Singer Alice Cooper: “Rock music will never die!”

Old master of shock rock returns to his roots with “Detroit Stories”: “A really strong, guitar-influenced hard rock album”

It was supposed to be a real rock album “made in Detroit”: And this is what Alice Cooper’s latest studio work to be released on Friday actually sounds like. “Detroit Stories” does what the title promises. “As long as rock and roll stands for rebellion, anger and fun, he will not die. So never!”, Cooper said in an APA interview about his profession. He himself “never got tired of the genre”: “I have always reinvented myself.”

The old master of shock rock therefore contradicts his colleague Gene Simmons from Kiss: “He said that rock music was dead. I don’t think so. Right now kids are in garages learning songs by Guns N ‘Roses, Aerosmith, Green Day, Alice Cooper. If you look at music evolution, rock bands always survived. There’s a reason the Rolling Stones are still touring after 50 years. “

Cooper reported from Arizona in a good mood: “It’s 27 degrees here,” he enthused. As a passionate golfer, he is pleased that the courses there were not closed during the entire pandemic. Corona is of course terrible, but “everyone here is getting their vaccination,” said the singer. “All cinemas, restaurants and shops in Arizona are open, everything. Everyone should keep their distance and wear a mask, that’s okay.”

Cooper worked out the basic idea for “Detroit Stories” with Bob Ezrin, who already produced his classics such as “School’s Out” and “Welcome To My Nightmare”. “We wanted to make a really strong, guitar-driven hard rock album. In America, Detroit is the home of hard rock. So I said: Ok, let’s go to Detroit, let’s write the songs there and record them there,” he said 73 year old. “So we were able to capture the Detroit feeling. And we also wanted to involve musicians from Detroit.”

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Wayne Kramer (MC5), Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad) and their colleagues from the time when the name Alice Cooper still stood for a band and not just for the singer took part. “We covered all kinds of Detroit music,” enthused Cooper. “On the album you find a Motown song, a blues, a punk song, rock and roll – all together make a Detroit hard rock album. And it’s Alice Cooper, you can hear that straight away!”

As a harbinger, the record company had released the song “Rock & Roll” from the pen of Lou Reed. “Lou wrote this song when he was a member of the Velvet Underground. They played the song in the 1970s New York heroin chic style. That was cool. But Bob and I thought, why don’t we take this song to Detroit?” with, put in a V8 and turn it into a monster rock song. That’s exactly what we did! His widow, Laurie Anderson, told us Lou loved our version. “

A song by Bob Seger and “Sister Anne” by MC5 were also covered. “We weren’t looking for hits, but special numbers,” emphasized Cooper. “Bob Seger was totally surprised that we wanted to do ‘East Side Story’ from him. He said he couldn’t remember the song itself. But I was born in East Detroit – and the song tells a great story. Reason enough to cooperate with the song. “

Of course you can find a lot of Cooper compositions on the album, on which the American really lets off steam. About “Shut Up And Rock” he said: “The song is written from the point of view of a completely politically incorrect guy. He tells his girlfriend that he doesn’t care about her yoga, her new bag or her political views. She should just shut up and rock. Of course you can’t say that anymore. “

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Alice Cooper often held up a mirror to society and provoked it with his songs. Whereas in the past there was criticism from one side, today criticism often comes from the other side. “We’re getting to a point where there are no more comedies because you’re afraid of offending someone with a gag,” sighed Cooper. “The majority can distinguish a gag from an insult. But it’s like in politics: a minority with extreme views creates all the problems.”

His colleagues from the very early days have a strong impact on “Detroit Stories”. According to Alice Cooper, no discussions or reconciliations were necessary: ​​”When bands break up, most of the time the band members hate each other and a lot of lawsuits follow. When our band broke up, it wasn’t a divorce, we just broke up and stayed best friends. We have always made music together on different projects and have always stayed in contact. The boys are as good as ever. “

(Interview conducted by Wolfgang Hauptmann / APA)

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