Metal Sludge

Metal Sludge

Alice Cooper 'Performing to me is like breathing'



Alice Cooper talks about rocking out with Vince Gill
By: Keith Ryan Cartwright

AC_KRC_Oct_12_2014_1The Tennessean
— When it comes down to it, country music and rock and roll are not all that far apart.

In Nashville that’s been especially true over the past few years, but in truth it’s been that way for years.

“It’s all based on Chuck Berry anyway,” said Alice Cooper, who will open for Motley Crue on Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena.

Cooper, who has been performing since 1964 and released his first album in 1969, recorded his most recent studio album, “Welcome 2 My Nightmare,” in Nashville, where longtime producer Bob Ezrin (KISS, Pink Floyd) had relocated before the 2011 recording session.

“Just to show you how close rock and country is,” Cooper said, “we’re doing this song called ‘Runaway Train,’ right? It’s sort of like Train Kept a Rolling, only it really rambles on. You need this really hot guitar in there. I’m going, ‘OK, who do we want to put on this?’ ”

He and Ezrin discussed flying in guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani.

They talked about bringing in ZZ Top ax man Billy Gibbons.

Cooper then suggested his longtime friend Vince Gill.

“Vince Gill comes over and he’s got this Telecaster,” Cooper said, “and he just rips through the song. When I played it back for my guitar players, who are great players, they kind of just looked at me and said, ‘Who’s going to play that?’

“The guy is so good you can’t even copy it.

“Of course he’s a country guy,” Cooper said, “but, at one time, he played rock and roll, and as soon as he listened to the track you could see a beam on his face and he said, ‘Yeah, let me tear into this.’ It is great having guys like that playing on the record.”

HairNation_LucCarl_BlockCooper the character

Born Vincent Furnier, he took on the Alice Cooper character in the late 1960s.

By 1971, the original Alice Cooper Band, which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 40 years later, scored its first hit single “I’m Eighteen” followed by “School’s Out.” In 1973 the band topped the success of both with the classic anthem “Billion Dollar Babies.”

“We kind of invented the arena show pretty much,” said Cooper, who often refers to his rock villain-like alter ego in the third person.

Cooper was a pioneer of over-the-top theatrical performances that, to this day, include an electric chair, guillotines and a straightjacket in the stage show.

His meticulously choreographed shows inspired the likes of Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and other shock-rock bands. Cooper’s own inspiration came from combining his love of horror films — in 1975, the late Vincent Price provided the opening monologue to The Black Widow during the recording of the original “Welcome to My Nightmare” — and hard rock was also influential in the early material and stage show for Motley Crue.

In a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Crue bassist Nikki Sixx said, “(Cooper’s) music first and foremost is the thing I listen to, but his performances, like Motley Crue, are over the top.”

“It’s great to be working with them,” said Cooper of his tour with Motley Crue. “I tell them, you try to blow us off the stage and we’ll try to blow you off the stage and then it’ll be a great show, so it’s competitive and we try to keep it competitive.”

Cooper added, “I go up on stage with the attitude every night of kill this audience.”

AliceCooperDragontown‘Performing to me is like breathing’

Cooper, 66, has physically never been in better shape.

He still plays in upward of 100 shows a year and gets up early enough to start every day with 18 holes of golf. In addition to a full schedule of meetings, interviews and his relentless charity work, he also records a five-hour long syndicated radio show called “Nights with Alice Cooper.”

“The easiest thing for me is to get up on stage,” Cooper said. “I feel more comfortable on stage than I do off stage.

“Performing to me is like breathing.”

His Nashville show will include the requisite hits such as “Billion Dollar Babies,” “School’s Out” and “Poison,” as well as theatrical numbers such as “Feed My Frankenstein” and the “Ballad of Dwight Fry.”

On occasion Cooper likes to leave room for what he calls “deep cuts,” which he added, “for the real fan, that’s a piece of candy.”

In Nashville he’ll certainly be leaving room for his pal Gill, who, in 2007, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“I’m always open for stuff like that,” Cooper said. “In fact I just did a cancer (benefit) down in Oklahoma with Vince.”

He concluded, “If he’s around, it’s very interchangeable.”

The above courtesy of Keith Ryan Cartwright for The Tennessean

Metal Sludge
Cooper Sludge




Metal Sludge is not responsible for offensive comments. That said, you have no right to free speech on this site. This is our site, and we are not the United States government. We reserve the right to edit all comments, and to moderate all comment threads, as we see fit. Happy Sludging!