Alice Cooper Talks COVID Bands, Johnny Depp and new display No Quilt

The generic nature of TV song competitions like American Idol and The Voice have turn into an actual flip off for the ones people who love song, particularly rock n’ roll song. Anyone can do a karaoke tackle a pop or perhaps a rock hit on TV, however actual rock magic is located in actual rock venues, from golf equipment to arenas. Regardless of the pandemic’s danger to are living song, it persisted. Alice Cooper helps it to continue to exist in additional tactics than one.

All through the peak of COVID-19, the song legend joined Bishop Briggs, Gavin Rossdale, Lzzy Hale and Tosin Abasi as a pass judgement on at the new song pageant display No Quilt. The primary season, filmed on the Troubadour, has been rolling out on YouTube and it’s been heating up with some in point of fact numerous artists appearing all authentic song. Because the display is going into the semi-finals this week, we Zoomed with Cooper to speak in regards to the display, his recommendation to aspiring rockers, his good friend and bandmate Johnny Depp and a complete lot extra.

(Courtesy No Quilt)

LA WEEKLY: Loving No Quilt and the way it exposes the arena to new younger bands. What has been your revel in as a pass judgement on at the display and what have you ever been searching for? 

ALICE COOPER: Neatly, you realize, younger bands particularly, it’s all in regards to the songs. How excellent are the songs? A very long time in the past, I watched American Idol, I mentioned, this might be higher in the event that they write their very own songs. Anyone can do a Burt Bacharach music or a Beatles music. That doesn’t in point of fact display ability, that simply displays the man’s a excellent singer. However for a band to jot down their very own music, after which get on level after which make me imagine it. That’s the place the actual ability is. And more often than not those bands are simply emblem new.

I discovered a complete new word– COVID bands. COVID bands or bands that were given in combination all over COVID that experience by no means performed in entrance of an target market as a result of there’s no position to play. So a few those younger teenage bands that had been going nowhere had been COVID bands. That’s the primary time in historical past that’s ever took place, I feel.

Ash Avildsen of Hit Parader and the Amazon display Paradise Town created the display. Are you able to let us know the way you turned into interested by his venture and what you aimed to supply to the contestants?

Yeah, they gave me a choice. I knew Lzzy [Hale] beautiful neatly. It was once simply a type of issues the place I met everyone and everyone were given alongside so neatly.

You understand, for me, if I noticed a lead singer up there making a song and he saved taking a look clear of the target market or he saved making a song up right here or over there. I’d inform him the target market desires you to be the focus. That suggests don’t ever glance clear of them. You understand, it’s a must to stare them down. It’s a must to be you and you’re the superstar up there. You’re larger than existence. So, you realize, don’t arise right here and be shy. That’s now not what a rock singer is– you’re larger than existence.  I inform my band this at all times. Whilst you’re on level, I would like you to reek of ego. Whilst you’re off level, I don’t need any ego in any respect.

I imply, you’re a legend, clearly, so simply getting that more or less perception from you–somebody who’s the sort of showman– I might consider that those new artists discovered a large number of worth in that.

Neatly, you realize its 50, virtually 60 years of being on level. And I nonetheless in point of fact experience younger rock bands, I in point of fact need them to be top power. They job my memory of when my band was once in highschool. We couldn’t be on level lengthy sufficient. We needed to be up there for 8 hours.

After which I’ve simply were given to mention, now in a while, you’ve were given to be a celeb. When you’re going to be a celeb, it’s a must to assume you’re a celeb. You’ll’t simply move in the market and simply be face worth, it’s a must to remember that you’re a superstar or the target market is not going to regard you as one.

Yeah, completely. To this point at the display you discussed you’re searching for eye touch and reference to the target market. What had been you searching for in the case of musicality and instrumentation?

To me being a songwriter, I’m all the time pronouncing the whole thing revolves round how excellent the music is. You understand, I don’t care how thrilling you’re up there. I mentioned, spend your time paying attention to The Beatles. I inform younger bands at all times, I would like you to hear The Beatles, The Seaside Boys and The 4 Seasons. And so they move, what? They wrote highest songs, proper? Their data had been highest. You’ll be an indignant punk rock band, however write a music round it. Don’t simply don’t simply play a riff, a drum phase and yell at me. That’s now not a music. It’s a must to have a verse, a B phase, a refrain. That’s why I would like you to hear early Beatles and the Seaside Boys. You’ll be simply as indignant and feature a excellent music. You don’t have to simply throw it away. Too many bands simply throw throw it away.

So that you’re unquestionably searching for the hook? The melody?

Yeah. And if I imagine it. And if I will be able to inform they don’t even imagine what they’re making a song. You understand what I imply? You’ve were given to persuade me and the target market that you’re, you’re that individual. You understand like Jim Morrison. We used to excursion with The Doorways. I imply, you sought after to listen to the whole thing that got here out of his mouth as a result of he had that presence, and what he mentioned was once in point of fact attention-grabbing. You by no means knew if he was once going to fall off the level or if he was once going to move slowly or what? That’s what you need, proper there.

What about lyricism?

I’m principally a lyricist. So I listened to the lyrics. And yeah, there was once a large number of instances I criticized this. Why do you need to stay pronouncing the similar previous stuff? You’ll say issues in a completely other means. Be extra suave. As a result of I do know, you like your child, and he or she’s now not being excellent to you. So create a brand new means of claiming that, give me an image of her or if it’s a woman, give me an image of this man, in order that I in point of fact hate him. On the finish of the music I in point of fact need to really feel what you’re feeling.

So thematics of the songs and what else?  

Any individual like Bob Dylan– are you able to consider Bob Dylan happening American Idol? He wouldn’t final two seconds. However on a display like this, we’d sit down there and concentrate to each and every syllable and move, ah, this man’s nice. As a result of he’s now not looking to be a cookie cutter, he’s in point of fact pronouncing one thing and that’s interesting.

Why do you’re feeling {that a} display like that is so necessary? You mentioned you’re searching for one thing past cookie cutter however maximum song competitions have a tendency to be simply that. How is it other?

The truth that they may be able to write a music is necessary. But additionally asking, what are you about? What’s your objective in this factor? Is it simply to promote data? You’ll have a glance, however what what are you in point of fact about right here? You understand, and a large number of them have now not gotten to that time but. They’re only a excellent band. However they haven’t in point of fact evolved what the persona of the band but. You understand, Led Zeppelin had a character and so they band had a valid. The Rolling Stones identical factor. You while you heard that music, you knew it was once the Rolling Stones, you knew it was once Led Zeppelin.

It additionally makes an influence that the display is filmed at The Troubadour. Past the fantastic historical past of the venue, we had been listening to that it was once suffering and would possibly shut. It feels becoming in a technique to be at this mythical venue that was once threatened at one level and seeing you guys there looking at are living song. You will have to really feel nice that are living song is again.

It was once a breath of clean air. The final display my band did was once prior to the pandemic in Australia, and it was once 95,000 other people. And we’re sitting there going, oh, guy, that is gonna be nice. The following factor you realize, we’re off for 18 months. We by no means noticed that coming. And so stepping into there, and looking at those bands, all of us needed to have mask on till we sat down. All of us needed to get checked on a daily basis. We needed to take care of a large number of stuff that we didn’t need to take care of. However we understood it.

We needed to cancel 180 displays world wide, however everyone else did, too, I imply, everyone was once in the similar boat there. You understand, after they mentioned this was once going to occur. I went neatly, a minimum of I am getting to move in and be part of one thing inventive right here. And I am getting to take a seat there and in point of fact have a laugh with this.

Whilst you have a look at the song charts, rock and roll isn’t the cool, scorching factor presently. What are we able to do about that, Alice? What can those bands do to convey rock again into the pop charts and get extra recognition once more?

Neatly, you realize, you’ve were given your sure bands– you realize, Foo Opponents nonetheless going. Inexperienced Day, such things as that. I more or less have a look at this slightly bit otherwise. There was once a time once we first began enjoying that rock bands had been outlaws. We had been at the outdoor taking a look into the birthday party and we weren’t invited to the birthday party. It was once extra pop song and dance song and disco. I feel we’re again to that time. I feel it’s more or less wholesome that rock bands now don’t seem to be primary, quantity two or quantity 3. We’re again to the purpose of being rebels once more.

So now not being the a part of the mainstream makes for higher song? Do you assume that gives a freedom of  varieties?

Gene Simmons mentioned rock is lifeless however I feel he was once speaking financially. I feel there are children in garages presently finding out Weapons n’ Roses, finding out Aerosmith, finding out Alice, finding out Ozzy…  Younger 16 yr previous children rocking, simply rocking. That’s wholesome. That’s in point of fact wholesome. I don’t assume rock is ever gonna die. Whilst you discuss arduous rock, just like the Stones, The Who and all that, that’s the one song that’s lasted.  Grunge was once right here for some time. And punk was once right here for some time. Emo was once right here and all this, however arduous rock bands simply saved going. So for those who’re in a difficult rock band, you’ll be able to move so long as you need to move.

And also you’re a large a part of that. I’m so satisfied that you simply’re nonetheless in the market traveling. So is there anything you’re operating on that we will be able to point out, as opposed to simply traveling?

Neatly, I simply were given out of the studio with Bob Ezrin. The final album, strangely, went to primary, Detroit Tales. That was once a marvel to us. Additionally, Hollywood Vampires– Johnny Depp, Joe Perry and myself– did a model of the Bowie music “Heroes,” with Johnny making a song. It went primary in England. Primary in The united states. Primary in Australia, and it sort of feels find it irresistible’s the general public supporting Johnny.

Proper.  I forgot about Hollywood Vampires. This kind of nice band. I reviewed you guys on the Roxy when that file got here out. Would really like to look extra. 

I imply, Johnny has been busy.

Sure he has. I don’t need to get into your own friendship however what do it’s a must to say about him?

I’ll inform you what, that band is such a lot a laugh to be in. We’ve been in combination seven years. There’s by no means been one argument. Everyone within the band is just like the softest guys till we get onstage. Johnny by no means argues about anything else. He’s the very best man on this planet. I’m the very best man. Joe’s the very best man. So it’s similar to a host of buddies, bunch of brothers getting in combination and enjoying and we simply experience enjoying. It’s the similar factor with my band. All my guys in my band, Nita Strauss and all this. Everyone’s best possible buddies. So there’s ego journeys happening.

And also you’re all so proficient. With a bit of luck there’s extra at the horizon together with your song and the TV display. I feel that one of the most streaming networks will have to select up No Quilt so much more other people can see it past the YouTube target market.

We didn’t know once we did it the place it was once gonna move. I’m satisfied it’s on someplace.

Neatly I in point of fact see a fan base for it. It’s more or less harking back to the Rockstar: INXS and Supernova displays Mark Burnett did within the early 2000s. I feel rock and roll enthusiasts need our personal American Idol and the unique song simply takes it to any other position.

I believed that I might have observed the whole thing. There have been two or 3 bands on this factor that completely made me move, Adequate what? That’s one thing other. There’s no preventing the bands on the very finish of this factor. They’re that excellent.


Updated: June 17, 2022 — 4:01 pm