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INTERVIEW: CHUCK GARRIC of Beasto Blanco, October 2016

| 28 October 2016 | Reply

Bassist turned frontman / guitarist Chuck Garric has once again stepped out of the shadows of the Alice Cooper Band and taken his place as the face and voice behind Beasto Blanco.  The band (don’t call it a project) has pulled together twelve gems and readied a killer sophomore effort that is set to be unleashed in late November.  I was able to grab some of Chucks time as he prepares for some dates in early November in advance of the discs release.


Toddstar: Well, thank you so much for taking time out. I know you’re busy right now helping promote the latest release from Beasto Blanco.

Chuck: Yeah, man.

Toddstar: What can you tell us about this project that one of your fans might not grab the first or second listen through?

Chuck: First of all, we’d like to consider Beasto Blanco a band. I know a lot of guys that are already established like me they have a tendency to have projects. I don’t consider Beasto Blanco a project. I consider it a band. I consider it a lifestyle. I consider it my family. You’ll notice that on our second record, if you’re a fan of the first one, you’ll get even deeper into the second record. You’ll get a chance to listen to the band grow, songwriting, lyrically, and musically. We’re taking people on the same journey. It’s just a little bit deeper this time. So I encourage people to not just listen to the singles. I encourage people to listen to the record as a whole, and it’ll give them the chance to really learn who we are.

Toddstar: I can appreciate that. I’m old school. I mean I know singles are the way of the world these days, but I love digging a disc from first to last song. There’s a reason you guys put more than one on there and there’s a reason you guys tracked it a certain way.

Chuck: There isn’t a real thought out, conceptual reason. It’s just what was feeling right and what had a nice, musical flow to it, if you will. You’ll find that this record… the story’s too good to just listen to one song. If you listen from top to finish, you’ll notice that you get taken into this journey. This beginning of the record and up to the fifth, sixth song tell a story of life, death, and rebirth, but as the second half of the record comes up, a song called “I Rise,” you’ll find that the fun and the life and the light shines through on the rest of the record. Then you get taken back down into that world again on the last song, “Damnation,” which makes you want to start over and listen to the record. Again, it wasn’t conceptually that way. It just naturally and organically happened that way.


Toddstar: That speaks to the strength of the album as single tracks and also as a complete collection. I love listening to it, and from the first few licks on “Buried Angels” down through “Dark Matter,” which really grabbed me. Are there any songs on this disc that you guys really struggled to put together the way you wanted it, or did these all flow really natural?

Chuck: Every song had its… I wouldn’t use the word struggle. Each tune, since they were so unique from each other, we really needed to hone in on what we were trying to do musically and lyrically on those songs. If you listen to a song like “Dark Matter,” like you just mentioned, I mean that’s a song that conceptually is thought out before you even write a note. You have to have a really strong idea of what you want to do with a song like that. I think that that one was the biggest challenge and took the most production with us starting with just a simple Moog drone and ending with this epic guitar solo, drums, where the concept is to start from nothing and end with a bang. With a song like that and, again, songs like “Damnation,” “Death Rattle,” they all are very unique to themselves. We tried to just pick one at a time and not over-think the whole entire record. Whatever that song is giving us, we would take it and go from there. So we spent some time demoing it up, presenting it to the producer, Ryan Greene, and when we go into track, everybody had a really good idea of what we were doing.

Toddstar: Awesome. This band is very tight, and you can hear it from song to song to song. What’s your impression of how this material will go over live? Are you guys a fine-tuned machine when you’re sitting in the same room, or do you guys go and do your own parts and move on?

Chuck: Are you talking about as the recording process?

Toddstar: The recording process and then how will that translate live?

Chuck: That’s a good question. Yeah, recording, obviously we’re rehearsed as much as we possibly can be when you go in to record a record, but as everyone knows things change in the studio. Now you’re able to move things around and shift things around a lot easier with pro tools that might not be the exact original idea that we had when we tracked it. We may have to extend something or change an intro or whatever. As everybody’s playing their parts on the record, there comes a time when you have to go back and relearn what you track for live. Live and recording are two different things. Obviously, there’s more of an energy, more of that animalistic behavior that’ll come across live, and we’ll be able to get more to just being a loud rock-n-roll band at that time. When you listen to a record, there’s going to be little nuances and things like that you necessarily won’t hear live, but all the parts will be there, and we’ll be as tight as we are. We’re as tight bands. We’re great musicians and killer tones, so these things all will come forward live, and I think that the record will take on a whole life of its own. When you listen to the album or when you go see it live, it’s going to offer two different versions but with the same idea.

Toddstar: In your mind, Chuck, because I’ve been able to watch you beat the shit out of a bass on stage with Alice, but now you’re taking a different role. How do you prepare yourself mentally? Now you got a six-string; now you’ve got the mike in front of you full-time. Mentally, how do you prepare yourself for a live show where you’re not one of the players but you’re one of the focus points now?

Chuck: It can be a mind trip if you’re not prepared properly. I do practice meditation. I try to stay as focused as I possibly can to make sure that I’m prepared mentally and physically for the responsibilities of being a front man. It’s a totally different ballgame. Playing guitar and singing takes me completely out of my element, where I’m most comfortable is with a bass guitar in my hand. So now I’m faced with a whole different responsibility, and I’m figuring it out. It’s a new adventure for me every show, every rehearsal. Every time I’m in the studio, it’s something new and challenging for me. Some things just come really natural. But that’s what Beasto Blanco’s all about. It’s stepping out of your comfort zone, having some fear, using that fear, summoning courage, and going out there and doing what you can, doing the best you can, and having fun with it. That’s what we’re about.

Toddstar: You’re definitely about having fun. You can hear that in the music. When it comes time to play this new material live from Beasto Blanco, the self-titled album, which is not your first release, how do you feel this is going to blend with stuff from Live Fast Die Loud in a live setting?


Chuck:  Oh, I think it’s going to work perfectly. We’ve already played several shows over in Europe where we were adding songs like “Death Rattle” and “Grind” and “Honey” from the new record into the set. Not only does it blend well, it brings it to a whole other level.

Toddstar: That’s awesome. I can’t wait to see that stateside, hopefully here in Detroit.

Chuck: Yeah, man. It’ll be fantastic.

Toddstar: When you play these new songs or when you’re thinking about these new songs, because I know you’ve got some dates coming up at the beginning of November, what songs off the new album, when you’re moving through the set list and you know it’s coming, it just gives you that added juice, that added pump that you’re ready to tear into it?

Chuck: Yeah, man. There are a couple of songs off this new record that I’m just really excited to play. There’s really not my favorite as of yet because this is still new for us. We’re just getting into it just like the audience as well. You have to remember that when we’re playing these songs live and putting together this whole new show, it’s new for us as well, as well as it’s new for the audience. I mean it’s a new experience for us, and it’s new for them. Everybody’s getting a look at the baby for the first time including ourselves, and it’s amazing. It’s a great experience. There are some songs like “Honey,” songs like “Grind,” songs like “Death Rattle,” I get excited when I know those are coming up next in the set.

Toddstar: We talk about this all new material, and actually it’s not even out here stateside yet. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to run through this thing a couple of times. When you set out to do the second record, I don’t know want to use the word misstep, but what kind of things from the first album, the writing and the recording process did you think, “Okay, I don’t want to do that again”?

Chuck: Yeah, yeah, there was definitely that. I thought that there was some really… that’s what it’s like growing. I mean if you think about, as an individual, as you progress in life and you go through certain things in life with relationships and jobs or just your own person inside who you are, you want to change, and you want to grow, and you want to try different things. That’s what it’s like being an artist as well. You just don’t want to do the same things over again. The second record, absolutely, we thought, “Well, what’s missing from the first record?” There was this intensity, this level of intensity was just on ten, and we really wanted to approach the idea of having some different tempos to build on the set and build on the show and to make it just that much different live now. We can take the show completely different directions at different times in the set. We approached it that way, but we really changed is we really approached our lyrics and our songwriting a lot differently than we did our first record. We really honed in on the songwriting as far as the lyrics go, and it changed the whole dynamic.


Toddstar: I’d agree totally. Again, I keep going back to “Dark Matter,” but I think the lyrics are so strong on that track. It draws me in every time I get to that. That’s my pump moment.

Chuck: I love that. Well, I’m glad to hear that. There’s a collaboration on this record that not only am I writing a record with my best friends and my family, but I also wrote that record with my wife. She was involved with every lyric on that album. She was involved with every song on that album. There’s nobody who knows Beasto better than her. She understands where the Beast is, what the Beast is about, who I am. She gets it, and she’s able to write about it, and we collaborated on this record. At first I wasn’t quite sure how it would work, but, boy, she just kept bringing in A material, and it made for a totally different experience. Again, it was one of those things that just add to the story behind Beasto Blanco and our uniqueness.

Toddstar: You talk about the Beast and Beasto Blanco and it being a lifestyle. What professional or personal experience helped transformed you into… I don’t want to call you the Beast because you’re one of the most down-to-earth-type guys, what professionally pushed you in that direction?

Chuck: Well, I like to think that I am a beast. I’ve always had that feeling on stage. There’s definitely a certain character that you need to tap into in order to keep you going. Otherwise, it just becomes Groundhog Day out here, and you got to be able to figure out a way to get you excited and to turn you into something that isn’t necessarily exactly who you are off stage that I just don’t see how that could possibly be. Music is supposed to take you away, and it does for me. The name Beasto Blanco definitely does apply to me. I don’t come from much as a kid growing up. I’ve had to work for everything I’ve had in my life. I never grew up having much money or any of that stuff. We come back from just blue-collar. If you had to fight on your way to home, you had to fight on your way home. We also respected our folks and found our way in life. Once we found out the things we did that we loved to do, we learned how to do them well. That’s where the name Beasto Blanco comes from. It’s finding that inner spirit and making Beasto Blanco your spirit animal if you will, find your inner Hulk, find your Superman and let him out.

Toddstar: Man, thank you for sharing that.

Chuck: No problem, brother.

Toddstar: I mentioned down-to-earth, you mentioned the Beast, I’ll be honest, listening to you and talking to you now is not what I expected having seen you live so many times over the years. What is it that you do that keeps you the most grounded, Chuck? Whether on the road or at home, what keeps you the most grounded?

Chuck: I’ve always been able to shut it off. When the shows over, you won’t see me most of the times out. One the show’s over, the show’s over. I’m done. I’ve done my part. I think what keeps me grounded is that I do meditate. I practice meditation. I practice keeping myself grounded. I have an incredible family life. I have other responsibilities that take me away that I need to take care of. At the same time, when I hit the stage, I’m allowed to let it out. I’m allowed to be whoever I feel like being at that moment. That’s what keeps me grounded, and that’s what identifies me as a person that when you see me on stage, you think maybe… People have a tendency to think I am a lot different than I am off stage. I’ve heard it a lot. You’re not the only person who’s said that about me. I try to remain humble. It’s try to remain hardworking. But on stage, I’m just definitely somebody you don’t want to fuck with.

Toddstar: Awesome. I couldn’t put it any better, again, having seen you so many times. Listen, Chuck, we wish you well with the launch of this new release, Beasto Blanco, the self-titled release. We hope you can bring this on a nice, long stateside tour and especially up here to the Detroit Rock City.

Chuck: Wouldn’t that be fantastic? Man, I look forward to it, and we will see you soon.

Toddstar: Awesome, brother. Talk to you soon.

Chuck: Take care. Bye-bye.







Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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