Local band Too Many Cooks releases rock single “stairs” Aug. 13. Though each band member has a personal favorite genre — blues, psychedelic, rock, funk and alternative — they all connect through one genre in particular: classic rock.
Ed Lockwood, an IU graduate, lead vocalist and lead guitarist, said he wrote “stairs” with an R&B influence, but it turned into a country rock song after the band worked together. The song is about any type of relationship, romantic or professional, not working out and having to go their separate ways, Lockwood said.
“The whole band is really digging into writing originals,” Lockwood said. “We're just trying to see how much we can do and where we can go, and we're all just creating, so it's a pretty productive time.”
After taking music theory in high school and pursuing a music minor at IU, Lockwood said performing with Too Many Cooks has let him engage with music on another level.
“Somebody brought up the fact that 'stairs' is a song that you can listen to if you're sad, if you're happy — just literally anytime of the day,” Austen Eicher, drummer and vocalist, said.
The band formed in February 2022 after previously performing under the band name Saving Raj, with musician Dann Raj. The band has been writing original songs for a few months.
“We wanted to keep making music and we wanted to take it a step further and write our own stuff,” Eicher said. “That's something we’re trying to get in the groove of: working together and creating stuff together.”
Eicher said music involves so many emotions that it can be overwhelming — but in a good way. He said the band’s best performances aren’t due to how well they play, but how they make the audience feel.
“Without music, this world would be nothing,” Eicher said.
Along with “stairs” and unreleased originals, the band plays covers from Mac DeMarco, the Eagles, Pink Floyd, Etta James, Tame Impala, Frank Ocean and Black Sabbath.
Eicher said the band was named after Cook’s Beer, which they often drink at rehearsals. Andrew Umana, bassist and IU graduate, said the name also alludes to there being “too many cooks in the kitchen” due to their different musical styles.
Lockwood said he likes covering songs from the ‘70s, so he and Marcus Drolet, rhythm guitarist and IU senior, can play with psychedelic settings on their guitar pedals.
Drolet said he’s thankful each member has different influences, so they create unique songs and performances.
“Music is the purest form of human expression that I can think of,” Drolet said. “I think that's really cool to be able to give somebody or a crowd a feeling without describing it.”
Too Many Cooks is planning on releasing an EP early next year with their cumulative genres.
The band has performed at festivals and venues all around Bloomington. Umana said their most rewarding performance was at the Sustainability Fair in April because raising money for a good cause through music has been a goal of his.
“Music is definitely something that has inspired me to help others and bring joy to their lives,” Umana said.
Too Many Cooks’ next performance will be at the next Sustainability Fair on Sept. 10 in Dunn Meadow.