Published Mar 18, 2010Ben Cook has to be one of the busiest musicians in Canada. When he's not holding it down as the third guitarist for Fucked Up, the former No Warning front-man keeps a steady workflow going with four other active projects. There's his power pop group the Marvelous Darlings, cave pop two-piece the Bitters, his songwriting duo the Roommates and, to top it all off, his solo work as Young Governor.
Kicking off with last year's undeniably great Virginia Creeper seven-inch, Cook has taken Young Governor to new heights with a seemingly endless stream of new releases. Speaking with Exclaim!, Cook explains that the constant releases are a natural extension of his songwriting habits.
"I usually start writing a song every time I pick up a guitar," he explains. "I know what's good by now. If I pick up the guitar, I'll usually know within five seconds that I'm having a good day or a bad day. If it's a good day, I'll write three songs in a very short time. If it's a bad day, I'll put down the guitar and glare at it... then probably eat something."
This busy scheduling has developed into an insane release schedule for Cook. Off the top of his head, he says to expect five Young Governor singles this year on different labels, along with an LP and EP from the Bitters, a new Roommates cassette single and three Marvelous Darlings seven-inches.
As if that weren't enough, Cook said that he's planning a lathe cut record series for Scotch Tapes. The series will feature songs from bands that he's recorded, including Huckleberry Friends, Bruised Knees, Tropics and Lonely Wholesome. It will also include a Young Governor cover of ZZ Top's "Under Pressure," which, believe it or not, will be pressed on a frisbee.
Naturally, many of these releases will be hard to find. Cook says not to worry, as he plans to release a singles compilation at the end of the year. "Unless you are some avid collector and fan, chances are you haven't heard them all, so you can expect a singles collection being talked about maybe by the end of 2010," he says. "It will be treated like a full-length as I have recorded all my singles with the compilation at the end of it in mind."
After that, Cook is already considering a studio album for Young Governor. "I don't want to rush into doing a real full-length, but I definitely have plans and have already started thinking about it," he says. "Like most of my singles, the LP will be very collaborative. By then, I will be able to get myself into a big studio and do a larger-sounding pop record."
Lastly, Cook eventually plans to develop Young Governor into a live band. "It will be fun to show other indie acts that live music can be really loud, not super-boring, and all that reverb isn't necessary," he says. "Reverb saved Brooklyn. Reverb saved indie music. Reverb is the indie equivalent to Auto-Tune in rap. You can expect Fucked Up "DEATH OF REVERB" T-shirts hitting the streets this summer."