Interview by Robert Cavuoto
Beastö Blancö, the theatrical and larger than life rock band composed of Chuck Garric, Calico Cooper, Brother Latham, Jan LeGrow, and Sean Sellers have inked a deal with Source Point Press for the release of their first graphic novel, Beastö Blancö: Spacewave Conquest. The graphic novel is set to be released this summer, but a collectible ashcan preview, signed by the members of Beastö Blancö, is now available exclusively through comicconline.com.
In Beastö Blancö: Spacewave Conquest, Free Media is dead. The Cosmic Communications Command, infiltrated by Indoctroids from Sector V, is overriding hundreds of thousands of galactic streaming channels. With hopes of finalizing the upload of a weaponized neural hijacking code to the network, Commander Dix is prepared to make his final stand against the only threat to his evil plan; The Cosmic Pirates known as Beastö Blancö.
Beastö Blancö has three studio albums Live Fast Die Loud, Beastö Blancö, and We Are. All songs yield a powerful combination of crunchy guitar riffs, driving bass, growling vocals, and melodic choruses with shades of White Zombie and Motorhead thrown in for good measure. They have the unique talent of taking pure angst and turning it into an irreverent celebration of all things dark and malevolent. They continually push the boundaries of hard rock and heavy metal, giving fans a highly entertaining show and flying the flag for metal. That is why this graphic novel is such an exciting venture for the band to explore. Beastö Blancö: Spacewave Conquest will soon be available in comic shops and online at sourcepointpress.com.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Chuck Garric to discuss the release of their comic, the level of detail that went into creating it, what is on the horizon with a new Beastö Blancö studio album, and Alice Cooper’s new band album. Please be sure to follow Metal Rules on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to their YouTube channel.
Listen to the interview here or scroll down to read the transcript.
Robert Cavuoto: You were just on the Monster of Rock Cruise pulling double duty between Alice Cooper and Beastö Blancö. How were the shows and the cruise?
Chuck Garric: Everything was stellar! It is a place that Beastö Blancö likes to call home. We have done several of these throughout the years, and we have a nice fanbase there. It is sort of our misfit island with family and fans as we get to have such a great time. Beastö Blancö played the very first night with a brand-new show and setlist that we put together just for the cruisers. We even had new costumes as well. We knocked it out just for them because we love them so much. Alice Cooper got on the boat, so I did double duty with him in the theater, then immediately ran over to the pool stage and did a headlining show with Beastö Blancö! It was packed and a fantastic show with all the bands watching along with Alice and Cheryl. We had the support from everybody, and I had a blast pulling double duty. Alice did a pre-Super Bowl early afternoon show; then the cruise was over.
Robert Cavuoto: It’s been quite a while since Beastö played live. How was it getting out there?
Chuck Garric: Oh my God, we were just chomping at the bit for so long! We were fortunate enough to have a few days of rehearsal in Florida with all the members. You can see that everyone tried to stay in character, but we still had a sparkle in our eyes. It was great to get out to play again but to play in front of fans who really appreciate what we do.
Robert Cavuoto: I know Alice couldn’t fit his entire stage show on the ship, but I have to tell you I loved the stripped-down stage with just the amp. It looked raw and mean!
Chuck Garric: A lot of people are saying that, and it’s getting a lot of attention. A lot of people loved it. There is something to be said about stripping it down and blasting out some Rock & Roll like in a club.
Robert Cavuoto: One of my favorite shows is when Alice Cooper appeared on Fox and Friends outside in New York City. The stage was small and sparse, but the band was standing shoulder to shoulder, and there was a lot of camaraderie.
Chuck Garric: We have done a couple of those in the past, like at the Whiskey A-Go-Go, and then we did on at the Hunter Club in London, England. It was a very small stage and a dive bar, but some of the biggest bands in the world show up there to jam. Alice cut his teeth on that scene. He was a garage band and loves to have the energy of the crowd right there in front of him. Who knows what will happen?
Robert Cavuoto: Beastö had that same energy when I saw you in Dingbats in New Jersey several years back.
Chuck Garric: Beastö has done arenas tours, theaters shows, and everything in between, but there is something special about a club tour. A nice packed club has that smell of Rock & Roll to it.
Robert Cavuoto: And the fear of getting hit with Calico’s spiked bat!
Chuck Garric: Well, we have to keep everyone on their toes. Everyone gets so easily distracted nowadays.
Robert Cavuoto: Nobody was looking at their phones just to make sure they didn’t get hit with the bat [laughing].
Robert Cavuoto: You are in fantastic shape with probably 0% body fat. How do you stay away from all the eating and midnight buffets on a cruise ship?
Chuck Garric: I ate like a manic after the last show! I try to stick to a strict diet only because I am diabetic and have to watch my intake. I have a big appetite and can eat all day, but I have to watch it. There is no secret I just try and eat well and get some cardio in to knock off what happened the night before. I went crazy after the show because I had to replenish. I was going for so long, knowing that this cruise was coming up, and I had a costume designed for me. It wouldn’t have worked well with a mashed potato belly! [Laughing]
Robert Cavuoto: With performing all these shows, is there any anxiety knowing that you have to get from place to place on time?
Chuck Garric: Absolutely, especially with Beastö. We try to get everything as close to perfect as possible. I know there are a lot of things that are out of our control. We just don’t show up in jeans and a T-shirt, no offense to people who do, but we don’t as we are a theatrical rock band. There are certain elements to our show which are necessary. Getting on the boat with our props, wardrobe, and gear than getting it set up in a short amount of time is an undertaking. We have an amazing crew, but it is still very stressful. It’s great when it all goes off like it did on the Monster of Rock. Little things are happening here and there that the crowd is unaware of where we are biting through. It is stressful, and there is anxiety, but when it is all set up and done, you can breathe it all out, and then it’s showtime.
Robert Cavuoto: You had to do the “run around” multiple times; where is my bass for Alice and my guitar for Beastö?
Chuck Garric: I care as much with Alice, but it is a lot easier, and they have a bigger crew. I don’t have as much responsibilities with being the bassist with Alice. With Beastö, I’m involved with every movement, and everything comes across my desk. Alice is a little easier, but I still put the same effort and heart into each thing.
Robert Cavuoto: I saw on Facebook that you have a new Beastö Blancö comic/graphic novel titled Beastö Blancö: Spacewave Conquest coming out. The band has the perfect theatrical identity for it. How did the opportunity come about?
Chuck Garric: Thank you, and we feel the same way. I have a really good friendship with Billy Bob Thornton, and he has a band called The Boxmasters, which I have played bass with at times. There was a company making a comic about The Boxmasters, and they asked him if there was anyone else they should know about. He told them to look at Beastö Blancö, and they did their research and hit us up, expecting us just for us to say yes and then to have them come up with a concept. Little did they know what they were getting themselves into. We had an outline for it from our Freak Stream blu-ray. We took the idea for the comic and put it on paper. Garret Gunn at Source Point Press and Kipp Wells, the artist that did all the artwork for us from the UK, moved very quickly. Garret brought in Comic Conline; they are the distribution company for it. They have come up with two different covers for the ashcan, now available on ComicConline.com. For those who aren’t familiar with what an ashcan is, it is a seven to an eight-page preview of the full comic that will be out in a few months. It is a collector item and limited as there is only a certain amount of pressings. It is signed by the band and comes with a COA. It’s a special thing for collectors. I got the ashcan a few weeks ago, and it’s fantastic. The artwork is unbelievable, and the story line is amazing. There will be a lot of things happening from this. There is already talk of an animation series. This is a territory that we have wanted to be in for a long time, and I agree Beastö fits this mold perfectly.
Robert Cavuoto: Do you associate yourself more with the heroes or villains in the comic?
Chuck Garric: There is a little of both happening. In the comics, we stand up for the people. The storyline is a galaxy of people controlled by a government dictating what they can watch, listen to, and read. We come in part of this force to take down these bad people and provide entertainment and freedom to the people who were like us at one point. We are the heroes to them, but we need to do what needs to get done, and that needs to be a villain mentality. A sniper has to take someone out at the end of the day. The sniper doesn’t know the person or their existence, but they have to get the job done. We are playing both sides of the coin. It will keep you engaged, and it’s not that long because people have to get back on their phones [laughing].
Robert Cavuoto: Were you involved in selecting the artist to give the band a proper representation in the comic?
Chuck Garric: We were but very little. Garret sent us four or five different looks. As we talked about the looks, he narrowed it down to what he thought was best, who he has worked with in the past, and would get it conceptually. They understand the story and deadlines, which is important in our world. Everything he was sending us was great, aside from a couple of samples that were too realistic. We were on board to where they were steering us. They had a very vivid vision of what they wanted to do, and it was right on the head of what we are about. It was an easy process. Regardless of the artist, it was all rad and all fit.
Robert Cavuoto: Will there be an album accompanying the comic and perhaps following the theme?
Chuck Garric: I don’t know if we will see that, but you will see the ashcan brought to life at our shows. It’s an intro to our show with sound effects and voice-overs as we bring those characters to life. It’s like seeing a Broadway show; there is an intro with props and people acting out things before the band hits the stage. You will see the action coming to life before your eyes. We bring the production off the pages and onto the screen with animation too. I don’t foresee a concept album behind the Spacewave Conquest, but there will definitely be a tip of the hat.
Robert Cavuoto: Can you give us an update on a Beastö new album?
Chuck Garric: We are working on it now and have been writing quite a bit. We have some tunes completed. We are in the process of getting it in order, who is going to release it, and when it will be completed. There is a method to our mayhem in making sure that all the hard work we put into making our music, videos, and comic book is getting out to the public properly. We are really taking our time before releasing something, so we do it right.
Robert Cavuoto: Do you have a release date for the comic and the studio album?
Chuck Garric: I don’t have a solid date for the comic, but I do know they work fast, and it should be out in the next few months. The album will come around the same time, six months or so. The goal is to try and time them out, so they release around the same time.
Robert Cavuoto: Word on the street from Alice he is doing an album with the band. My favorite album of his was Eyes of Alice Cooper, which was a band effort. How did that come about?
Chuck Garric: Bob Ezrin and Alice approached us and said they wanted to do a band album, so we all started filing in songs and ideas from each member. Bob also got some other outside members to write songs. We collectively got in a room like anything and started making it come to life. We have tracked everything for the most part and just doing some final touches. We are still a bit away from it being complete, but it’s pretty cool!
Robert Cavuoto: Can you say how many songs you contributed to?
Chuck Garric: I think there are two that I contributed on and there is co-writing on other guy’s songs as well. It is very different from Beastö songwriting. It’s a lot different.
Robert Cavuoto: Did you do anything special for yourself during the pandemic that you never had time to indulge in?
Chuck Garric: I did; I got to do different things that were important to me. My Mom at the time was very sick, not with COVID, but battling dementia. She was having a really tough time during the pandemic, and she quickly started to decline. I was fortunate to have time off and spend the year with her before she passed away in December. It’s a time with her that I would never have had if I was on tour. I was lucky to sit on the couch to watch TV, make her breakfast, or help her with her day. It was heavy on the heart, but we don’t come here to stay. I felt like I was able to help in some way. It is such a terrible disease. I just had to help her and give her some comfort. I feel terrible for all the seniors who were sick. At some point, we couldn’t see each other because I had to put her into a nursing home; we weren’t allowed to get together to touch or hug. That was really hard. I was also able to do some remodeling on my house. I’m a bit of a handyman, so I remolded my bathroom.
Robert Cavuoto: I’m sorry for the loss of your Mom.
Chuck Garric: Thank you!