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Originally Published: August 1996
In Alice Cooper's career, his crazyness on stage was so unpredictable as the band lineup changes. But, seems the horror master finally found good musicians, and they are ready to face another concept albun, following the 94 reborn, The Last Temptation. Together with Reb Beach and Ryan Roxie on guitar, Paul Taylor on keyboards, drummer Jimmy Degrasso and bass guitar Todd Jensen, Alice Cooper releases a new live album on October 22, containing all his hits, and starts to prepare the new studio album. On his recent tour with Scorpions, we took him for a talk about present happenings and future plans.
Why are you releasing a new live album?
I wanted to go on tour (with Scorpions) after building this great band; after that, the idea about launching a new live album appeared, 'cause the last was released on 77. Look, some bands, like Kiss, have more than 10 live albuns (laugh). We played on Cape San Lucas, Mexico, and decided to register it. We recorded 20 songs, including Teenage Lament and Clones rarely played live. Then, we let the producer choose the best.
Why did you choose this show on Mexico?
I started singing in bars, even though people always think about Alice Cooper playing on big stadiuns. But there was nothing special on the past; it was me singing on a small stage with a great rock'n'roll band. We decided to return to the past, giving more attention to music than theater- the end result was very good.
The show had Slash (Gun N' Roses), Sammy Hagar (ex-Van Halen) and Rob Zombie (White Zombie) as special guests. What did you do to put 'em together??
There is a fraternity on Rock'n'Roll. If slash asked me to play a music, I would say "yes", at the same time. When we organized this show, I asked which one he would like to play. He answered Only Women Bleed, cause this is his favorite song. But I wanted at least one "more Rock'n'Roll" music, pushing his guitar to the limits. So, he played Lost In America,Elected, and in the end, Hey Stoopid. If Guns N'Roses didn't exist, I'm sure he would be my guitarrist. He fits perfectly to the Alice Cooper style-like Joe Perry, from Aerosmith. Me and Rob (Zombie) are just like brothers. He sang Feed My Frankenstein\ and Elected. He is like me 20 years ago. On stage he's a weird person, when is out, is normal. That's why we have a good relationship. Sammy is a long time friend. I asked what he would like to play and he answered: "School's Out!". I have forgotten that he is a great guitar player. Anyway, he was never able to show his "tricks" at Eddie Van Halen's side.
And what are the plans about the new studio album?
I'm on tour with Scorpions 'till the half of the year, then we start to arrange and pre-produce the album. We will be entering the studio on November, stoping for a while on Christmas. So, it will be probably out in 97. I never know how a recording will sound like, because Alice Cooper was always a hard rock band. Except for the Constrictor and Raise Your Fist And Yell, we never were a metal band. The new album will be a concept and really hard rock. After so many albuns, I don't want to make 12 randon musics. I hope they will be different, but with the same subject. The album must deliver a message, just like The Last Temptation, Welcome To My Nightmare and School's Out.
After releasing the next studio album, are you planning a tour with all the theater stuff?
I can't plan anything before the release. I will see if we can make something on stage after that.
How would you compare the two times you played in Brazil? (In 70s and 90s)
The first time, we were touring the world for three or four years. A crowd is a crowd; you don't mind if you are in Alaska, Hawaai or South America. The show is the same every night; people's reaction makes the difference. We never know how the Brazilians would react, but we never thought so many people would come to see us. That was fantastic. 150 thousand people in that mega-show. Something like Beatles playing in England. I received more publicity from the interview than from the show. Monsters of Rock was more organized. We did a more complete show.