Legendary shock-rocker Alice Cooper recently spoke with Cameron Buchholtz of the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma radio station Rock 100.5 The KATT. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his upcoming tour with HALESTORM and MOTIONLESS IN WHITE:
Alice: “We realized one thing, even when we went out [in 2014 and 2015] with MÖTLEY CRÜE. The reason we did that was to get in front of a younger audience. I understand that we’re a classic rock band, and our audience goes from grandfather, father to son. They’re all rock fans — they’re all hard rock fans. The idea of getting in front of a younger audience that HALESTORM will bring and MOTIONLESS IN WHITE — I want that audience, because they’ve only heard of ALICE COOPER. They’ve heard the legend of ALICE COOPER. Now I want them to see the show. When they see the energy of the show, they realize that we’re probably the highest-energy show out there. If they haven’t seen the kind of theatrics we do, it’s an experience. They walk away being ALICE COOPER fans. We want to be in front of as many kinds of people that haven’t seen ALICE COOPER as possible.”
On the new “Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back” stage show:
Alice: “We did the last show for two years. Then we decided, ‘Let’s put this show to bed. It’s time to do an entire new production — new props, new everything.’ It’s the same band, with Nita Strauss is our lead guitar player. She looks like a Victoria’s Secret model and plays like Steve Vai. She’s killing it — she’s so good, and such a great chick… It’s a really amazing band. You give these songs to them from 30 different albums, and they just tear it up. I can’t wait to get on stage, because I know the band’s going to be that good. They kind of look at me as the elder statesman, and I’m the only one that’s not breathing hard after the show. I’m in better shape than all of them… We have to wrap it around a storyline. That’s where I come in. My wife is a choreographer in a ballet — she’s a prima ballerina — so she knows how to work the stage. I know how to design the stage, and Shep [Gordon], my manager, we’ve been doing this for 50 years, so he knows how to light it. We just put all our best things together, and all of a sudden, you’ve got a new show.”
On not abandoning crowd favorites:
Alice: “I remember two incidents when I was first starting that really got my attention. I was talking to Jimi Hendrix, and Jimi goes, ‘Man, if I have to play ‘Foxy Lady’ one more time, I’m going to go crazy.’ I was sitting there going, ‘If I was in the audience and he didn’t play ‘Foxy Lady’, I would really feel cheated.’ Then [David] Bowie one time told me, ‘I’m going to do a whole tour and not do any of the hits.’ I went, ‘Wow — they’re going to hate you for that.’ I’ve always done the hits. I’ve always believed, ‘Do the hits, and do them just like the record.’ And then add what we call the stage hits — songs like ‘Feed My Frankenstein’ and ‘[The Ballad Of] Dwight Fry’, things like that. You give them those songs, because those are the theatrical songs. Then, every once in a while, you throw in a song that nobody’s expecting. You can really tell who the real fans are when all of a sudden you do a song like ‘Roses On White Lace’, and they go, ‘Wow, I never thought I’d ever hear them do that song’ — but if you’re an ALICE COOPER fan, you know the song.”
On 2019 marking the 50th anniversary of his debut album:
Alice: “I would not subject anybody to anything from ‘Pretties For You’. ‘Pretties For You’ is the weirdest record ever. At the time, everybody said, ‘This is so crazy. This band is going to last for two weeks.’ Frank Zappa saw it, and he went, ‘I don’t get it. This is the weirdest stuff I’ve ever heard. That’s why I’m going to sign you.’ If Frank Zappa doesn’t get it, that’s a good sign. Since then, that album that hardly sold anything has become now very artsy. It’s become like a piece of art… It was really futuristic, but the songs on there are just so insane, and they really represented the ALICE COOPER of 1968-69.”
On when to expect the follow-up to 2017’s “Paranormal”:
Alice: “We’re in the studio right now doing a new studio album. We’ve got the HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES album coming out, which is really a good album. It’s really different from anything, and then there’s a live VAMPIRES album from Switzerland. I’ve got three albums coming out this year. It’s great, though. It’s fun. There’s a huge difference between making records because you have to and making records because you want to. Same thing with touring — touring because you have to and touring because you want to is an entirely different thing. One is because you’re really having fun and you’re really doing your best work, and the other one was because in the old days, you had to tour and record in order to keep your career going. Now, we’re doing it because we really enjoy doing it.”
COOPER‘s North American tour with HALESTORM and MOTIONLESS IN WHITE will kick off July 17 in Allentown, Pennsylvania at the PPL Center and make stops in Detroit, Chicago, Houston, and more before wrapping August 16 in Camden, New Jersey at the BB&T Pavilion.