Beasto Blanco will be out on tour this Spring supporting Halestorm from April 18th to June 1st and along the way will be intermixing several headlining dates. It’s a great opportunity for the band to bring their furious theatrical shows to different cities in the US and Canada.
Beasto Blanco is a force not to be reckoned with and destine to make an impact on fans with their macabre performance. The band consists of Chuck Garric [vocals/guitar], Chris “Brother” Latham [guitar], Jan Le Grow [bass], Sean Sellers [drums] and Calico Cooper [vocals]. Together they unleash a sonic assault on the fans that will have their adrenaline pumping.
To the excitement of fans, Beasto Blanco will also be releasing their third studio CD in May and plan to incorporate as many of the new songs in their set as possible. Tickets for all of their shows can be purchased here.
I caught up with Chuck to share what fans can expect on their upcoming tour from Beasto Blanco, what’s involved in orchestrating a tour like this and provide some insights into their third CD!
Robert Cavuoto: Beasto Blanco is going out on tour with Halestorm for a run of dates then Halestorm is opening for Alice Cooper this summer. What is your connection with the Halestorm for both tours?
Chuck Garric: We are super stoked about doing a run with Halestorm. We just added some shows in-between those dates to hit more cities. Joe Hottinger, Lzzy Hale, and I are all good friends; we’ve known each other for years. They live here in Nashville, and we run into each other at charity events where we jam together and at friendly BBQs. Joe and Lzzy said if the opportunity ever came about where they could choose an opening act, they would let us know. Sure enough a few months ago we got the offer to open up for them on a string of dates in April and May. It was perfect timing, and we couldn’t be happier. I wasn’t on the phone call to get them to open for Alice, but hopefully, our friendship helped. There has to be some connection that Beasto is going out with them and they are coming out with Alice. The promoter of that tour is very close with the Halestorm camp, so who knows as it could have happened before or after we booked our tour with them. I really don’t know. You couldn’t ask for a better group of people; they are a phenomenally talented bunch of musicians and easy to get along with.
Robert Cavuoto: You’re playing some nice sized theaters with Halestorm.
Chuck Garric: The nice part is we are going to parts of the US and Canada that we haven’t hit yet, like Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. It’s opened the floodgates to hit new markets and get some solid exposure all the way to June 1st. We also have a new record coming out in May! It’s a great way to promote it.
Robert Cavuoto: What can you share about the band’s third CD?
Chuck Garric: The CD was produced by Ryan Greene who produced our second CD. He is a phenomenal engineer and producer. He has his hands in so many different projects from rock to punk to hip hop. He is a mastermind at arranging songs and drum tones. He gets the best out of each performer. I sent him 17 or 18 songs and told him to feel free to dissect them to figure out what he liked and what worked. It still has the Beasto energy and sound. There are some new arrangements and new concepts to make it fun for us. Beasto has no rules; we make records for ourselves, our fans, and we are not writing songs for possible radio airplay. That’s the best way to do it. It’s more fun with less pressure. Ryan wanted to take the fans on a journey. He wants to introduce them to what we are capable of doing.
Robert Cavuoto: Will it be a challenge picking songs from three CDs when you go on tour?
Chuck Garric: It always is. When we listened back to the new CD, the band wanted to play everything off it. [Laughing] We did a run of shows in February where we road tested a few of the new songs. We’ll definitely include those new songs this time around. When the CD comes out, and we release more songs, then we may add more songs into the show. There are songs like “Freak,” “Motor Queen,” “Machine Girl,” and “Breakdown” which have become important to our set list. We love doing them. It’s great to know that we have songs people want to hear.
Robert Cavuoto: There is such a great visual element to your songs, and they convey nicely to the stage. When writing songs is the live environment something you consciously think about?
Chuck Garric: I think about that a lot. I’m a very visual person. I meditate, and my imagination is constantly flowing particularly when I’m writing. I’m always thinking about the live environment as well as the studio. Having a person like Calico Cooper in the band who is a visionary and very theatrical helps too, all she thinks about is how she can make a song work with her character. We are fortunate that our theatrics are very natural and organic. They flow well in the show.
Robert Cavuoto: Some of your songs delve in the dark reaches of the human mind. Where do you and the band pull your inspirations from; are you big fans of horror movies or novels?
Chuck Garric: I grew up on horror movies and Sci-Fi. All that stuff is an influence on me. It’s a combination of the characters involved in the writing process. We are a collective group who all have the same objective. Calico is great to write with as she is going to turn it into something even better. She will modify things or sing it differently to enhance the song and expand the dynamic of her character. When writing it’s definitely a Beasto Blanco mindset. Lindsay Garric writes our lyrics as she did on the last CD, she is a phenomenal storyteller and understands the Beasto credo just as much as the band. She is a great visionary, and we can bounce ideas off each other all the time. Same with Brother Latham and myself; when we approach the guitar solos, we feel they are as important as the lyrics and melody. Every part is thought-out. The one thing that Beasto is about is finding that inner beast; that inner Hulk that turns your fear into courage. It can be a dark storyline like a Wolverine/X-Men. A Mortal Combat character lives inside Calico Cooper. When you are watching her on stage, you don’t know what she is capable of or what secret weapon she has. It makes it extremely entertaining to be on stage with her. We have a set list, but the moves that happen in each show are different. We don’t rehearse that stuff; we are not a choreographed band.
Robert Cavuoto: I’m looking forward to catching the band on this tour. Last time I saw Beasto was during NAMM Jam in 2016.
Chuck Garric: I like to think we have come a long way since then. We’ve grown and continue honing our craft just like any great musician or artist would do, making little tweaks and changes here and there to improve the show. We will still keep the raw power and energy of our show.
Robert Cavuoto: Tell me about the dichotomy of performing with Beasto Blanco as a relatively new band compared to an established band like Alice?
Chuck Garric: I take the same approach to performing with Alice that I do with Beasto; giving 100% and doing what I love to do. I never take Alice Cooper’s fans for granted and know Alice feels the same way too. We always have something to prove, and there is always a new fan in the audience. It’s always somebody’s first concert. Honestly, I think there is more pressure if you have seen us ten times because you know what to expect. I think it’s important to give it your all every show. With Beasto, we have a lot to prove, but I swear to you right now I’ll give just as much of an effort with a smaller crowd as with a bigger crowd. I have a job to do, and as soon as you start taking it for granted, you’ll start doing it half-assed and what’s the fucking purpose at that point.
Robert Cavuoto: Are you the type of person whose bags are always packed and ready for a tour?
Chuck Garric: Unfortunately yeah. It’s one of those things where I unpack for the most part, but I live out of my toiletry bag. It’s there ready to go at any moment along with my suitcases. When I’m home, I try and stay in the present, but when you are planning a tour like the one we are getting ready to embark on; you cannot help but daydream about April and May. It’s definitely a tricky task at times, there are a lot of things to be done at home, and I have to look at the future to what we need to have for a successful tour.
Robert Cavuoto: How long does it take the band to get up to speed and have the new songs rehearsed?
Chuck Garric: The fun part is getting together, strapping on your instrument, and making some noise. The other part of it is the paperwork, tour routing, securing the tour bus/trailer, getting everything in cases, pulling the manifest together, and all that crap that is so time-consuming but equally as important as being a tight band. I’m fortunate enough that I have a great record label, manager, and band where we all fold together to make this thing work. It’s truly a team effort. It takes months to plan a tour and then there are getting all the promotion ready with the videos ready. There are a lot of moving parts that people don’t even know happens.
Robert Cavuoto: How much flexibility do you have to change Beasto’s setlist night-to-night?
Chuck Garric: We have been talking about how we want to approach the set list with Halestorm which is a little shorter than our headlining shows. We want to get as many songs in the set as possible. We decided that we would have three or four different set lists. Similar sets with one or two different songs. It’s fun and keeps us on our toes. It’s also enjoyable for any repeat offenders going to multiple shows. It is nice to have the option to change things up. That’s what any good band should be able to do night after night. We will have three CDs and 30 songs to choose from.
Robert Cavuoto: I don’t think I ever asked you this question before; tell me about your audition for Alice and what was it was like the first time you met him?
Chuck Garric: Truth be told, when I auditioned for Alice, he was not in the room. It was just the guys in the band as Alice lets the band decide. Initially, I didn’t get the gig; they hired Chuck Wright for the Dragontown tour. Chuck didn’t work out for whatever reason; I know Chuck, and he is a great guy and bass player. Early in the morning one day I got a call from the Alice Cooper camp asking me if I was still available and if I would do an upcoming show with Alice. It was a live show on Fox where we were to perform two songs “Under my Wheel” and “Schools Out.” I said, “Absolutely.” So my first time meeting Alice was when he was in full makeup rolling out on stage with the cane. After the show in the van on the way to the hotel, he asked me, “Did you have fun?” I said, “Yeah I had a great time!” He then asked if I wanted the gig? I told him, “If you’ll have me?” He then told me I had it! That was 16 years ago!