The Music Room: Hey Chuck! I appreciate you taking the time out to talk to us. I talked to you a couple of years back for the Live Fast record, and I’ve been a Beasto Blanco fan ever since. So, I’m really excited about the new record.
Chuck Garric: Right on man
TMR: The first record was really intense. You hit play and it was a non-stop adrenaline rush. The new record is intense as well, but it has some new layers to it that maybe weren’t present on Live Fast. Songs like “Carcosa,” “Dark Matter” and “Damnation.” Did you go into the writing of the record differently than with the first?
CG: Absolutely. Completely different animal if you will. With the first record, “Live Fast, Die Loud,” we realized that we were on 10 the whole time. And Beasto Blanco having Calico Cooper in it with the theatrical side of the show as well, we needed to really hone in on some different tempos. Not only that, but you grow as a song writer… you grow as an artist. I like not to over analyze anything, so we just organically have these ideas come up. We didn’t push anything to the side because the tempos weren’t fast enough, or because it was a different idea than the first record. That was the whole idea. It’s still the same band, but you hear the growth. It was very important for us to do that. I think it adds to the show really nicely.
TMR: It kind of makes me think of how I feel about Black Sabbath. It doesn’t need to be fast to be heavy. This record captures that idea, because it is a heavy record, without necessarily always being fast.
CG: Yeah, and that is something that I had to get adjusted to as well. I sort of have a tendency to think one speed, you know? I’m glad we took a different approach.
TMR: But that’s not to say there aren’t some songs that have that same adrenaline as the first record. It’s a nice mix and a good listen. There are some albums that lose your attention after a while, but this record keeps your attention to the end. Then you start it over and listen to it again.
CG: Yeah, thanks man. That’s the whole idea, right…? Trying to get these kids to listen to an entire record now instead of just a single.
TMR: I’m going to kind of jump around here from my original plan of attack, but this leads me to a later question. The current state of rock music…you hear so many people bitch about not wanting to make new music because there’s no money to be made. Does this current state benefit a band like Beasto Blanco? Kind of like the grass roots campaign almost?
CG: It sort of has to be because that’s what we’re given right now. When we set this thing loose and put it out there we realized that there was this sort of home grown, organic thing happening. People were taken to this because they realized that there was something lacking in their life. And with the current state of music right now, especially the rock ‘n roll state, there’s obviously some people that still have a huge love for it…myself being one. We’re just giving our contribution by what we do musically and with what our show is. I try not to over think it too much. Like I said, right now the music industry has been good to us. We’re out here. We’re touring. We’re doing it. There’s still a wide audience out there and I don’t listen to the neigh sayers. I don’t have time for that bull shit. I’m in the universe and on this planet to make music, and that’s what I do. I’m going to continue to do that until I can’t. I don’t have any plans of going away any time soon.
TMR: Right on. Let me ask you man, there’s a tune on the record called “Grind.” When I listen to it I say to myself, that’s Chuck. It has to be autobiographical. That song is you. You’re constantly out there doing it. There is no stopping with you.
CG: (Laughs) Very true. That was the whole idea behind the lyrics of that song. “Grind,” it’s exactly that. It’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. I don’t come from much of really anything. We were a very, very blue collar family. We worked for everything we’ve ever had. We never had new vehicles or brand new houses. I was never surrounded by anything like that. If we were to have a steak dinner it was a big deal. It was T.V. dinners, hot dogs and mashed potatoes. It definitely made me appreciate who I am and where I come from, and that’s sort of where that song comes from. That’s our credo. “I may not have been born with a crown on my head, but mom gave me muscles and knuckles instead,” I’ll tell you right now brother, I’ve had to use those knuckles many times in my life to get me out.
TMR: And what’s the line about blue collar to the black leather jacket?
CG: Yeah, “My collar is blue, but my leather is black. Nothing you can do ‘cause it’s already in back. I’m thinking about where I am now, where I’m heading and what’s the next town.” That’s what you got to do. If you look at the past you’re done bro.
“I may not have been born with a crown on my head, but mom gave me muscles and knuckles instead…”
TMR: Did Tommy (Henriksen) have any…I know on the first record he brought that industrial sound to the record, did he have any input or influence on this record?
CG: No, he didn’t have any input on the second record. It was produced by Ryan Green and myself. Tommy was a major part of Beasto Blanco. I think he really helped us dial in our sound and opened up a whole different way of tracking. When he brought in some of his influences with the industrial sound and underlying samples, he played a major part in helping us define who Beasto Blanco is right now.
TMR: For the first single you guys chose to go with the cover of “Feed my Frankenstein.” What was the thought process in covering that song and putting that one out there first?
CG: We really have such a unique take on the song. The one thing I love about it the most is that it sounds so familiar, you’re just not sure where you’ve heard it before until the chorus kicks in. The way Calico sings that verse…it’s so amazing. I love her voice. I love the harmonies in the verse. She got to show a different side of her as well. Sonically, I think it sounds so good. It’s just too good not to release as a single. And part of the reason is yeah, we come from the Alice Cooper Band and his daughter’s in the band, so it’s going to get us some attention and make people listen to it. But it’s also going to get them to say, let’s see what their originals are about. Let’s see what these guys are really about. Then maybe the people will go back and revisit the first record.
TMR: You guys are really great the way you interact with your fans on social media. Like throwing in an autographed 8 x 10 pic when you buy the record. I can tell you as a fan, that kind of stuff is important to the fans. It matters.
CG: Well, you matter to us. The audience and fans, that’s why we do it. If I ever get to the point where I’m wondering what we’re doing with this thing, I look at the pictures of the tattoos and the people…they’re into it. They’re lifers. We have an obligation and responsibility….and you do as well, to come to the shows and spread the word. Hopefully buy the record….and try not to download it.
TMR: I know Alice is getting together with members of the original Alice Cooper Band for a project. Is that going to open the door for more touring for Beasto?
CG: Yeah, I mean that’s how this whole band started. When I have that window of opportunity, we take advantage of it and we go from there. I think I’ll use my free time to my advantage, I always do.
TMR: That’s good to hear. I always love seeing you with Alice, but I really can’t wait to see Beasto Blanco on the stage someday. I mean, hearing it through speakers is one thing, but to see it on the stage is a whole other thing.
CG: (laughing) Yeah, double the intensity man. At the end of each show, it’s hilarious, I love looking at Calico’s face ‘cause it’s almost like I put her on the treadmill at a hundred miles an hour. She looks like she’s going to pass out at the end of the show. Talk about somebody who gives 110%.
TMR: And she has more of a presence on this album. Her input, like the tune “Machine Girl,” her input is great. I know she is on the first record, but she’s featured a bit more on this one.
CG: I have a feeling that’s what’s going to happen is I’ll be singing one or two songs on the third record, and we’ll have her sing the rest of it. We work really, really well together. We just get it. There’s no real choreography in a lot of the stuff that we do. It just sort of happens naturally. It’s a lot of fun to work that way. But it can get quite exhausting because you just never know what’s going to happen. That’s the beauty of rock n’ roll. Some of my favorite bands, you just never knew what was going to happen. You guys see Iggy Pop, or Alice Cooper, you just never know what to expect. I like that about rock n roll. There’s a suspense to it.
TMR: Well, if you do find yourself with some free time, Cincinnati needs you brother.
CG: Oh man, we’ll be there. That’s a great city. A rock ‘n roll city for sure.
TMR: Just a couple more here on the new record. I guess this is actually a bit more commentary than a question. Sometime when I get an album and do, I guess what you would call a review, you find one or two things to hang your hat on. But on this record there are so many good songs man. “Honey,” “I Rise,” “Death Rattle,” I said “Grind” already…it’s every song on there is killer. And it’s not just the lyrics, some of the music …I have a note down here about the guitar solo on “Death Rattle,” is one of the best things I’ve heard recorded in a long time.
CG: Ha-ha, I’ll make sure brother Latham hears. I’ll relay that message back to him. We’re so super proud of the record bro. To hear you name off the songs like that means the world to us. We’re proud of what we’ve done and we’re excited for everyone to hear it.
TMR: I definitely think you should be. Now, when I talked to you the first time during the first album cycle, you told me you were in a hotel room and there was a bass on the wall, a guitar there, along with keyboards and an i Rig…Are you already thinking ahead to the next project or are you taking a minute to soak this one in?
CG: I’m already writing for the third record. (laughs)
TMR: Right answer!(laughs)
CG: I’m actually in the car driving to a gig right now. You’ve got this one opportunity…we’re all busy in Beasto Blanco. Everybody’s got their things going on. It’s how we function best. When we get that down time we go.
TMR: Okay, one last question, and it’s not Beasto related. I’ve heard a rumor , and I don’t know if it’s true, that The Alice Cooper Band, Ryan, Tommy, Glen, Nita and yourself, are working on a project together?
CG: No, there’s no truth behind that bro. We’re always doing stuff together but there’s nothing to that. I think that was information leaked that has no truth behind it.
TMR: Excellent, glad we got that cleared up. We will focus on what we do have, and that is the new Beasto Blanco record, out November 25th. That is certainly more than enough.