Alice Cooper was off the road for more than 18 months, but the pandemic has been an eventful time for the shock rocker, bringing his theatrical, horror-inspired show to Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Tuesday, Sept. 28. He returned to the road in mid-September in support of his latest album, “Detroit Stories.”
Cooper was home in Arizona recently when he discussed contracting COVID-19, pandemic projects and his Bob Ezrin-produced album, which debuted at number one upon its release in February.
Q: What’s happening with you today?
A: We’re in Arizona and its over 110 degrees here every day in the summer. I play golf at 5:30 in the morning and then I’ve got the rest of the day to do whatever I have to do. I have interviews this afternoon. I have the syndicated radio show I do and you always have to do cameos and everything so the afternoons are pretty much locked in.
Q: What has life been like for you during this crazy time?
A: We never expected this thing to last more than a month. Our last big show was with Queen at the big football stadium in Australia. There was 95,000 people and we had no idea it was going to be our last show for a year-and-a-half. When the pandemic had just started, we thought, “Well, they’ll take control of this. They’re never going to shut the world down.” Two weeks later, everything was shut down. That was a bit of a shock to our system. Any band that’s been touring for 50 years like Elton, the Stones, myself, Aerosmith and people like that, now that we don’t do drugs or drink, a highlight of our day is the adrenaline for two hours a night on stage. All of a sudden that gets cut out and you sit there going, “Oh, OK, what am I going to do?” So, you do a lot of writing, a lot of songwriting and other stuff.
Q: What kind of other stuff?
A: I actually started painting again. I was an art major in school and I finally got to a point where I had to put my creative energy somewhere. I’m actually working on three albums at once right now and I’m working on a couple of things for a movie. It wasn’t like I didn’t have anything to do but we miss that rhythm of being on the road. It’s almost like bands are giddy now just because they’re getting to go rehearse. Getting back on stage in front of people will be great.
Q: How was your experience with the coronavirus ?
A: I had it all December. I didn’t have all the normal symptoms but I was exhausted. I felt like I’d gone 15 rounds with Roberto Duran. I didn’t have the congestion or cough. I didn’t have the headache or lack of taste. I was just wiped out. I had a hard time walking from the couch to the kitchen and back and that lasted for two or three weeks. Then, all of a sudden, it just started letting go. I started healing so I weathered the storm. Now, I’ve had my two vaccinations so I’m like a walking antibody.
Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Q: How is your stamina now?
A: Oh, I’m 100% now. I’m out running two or three miles a night now in 106 degree weather so I’m definitely getting ready to perform. That stage show is not an easy stage show. You better be in shape for this show. I tell the guys in the band, “Don’t just start practicing your guitars, bass and drums, get out and get physically ready.” It’s not going to be easy. We’re doing four or five shows a week every week, so it’s going to be a grind but I can’t wait to do it.
Q: Congrats on the success of “Detroit Stories.” How did this album come together?
A: Thanks, we were surprised it debuted at number one but it was great. Bob and I wanted to do an album that was straight up rock ‘n’ roll. Just 12 really great hard rock songs. That turned into, where are we going to do it? Nashville? No, that’s not conducive to hard rock. Los Angeles? No. New York? No. We said, “Well, what’s the home of hard rock?” “It’s Detroit so let’s go there. That’s the influence you want right there.” That’s my hometown anyway. Once we got there, we took it even a step further and said, ‘Well, why don’t we write all the songs here? Why don’t we make the album about Detroit and use all Detroit players?’ It was great.
Q: What were the recording sessions like?
A: We realized we couldn’t really layer the songs we wrote. With an album like, “Welcome to My Nightmare,” we put the drums, bass and guitar down and then put the vocal on it. You wanted this band to play live so we taught them the songs. Everything you’re hearing on that album was live in the studio. We weren’t trying to make a record like Def Leppard or Queen that was startlingly perfect. The whole idea of doing it live in the studio was to make an album that had a lot of feel to it. I don’t care if it speeds up a little bit or slags a little bit as long as the feel is there.
Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO GO
Who: Alice Cooper with special guest Ace Frehley
Where: Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
More info: 513-232-6220 or www.rosemusiccenter.com
Artist info: alicecooper.com