I’ve not heard much about hard rockers Lionize before tonight, I know they’re signed to Clutch’s Label Weathermaker Music on which they’ve released ‘The Voyage EP’ this year. They’ve been on tour with Clutch a couple of times and include Clutch’s Tim Sult as an occasional guitarist in their line-up. After that basic research I figured it was safe to assume from that they would have a similar sound to Clutch and decided to leave some air of mystery for the actual gig. 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.
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.
INTERVIEW BY KEITH CHACHKES
LIVE PHOTOS BY EVIL ROBB PHOTOGRAPHY
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When the band began life as Annihilation Time, a punk/hardcore band from California 13 years ago, there would have been few people that could have predicted its progression to Lecherous Gaze and Zeta Reticuli Blues (Tee Pee). While the band still retain their attitude, the music took a radically different path, with the band more aptly describing it as ‘psycho-delic shred-tastic ultra-hyphened rock-punk heavy jams’. The album has a serious throwback sound, taking heavy inspirations anywhere from the rock n roll of the 50s to psychedelic rock and punk from the 60s and 70s, all tied together perfectly with the rasped vocals of Zaryan Zaidi.
The album opens on ‘End Rising’ diving straight into huge riffing with a distinctly retro sound. The myriad of influences ensure that each song has its own distinct sound, with ‘Animal Brain’ screaming Chuck Berry meets the Ramones, while ‘Zeta Reticuli Blues’ steps back for a hazy psychedelic Hendrix style instrumental. The music may dance between genres, but it’s Zaidis vocals that really highlight the straight up punk attitude to the music with his distinctly graveled tones.
While you could endlessly pick out and analyze the genres and painstakingly list each of the influences you’d be missing what this album is really about. The music is the culmination of decades of drug-fueled, mind-altering and downright sleazy musical endeavors. It is the lovechild of everyone from Motorhead to Black Flag to MC5. This is drinking and whisky music. This is trashed motels and vomit stained carpets. This is a record for those looking for a solid injection of partying straight back into punk.