interviewed you guys last fall, just about a year ago. What have things been like these past 12 months?
Jeshua Marshall: Crazy, lots and lots of miles on the road! We have played nine different times zones, toured the lower 48 states, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada from coast to coast including Newfoundland, Vancouver Island, the Yukon territory, The UK and western Europe. We are currently on a two-month tour with Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls.
IW: Why did you decide to release the EP now?
Marshall: To be perfectly honest, we wanted to have it out in the spring of this year, but it just kept getting pushed back because we were so busy it took us that long to get it finalized and released.
IW: When did you record these songs?
Marshall: Late November of 2011.
IW: Gotta ask about the story behind the song “My Name is Cancer.”
Marshall: It started as a poem Jamin (our drummer) wrote after battling testicular cancer two separate times. It is written from the perspective of cancer itself.
IW: Obviously – and thankfully – you have a sound that’s difficult to pin down to one genre. Has that led to any interesting bill pairings? What are the most non-compatible shows/tours you have been added to?
Marshall: Well, it has definitely given us the ability to play with many different styles of music, which we love to do. Honestly, I can’t think of any pairing that didn’t really work. Some crowds are better than others, but we have played with all styles of music, and it pretty much always works out.
IW: Do you guys have any plans for another full-length anytime soon?
Marshall: Yes! After this tour ends in mid-November we are hitting the practice spot to start writing the new record. We plan to record in January with Ray Jeffrey at Rancho Recordo studios in Fenton, Michigan.
IW: What else is going on with the band right now?
Marshall: Well, besides touring and traveling our asses off, we have teamed up with our friends to help start a non-profit clothing company called The Weary Saints. All proceeds go to help families who are fighting cancer. We made one Larry and His Flask design that is available this tour to honor Jamin and my father, whose life was recently claimed by pancreatic and liver cancer.