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'I can’t see any reason why I would ever stop': Alice Cooper speaks ahead of Birmingham show

By Kirsten Rawlins | Music | Published:

He's Back. Alice Cooper returns to shock rock fans in the Midlands tonight with a brand new show, set to take the audience 'on a ride'.

Alice Cooper

Hitting Arena Birmingham on his Ol' Black Eyes Is Back tour, the 71-year-old frontman and his band are set to put on a carnival-themed performance featuring an array of songs, some greatest hits, some lesser known. The tour marks half a century since the Alice Cooper band released their debut album.

Alice says he's looking forward to performing in the UK, stating 'England was the first place to understand Alice Cooper'.

Joining them on the tour are fellow US rockers MC5, performing as MC50 to mark 50 years in the business, and Guildford punk rock icons The Stranglers.

"About every three years we totally change the show. New staging, new setlist," explains Alice.

Alice Cooper

"We realise there are certain songs we have to do, such as School’s Out, Nice Guy, and Poison, but we also try to put some songs in there people aren’t expecting at all, which creates new theatrical opportunities.

"I’ll do a song that I’ve not done since 1980, for example, and think ‘I know how we could stage that to make that look good’.

"We’ve got a new show with a new energy and a new flow. It’s exciting for us, and if it’s exciting for us it then transfers to the audience.

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"When you go to the carnival and see a sort of nightmare ride - like a haunted house. I said ‘why don’t we make it like that on stage?’. Like the audience are going on a ride with us - with music.

"And in that case, anything can happen. It doesn’t have to make sense.

"We’ve been doing this for so long, we’ve got a crew that knows what they're doing. I can just tell them my idea and they’ll show me sketches. Once we’ve got all the lighting and staging people and my wife - who’s a choreographer - together, it comes together easily.

Alice Cooper

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"But the show evolves. Every night something changes to make it better."

The Alice Cooper band released their first album, Pretties for You, 50 years ago, yet Alice - born Vincent Damon Furnier - shows no signs of slowing; forever touring and releasing new material.

The heavy rock idol's latest release was his very first EP, titled Breadcrumbs, which came out on September 13.

"I think if you asked Jagger or McCartney if they’d written their best songs yet, they’d probably say no - and I feel the same way," said Alice.

"I don’t think I’ve done my best song or my best show yet and that’s what keeps me going.

Alice Cooper. Pic: Rob Fenn

"I’m very much aware of the impact we had and that’s great, but I’m certainly not thinking about old songs - I’m thinking about the next album. I’m always pushing forward.

"I’ve got no stress in my life. I’ve been married for 43 years. All my kids are married. I can’t see any reason why I would ever stop doing what I’m doing.

"There are so many bands retiring - and that’s OK.

"Some people want to spend their last days on a rocking chair on the porch, but I can’t see myself doing that.

"A lot of people weren’t expecting the EP at all. It just showed up, so Alice Cooper fans were just like ‘what is this?’.

Alice Cooper

"I didn’t talk about it, it was just all of a sudden in their face. It’s all the more exciting if it’s something you’re not expecting.

"I’ve never done an EP before.

"One of the tracks is a Suzi Quatro song, which we were going to do with Suzi, but she was so busy touring she couldn’t do it.

"It’s called Your Mamma Won’t Like Me. We didn’t change the lyrics, so it’s Alice Cooper singing about his shirt being too low."

Looking to the future, Alice says he'd love for someone to release an Alice Cooper biography film, certain it would make 'a great bio'.

"The story’s pretty involved: drug addiction, alcoholism. We were a band that were very unlikely to make it in the hippy days, but we became the number one band," said Alice.

"If Johnny Depp were just a little better looking he could play me."

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins
@kirsten_Star

Online Entertainment Editor for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. E-mail me kirsten.rawlins@expressandstar.co.uk, or phone 01902 319368

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