Aside from his longstanding role as the bass player in Alice Cooper’s traveling musical circus for nearly 15 years, Chuck Garric also sings and plays guitar in Beasto Blanco, a band he formed with guitarist Chris Latham in 2012, along with Alice Cooper’s daughter Calico.
The band released their debut album Live Fast, Die Loud back in 2013 and now they’ve picked up where they left off with their hard-hitting self-titled sophomore album via Rat Pack Records.
The band consists of Chris Latham (guitar), Jan LeGrow (bass), Tim Husung (drums), Calico Cooper (vocals) and Garric (vocals/guitar).
Starting off as a touring musician for artists like Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, Dio and Journey, each experience eventually came to serve as the foundation of the band that would come to be known as Beasto Blanco.
“It was one of those things where I was doing so much writing for outside artists and for Alice himself that I compiled quite a bit of material that I thought would be really great for myself and I’ve always wanted to put together a band that was contrived of original material and something that was heartfelt… something that meant something to me and to my members and something I could take seriously and move forward with and Beasto Blanco came from that,” said Garric.
With Beasto Blanco, Garric made great use of his rare down time with the Alice Cooper Band. And while most other busy musicians might be more inclined to use a more passive word like “project” to describe their musical ventures, Garric promises that Beasto Blanco is here to stay—faithfully referring to Beasto as a full-blown band.
“It means all the world’s difference. It’s something that we take very seriously. We’re committed to the members of the band. We’re committed to creating original material, we’re committed to touring and I think when you call something a project… to me that word sort of has an ‘Oh, I do it whenever I want to’ and ‘We do it whenever we have time’ and even though, yes, there are some times when I’m not able to tour with Beasto Blanco or whatever because I’m busy with Alice, it’s still something that’s a brotherhood, a sisterhood, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a family and it’s something that we take very seriously and I think you can tell by how much growth we’ve done over the last couple of years and it’s proved itself to be very successful,” Garric said.
Influenced by bands such as White Zombie and Motorhead, Beasto Blanco’s all new 12-song sophomore release is a potent mix of heavy riffs, driving bass and melodic choruses– certainly a tenacious follow-up to their debut album, Live Fast Die Loud.
“You really hear the band growing as songwriters and as a unit in the album,” said Garric. “We’re sort of finding our identity and taking some risks that we didn’t take with the first record. The first record I love so much. It’s such a great, great album and it’s packed full of energy. And what we really wanted to do was take what’s missing from the first record… and when I say missing, I mean ‘What is it that we can add to the setlist, to the show and also on the record, that way when you put the two side-by-side, it’ll sound like the same band but you’ll have some differences?’ Especially on the second record. You’ll hear some tempo changes, I’m referring to songs like Death Rattle and Dark Matter and Damnation and songs like that. And you’ll hear the band growing songwriting-wise and lyrically.”
Garric met Alice Cooper’s daughter, Calico through his work with Cooper and the rest, one could say, was history. And, while Alice Cooper’s daughter, Calico Cooper, has been a member of Beasto Blanco since the very beginning, the release of the band’s latest album also brought with it a magnified focus on Calico’s vocals and entrancing character.
“I’ve worked with her for so many years through Alice and she, mostly, with the Alice Cooper group, was there for theatrical parts. She was there as the nurse and the dancer for Only Women Bleed… but I also knew that Calico could sing really well and she has an amazing stage presence. She’s the ultimate rock star in the way that she walks on stage and the way that she handles herself… There were some ideas of what we wanted to do and there were some conceptual things we wanted to do with her but we sort of just let her character develop as we did more shows and as we grew as a band, her character just really came to life so it was a lot easier for us to write on the second album for her. We’d really started to get a good feel for what she’s going to do on stage,” said Garric.
On their latest album, the band also included an amped-up cover version of Alice Cooper’s Feed My Frankenstein. Calico’s vocal parts were especially prominent in the song, giving this rock classic a flavor all its own.
“That was a fun song to record and it was one of those songs that I’d been performing for so long with Alice and I noticed that the younger kids were really into it,” Garric said about the band’s latest single, Feed My Frankenstein. “It was one of my favorite songs to perform with Alice and I thought… I know a few bands have done some covers of it, as well, but I thought we could really make it our own. It just sort of has this Beasto Blanco vibe to it and we took it upon ourselves to really go after it so it sounded unique during the verses, the pre-chorus, we stayed true to the chorus obviously but the cool thing about that too is that we really made it our own and it really showcased Calico’s vocal on the record and it really showcased Ryan Greene’s production on the record and it just showcased the depth and the creativity of this band. I love where that song takes me. It’s so visual just with what we did in the video, it turned out amazing. The song has been very well-received from new fans to Alice Cooper fans to Alice Cooper himself.”
The band recently released a music video for Feed My Frankenstein on Rat Pack Record’s YouTube.
For Garric, Beasto Blanco has given him room to grow as a musician and make the evolution from supportive bassist to captivating frontman/guitarist. And, like with any transition, Garric said this took some work.
“It’s a totally different ball-game now. It really is,” said Garric. “It’s a completely different mental preparation that I’m starting. The tour that we’re on right now has been the best thing for us because it’s requiring us for the repetition and to get into the groove and, fortunately, we’ve been out there pounding the pavement over the past few years in the states and recording records and really honing in on who we are and really doing it every night. So the two, the bass player for Alice Cooper and the frontman for Beasto Blanco, are just completely two different animals. It’s a different preparation for me, mentally, and singing obviously. I’ve got to go through the lyrics in my head, I do a short meditation as well just to stay focused. I try to stay present and don’t time-travel, if you will. I just stay there with each note that’s happening at the time and for each song that’s happening. It’s been really good for me as a person to be given this responsibility. It’s really helped me focus and be committed the way that I am and see the success that Beasto Blanco has had. It’s very rewarding at the same time too.”
Beasto Blanco is currently on a fall and winter tour alongside German hard rock band, Böhse Onkelz. The tour includes a string of U.S headline dates, as well as an arena tour of Europe.
They’ll return home to the U.S for another run of headline dates that will conclude with performances on the 2017 Monsters of Rock Cruise in February 2017.
For a full list of remaining tour dates, visit Beasto Blanco’s website.
“We’re having the time of our life out here. Everything’s been really killer. We’re playing sold out arenas every night,” said Garric. “The fans are treating us great, they’re really loving what we’re doing. The two bands get along great, the crew gets along great. We’re just out here kicking ass with these guys and it’s really remarkable to see the commitment to fans like Böhse Onkelz have done with their 30 years in the business. I’ve never really seen such a devoted fan-base in my lifetime. Their fans are singing the lyrics of every single song to the point where it’s all you can hear! It’s all you can hear is the fans all night long. It’s really spectacular. We’re having a great time out here.”