TMR: Hey Chuck! Man, after looking at the span of your career I could talk to you for hours, but I promise to keep it to fifteen minutes.
CG: (laughs)It’s all good, no problem.
TMR: How are things going on the second leg of the Motley Crue tour so far?
CG: Really good…really good. The Alice Band is firing away. We’re just operating like we always do, you know? We’re running on all cylinders. Everything’s going good, band is sounding great and it’s the tour of the summer.
TMR: That’s the reason I wanted to talk to you guys. I saw you in 2012 with Iron Maiden, and then on this tour with Motley. You guys are phenomenal. You have a guy like Alice Cooper and you think the people behind him are just going to be a backing band, but you guys are definitely much more than that.
CG: Yeah, we pride ourselves on that. Thank you very much, that means a lot.
TMR: You have been with Alice for twelve years. Has it always been that way where you could go out there and do your thing, or was that something that you had to earn?
CG: I think it has always been that way. I know any other way but to go into any organization and be ready to rock. It’s just what I do. I don’t go in to tip toe around and say “we’ll see how it goes.” You have to go into a band like Alice Cooper, or even when I was in Dio, and give 100% so I can blow doors. That is what you are there to do.
TMR: You definitely do man. I remember the first time I saw you guys. I told my buddy, “Man, that bass player is a beast.” I didn’t know at the time, but I had a blast watching you. The whole band just seems like it gels so well. I know a few of them have been there for a while, and even Nita has come in and gotten right into things. Even off the stage you guys work and play together. Was that a natural thing, or did it just evolve over time?
CG: It’s one of those things were we have been laying the foundation for a long time. Nita definitely walked into a situation where, and I don’t mean any disrespect you know, all of her guitar parts were played out for her. Everything was laid out and all she really had to do was her homework and learn the parts and then incorporate what she is as a soloist into it and her live performance as well. There’s definitely a foundation to what we do with the Alice Cooper music. We take pride in trying to keep it as it should be from the original records. Obviously there are some newer tones and amps and things like that, but for the most part we try to keep it as classic rock as we possibly can. It’s good to keep it all in the family I think. Between me, Ryan, Tommy and Glenn, we try to keep each other busy, motivate each other, and keep everyone’s minds going because you can get stuck in ruts out here. You can get caught up in your little shit, or let the monkey mind take over, or creating monsters and all that other crap. We tend to try to keep each other going, positive and working.
TMR: It seems like the boss is pretty good with that too. I saw he popped up at the after show in Nashville. He seems like a cool dude.
CG: Yeah, he’s a good guy, man. He’s in it for the right reasons. That’s because Alice still loves to rock, and loves rock n’ roll. It’s still obviously a big part of his life.
TMR: Alice is definitely a legend, but your career is just as impressive. I mean just the fact that you played with Ronnie James Dio puts you in an elite class. You played with people from Don Felder (The Eagles) to Billy Bob Thorton. Is there anybody out there that is on your wish list to play with?
CG: As a musician, every once in a while we get this privilege…like you mentioned Don Felder and Billy Bob, I have had the opportunity to back up at certain charity events guys like Steven Tyler, Michael McDonald, Sammy Hagar, Weird Al Yankovic, all these different guys. It’s a real blast and I think that it keeps you on your toes. It makes you want to do more. But, for me, there isn’t anybody in particular. I say bring it on. I would just love to play with as many different people as I possibly can. I mean, that’s why I got into music. There are so many guys who have made one particular band their whole life and that’s all they know. I think that is wonderful and killer in its own right. Then you have guys like myself who got the opportunity to play with so many different people. Like you mentioned, Ronnie James Dio. To be put in that class with Ronnie and to be able to sit in a room and write with him, to be on stage with him, and to share a tour bus with him, and call him a friend… that to me, that’s what it’s really all about. That’s why I got into playing bass, because I was just such a huge fucking fan of rock n’ roll and all of those bands. To get to jam with them and get to play with them… it’s rewarding and at the same time I’ve worked hard for it and it’s great to have all of the experiences under your belt. It’s definitely something not a lot of people can say they’ve done.
TMR: That is definitely a hell of a resume that you have chalked up. One thing I want to ask, and it is really just for my own curiosity. I saw that you had played with L.A. Guns for a time when Jizzy Pearl was fronting the band and the group kind of went for of an industrial sound with the record. After I heard the Beasto Blanco record I wonder, how much impact did you have on their sound at that time? Did you offer any input towards that move?
CG: I didn’t really do anything with L.A. Guns expect tour with them for three months during the summer of ’99. You know, L.A. Guns had that defined ‘80’s hair sound…which record are you talking about?
TMR: They did a record called “American Hardcore” (1996) right around the time Jizzy Pearl joined the band where they tried do have a heavier edge and more of an industrial kind of sound.
CG: Right. No, I wasn’t involved with that. I did that just for a short time. It was just something I did for a few months before they re-grouped with the original guys back and that whole debacle. It sounds like I got out at the right time.
TMR: Well, let’s quit talking about other bands and talk about your record. That is a hell of a record dude.
CG: Yeah man, thanks brother. I think the name describes what the music is going to sound like. It’s obviously going to be aggressive and it’s going to be fast, and it’s going to be groovy and it’s going to fuckin’ bite you at some particular parts in songs. It takes you on a musical journey. It’s a very visual record, if you will. For me, I get a lot of visuals when I’m listening to that record and when I was writing it. It was a lot of fun to write and create that album. I had been writing for several years before those songs kind of became what you hear on the record because I was writing them for other people like Alice and other bands. I just started really listening to them and was like man I just got to put these out because I don’t think anybody’s going to do them justice but me. It was really nice to get together with Tommy (Tommy Henriksen) on it. Tommy and I definitely came from the same mold of musical influences. He definitely heard a little bit more of an industrial sort of newer technical side to it that I really wanted to get into and Tommy had that experience. We worked well together. We worked fast together. It was a very easy and creative process and I’m very proud of that record.
TMR: Did Glen (Sobel) play drums on the whole record, or just certain tracks?
CG: A few tracks. Jonathan Mover, also an old drummer for Alice played a couple of tracks as well. So I had a different couple of guys playing on it.
TMR: And you played guitar on it, right?
CG: I played all the bass tracks on it. And on the record Chris Latham played all the guitars. I play just a few little bits here and there, but I played all the bass tracks.
TMR: Was that just a project to get some stuff out or is that something that you will go back to and do some more stuff with?
CG: Definitely going to go back. We’re already writing for the second record now. We’re in the mixing process of three tracks we just cut. We’ll see where we’re at with that and I’m going to be releasing a new record here hopefully sooner than later. It’s definitely something I’m going to continue to do.
TMR: How do you find time in the day to get all of this stuff done? You’re on a massive tour right now, and it’s insane all of the stuff that you are doing. How do you manage to balance it all?
CG: You should see my hotel room man. I’ve got a bass leaning up against the chair, I’ve got a guitar missing one string, I have to re-string it. I’ve got my keyboard here, I’ve got my pro-tools rig set up. I’ve got some waters, some protein powder, some energy bars, coffee machine…you know what I’m saying bro. You just make it work. You wake up and you fucking set up and you go. I mean, that’s just how I do it. Obviously when I’m at home I got some other responsibilities there as well. I’m a husband. I’m a father. I’m a homeowner. I’ve got shit I’ve got to do there too, but I also enjoy making music and being creative. You just kind of find the time. You give yourself a couple of hours and during that time you just try to make the best out of it.
TMR: I know that this tour runs through the end of November with Motley. Then I know Alice has a covers record coming out in early 2015. Do you guys have any plans for 2015 at this point, or is that time for you to do some Beasto Blanco stuff?
CG: Hey man, I’m going to stay busy with whatever comes my way. I think if Coops is obviously going to be touring you’ll see me out there with the rest of the guys. In the meantime, yeah they’ll be some Beasto dates and they’ll be some other stuff happening. So, we’re going to stay as busy as we possibly can.
TMR: Well on both accounts, keep Cincinnati on your radar. We’d love to see a Beasto show come through here. We’d be waving the flag for that one.
CG: Yeah, you know that’d be killer to make happen as well. We’ve had a lot of plans for Beasto to get out in the United States. It’s still a little more difficult than I thought, but at the same time we’re going to make it happen. It’s just one of those things where we have to get the right timing. Obviously sometimes you can’t wait for that to happen you just have to make it happen. So that’s where we’re at right now. We’ll get that going. I know there are some cities that we can’t wait to get to.
TMR: Well man, I really appreciate you making the time to talk to us about everything going on. I wish you luck on the rest of the tour. Have a great show tonight.
CG: I appreciate you taking the time to listen to the record, and doing the interview and helping to spread the word. We appreciate it. All the Beasto respect to you brother.