Telegraph (Australia) - September 2011

(September 2011)

Originally Published: September 2011

Today's bands are more soft clay than hard rock

Author: Kathy McCabe

ALICE Cooper has a message for today's rock bands - man up.

The rocker who has titled his Australian visit the No More Mr Nice Guy tour said yesterday pop divas such as Lady Gaga, Kesha and Katy Perry had stolen the rock star crown.

"They are more outrageous than the males. Rock bands like Kings Of Leon and others are very subdued compared to the girls. I'm kinda wondering what happened to the guys' testosterone, how come they aren't more outrageous?" Cooper said.

"To me, rock'n'roll has always been provocative - the one chance you are going to have in your life to provoke an audience is to be in a rock band."

The 63-year-old believes the secret to the longevity of his generation of rockers, including our own AC/DC, lies in their larger-than-life characters.

Cooper, known as Vincent Furnier on his passport, said maintaining a 40-year career and a normal life meant leaving the alter ego on stage.

"I separated the two - myself and Alice - a long time ago because I realised what killed Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Keith Moon was them trying to be that guy off stage," he said. "You can't take that character and have him live in a normal society or he'll drink himself to death, kill somebody or go insane."

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of his debut solo record Welcome To My Nightmare, Cooper enlisted Kesha to play the devil on the _sequel album released last month. "In the first nightmare, the devil was Vincent Price. What would be Alice's nightmare 35 years later? Kesha, because she is a pop diva and for him to answer to a pop diva would be such an insult to him," he said. "When I told her the role, she loved it. She has a much harder edge than Katy Perry and Gaga and she will be a rock singer because that's where she really lives."

Cooper performs at the Enmore Theatre on Monday and plans to pursue his other favourite pastime, golf, while in Australia.

(Originally published in the Telegraph newspaper in Australia, September 2011)