Australia's FasterLouder.com.au recently conducted an interview with ALICE COOPER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
On other "shock-rock" acts like MARILYN MANSON and SLIPKNOT and how he feels what he is doing is different:
"What's different is my approach to it. I don't think you can shock an audience anymore. I think audiences pretend to be shocked. You can't out-shock CNN. When I'm sitting here watching a real guy getting his head chopped off and I'm going, 'Well, that's certainly more shocking than me doing my head getting cut off on stage.' Shock rock's dead at that point. You know MARILYN MANSON, SLIPKNOT cannot be more devastating than CNN. So we've been eclipsed by reality here. Shock rock was easy in the '70s as there was nothing like it. You could wear makeup and put a snake around you, get your head cut off and call yourself Alice Cooper and everyone was just, 'Ahhh! How could they!' And it was great because we could, you there was nothing really in the show that was… it was vaudeville. Now I do it to entertain the audience. Now when people see the guillotine, [in a whisper] 'Ohhh… the guillotine, the guillotine,' and we make it as real as you can make it, and it really looks real and the blood goes in the audience and the people love getting covered in the blood and for that moment, yes, it is shocking but it is always accompanied by a little laugh. You kind of go, 'Ha,' and that to me is what it really is.
"The difference between ALICE COOPER and MARILYN MANSON is I don't think MARILYN MANSON has a punch line. I don't think SLIPKNOT has a punch line. They go out, they're aggressive, they're over the top, blasphemous on every level, without a punch line and that's the difference. To me, I like to give the audience walking away a 'That was the best party I've ever been too' not 'I feel a little sick to my stomach.' That was never my object to make the audience a little sick to their stomach, you know, it was always to make the audience say, 'I can't wait to see them again.' The other difference is songs, I have the luxury of going back to 14 or 15 radio hits whereas these guys don't and I've always emphasised… you know I've never talked to Marilyn Manson one-on-one but that would be an interesting conversation because I think he is really good at what he does, I don't believe in what he does, certainly on a theological level, being Christian, you know. I understand it, I get it, he does what he does as well as I do what I do, but I don't agree as to what his product is. But he's very good at it… it would be an interesting conversation."
On how he reconciles his stage persona with his belief system and his religious feelings:
"Well, I don't really think that they oppose each other at this stage, because if anything, I have always in my life, with the last four or five albums, I have totally preached against the whole satanic movement. Not preached but warned against it. I've certainly warned against apathy in your spiritual life. I think you do need to find the thing you believe in and you better find it pretty quick. For me to say that, for Alice… Alice is just a comic book. Alice is like 'Phantom of the Opera'. I don't see any difference between the violence in my show and the violence in 'Macbeth'. I mean, when you were at school you had to read 'Macbeth', that's much bloodier than what I do and that's a classic. So I don't really find the opposition there. I'm not telling people to sleep with anybody, I used to but not anymore. I don't believe that anymore. I believe in the sanctity of marriage, I believe that sex is better, best when you're married, so I oppose a lot of things that you would never think that I would oppose but I'm not one of these [wagging his finger at me], I'm not a finger wagger, I'm sitting there going 'This is what I believe,' and Alice Cooper is going to give it to you in the face.
"Most of my songs are about people, the hypocrisy of people and that makes it fun for me because people are the greatest subjects. They are the greatest source of sex, religion, comedy, tragedy, everything I write about in my songs are about the ironies of being human. I mean, I'm not sitting out there on a soapbox but if you ask me, I'll tell ya what I believe. So I don't really find anything wrong with playing Alice Cooper. I think it's just culture, it's an art form. If I were preaching: 'Go ahead and screw every girl you can,' I think it would be a different thing but Alice, he just doesn't do that."
Read the entire interview at this location.