Jon Gillooly of the Marietta Daily Journal recently conducted an interview with legendary rocker Alice Cooper. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Marietta Daily Journal: Are you still on a high from having the band inducted into the Rock And Rock Hall Of Fame?
Cooper: 2011 was a big year for me. Getting in the Hall Of Fame, having “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” out, I did a movie with Johnny Depp in London, “Dark Shadows”, and the tour. It’s really been a full year, so I’m ready for six months off. The Hall Of Fame thing was definitely one of those things that you never quite realize. You think, well, it’s going to happen eventually, but who knows when? We got on the ballot the first time, that was our first nomination, and went in on the first ballot. So it was really cool.
Marietta Daily Journal: You’re 63. What is the secret to surviving as a rock star for as long as you have?
Cooper: It’s all on the songwriting. All the bands that are still here from the ’60s had hits on the radio that were really good songs. I try to tell young bands that all the time. I go, look, your image is important, your stage production is important, but if you don’t have the songs, you don’t have anything. You have to have the cake before you can put the icing on it. And songwriting is everything. We had 14 Top 40 hits. If you don’t have those songs, I don’t know how far you can go.
Marietta Daily Journal: What is the difference between performing now compared to your twenties and thirties?
Cooper: For one thing, I’m a better singer now, and I’ve got more energy. I’m actually in better shape now than I was when I was 30. When I was 30, I was drinking a bottle of whiskey a day. I haven’t had a drink in 30 years, so at 63 I do five shows a week that are an hour and 45 minutes long and we start in fourth gear. This show is 26 songs that are 90 percent hard-rock songs, so I never stop on stage. I’m in better shape now than I’ve ever been.
Marietta Daily Journal: Would you say your fans are different from back in the day to now?
Cooper: The crazy thing about classic rock is that music has not changed at all in 45 years. If you go listen to the FOO FIGHTERS or THE WHITE STRIPES, they’re all ’70s bands. You could take the FOO FIGHTERS and put them in 1974, and they would fit right in. Musically, nothing has changed. Technologically, how we make records, how we sell records, how we listen to records, that’s entirely different. I feel sorry if I were a young band right now. I don’t know how you make any money with records. It’s just almost impossible. So I tell young bands if I were you, I would be the best live band in your state. That’s what you got to go for, because they can’t take that away from you. The recording part, though, I just don’t see how anyone can make money.
Read the entire interview from the Marietta Daily Journal.