Beasto Blanco Interview: Alice Cooper Bassist Chuck Garric and Calico Cooper

2019-05-07

Beasto Blanco – Story by Anne Erickson, photo courtesy of Rat Pak Records

Interview: Chuck Garric and Calico Cooper speak with Anne Erickson about Beasto Blanco’s new album and more in this in-depth interview

Beasto Blanco makes the kind of music that makes one extra grateful for the advent of rock ‘n’ roll. With heavy riffing, chugging rhythms and soaring choruses, the band’s new album, “We Are,” delivers equal doses of heavy metal and hard rock with character and pizzazz.

The band — which brings together Alice Cooper bass player Chuck Garric on guitars and vocals, along with Calico Cooper (Alice Cooper’s daughter) on vocals, Brother Latham on guitars, Jan LeGrow on bass and Sean Sellers on drums — will unleash “We Are” on May 24 via Rat Pak Records.

Chuck Garric and Calico Cooper caught up with Anne Erickson from Audio Ink to discuss the new record, the band’s tour with Halestorm, the surge of women in music and more. Read the full interview below and listen via the YouTube player. Also, find the Audio Ink podcast via Apple Podcasts here.

Find Beasto Blanco online at BeastoBlanco.com.

Anne Erickson: Congrats on the new album on the way, “We Are.” This is your third album. Were there any major surprises when it came to making this record?

Calico Cooper: I can think of one! (Laughs) When we were doing this song, “The Seeker,” the very beginning of “The Seeker,” we finished the whole song, and our producer says, “I feel like there needs to be a big metal yell, scream– a very big heavy metal note at the very beginning of the song. And we looked around at the rest of the guys, who are very capable of that, and they got into the booth and tried to take a pass at it. I said, “Well, I’ll try.” And I thought, this is going to sound ridiculous, because this is a great, heavy guitar song. I let out the biggest, Beasto, heavy metal chick note ever, and it just kept coming and coming, and I’m looking out of the booth, and these eyes are super wide open! So, it surprised me that I was capable of doing it.

That’s an awesome story! Do you perform the song and the scream on tour?

Calico Cooper: Yep, every night we do it live, and right before I go, I go, “Dear Lord, please let this not be a onetime thing.” (Laughs)

Chuck Garric: Yeah, we have the paramedics at the side of the stage, waiting for her to pass out and make the fall. (Laughs)

You guys have been on tour with Halestorm. What’s been your favorite thing about this run?

Chuck Garric It’s been an incredible run. Lzzy and the rest of the guys are all friends of mine, as well as Calico’s, and we not only know of each other’s bands but are friends and hang out a lot. For them to open the door and open this tour up to us, we’re really grateful. The thing I’m finding is that I’ve known Lzzy and the band for years, and I never really realized what a powerhouse they are. I’ve been touring consistently for 20 years, and I’ve never heard a band sound as good as they do. It’s something that I’m in awe of every night, and they’re just genuine, kind, fun people to be around. This tour has been a blast.

Lzzy Hale has been at the center of this whole women in rock and metal thing. Have you witnessed that on this tour at all, like more girls coming out?

Chuck Garric: Absolutely. We knew that was going to be a part of it, and for me, I’ve got Calico in my back pocket, and I knew that would work in our favor, and I think they did, too. I knew that demographic we would be playing in front of, and it’s been an incredible experience being onstage and watching these young girls see what Calico is capable of– not just vocally, but in her performance, as well.

Calico, what is your first memory of experiencing what your father does and his music, and how did that make you want to be a musician?

Calico Cooper: I remember the crowd. I think that was probably the moment. I remember being 7 years old, and I was in the sound booth, and I remember the lights going down, and it was the first time I got it. When the lights went down, the crowd went crazy, and I conceptualized it for the first time– what it was and how excited I felt and how excited the crowd felt. I watched him perform, and you’re a kid, so you don’t know, “This is what I want to do,” but the feeling remained. That feeling to entertain. I don’t think it ever left after that.

Chuck, how has working with Alice Cooper in his band for so many years influenced your own music?

Chuck Garric: A lot. I’ve always found myself being the guy with eyes wide open, watching and learning from guys like Ronnie James Dio and Alice Cooper and watching how the process was done with building a show and setlist and talking about theatrics or how they dealt with situations that arose on tour. So, it definitely shaped the type of person I am. The thing I’m most grateful for, is when everything is going wrong onstage, just keep going, because for the most part, nobody knows. There isn’t really a right or wrong way— it’s that something just isn’t going as planned, not necessarily wrong. So, roll with the punches and make it part of the show.

I interviewed Nita Strauss for Audio Ink earlier this year, and she was saying how supportive Alice is of everybody’s projects. Do you feel that way?

I think he’s been extremely supportive. He’s so secure in his own skin and what he does and knows that when he hires me or anybody in the band, he knows he’s getting the best of the best… He nurtures your talent and everybody in the band’s talent, so if you have the opportunity to do something and grow and better your position in this world, he’s going to support you. He’s going to push you further, so you better be ready for what’s next, because he’s going to help you.

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