From Lake Tahoe to "Dragontown," Chuck Garric has been quietly building a resume as one of the most rock solid bass players in the business. From playing with L.A. Guns and Ronnie James Dio, to becoming a stable mate in Alice Cooper's solo band since 2002, plus stints playing the "Gene Simmons" part in Eric Singer's nod to the 90's version of KISS - in Singer's cover band, ESP, Garric is now breaking his silence. And he is determined for the world to recognize the talents he possesses outside of the confines of bass guitar. In addition to switching from four strings to six, Chuck Garric has also assumed the role of lead vocalist and front man, in his relatively new band, Beasto Blanco.
Beasto Blanco was formed in 2012 by Garric and lead guitarist Chris Latham. Together, they set out to create a live, raw power, rock & roll band that would let them indulge in their influences and imagery that shaped their collective musical background. To rear the sound out of the Beast, the band hired Garric's Cooper bandmate, Tommy Henriksen, to produce their debut CD, "Live Fast, Die Loud." Right from the first roar of recording, they realized they were on to something great, as Beasto Blanco is a band that's tapping into a truly unique rock sound - staying true to their old school roots, with a innovative attitude and fresh technology.
Although Garric is currently on tour with Alice Cooper, supporting Motley Crue on their "Final Tour," he's chomping at the bit to unleash 'the Beast' again, once a substantial break occurs in Alice's constant touring cycle. While on a short reprieve, Chuck Garric granted Rock Music Star an exclusive interview. During our discussion, Chuck Garric revealed to us what he has planned next for all of his Alice Cooper fans and the Beasto Blanco converts.
Rock Music Star: Following your career with Alice Cooper since the beginning (2002), I recall the first time I saw you perform with the band at the Bear's Den (inside of the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, NY) on Halloween of 2003. It was a bizarre as show as some of the members of the band were dressed up in costumes of sorts and you were wearing devil horns on your head. Do you recall this show?
Chuck Garric: Yeah, that's when I had the mohawk, and I glued the horns on my head. You have a good memory my friend.
RMS: The thing that stuck out the most in my mind was how they had the seats set up at the time. On both the right and left side of the stage, the seats actually connected to the stage, and I was in the front row, actually onstage with Alice Cooper.
CG: I remember that and it was kind of an odd scene, where they had you guys (seated) was right there (onstage).
RMS: It's a good thing that most Alice Cooper fans are well behaved, because in other situations, that type of set up could have been the recipe for disaster.
CG: Yeah, ya never know. I like that. That sudden feeling that at any particular moment, all hell could break loose. That's a good show right there.
RMS: In my review of the debut Beasto Blanco CD, "Live Fast, Die Loud"
(click here) I had mentioned how in a recent conversation I had with your former band mate, Eric Singer, how sometimes artists will have a tendency to show their influences on their sleeves, so to speak, and I wanted to know if this was your intention with "Live Fast, Die Loud" or if it just happened in a natural way?
CG: It's really hard for me to write a record that I don't really believe in the material or write a song that I don't think I would want to necessarily go see live. My main intentions were to write an album, where if you didn't know the songs, or if you didn't know who the band was, or whatever it is, or even if you're a big fan of the band, you're going to enjoy that experience. Although there are so many styles of music that I like and have influenced me, when it comes to wanting to perform and be onstage, there's a certain type of energy or feeling that I want to have, up onstage. There's a certain type of music that makes me feel very comfortable onstage. So the influences you can hear on the record were definitely intentional.
RMS: A lot of what I've read about what other people think about the record and Beasto Blanco is that there's a lot of Rob Zombie and Motorhead influence in the material. But what I'm hearing in addition to that, which I haven't seen really mentioned much, is the modern (post-2000) Alice Cooper influence to the songs, which I'm a huge fan of. I think the "Eyes of Alice Cooper" is probably one of the best records he's ever recorded, which is something you were part of as well.
CG: I appreciate that. Those are obviously 3 very big bands that have influenced me quite a bit when it came to doing the record. There's definitely a vibe that Rob Zombie/White Zombie has that hit me when I saw White Zombie when they first came out. There was something about that experience, in a sweaty club, and the type of music that they were playing, which really made sense to me. And obviously Motorhead, if I can encompass that, and have that attitude and rawness to their sound and stage show - that's something I've always been a fan of as a kid. And when you add the Alice Cooper influence in there, which I take as a compliment because Alice is truly the king of writing great songs, but also keeping them interesting lyrically and musically. I also appreciate the compliment on the "Eyes of Alice Cooper." I'm very, very proud of that record. And I also do think that it's one of the best records he's come up with in a long time, and he hasn't been able to match it since.
RMS: When I spoke with Ryan Roxie backstage at the last show of this current leg of the Motley /Alice tour (in Darien lake), we discussed the possibility of Alice releasing new music after he puts out the already recorded covers CD, and we both agreed that it would be great to have him put out another CD like "Eyes," which really encompasses a 'band' feel to it. Is that something you would look forward to as well?
CG: I will look forward to whatever happens. When you play with an artist like Alice Cooper, a lot of these decisions get made without your input, but I would love for something like that to happen. To get into a room with Ryan, who I have been in the band with for so many years, I'll always bite at the bit for that. I think that would be a great experience. I love creating with Ryan, and obviously I've had the same experience working with Tommy (Henriksen), who as you know, produced my record.
RMS: After watching some recent Youtube clips of Beasto Blanco live, I was really impressed in how well the material translates live. I've noticed when most bands - who have a lot of layering on their records - when they try to reproduce their songs live, they either skip a lot of the sounds, which to me, loses a lot of the original vibe, or they tend to play to pre-recorded/canned tracks. I have to say Beasto Blanco pulls off the material great in the live setting, with no audio augmentation.
CG: The last run we did over in Europe with Calico (Cooper) and Tiffany (Lowe) was really special because everybody really paid attention to their parts. Tiffany is sort of new to the keyboard part of her performance, because Tiffany has always been more of a stage performer, playing character roles with Genitorturers and Alice Cooper. But now, she's starting to dive into playing synths and keys, and she learned everything note for note, and got sounds that were pretty close (to the record), and even added some of her own stuff to it. It was a cool experience to see her grow into this different type of musician.
RMS: While you are the lead vocalist and front man for Beasto Blanco, you also decided to switch from bass guitar to rhythm guitar. What made you want to make the switch?
CG: When I first envisioned Beasto in my head, I wasn't playing the bass, I was playing guitar. And I wanted to even take the guitar off at times. I wanted to free up my responsibility a little bit, and really focus on the vocals and my performance. I really wanted to give that a go. While playing bass and singing would have been the obvious choice, I needed to expand myself. I wanted to kind of grow and see what my situation would be like as a front man.
RMS: Did singing the Gene Simmons songs and other lead vocals in ESP help build your confidence as a vocalist?
CG: Being able to do that in ESP was a big help moving forward in Beasto Blanco. I definitely think it helped build my confidence and vocal strength. It also gave me a really good idea of what my fans were expecting of me in Beasto as well.
RMS: What are your short term plans with Alice Cooper and how do you see working Beasto Blanco around touring with him?
CG: My goal is to ride off in the sunset with Alice. I've been there for so long and my relationship with him is very strong, and so is my relationship with everyone who is involved. I definitely wanna be there for all of it. In the meantime, during my downtime, I'll be booking shows for Beasto. We're talking about trying to get out in the US during the month of March and head back over to Europe as well. And we're working on the next record as we speak. The wheels are turning and we've got studio time booked and we're gonna start that process now too.
RMS: Do you see yourself working with Tommy Henriksen again?
CG: I'll definitely work with Tommy again. I hope to continue to work with him. That's definitely my goal and I'll always try to make that happen.
RMS: How far into the writing process are you with the next album?
CG: Well Chris Latham and I have been writing quite a bit. A matter of fact, we've written more than we need to for the second record. We'll be going into the studio soon and just track a couple bits and see where we're at with it, and see what's going to happen.
RMS: Wrapping things up, is there any thing else you want the Alice Cooper and Beasto Blanco fans to know?
CG: Well, for myself and the Beasto Blanco band....my mates....I think everyone would like to express their gratitude. The fact that we can put our first record out and go out and tour and see people having a good time and singing the lyrics, and getting into the music - it's what you wish. It's what you hope for. And when people are reacting in the way you envisioned it would be, you feel accomplished.
For more on Beasto Blanco click here.