After nearly 19 months of touring hiatus, Alice Cooper and her band return to the stage tonight (September 17) in Atlantic City, NJ. The rock icon admits to UCR that the band needed “a lot of rehearsals” to prepare.
“We haven’t done this show for a year and a half,” admits the shock rock veteran, who had COVID-19 last year. The group’s last performance was on February 22, 2020 in Christchurch, NJ Cooper himself was on a Rock Meets Classics tour of Germany the following month when the pandemic put an end to live music.
“Everyone tries to remember where everything is, all the little movements,” he confesses. “It’s really just getting your wings back. I think everyone is just happy to be back on stage – it’s almost to the point of being dizzy.”
Preparing is especially important given how unique an Alice Cooper performance is compared to other gigs. “Other rock’n’roll shows, you’re going to go up there and play your songs. Awesome. With this show, it’s also the fun of the show and remembering all the little nuances that worked.” , Cooper explains. “It’s just about getting back on the boards and feeling comfortable with the show and then all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Oh yeah, I remember what we did there.’ or “I always wanted to change that. Let’s change that now. ‘ I guarantee you that on the second show it will be back to what it was, and then I can start to think, ‘OK, now what …’ “
The tour is also Cooper’s first since the release of his Stories from Detroit album in February, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Best Selling Albums chart. The ensemble will provide new material for upcoming shows – it specifically mentions “Social Debris,” co-written and recorded with original band members Alice Cooper, and its version of the Velvet Underground’s Mitch Ryder & Detroit arrangement ” Rock and roll. “
“I told (the band) to learn three or four songs and we’ll see which ones will catch the audience,” said Cooper, who will have a street, Alice Cooper Court, which will be named after her on September 23 in Westland, Michigan. , near his hometown of Detroit. “We’ll have to try them out and see which ones will work. It’s so funny, I think of (Stories from Detroit) as being an old album, because I have been working on three other albums at the moment. I’m already in the next album a whole bunch, so now I have to go back (Stories from Detroit) and find out what we’re going to do. “
Cooper is working on the new material with producer Bob Ezrin, who directed Stories from Detroit and its two predecessors, as well as vintage versions of Cooper such as Love him to death, Killer, School is over, Billion dollar babies and Welcome to my nightmare. “It’s not Cincinnati Stories or St. Louis Stories or stuff like that, but it’s really good hard rock and roll and I work with a lot of different people,” says Cooper. “I’m always impatient. I enjoy the story, and Stories from Detroit debuting tells me that people don’t just think of me as old man but as candy. People love the new material. “
At this point in his career, the veteran rocker knows when he has a great idea for a song. “You’re sitting there with a pad of paper and we’re in a studio and when we have an idea it’s like, ‘OK, put that riff down, put that voice down, put that lyric idea,” says Cooper. . “And then I can go home and work on it. And Ezrin and I have done this so many times that we can hear something once and say, ‘No, no, no … Yes! That one!'”
Cooper’s latest tour ends at the Shaky Knees Festival on October 23 in Atlanta, and next year he’ll be part of the Monsters of Rock Cruise in early February before performing at June festivals in Europe. Hollywood Vampires – her star project with Aerosmith actor Johnny Depp and Joe Perry – is also considering the possibilities after canceling a summer tour of the UK and Europe.
“We haven’t really talked about this tour yet, although we are all aware that it will be next year, probably,” said Cooper. “I know Joe is working on stuff, and Johnny is working with Jeff Beck now on some stuff. I don’t know if we would do an album first and then think about a tour or if we would just continue where we left off. . The good thing is that there is no pressure with the Vampires. Everyone just says, ‘When it happens, it happens.’ Everyone has their own other things that they do. So when this is all done and my tour is over, then we start to say, ‘OK, what are the vampires going to do now?’ “