During his recent Australian tour with Ace Frehley, Alice Cooper was interviewed by Heavy TV. The full chat can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On Bob Geldof‘s recent guest appearance during a concert in Perth:
Alice: “I had just come back from playing golf, and my guitar player and my bass player and I were just walking through the lobby, and I saw this shock of white hair over on the right. I went, ‘Boy, that looks like Bob Geldof,’ and then I picked up a newspaper and (saw) he was giving some kind of a speech there. By that afternoon, somebody says, ‘Bob‘s going to come up and do ‘School’s Out’ with you, and I went, ‘Great — BOOMTOWN RATS on stage.'”
On his history with Ace and KISS:
Alice: “We basically told KISS where to buy their makeup. They were no surprise to us. Everybody thinks there was a big conflict with us and KISS — there was never… we were all friends. The only advice I gave them was, ‘Try to distance yourself show-wise and makeup wise from me, because they’re going to really compare you to me.’ So they became sort of like four comic book characters, and they took on those disguises, which I thought was a great idea. Even though we played the same kind of music — sort of, very, hard rock — they were smart enough to distance themselves on that level. There was never any awkwardness between KISS and I. I remember the first time I saw them play and they asked me what I thought. I said, ‘All this band needs is a gimmick.'”
On the band’s theatrical concerts:
Alice: “My whole idea of rock and roll is escapism. That’s why I’m not political. I stay away from that, because I’m trying to take you as far away from politics as possible. You get that all day in the newspaper, on the internet, on TV. You’re bombarded with politics and bad news. So you come to see Alice Cooper the same way you’d go to see ‘Harry Potter’. We are the escape from that. For two hours, you get to go away to Alice-land.”
On the advice he’d give up-and-coming rock bands:
Alice: “I feel it’s time right now where a lot of young bands are so introspective… and young rock bands seem to lack a sense of outlaw. Rock bands should always be outlaws. That was the whole idea behind being in a rock band, was being the outlaw, not fitting in, whereas I see a lot of young bands trying their hardest to fit in. It’s either in you or not in you to have that rebellion in you, to be a rebel. Your music should have a certain amount of anti-establishment in it. It should be clever; it should be hard rock; and you’ve got to walk on stage with swagger.”
On the musical climate at the time he released “Trash”:
Alice: “It was glamorous, it was loud, it was arrogant, it had a lot of swagger to it, and it attracted chicks. And it was fun to do. I really see a resurgence of that coming — I think you’re going to see in the next ten years a resurgence of that whole Sunset Strip, glam, over-the-top thing coming again, because it was too much fun not to do. STEEL PANTHER is doing it, as a bit of a mockery — they’re a great band, though; THE DARKNESS did it for a while, kind of an ’80s thing. I think you’re going to find bands inventing a new version of that, because every generation rebels against the last generation. Now that we’re into this high-tech, dance, you’re going to find a bunch of rock and roll bands coming out to fight that.”
On HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES, his side project with AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry and actor Johnny Depp:
Alice: “From what I understand, the VAMPIRES are going out in June, so we’re going to have to get in the studio probably in February/March. All the guys are writing right now. Johnny did five movies this year, just so we could free up time for next year. Joe is finishing up with AEROSMITH; I’m finishing up with Alice Cooper for a while so that we can all get together and go back out on tour again. That’s a fun band to be in.”
Cooper recently completed a seven-show tour of Australia that marked the fortieth anniversary of his first tour Down Under.
Alice released “Paranormal”, his first album in six years and twenty-seventh overall, via earMUSIC in August. The disc features special guests like U2‘s Larry Mullen Jr., who plays on nine of the twelve new songs; Billy Gibbons of ZZ TOP; DEEP PURPLE‘s Roger Glover, as well as a highly anticipated mini-reunion of the original ALICE COOPER bandmembers.