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On the Road With ALICE COOPER

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Alice Cooper is the epitomal rock God.

From his music to his image, even his dress sense, Cooper is a walking, talking, singing purveyor of rock music, the GrandDaddy of them all if you will, and his star is not about to start dimming any time soon.

For his latest album Road – which will be released on August 25 – Cooper has again thematically composed the score and lyrics to situations pertaining to his life and travels, with the obvious topic here being life on the road.

“Alice is a villain. He’s Darth Vader. He’s Dracula. In the end you can’t let him get away.”

Alice Cooper

But, whereas previous albums were written firstly and then recorded separately by respective band members, this time Cooper wanted to harness the full creative side of his band – Ryan Roxie [guitar], Chuck Garric [bass], Tommy Henrikson [guitar], Glen Sobel [drums], and Nita Strauss [guitar] – and not just allow their expressive content to be fully realised in the live arena.

As such, this collection of songs take on an even more sinister outlook, with the creative process shared like never before.

Cooper took time out from his schedule for a catch-up with HEAVY earlier this week, starting with how nerves affect him after so long in the game.

“You always do, except for the fact it’s a hard rock album, and it’s an Alice Cooper album, all the way,” he measured. “This album came about by me trying to show off my band. My touring band is so good that I said I want to do all these new songs about the road, but I want to do them live in the studio. Maybe we’ll do two or three overdubs for the whole album, but, live in the studio. And this band killed it. We all wrote the songs, and they just went in and nailed it in the studio.”

We press Cooper to go into the writing process in greater detail.

“Generally I write the songs with one or two writers, but on this one, I said I want you guys to all write something about the road, because that’s where we live. There’s so many aspects. There’s funny things that happen, there’s horrible things that happen, and there’s great things that happen. I said find something about the road that either you hate or you love or that’s ironic or satirical and when you bring it in Bob and I will do surgery on it and turn it into an Alice Cooper song. We’ll learn it that way and then record it that way. I think that you really get the advantage of hearing what a real band sound like, instead of… I love perfect albums. Beatles albums are all perfect albums. Queen albums are perfect, there’s so many bands that make absolutely perfect albums. I kind of like to hear a band that sounds like a band; that sounds like they maybe go a little bit left here or a little bit right there, but the feel is great. And that’s what you’re looking for is how good is the feel.”

In the full interview, Alice explains the concept of recording live in the studio, the musical side of Road, the ‘Alice Cooper‘ sound, the singles released and how they represent the album, why he continues to make new albums, his favourite live set pieces, the dangers that go with them, coming to Australia and more.

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