“Live Fast Die Loud” is an expression rock ‘n’ roll bass player Chuck Garric has used for a long time, so it’s no surprise it’s also the album title for his new band, Beasto Blanco.
That common sense approach also was employed in the making of the album, which was released Oct. 29. Rock music in its purist form is amplified, aggressive and, most of all, visceral.
“It’s a rock and roll band and were not overthinking it and we’re not trying to overdo something that’s already been done,” Garric said. “We’re just making it our own. That’s our approach to music, to videos and to live performances. It gives audiences a chance to tap into it a lot quicker, as well.
“We’re old-school rockers. We can’t deny that. Our roots go way back. We wanted to tackle what we know, what’s in our blood. But at the same time, it was important to tap into newer technology to sound fresh and current.”
Garric, who began to play bass when he was a student at South Tahoe Middle School, has been a member of Alice Cooper’s band since 2002. He spoke with Tahoe Onstage about Beasto Blanco in advance of the Friday, Nov. 22 “An Evening With Alice Cooper” show at Reno’s Grand Sierra Resort.
Garric for Beasto Blanco compiled some longtime rock peers including three from the Alice Cooper band as well as producer Tommy Henriksen and filmmaker Charles Conklin, another South Lake Tahoe native.
“I have always considered myself as a guy with his eyes wide open, always trying to learn, watching what everybody is doing, trying to take from it as much as I possibly can to better myself as a musician,” Garric said. “That’s what this record really did for me, and I knew I was in good hands with everybody. It really wasn’t that difficult. It was just a matter of finding the time.”
The album has been praised by Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain, Moterhead’s Mikkey Dee and Alice Cooper, who said, ‘Beasto Blanco to me is an East L.A. “Day Of The Dead” kind of hard rock band. …This is a band that I see exploding in the next few years. The “Live Fast Die Loud” video shows my grown daughter Calico crawling around like some sort of animal, which is of course, just how I remember her as a child.”
Garric, who plays rhythm guitar and sings for Beasto Blanco, said he had been saving the song “Live Fast Die Loud” for the right project.
“I had the idea of what I wanted the drums to sound like, and at that time Glen Sobel was in Alice Cooper and Glen has a really good feel,” Garric said. “He’s a rock and roll drummer but he has this very technical side. I had ‘Live Fast,’ ‘Freak’ and ‘Breakdown,’ and I knew Glen would be perfect for that because he would not only give me the style of drums I was looking to, he also had the type of feel that the songs needed to move and make your body feel.
“On ‘Breakdown,’ when we went to do the background vocals, I just sang these high parts and I always envisioned a group of girls in this part. It was a vision I had, I just didn’t know who or what would happen. Again, it’s a testament to not overthinking it. It’s just let things take their course.
“It was suggested maybe we have Calico come in. She’s a good singer and she’s definitely got the energy and the attitude for this type of music. She just nailed it.
“Then it became really easy for me to see what the next seven or eight songs need to sound like. At that point I was writing ‘California,’ ‘Beasto Blanco,’ ‘No More Man’ and ‘Motor Queen.’ At that time I met Jonathan Mover, who is an incredible studio musician and also played drums with Alice Cooper. Jonathan played lights out for us, exactly like we were hoping he would do.”
Conklin, who Garric calls the “David Lynch of Tahoe,” produced the video for “Breakdown” and “Live Fast Die Hard,” which will be released soon.” There were approximately 163 edits on “Breakdown,” a live recording taken with multiple cameras.
“Charles and I grew up together as punk kids from Tahoe causing trouble,” Garric said. “I always had this rocker kind of metal background and Charles was always the guy who introduced me to more of the alternative music, the early punk music and some of the new wave as well. He’s always had a real knack for art with music.
“Charles reminds me of a ‘Repo Man’ kind of guy. That’s his style of movie. He’s more of a darker thinker than most of us.”
During the video, Garric has a demonic countenance, which is the whole point.
“The concept is this Beasto lives inside each and every one of us,” he said. “The rage that lives inside of us. The danger, if you will, of the things you are not supposed to get away with in normal life.”
Garric, who also has played with Dio, LA Guns, ESP and Turd, had a veteran approach to the sound.
“I’ve owned a recording studio for several years and I know my way around it very well,” he said. “The nice thing about the Beasto record was the only studio work I did was on the demos. I was the engineer and I tracked all the demos but when it came time to actually get in the studio, I didn’t touch a knob.
“I wanted to focus only on being the artist and let Tommy take control of the engineering and producing side of it. It took the pressure off of me to have to think of everything that was going on around me. I was really more focused on music and lyrics and what my responsibilities were. I had the vocals and guitar and bass parts down but as soon as Tommy suggested another alternative it was very easy for me to let his ideas come through. There was no tugging or pulling or kicking or fighting. He had a really good handle on what we were doing and what the sound was going to be.”
Beasto Blanco is going on a European tour in January and February, with the German rhythm section of Jan LeGrow and Tim Husun. Chris Latham is the studio and concert guitarist.
“It’s been getting rave reviews and we can’t wait to take it out on the road,” Garric said.
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