Andy Hall of Des Moines radio station Lazer 103.3 recently conducted an interview with Alice Cooper. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether the album title “Paranormal” is fitting of his career:
Alice: “When you talk about the word ‘paranormal,’ I actually looked it up — it doesn’t really mean anything ghostly. It means ‘other than normal.’ Paranormal. So, when I started thinking about my career and started thinking about every single thing that has happened to make Alice Cooper what it is, it is extremely paranormal. [Laughs] It wasn’t like CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL. It wasn’t like any of the other bands. Our road was a lot more bizarre. It was one of those things anytime you’re introducing something new, it upsets everybody because they want to stand back and wait and see if it’s going to be accepted. If it is accepted, then all of the sudden you’re a genius. If it’s not accepted, then you’re an idiot. [Laughs] It was [a big risk], but at the same time, we had nothing to lose. We were one of those bands, we were just like any other band, except the fact that we were extremely theatrical and I said, ‘Why don’t we take what we do best and wrap great songs around it? And I’ll play the villain and we’ll wrap a show around that?’ We thought about it and went, ‘Well, nobody does that, so let’s just do it.’ It felt very natural to us to do it like that.”
On the caliber of musicians in his band:
Alice: “I’ve always looked for the very best players. I had Orianthi [guitar] in the band before this and she had been playing with Michael Jackson [before his] tragic death and I always said, ‘I’ve never had a girl in the band, so let’s put Ori in there.’ Not just because she was a girl, but because she was a great guitar player and that really was a plus. When Ori went off with [former BON JOVI guitarist] Richie Sambora, which I thought was a nice connection there, I found ‘Hurricane’ Nita Strauss, who was another great player, except she was a different kind of guitar player — she was a shredder. She was a girl who could play like Eddie Van Halen. So, I said ‘That gives us another dimension.'”
On the longevity of his career and celebrating the anniversaries of some of his classic releases:
Alice: “I am more of ‘what’s happening next’ then ‘what’s happening then.’ But, I appreciate the history. I do appreciate the fact that was historic stuff and ‘School’s Out’ broke a lot of barriers and ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ was a very theatrical album to be a number one album. It did things on that album that other albums had never done. I think what it speaks to also, is the fact guitar rock, no matter where rock goes, it will go to punk, it will go to grunge, it will go to disco, it will go to this, that and this, but the one music that never dies is that sort of modern Chuck Berry hard rock that THE [ROLLING] STONES do, that GUNS N’ ROSES do, that AEROSMITH does, that Alice Cooper does. That’s the kind of music that will just not die. There are bands right now — look at GRETA VAN FLEET. There’s a band who said, ‘It’s been a long time since LED ZEPPELIN was around; let’s be LED ZEPPELIN.’ People are ready for a new LED ZEPPELIN, so guitar rock, once again, is going to take the forefront.”
On when he realized there is no stopping point to his career:
Alice: “I think it’s the fact, everybody can look at Mick Jagger or Paul McCartney or any one of these guys who are still touring after 60 years or so, 50 years at least, and they’re as good as they’ve ever been. I think it’s a matter of, ‘Are you physically well enough to do it? Are you mentally well enough?’ My idea was this: If I didn’t think my next album was going to be my best album, then I would stop. If I didn’t think my next show was going to be my best show, or at least equal to my best show, then I would definitely stop. But, I’m looking at the new [HOLLYWOOD] VAMPIRES album and I’m looking at that show and I’m looking at the new stage show that we’re doing and I’m going, ‘Geez, this is better than the last one. Let’s keep going.’ There’s nothing physically wrong with me, so I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t keep going.”
Cooper released “Paranormal”, his first album in six years and twenty-seventh overall, last July via earMUSIC. The record, produced by Bob Ezrin, 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 mini-reunion of the original ALICE COOPER bandmembers.