Legendary rock vocalist Alice Cooper was recently interviewed by Tigman of the Albany, New York radio station Q103. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On appearing in the recent live television musical "Jesus Christ Superstar":
Alice: "It was really great. I think I might have been the most comfortable there, because we do theatrics every night. My show is sort of like a Broadway play, and I felt pretty natural playing a character, whereas I think John Legend is a singer and a piano player and a writer and a producer. For him to jump into the role of Jesus is unusual for him, where the part of Herod would not be unusual for me. I wasn't really nervous — I wanted to get everything right. The only thing was that we had to get it right the first time, because there were no retakes. It was live on TV in front of 15 million people. That was the only thing that made you nervous – making sure that you remembered all the lyrics."
On the camaraderie among HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES, his side project with AEROSMITH's Joe Perry and actor Johnny Depp:
Alice: "They're really good guys. Johnny is one of the nicest people you'd ever meet in your life. If he met you on a park bench, he's sit and talk to you for three hours. He just has no airs about him at all. Joe, I've known forever. Joe, Steven Tyler and I go back forever. He's like a brother. But it's fun to be in a band that's not like the ALICE COOPER band. The ALICE COOPER band is a very tight, you know, really tight sort of precision organization. When we do the VAMPIRES tour, we're sort of like the world's most expensive bar band. We cover everybody who's passed away — anybody that's died that we knew, that we used to drink with, that's who kind of qualifies into whose songs we're going to do. On this [latest] tour, we added a THIN LIZZY song. We added an AC/DC song. We added a song for Tom Petty."
On the current ALICE COOPER band lineup:
Alice: "Ryan [Roxie, guitarist] is great. Ryan and Chuck [Garric, bassist] are my two sort of stalwarts. They're the ones that have been there the longest... It's a pretty great band. This band, if there's a mistake, trust me, nobody's going to know about it except the band. The audience would never hear it. There's so few mistakes ever. It's an anomaly if you ever hear anything wrong on that stage... The guitar players are the gun-slingers. They're the ones that all of the lead singers — guys like Ozzy [Osbourne] and Steven Tyler and myself — we know who all the great guitar players are, and we're always on the lookout for who the next one is. We kind of scooped them on Nita Strauss. I heard her play and I went, 'I want her — she's in the band.'"
On the last time he spoke with former guitarist Kane Roberts:
Alice: "I just sang on his new album. He has a new album coming out. Kane and I, you couldn't be closer than us two. He is the most fun guy I've ever worked with, only because he's got [Sylvester] Stallone's body and Jerry Lewis's brain. He really never got the credit for being the guitar player he is. I think he was every bit as good as Steve Vai or Eddie Van Halen. It's just that he looked so imposing up there that people watched him rather than listened to him. The guy looks like something out of 'Conan The Barbarian'."
On reuniting with original ALICE COOPER band members for several tracks on his latest album, 2017's "Paranormal":
Alice: "That was great. The great thing about the original band was that we went to high school together. We were on the same sports teams – we [ran] track and cross-country together — before THE BEATLES came out. So when we put the band together, it was through high school, and we played little places all over. When we broke up, after, like, five platinum albums in a row, we broke up with no bad feelings. We broke up with no hatred; nobody was suing anybody; it was just we all went our own ways. I kept that avenue open with Dennis [Dunaway], Neal [Smith] and Mike [Bruce] that, 'Hey, I'm going to be in town; do you want to come up and play?' There was no animosity, I don't think. When I put them together for this thing, I said, 'I'd like you guys to each write a song, and then we'll take it into the studio. I don't want to layer it — I want you guys to play live in the studio.' Everything they played live in the studio came out unbelievable."
On Paul Stanley recently announcing that KISS will embark on a major tour in 2019, and whether he'd consider serving as a support act:
Alice: "I haven't heard anything about it, but I just did golf tournament with Tommy Thayer, and I just saw Paul Stanley at a Desmond Child thing. Nobody mentioned anything about it, so I doubt if that's going to happen. I would not have a problem with that — a co-headlining tour, KISS and Alice Cooper, would be a great tour."
On what he'd say to fans who were upset about him opening for MÖTLEY CRÜE, rather than vice versa:
Alice: "It was their final tour, and it was their tour. They said, 'We're going to go out, but we'd like to go out in style. Would you send us off in style?' I went, 'Sure, absolutely.' I didn't look at that as being anything but... it was a compliment to me that they wanted me to be on that show."
On whether he's given any thought to retirement since turning 70:
Alice: "I've always said this: If we do a tour and nobody shows up, then I'm retired. That's never happened. In fact, we're doing better business now than we've ever done. More people are coming to the show now, and I've never felt better, so I don't see any reason to retire at all. I know a lot of guys are quitting, but a lot of guys still smoke and drink. They're probably tired. I'm not tired. People always say, 'Well, you could just play golf every day,' and I say, 'I play golf every day anyway!'"
Cooper released "Paranormal", his first album in six years and twenty-seventh overall, via earMUSIC last July. 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.