Alice Cooper is to rock and roll what Halloween is to the world: Frightening, fun, colorful and extremely entertaining. The inventor of the genre known as “shock rock,” daring to mix music with theater and vaudeville, Cooper brings his dynamic stage production to the Hard Rock Live Sunday night.
We caught up with the Hall of Famer, 65, who is in the middle of a world tour.
These are certainly good times for Alice Cooper, aren’t they?
Yeah, they are. I’m working on my 29th album, and it’s pretty much done. Touring for me now is really fun. If I didn’t play 100 cities a year, I would feel cheated. It’s now a tradition with us. I hate sitting around not working.
There must be a method to your madness. You just go full speed on stage.
I’ve never been in better health. The band is the best band I’ve ever worked with, so you know, we want to get out and play.
You are in the middle of a world tour as we speak.
Right, we’ve already done 50 shows on this tour, and now we’re doing another 30 over the next two months. We’re playing Russia again, which is interesting. There was a time when Tass [news agency] wrote that Alice Cooper would never play Russia because we were the worst example of Western decadence. Now we have been there six times so I guess they were wrong. (Laughs).
Your voice is sounding better than it did 20 years ago.
I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I never smoked, and I quit drinking 30 years ago. The guys that I know that smoked all those years have now lost some of their lung power. Not smoking has had a huge payoff for me. I know I can do five shows a week. Most guys my age can maybe do two.
You have guitarist Orianthi on stage with you. How is working with her?
It’s the first time I’ve ever worked with a female on stage, but I feel like she can’t be called a female only — she is more like a phenomenon. She looks great out there and then when she starts playing everybody goes, ‘Wow, are you kidding me?’
It seems the crowds are getting younger as well.
That’s another phenomenon. I think the first 16 rows are fans 16- 25 years old. I think that’s because our brand is classic, guitar-driven rock. The only bands from the ’60s that didn’t die out were hard rock bands. That is the one type of music that keeps on going strong.
Are you still bringing an audience member on stage each show?
Yeah, that’s one of those things that you can do to create a lifetime memory for that fan. For someone’s who has seen us play dozens of times, we can say, ‘Now you can see what the show is like from OUR perspective!’
Info/tickets: Doors open 7 p.m.; hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com