Ghost Cult scribe Duncan Evans chatted with music legend KatieJane Garside recently on the release of her new project, Liar, Flower, and her new release Geiger Counter (One Little Independent Records). You may know Garside from her immense career credits with groups such as Daisy Chainsaw, QueenAdreena, and more recently Ruby Throat. Far removed from her early rumblings, the wisened and more poetic chanteuse discussed her new album, the decision to recast the group under a new moniker with her partner Chris Whittingham, her many travels around the world living on a boat, mindfulness meditation, the music video for ‘i am sundress (she of infinite flowers)’, the care and creativity she takes for the expanded versions of Geiger Counter and much more. Purchase the album and keep up with all of KatieJane’s happenings at this link, and listen the chat below.
A histrionic chime of a small bell is the first noise that greets the listener. It seemingly summons spiritual moans and groans that echo in the proverbial temple of Zaum‘s oeuvre. ‘Relic’ begins placidly, slowly building its way up to the riff that forms the song’s centrepiece, and when that riff arrives it is a blissful moment. Continue reading →
Folk music has a pretty difficult time of it in the modern music scene. Despite being the foundation for almost all popular music genres, it is often considered cliche and archaic when held up against contemporary music, even though elements of the genre resonate throughout popular music. Whether it’s acoustic instrumentation or song structures which are the very backbone of popular music itself, the influence and fundamental importance of Folk music is downplayed or outright neglected.Continue reading →
New York City’s Trad Metal revivalists Sanhedrin, touting members formerly of Black Anvil and Amber Asylum/Lost Goat, are releasing a new album next month. Due out on February 22nd, The Poisoner is coming via Cruz Del Sur Music. They already released one single on Bandcamp, ‘Meditation’, and now you can hear the pure rock fiyah of ‘Blood From A Stone’!Continue reading →
aswekeepsearching is a refreshing cleanse to the aural pallet. Their latest offering is entitled Zia (Flowers Blossom in the Space). Zia is mostly instrumental with some uplifting vocals from Uddipan Sarmah strewn throughout like wildflowers in a field. The band hails from India and sing in Hindi. To be reductionist, it’s “world music”. So if that’s a genre you dig, then Zia is a perfect album for you.Continue reading →
In addition to being a long-time member of Alice Cooper’s band, Chuck Garric has his own project that he is the frontman of, Beasto Blanco. Chuck has big plans in the works for Beasto Blanco, including a forthcoming new album, major tours, and events throughout the next few years. We got an inside look at Chuck’s musical vision and what it takes to launch a band under your own banner in this day and age. Although Beasto Blanco has been around for a few years, we first asked Chuck about his musical process for writing and how that becomes music for himself:
Chuck: As a songwriter and as a performer, we all have things inside of us that say maybe basically what we’re about for another artist. I did writing for so many years, and maybe I’ve written songs that aren’t necessarily Alice Cooper songs, or a song that wasn’t for the artist, and I thought the song was great and I really enjoyed writing them and would love to have them as part of who I am. It just inspired me to put together a band where I could come through this other person inside of me, and go out there and perform my own original music, and that’s what Beasto Blanco is. I’m in a band of real high energy, rock n roll stuff that just kicks you right in the face. You walk into a club and see a band kind of similar to like a Motörhead or Clutch, Ramones, Ted Nugent and any of those type of bands. With my history with Alice Cooper, I felt that it was important that I added some theatricality to it. It was just the way I was naturally progressing as an artist, and as a writer. It’s a good little clique we have with Beasto Blanco is that it’s high energy rock and roll with a big show feel.
We next asked Chuck about the genesis of the name and what it represents to him..
Yeah. The name basically comes from, we wanted to give our music a name. We wanted to have our sound have a name. It was something that we were faced with when we started, Being able to basically get up every morning and give it a go, work hard, and to use fear as a motivation, and use criticism as a motivation, all of those things. What better way than to just say “Hey, the music is animalistic.” It’s a beast, and Beasto Blanco just sort of came out as something that somebody had mentioned to say “Hey, this may work out.” Beasto Blanco just has a name in itself. When you’re a person like myself who works organically and I practice meditation and those types of things, it just came out as … it just felt right. The music has finally got its own personality. Once it had that, everything was just flowing naturally, and we knew exactly which direction to head with the sound, the look, the vibe, the attitude, everything. It just fell into place.
The way I think of Blanco is most anybody who has the desire to do something, or a dream, is that we all face those inner demons and that fear. We have to somehow summon the courage to move forward and conquer those things that we have. That’s exactly what Beasto Blanco is about is getting out there, and doing it right, doing it well, and not being afraid of failure, and at the same time, going out and just changing people’s lives feasibly, not trying to change anybody’s life politically or anything like that. Just giving you a chance to go out, listen to some rock and roll, forget about all the bullshit that is going on in your life if there is any, and just enjoy it just like the rest of us.
Chuck Garric, by Evil Robb Photography
We hit upon a common ground, where we agreed that music is free therapy, whether you play it, listen to it, or rock out to it:
It really is. It’s turned out to be a job for me, but I find so much joy and therapy, and I use it daily. That exact thing is that music is my medicine.
Then we asked for a time line of the history of the band, and the new Beasto Blanco album will arrive:
We released our first music in 2012, In 2013 we released the first album, Live Fast, Die Loud. We’re about ready to release the second album which should be in October, early October.
In the run up to this album release, and with the busy tour schedule Alice Cooper keeps, we wondered what touring plans the band has:
We’re working on tour dates as we speak. Right now, we’re looking at as of late January. We’ve got the Monsters of Rock Cruise coming up in January of 2017 as well, so we’re working on dates to follow-up the release, and we’ll be touring both the United States and Europe.
While most people in bands like each other to a good extent, being in proximity to anyone for an extended period of time will test boundaries—pet peeves become liabilities, as everything is amplified.
Navigating different personalities requires a bit of shamanic savvy: I pull my advice on this from don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.
The Four Agreements is tome of Toltec wisdom that can be applied to many different situations, but I find it especially useful when touring.
It is a little hippie, however, so please bear with me:
1- Don’t take anything personally
“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
In the midst of drunken verbal banter, it may be hard to call up your inner yogi and mentally levitate above the din, but it’s necessary.
Most of the time, someone’s beef isn’t about you—they may be tired, hungry, lonely, scared—touring pulls out many insecurities, and being in proximity to people at their most vulnerable can be challenging.
So, if someone lashes at you, take a deep breath, walk it off and let it go—according to Ruiz, it’s not about you anyway.
2- Always do your best
“Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”
There will be bad shows with low attendance; you’ll make no merch money; you’ll get drunk and fall down; you’ll lose sleep and be hungry.
The key is to show up, look nice, and, to throw in a little mom wisdom, just do the best you can.
Forgive yourself and forgive others for bad performances and drunken stupors—over look the things you can’t change.
3-Be Impeccable with your Word
Do what you say, say what you mean If you’re going off on a beer run before sound check, tell someone—and let them know what time you’ll return.
Touring is a team effort, one that requires every one person’s cooperation and communication, so be clear and concise—if you need some alone time, say something and then go clear your head.
Also: don’t be afraid to ask for what you want or need—you’re better off confessing you need breathing room or a burrito than carrying on begrudgingly.
Merch tables at MDF 13, by Hillarie Jason
4-Don’t Make Assumptions
Don’t assume the GPS is right; don’t assume the promoter will pay; don’t assume your shows are solid—and don’t assume your set time is.
Double check everything—call ahead and confirm: you’ll avoid many a-misery by simply ensuring everything is as it should be.
Most of all, remember to keep it light: you’re there to have fun! You’re there to bring music to the masses, get laid, maybe get paid—you’re doing something most never get the chance to, so look on the bright side to stave off negativity.
In keeping some of these Toltec tenants in mind, you can keep your cool, and as a result, you will find you’re better off and that your interactions with everyone else will be better too.
“Ride Like the Wind”
Inevitably, touring will simply wear you down: you may catch a cold or run on fumes. Equipment may break or morale may be low.
The solution: Play “Ride like the Wind.”
“Ride like the Wind,” the 1980 Christopher Cross masterpiece, carries in it the energy and inspiration to raise your spirits. Play it when you feel down or tired; play it at the start of each journey. Cross’ wise words and soft, affirmed vocal delivery is a comforting call of victory—an encouraging reminder that you. can. do. this!
Touring is a fun and challenging, unique experience. More than a simple test of will, it’s a lifestyle for many—for me, it’s a lifestyle I greatly enjoy.
My next stints include a summer and autumn excursion, respectively, with some great bands I’ll be sure to soon disclose.
But of all the things I’ve learned when touring, what I note most is how much I enjoy meeting new bands and Metal-head fans who quickly become new friends. I feel deep sense of camaraderie, as if part of a clan. Thus, being on the road is a kind of homecoming—I look forward a family reunion soon.
*Special thanks to Zack, Justin, and Jon of Neckrofilth