Metal Edge

Originally Published: April 1996

Alice Cooper

"Where has the time gone?," marveled Alice Cooper, reflecting on the passing decade. But for pioneer of shock rock, it's not just nostalgia. Alice is going strong in the '90s, working on an album for new label Hollywood Records that's based on a story he wrote called Spirit Rebellious (which may or may not be the disc title). This time he's writing solo (so far), and starting with the concept and lyrics. "I want to make Alice Cooper albums like Stephen King does books, not just a collection of songs. It should really say something." The premise is "a gang warfare thing, on three different levels, socially, spiritually and there's a romance in it."

Alice's long-delayed boxed set, held up by red tape, will (hopefully) be out later this year, but it is uncertain whether it will be out before or after the new album, which will likely be recorded near Alice's home in Phoenix. Musicians will likely include guitarist Stef Burns and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, who toured South America with Alice. As for future performances, there may be some European and U.S. festival shows this summer.

Alice still has his sights on the screen, and having seen Goldeneye twice at the time of our talk, wants to play a Bond villian some day, as well as a Star Trek Klingon. Recently offered a Quentin Tarantino movie that he had to turn down due to scheduling conflicts, he says, "I don't want to do schlock unless it's great schlock."

Reflecting on musical trends, "Bon Jovi was probably the catalyst for the metal-meets-melody thing, and Queensryche for more sophisticated metal. Show came back to American rock - the big sound produced the big show. Now we have a backlash to that. Pearl Jam - they play arenas but they whine about it," cracks Alice, whose favourite newer bands include Soul Asylum, Collective Soul, White Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, and Soundgarden. He predicts that a charistmatic performer will soon arrive, someone "movie star-ish and over the top with cool music" to rule the rock world, but notes that "dance music is like cancer, it will always be with us" and believes "metal will always have a place in rock 'n' roll. It may not be as big as it was but there will always be kids who like music as loud as possible."

As for his own future, "I think in 10 years I'll be talking about new bands and still making records. I never get old! I'm the same person I was 30 years ago and will probably be the same in the next 30." Reassuring words.

"I'm healthier than I was 10 years ago - physically. I don't claim any mental health." - Metal Edge Mar. '87

"Metal music is the best form of rock 'n' roll. The energy is so high and it's so much fun to play" - Metal Edge Mar. '88

"Metal will never die and neither will Metal Edge. The magazine is committed to what it does. It's a really good magazine - I read it because I'm in it!" - ALICE COOPER