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Alice Cooper talks new live album, Beacon Theatre show, success (Includes interview)

Cooper’s live album A Paranormal Evening at The Olympia Paris, will be released on August 31, 2018 via earMUSIC. “I am pretty critical about live albums, because you always hear things that you did wrong, and this was the first time I ever listened to a live album, and I was just elated. Everything on it is absolutely right,” he said. “When you do it live, you want it to be rock and roll, you don’t want it to be perfect. This live album was rock and roll and perfect. I was very proud of it.”

He complimented the historic venue The Olympia Paris. “I have worked there many times. I have played there with Slash too. Being French, with my real last name Furnier, the French audience is very big on Alice Cooper,” he said. “You can tell by the audience reaction, and it is really cool.”

Cooper acknowledged that in Greece, his Trash album, which was released in 1989, stayed at No. 1 on the charts for 26 weeks. “That was a shock to us,” he said, with excitement.

On Thursday, September 6, Cooper will be headlining “A Paranormal Evening With Alice Cooper” at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. “We alternate on doing arena shows and festivals, and then, we will do a whole year of theaters. I actually like doing theater shows better than anything because our show is basically built for that. It is built for everybody to see the details in the show,” he said. “The Beacon Theatre also has a lot of history to it.”

Regarding the key to longevity in the music industry, Cooper said, “I never get tired of it. I guess people do, and they wander away from it, or they retire. I never really lost any interest in writing good songs. If you don’t have the attitude that your next album or song will be the best you ever wrote, then you should stop. I haven’t written my best song yet, and I haven’t done my best album yet, and that pushes me forward.”

In his live shows, Cooper noted that his smash hits “Poison” and “School’s Out” are the ones that get the biggest reaction on stage from the fans.

For aspiring musicians, Cooper said, “For young teenage fans, go and watch the Foo Fighters because they are a rock and roll band. They take no prisoners. Same with Green Day and The Struts, who gets up and gives you everything they’ve got every night. Our show does that. Young bands should be more aggressive and not passive. I am really tired of passive bands. There are so many introverted bands.”

When it comes to his songwriting and inspirations, Cooper describes himself as a “spot writer.” “I won’t write anything for three months, and once we decide on a title of an album, I will sit down and write 12 songs, because now I have a perimeter,” he said. “I have something to write to. I have songs that connect up and tell a story. I always go with a theme every time. School’s Out, Brutal Planet, The Last Temptation and Along Came a Spider all had themes. Every single album had a theme.”

In 2011, Alice Cooper and his band were inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Once they looked at our body of work, and how many records we sold, and all the bands that copied Alice Cooper, then it was a shoe-in,” he said. “When it came to the voting, I am pretty sure that we were the landslide that year.”

Cooper, who is affectionately known as “The Godfather of Shock Rock,” revealed that he has four albums coming out this year, including his live album that was recorded at The Olympia Paris. “I have a new Alice Cooper album coming out, which I am writing right now, and a live Hollywood Vampires album, and a Hollywood Vampires studio album,” he said.

He defined the word success as “longevity.” “You can be successful for two years and do really well, and the shine withers off, and everybody finds the next thing. If you can do what I do for 50 years, and still feel like you are cutting edge, where the next album is more cutting edge than the last one, then you are successful,” he explained.

Digital transformation of the music industry

On the impact of technology on the music business, Cooper said, “I hate to sound old school, but it seems that the next generation, the one after the millennials, is going back to vinyl. It is unbelievable. If you step back and look at it, every generation rebels against the last generation. These kids are tired of buying songs through the Internet. They want an album, and they like to experience the ritual of opening an album, seeing the artwork and seeing who played on the album. Also, putting the album on and the needle on.”

Cooper continued, “Sequencing is very important to me. Everything I have ever done has been done in story form. I love that.”

For his New York fans, Cooper said about his Beacon Theatre show in September, “Alice Cooper is coming to the theater with the best touring band I have ever had. This band is so tight and so on it. All I need to do is get up there and be Alice. They kill it every single night. Glen Sobel was just voted ‘Best Drummer in Rock and Roll’ and Nita Strauss got voted ‘Best Female Guitar Player,’ so I have two No. 1s in my band. I surround myself with the best players, and the good thing about it is that every single person in this band is best friends with everybody else.”

A Paranormal Evening at The Olympia Paris is available for pre-order on iTunes.

For more information on iconic rocker Alice Cooper and his new music, check out his official website.

Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 16,000 original articles over the past 15 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a five-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past two years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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