Originally Published: September 29, 2000
Author: Mark Voger
When he leaps onstage, his ice-blue eyes lined in black -- with hair, gloves, leather jacket, trousers and boots to match -- Alice Cooper is clearly someone who is not yet ready to rest on his laurels.
It's a notion the seminal "shock rocker" behind the '70s hits "School's Out," "Eighteen" and "Billion Dollar Babies" has pondered since his comeback in the mid '80s, when glammy heavy-metal bands such as Twisted Sister and W.A.S.P. garnered MTV rotation by raiding his makeup bag.
"Even at that time," Cooper, 54, says, "I felt like, 'Yeah, I'm the legend of this whole thing.' But you always wonder: 'Am I just going to be taken as a legend? Do I still have any edge left?'
"When I finished 'Brutal Planet' (Cooper's latest album on Spitfire Records), that was like a calling card. That was like me telling all the new bands -- the Slipknots and the Marilyn Mansons and all those bands -- that Alice is not just a legend. He's back. He's here. Here's his new album. Deal with it."
Q: "Brutal Planet" is now an album, a tour -- it's even a walk-through "spook show." What's it all about, Alice?
A: The storyline, basically, is: This is where we're going if we're not careful. I wanted to paint a picture of America in 30 years if everything goes wrong. That's if technology fails, if family fails, if church, state, everything fails. What are we left with? We're left with a bunch of survivors who are basically: Anything to survive.
Q: Have you been keeping tabs on the Bush-Gore race?
A: I'm usually very idealistic. But I'm of the opinion now that the president, basically, is a figurehead. I doubt if the president himself actually makes too many decisions. I think that he's got 10 guys who are advisors and a computer. Before he says anything, he gets a list of things he's supposed to say and things he's not supposed to say. So I think that Gore and Bush are basically the same guy (laughs).
Q: Did you watch "Survivor"? Did you get caught up in the hoopla?
A: You know, I didn't. I was in Europe, and I tried -- when I got back, I kind of got interested in it for a second. And then I went, "I don't like any of these people." There was just nobody who interested me in the whole bunch.
Now, from what I understand about it, the next one -- if they do what they say they're going to do -- is really going to be cool. If they really take 15 people to Russia and train them as cosmonauts, and then the top three people go up to the Mir Space Station -- that's going to be interesting.
Q: What's your verdict on "The Blair Witch Project" -- was it a horror classic or a scam?
A: I liked it. I'll tell you why. Because they were very, very smart. When you break it down to what it is, it's three kids lost in the woods with a witch. That's a Grimm's fairy tale. Every Grimm's fairy tale is three kids lost in the woods with a witch (laughs)! What I liked about it was the fact that, even knowing that it was a fraud, it was so well done that it got me. It still had me.