Alice interview at Guitar International

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suziginajackson
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Alice interview at Guitar International

Post by suziginajackson » Wed May 23, 2012 5:56 am

I don't think that this has been posted anywhere yet

"Alice Cooper Interview: It’s An All-Out Assault on the Audience When the Curtain Goes Up

By: Rob Cavuoto

It was a cold dark Friday afternoon when I got the call, “Uncle Alice wants to speak to you!” As I held the receiver, my heart raced, my palms got sweaty, and the hair rose on the back of my neck.

It was the call I feared yet the call I had been waiting so long for. It was my time to face the patron saint to the outsiders, the man who has been killed more times on stage than any human, the iconic rocker who turned music in macabre, the Master of Shock Rock who sold his soul in to sell millions of records in order to get into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame!

It was my turn now! I could hear him breathing on the other end of the phone. Suddenly a voice called out to me… “It’s Alice!” I knew from that moment there was no turning back, life as I knew it would never be the same again!

As I asked my questions about his summer tour with Iron Maiden, about his touring band, and his thought process behind his latest CD, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, I sat on the edge of my seat, listening to his every response, hanging on to every word as if my life depended on it.

Luckily, I happened to have my recorder handy to capture his every word so I can share them with you…..his loyal subjects!

******

Rob Cavuoto: I must say, out of all the concert tours this summer I’m excited the most about the Iron Maiden/Alice Cooper bill. It’s the perfect pairing of two high-energy, theatrical rock bands. Can you tell us about how this double-fisted bill came about?

Alice Cooper: We’ve known Iron Maiden forever and we’re all friends. It’s great when you’re going out on tour with your friends. We went out with Rob Zombie and we are like brothers. Everyone in both bands is friends and get along great. From the road crew to the manager, we’re all friends. We had fun every night.

There was never one moment of conflict. I’m sure it will be that same with Iron Maiden. We’re both pros and would never let anything get in the way of giving a great show. There are no ego problems between Bruce and me. We’re a guest on their bill. On our days off we’ll go out and do our own headlining solo shows.

Rob: Looking back on your extensive touring history, has there ever been a favorite or most memorable touring partner?

Alice Cooper: Back in the day we opened for two bands, Frank Zappa and The Doors. Frank was our producer so we got along well with him and The Doors were like our big brothers. I think they taught us to treat our opening acts with the greatest of respect. So in turn we never talk down to our opening bands or treat them like the red-headed step kids.

I was an opening act and was treated well so I want to treat them the way I treat my own band. Give them all the respect and leeway so they can put on a great show. I know people who go on tour and end up sabotaging each other. I say to myself, “Why would you do that?”

That’s just guys who don’t have control of their own egos. When you’re doing stuff like that there’s really something going wrong.

Rob: Every year like clockwork, I can count on the fact that Alice Cooper will be playing a town near me. How do you keep touring exciting for you, as well as your fans year after year?

Alice Cooper: I think you have to change the show up. My show has a reputation that it’s going to be different from anything they’ve even seen before. Even if they have seen it before, there will be some new aspects or some new songs that we added to change it up.

No matter if we’re playing in front of 500 people or 5 million, we’ll give it our all and make it the best show you’ve ever seen. We really only know how to do it that one way!

When the curtain goes up, it’s an all-out assault on the audience. When I get off stage and I’m exhausted I know that I gave that audience everything I have! And the next night I’m going to do it all over again.

I never get tired of the songs once I see the crowd’s reaction to the opening guitar on “I’m Eighteen,” “Poison” or “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” If you have a toothache or headache, the adrenaline kicks in and takes care of it once you hit the stage.

Rob: Are you planning any new theatrics for this tour with Iron Maiden?

Alice Cooper: With Maiden there isn’t a lot of time in the set to do a lot of theatrics. We know that fans what to hear the hits. There isn’t the time to get into a theatrical bit when you’re only playing for an hour.

If you know Alice Cooper it won’t be too much of a surprise, but if you are an Iron Maiden fan and have never seen Alice Cooper, we’re going to surprise the hell of you. Maybe they heard about the legend of Alice Cooper but now they are going to be experiencing it. When we do our own hour and 45 minute show, that’s when we have all our surprises.

Rob: Tell me who will be rounding off your touring line-up?

Alice Cooper: We have Orianthi, Tommy Henriksen and Ryan Roxie back on guitars. Steve Hunter who is one of the great American guitar players and played with us last year, will not be joining us this tour, as it’s getting harder for him to tour due to his failing vision. He can only see about 18 inches in front of him, he’s almost blind.

Ryan and Orianthi are back and a show on to themselves. On drums we have Glen Sobel and on bass, Chuck Garric. Chuck has been with me for 12 or 13 years. We have an amazing band for this tour with some classic rock guitarists up there

Rob: You have had a long history of playing with some very talented guitar players?

Alice Cooper: I always believe in surrounding myself with great guitarists. That’s very important to me. I only want to be with the rock players, the guys playing the middle of the neck like Slash and Joe Perry.

They’re the true rock guitar players.

I’m not looking for the guy who can play all the triplets at super-fast speeds, even though Orianthi can do it. When I look at my guitar players guitar necks, I want to see the middle frets worn out!

Rob: How has it been working with Orianthi?

Alice Cooper: When she first started the tour a year ago she had to learn 28 songs. She learned how to travel and tour with the band. Once she got comfortable with us she started to get more theatrical. On the first night she looked like Orianthi, on the second night her hair got bigger, her make-up got more extreme.

By the end of the tour her hair was wild, she had blood coming out of her mouth, she wrote “Help me” on her arms like in the Exorcist.

I’m glad when the tour ended because I wasn’t sure where she was headed next [Laughing]. She did a 100 city tour around the world; she really got her stage bones on that tour. I tell my band, when I step back I want you guys to step forward and take the show!

Rob: What advice would the present day Alice Cooper give to the Alice Cooper of the ‘70s with the drinking and excess?

Alice Cooper: First of all you have to remember there were two distinct Alice’s. When I first started Alice, I played him as a victim; I wanted him to be society’s victim, so we cut his head off and hung him.

There was this great audience of outsiders who were not listening to Crosby Still & Nash at the time. They were listening to Zappa, Captain Beefheart and Alice Cooper. There was a ton of them and I was their patron saint, because I was the personified victim on stage. I noticed it in my posture and in the way I sang. I was a beaten down dog on stage.

As soon as I quit drinking, I realized that I didn’t want to play Alice like that anymore. The next time I put on the Alice suit, my posture went straight up and my chin lifted. I decided that I was going to play this Alice as a villain, a total arrogant villain.

Like an Alan Richman type “Cancel Christmas” (in a ghoulish voice) over blown yet funny in some ways. Alice is serious at times, very angry at other times, and down-right vicious in other places yet he may slip on a banana peel and be total slap stick too.

I like the fact that the new Alice doesn’t play a victim; he is this Captain Hook, “I’m in charge!” type of character.

This Alice is now sober, that Alice was anything but sober and if I was to give him any advice, I think this Alice would tell him to keep doing what he’s doing, “you’re doing exactly what you should be doing.” You’re playing this victim to the teeth and it works. It’s not time to for you to play the villain yet, you’re not good enough to play the aggressive villain. You’re going to have to get sober in order to do that.

Rob: Do you think he would take your advice?

Alice Cooper: I think he would, as that Alice was not a stupid guy. He was one of those characters that came off as drunk, tired, and beaten up, but in reality; a lot of it was acting. He was very aware of what was going on. The funny thing was that I drank everyday but never on stage.

When I was doing a movie I never drank during the making of the movie. If we were doing a TV show, I never drank during the TV show. When I was working I was never depended on anything to get me through the show. It was the other 22 hours of the day that were a problem.

Rob: I heard a rumor that Welcome 2 My Nightmare might be your last CD – any truth to that?

Alice Cooper: Absolutely not! In fact we have already written half of the next record. I was in the studio with Bob Erzin and he happened to mention that it was the 30th Anniversary of Welcome to My Nightmare. I went, “Why don’t we give Alice another nightmare?” Not part two, not a continuation; let’s give him a whole new nightmare. Let’s give him a whole new set of circumstances, rather than another “Cold Ethyl.”

What would be a nightmare for him now? Alice is way too old school for technology; he won’t like disco, hip hop, or rap. So let make sure we write “Disco Boogie Bloodbath Fever” and make a total shambles of it. We just started to create other scenarios, like having a 9 to 5 job that would be a nightmare for him. That gave us more freedom and in turn got a most diverse CD out of the theme.

On the first CD we had this theme going that Steven could not wake up and these horrible things kept happening. In the new Nightmare, things happen, but more of them, stranger things, awful things so that it was really dream-like. The devil ended up being Keshia and she wasn’t a scary devil, she was more of a seductress. I thought that was a great way to approach the devil on the CD.

Rob: Were there any songs/nightmares that didn’t make the CD?

Alice Cooper: We had 8 or 9 songs that didn’t make the CD. We had to pick the ones that best move the story along. For the next CD, we will go back and review those songs to see if any of them fit into what we are doing. Nine times out of ten there are usually one of two songs that will work."


http://guitarinternational.com/2012/05/ ... tain-goes/
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Re: Alice interview at Guitar International

Post by A_MichaelUK » Wed May 23, 2012 9:24 am

>I don't think that this has been posted anywhere yet

There is already a link to this on the front - page, but thanks anyway.

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Re: Alice interview at Guitar International

Post by darkmenace » Wed May 23, 2012 1:21 pm

HS: Thanks for posting this interview. Alice makes some interesting observations.

Drinking Alice was more interesting to me as he portrayed a victim but also an aggressor. It was a deeper statement about society and appealed to many people, especially outcasts.

Sober Alice played the villain role as a character and this is less interesting to me although it is still very unique for rock.

I liked that sober Alice didn't judge drinking Alice and wasn't patronizing, but I disagree that drinking Alice wasn't strong. There are different kinds of strength. I think the alcohol freed him to portray his demons on stage, the sexual confusion, anger, and this was the power of his performance. I think in real life he always found this troubling and tried to distance himself by referring to his stage persona as a "character" and referring to himself in the third person.

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Re: Alice interview at Guitar International

Post by A_MichaelUK » Wed May 23, 2012 1:30 pm

>I think in real life he always found this troubling

He always made it clear that it was just acting, though.

>to distance himself by referring to his stage persona as a "character" and referring to himself in the third person.

Exactly. It was quite a risky but clever thing to do.

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Re: Alice interview at Guitar International

Post by RemarkablyInsincere » Wed May 23, 2012 3:37 pm

At Alice shows, the curtain generally goes down.
"Golly gee it's wrong to be so guilty..."

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Re: Alice interview at Guitar International

Post by GailsFriend » Wed May 23, 2012 4:14 pm

Yay! The next album is half written!!!
"What part of DEAD don't you get?"

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Re: Alice interview at Guitar International

Post by mestreech » Wed May 23, 2012 4:48 pm

GailsFriend wrote:Yay! The next album is half written!!!
I wouldn't take that too serious

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Re: Alice interview at Guitar International

Post by mestreech » Wed May 23, 2012 4:49 pm

Great interview !!!

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Re: Alice interview at Guitar International

Post by Greenie » Wed May 23, 2012 4:50 pm

mestreech wrote:
GailsFriend wrote:Yay! The next album is half written!!!
I wouldn't take that too serious
Get ready for the tons of reviews... :x
Today, the pond... Tomorrow, the woooorld!

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Re: Alice interview at Guitar International

Post by GailsFriend » Thu May 24, 2012 2:05 am

Be prepared to be inundated with positive reviews from all over the world....just as always. Alice rules....Amen.
"What part of DEAD don't you get?"

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