The story begins in the rural town of Charlotte, Tennessee. It was here that a young Charlie Bonnet III grew up and searched to find an identity for himself. “I was the nerdy kid that always got picked on,” he reflects. I was still at the age where I wanted to be included in things other kids were doing, like sports and boy scouts, but I never got picked.”
It was the summer of 1989 when fate stepped in. “A neighbor kid brought a junk guitar over to the house one day and showed me a couple chords. I wasn’t any good at it, but it looked cool on me, and it felt like a shield. I would put it on and instantly feel like a different person. I knew right then that I wanted to be a guitar player.” That Christmas Charlie convinced his parents to buy him a guitar of his own, and within a few months he was able to play licks from his favorite AC/DC, Aerosmith, and Guns N Roses records. Word got out around town, and by the time high school came, Charlie was playing in bar bands and getting his first taste of performing.
Just before turning eighteen, Charlie and some friends formed the hardcore metal band Disarray, and set out to play the opposite of what was on corporate radio at the time. By 1996 the band had self released two albums, and had built a cult following in America. Record labels came knocking, and over the next few years the band recorded two more albums for a small indie company. They hit the road punk rock style – living in a van for weeks at a time, and playing any show they could find. By 2001 Disarray had grown into a semi-national act, doing small tours and regional dates with larger bands, such as GWAR, Clutch, and Biohazard.
By the end of 2004 Disarray had recorded one last studio album, but the band was losing steam. It was time to reinvent his sound, and by the time 2006 arrived, Charlie Bonnet III had returned to the scene as a solo acoustic artist. Although becoming a bar singer again was humbling, Charlie still managed to record and release a series of acoustic singer / songwriter demo albums, and played the occasional one-off Disarray gig. “At that point my rock star dreams were gone. I figured I had tried and failed, and this was my new destiny. I was now a hobbyist.” Once again fate intervened…
The phone rang in January of 2010, and on the other end of the line was an underground rapper known as Big Smo, who was needing a guitarist for a new album. “At first I wasn’t interested,” says Charlie. “Some of my earlier fan base had already crucified me over the acoustic records, and I figured this would only add to my musical identity crisis,” he states. “I finally decided that I needed to be open minded to it, and I went out to the studio. Thankfully I did. That one phone call changed my life.” The two hit it off immediately, and began working on Smo’s “American Made” album. Shortly after teaming up, Smo met another similar rap group on the internet, and invited them to Tennessee to collaborate on a track. The song was called “Hick Life,” and it featured a verse from Florida native Brahma Bull. “Hick Life” quickly became an underground hit, and the collaborators formed the group Kinfoke, but it was not meant to be.
They released one album before splitting into two camps, with Big Smo going on to Warner Brothers Records, and Charlie and Bull co-founding the band Moccasin Creek. “The Creek” quickly built a national following, releasing three full albums, a series of singles and EPs, and twenty one music videos. The band completed a fourth studio effort, but Bull and Charlie abruptly parted ways in December of 2014, before the record was released.
Charlie Bonnet III is currently performing as a solo artist, and is recording music for an upcoming new album, as well as re-issuing his earlier solo material in 2015. He has music featured on over sixty albums and compilations worldwide, and has collaborated on songs with members of KISS, The Alice Cooper Band, LA Guns, Testament, Megadeth, Grand Funk Railroad, Pro-Pain, GWAR, Exodus, and many others. There are also new projects and collaborations with very well-known artists in the works. “When I think back to being a thirteen year old kid with that first guitar, I realize that all my dreams back then have come true. Everything now is just a bonus” he says. “Regardless of what opportunities come in the future, I will keep recording and performing until the day I leave this planet. You can count on that.”