Thursday, October 17, 2013

An EXCLUSIVE Interview With BEASTO BLANCO!




THE BEASTO IN ME:

An EXCLUSIVE Interview with 
BEASTO BLANCO’s Chuck Garric

By Stephen SPAZ Schnee


     In the world of Rock ‘n’ Roll, you can either love what you do or just go through the motions. Thankfully, the audience can usually tell the difference and some of Rock’s most beloved players end up falling by the wayside because they stopped caring and started sleepwalking through their albums and live performances.  On the other hand, you’ve got artists who love what they do, who hunger for the excitement that the music brings and who continue to be passionate about creating their art and connecting with their audience.  While his name many not be familiar with a lot of people (yet), Chuck Garric is one who loves what he does.  He has that Rock ‘n’ Roll spirit that seems to get lost in the business of music these days.  His energy and commitment to Rock ‘n’ Roll is undeniable.  There’s no doubt that he was born to ROCK and it’s hard to imagine him doing anything else. It might sound cliche, but Chuck Garric truly is a Rock ‘n’ Roll animal!
     Garric has played with a variety of bands over the years including L.A. Guns, the Eric Singer Project (ESP), Dio, and even Gene Loves Jezebel as well as playing bass alongside the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Don Felder and many others. His big break came in 2002 when he became bassist for Alice Cooper, a job he still holds today.  Working with a legend like Alice Cooper has kept him extremely busy over the years, but Garric has managed to put together a side project of his own by the name of Beasto Blanco. Staying true to his Hard Rock roots, Beasto Blanco mixes Garric’s love of Classic Rock (Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath and, yes, Alice Cooper) with the pulsating dirty sounds of bands like White Zombie Nashville Pussy and even Zakk Wylde. Beasto Blanco play hard ‘n’ heavy Rock ‘n’ Roll with conviction and power.  
     Live Fast Die Loud is Beasto’s debut album and it’s a big sweaty slice of Rock ‘n’ Roll that lives up to the album’s title.  On Live Fast Die Loud, Garric is up front and in your face for the entire ride. His bandmates on the album include Chris LathamGlen Sobel (Alice Cooper), Jonathan Mover and Alice’s daughter Calico Cooper! The glorious “Breakdown” is worth the price of the album alone and should bring a lot of attention to Garric’s ability to step out of the shadows and straight into the spotlight.
     Stephen SPAZ Schnee caught up with Chuck Garric to discuss the album Live Fast Die Loud and all things Beasto Blanco…


SPAZ: Live Fast Die Loud is ready for release. How are you feeling about the album and the reaction you’ve received so far?
CHUCK GARRIC: Yes it is!!!! We're releasing the animal back into its natural habitat. I feel great and humbled by the reaction we’ve had so far. It's been quit the experience up to this point! The band has lived with these songs for awhile now and so has the label. Everyone is ready, its time.

SPAZ: The album is filled with a lot of great Rock ‘n’ Roll hooks, whether they are guitar riffs or vocal hooks. What tends to come first – the riff, a lyrical idea or perhaps an interesting chord progression that comes out of thin air?
CHUCK: Well, thank you - that is a nice compliment! Rock ‘n Roll is all I know. Rock ‘n’ Roll is in my blood. It's what I was raised on. So yeah, all three really count. “California” off the new record was written as a lyrical idea. Then I started messing around with the music to that song. It started taking on a life of its own and then the melody started to come together. That’s the beauty of writing a Rock ‘n’ Roll record; you let it out - anything is possible. Killer riffs, chord progressions or a lyric they all shape a song and all three I feel are important to a song as a whole! There is really no method I stick to every time - it's what presents itself at that moment you start to write.

SPAZ: The songs on Live Fast Die Loud seem to actually revolve around the title of the album. Did you make a conscious effort to revive the lost art of Rock ‘n’ Roll self-indulgence in a music world that has become too politically-correct and pretentious? Or is the album a peek inside the charmed life of Chuck Garric?
CHUCK: It’s funny that you mention that. I had the same thought when I listened to the record as a whole the first time and thought wow this all fucking works! Maybe it's a little peek into my life...I’ve Lived Fast these past few years touring as much as I have. I never really consciously thought about the songs revolving around the title of the record though. I just wrote what I was feeling and what fit with the songs I was writing. There was a-definite lyrical theme on this record and a specific energy I wanted the music to have. So, I just staying focused on what was evolving naturally helped tie it all together.

SPAZ: How long have you been working on the album? Were all the songs written fairly recently or do some date back quite a ways?
CHUCK: I've been working on the record for about a year now. Some of the songs I had for awhile. There were a couple "classics" that we rehashed. For example, the song "Live Fast Die Loud" has taken on many versions before the one you hear on the new record. When I played an older version of that track for our producer, Tommy Henriksen, he took it and came up with a new chorus idea. He played it over the phone for me and I loved it! He gave it new life. I felt at that moment that some songs I had in my archives - that maybe needed a little more attention, could make this record. So we re-visited songs like “Freak” and “Vegas Baby Vegas: which I had recorded previously and tweaked them with new perspective. Working with Tommy was very comfortable for me. I was able to trust him and let him take over with the production of the record. It was important for me not to be a control freak with this album. I knew Tommy got who I was and what Beasto should be before even we tracked the first note. He had a solid idea what he was going to do with the production of the record. So when he suggested a change - I did it! No questions asked. It made for a killer experience for all of us.

SPAZ: There’s a lot of great material here that will appeal to a wide variety of Hard Rock fans including those who love Sabbath, White Zombie, Motorhead, etc. There’s a fair amount of Metal influence there as well. Where do you feel the album falls, genre wise?
CHUCK: Listen, if we can get people who love Sabbath, White Zombie and Motorhead into the Beasto Blanco record we’ll be fine. There’s no doubt that Motorhead and Sabbath were part of my youth and continue to flood my playlist today! White Zombie as well... their raw sound and use of new technology on those WZ records was inspiring! And hey - don’t forget about AC/DC, Accept and Preist! Beasto Blanco wants your fans too!

SPAZ: There are a lot of Classic Rock influences in the grooves (right down to the Ted Nugent Free For All tribute on the album cover). What were your influences in your early days?
CHUCK: My first concert was Ted Nugent! My brother turned me on to Ted's records at an early age. Ted had already been around for several years, but it was new to me. I remember hearing the song “Free For All” for the first time. I couldn't stop staring at the record artwork. I miss that art form by the way - album covers are a lost art... Anyway I was hooked! At the time I was playing trumpet in my school Jazz band! I loved it, I practiced a lot and it felt good to part of something. Then I saw Ted Nugent live, then shortly after that I saw Maiden, Ozzy and Kiss and that was it, I wanted to Rock.  The new Beasto Blanco is my first full album, I wanted to remind myself of how I got here. That’s the reason for the tip of the hat to Ted Nugent and all that Nashville Pussy! I wanted to pay tribute to him and to a record that shaped my life! And maybe turn some of the younger kids onto something they need to discover.

SPAZ: How did you choose the musicians you worked with on the album? Did you have to ask dad’s permission to have Calico play on the album?
CHUCK: I wanted the best! Chris Latham has been in my life for a long time, I love that guy. As the music scene changes Chris always sticks to his guns playing Thin Lizzy/Randy Rhodes style of guitar! Glen Sobel was an easy choice to play on a few tracks. The guy blew my mind when he joined Alice Cooper. I thought he had a great feel. Playing in Alice Cooper you get to play with some of the best musicians around. That’s how I met Jonathan Mover - who is amazing and has an incredible track record. When we got him into the studio it became very obvious why Mover is a busy drummer - he's just killer! I wanted to ask more of my friends to play on the record. Shit… I'm surrounded by killer players, but most if not all of them we're busy on tour. Calico is a rocker. She is an actor - and that's cool too, but the girl can rock like no other! Her vocals are amazing - she has IT. Not sure where she got it from but she has it!!.

SPAZ: Can you remember the exact moment when you told yourself “Yeah, I’m going to play Rock ‘n’ Roll!”? Or was it a series of situations that pointed you in that direction?
CHUCK: Like I said I went to my first Rock concert - I mean that's what happened to all of us that play for a living or play in local band, listen to music or what ever, some thing musically touched us and changed our lives. That’s why live shows are important. People need to be inspired and entertained. Or just taken away for an hour or so. It’s all about the experience. Rock ‘n’ Roll is one hell of an experience.

SPAZ: Being a fan of Rock ‘n’ Roll, was it surreal to actually get the gig playing with Alice Cooper, one of the all-time greats (who STILL doesn’t get the credit he deserves)? How did that whole audition come about?
CHUCK: Oh man, yeah Alice is definitely one of the BEST, one of the greatest! I didn’t even realize how prolific or genius he really was until I started working with him. Talk about someone who has it in their blood. Alice Cooper is ROCK ‘n’ Roll and entertainment. He doesn't understand the meaning of phoning it in - he is 100% all the time! A true inspiration! To answer the question about the audition - I was in Ronnie James Dio's band for a couple of years before joining Alice. My friend Gilby Clarke mentioned to Eric Singer that they should try me out as a bass player. So they did! I didn’t get the job the first time, (those bastards!) but a few months went by and they called me back to see if I was still available. I was.... and am very happy to part of such a great lineage of musicians.

SPAZ: Who else have you played with over the years?
CHUCK: I've been with Coop now 11years.  But before joining Alice Cooper. I toured with Ronnie James Dio for a couple of years, what an honor that was!

SPAZ: Have you prepared your acceptance speech when “Breakdown” wins for Best Rock Song of the Year?
CHUCK: Ha! Wouldn’t that be cool? I think I’ll wing it. But - I'll be sure to thank Ted Nugent, my mom for my first guitar and, of course, we couldn't done it without you. You THE FANS!! Then I'll give them the devil horns. Sounds like I'm more prepared then I thought.

SPAZ: What is next for Chuck Garric and Beasto Blanco?
CHUCK: Well you know, grab up a couple of music awards. Buy that house in Mexico, grow a bunch of weed, surf and chill. But if that doesn’t happen -you can find us working are asses off touring and writing music. Stick to what you know, kid!

SPAZ: What are you currently spinning on your CD/DVD/record players?
CHUCK: You know I find inspiration in so many art forms, I also try to stay current. But I also have tendency to get stuck in my ways. In the CD player ,you’ll always find the newest Motorhead and the oldest Motorhead records. I just got the new Monster Truck album - that rocks. In the DVD player, I have to say Breaking Bad was very cool! And to mix it up some Outlaw Country and Little Steven's Underground Garage on Sirius Radio!. I was going through my record collection the other day and can’t wait to spin some killer old school vinyl as soon as I find time to purchase as record player.

Thanks to Chuck Garric

Special thanks to Joe O’Brien






BEASTO BLANCO

LIVE FAST DIE LOUD

10.29.13











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