A chat with Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric
Chuck Garric is a busy guy.
He's been touring the world as the bassist in Alice Cooper's band for the past decade. He recently produced a couple of tracks for Milwaukee-based rockers Jimmy at the Prom. He's working on launching an interesting new project called "Beasto Blanco."
Oh yes, he just started a U.S. tour of giant outdoor venues with Alice and the gang as the special guests of heavy metal icons Iron Maiden that will bring him to his "adopted" hometown of Milwaukee on the Fourth of July.
Yup, Garric is busy, but he sure sounds like he's lovin' every minute of it.
"It's a good time to be in rock 'n' roll – a lot of hard work, but I love working with Coop and have had the chance to meet and play with some of my biggest musical influences," said Garric, a list which includes Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, who recently joined Garric, Cooper and the band onstage at what appeared to be a really awesome "Dark Shadows" premiere party.
"Playing with Coop is playing with a legend. I've learned a lot about writing, working and recording with Alice and the band. There's always been a talented group of musicians in the circle of Alice Cooper and it's been a great experience from a musician's standpoint – playing the classic Alice Cooper songs as well as the new ones," said Garric. "One great thing about working with Alice is that you get the opportunity to meet and play with a lot of great musicians."
Musicians like the current crack Alice Cooper lineup, which includes Tommy Henrikson (guitar), Ryan Roxie (guitar), Jonathan Mover (sitting in on drums for Glen Sobel, who's on the IR list) and 24-year-old hot-shot female guitar whiz Orianthi.
"Orianthi is great. She can stand up with anybody in the room. It can be tough for women in rock and roll – you need to be a little bit extra special, and Ori is that," said Garric. "She's an amazing singer, amazing guitar player and above all a great person, and she's fit right in with us – she's become one of the guys.
"There are a lot of moving parts to Alice Cooper Live, and once she got a handle on what her job responsibilities were gonna be – she never looked back. She's definitely a force to be reckoned with on guitar."
He's excited about getting back to Milwaukee (if only for a day), a place he's adopted as his new hometown, primarily due to the fact that his wife Lindsay (a regular OnMilwaukee.com columnist) is a Milwaukee native.
"It's like my second home now. Milwaukee has kind of adopted me and I love it there – it's a great city."
It's also where he met and subsequently worked with Jimmy at the Prom.
"The guys in Jimmy at the Prom asked if I'd produce a couple of tracks," said Garric. "It was a lot of fun and turned out awesome. People should definitely check out this band – super talented guys, and they're going to do some great things."
Listen to one of their tracks, "Escape," here.
Garric's also about to launch a new project of his own.
"My new band – Beasto Blanco – is giving me the chance to get all of this stuff I've had knocking around in my head for years that I haven't had a chance to get out.
"I've always loved singing, performing and playing guitar, so I called up my writing partner (and former bandmate) Chris Latham and we decided to re-work some of our older stuff, write some new songs, and we hired (Alice Cooper guitarist) Tommy Henriksen to be the producer – he's an amazing guy. Tommy was able to go in and basically get the sound out that I was looking for, and we worked really well together. We recorded three tracks, and even did a video."
Look for Beasto Blanco's full record release in the fall, but the first couple of songs will be out in the next few weeks – just a little teaser for fans.
"It's something I'm extremely proud of and I'm looking forward to getting it out to people. I've gotten a lot of great reaction and this band is the full package."
Oh yeah, last but not least – that little tour alongside Iron Maiden.
"It's going to be really a great tour – a fantastic one-two punch. I'm looking forward to it. You know, the Maiden guys have become really good friends of ours over the years – we get along very well with them. Everybody from both sides are looking forward to these gigs."
So is just about every Milwaukee metal fan.
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