Even amid a year-long pandemic, Alice Cooper does not know the meaning of stagnation. His latest record, Detroit Stories, isn’t even officially a week old and the legendary shock rockers has already begun to plot his next release, which may very well be the first of its kind in rock history.
Since the Alice Cooper band first released Pretties For You in 1969, their debut album, a total of 28 studio albums have come bearing the Alice Cooper moniker — seven as a band unit and another 21 starring Alice as a solo artist. With album No. 29 in sight, Cooper laid out his vision for getting his live backing band involved on the next record of new material as a guest on an episode of ‘In the Trenches With Ryan Roxie,’ the video podcast hosted by one of the frontman’s three live guitarists.
“[Detroit Stories is] out now, so now we’ve got to think what’s next,” said Cooper, “And what’s next to me is showing off this band.”
Although Alice Cooper’s live band has been together for 10 years now, they have not been the sole part of any new studio albums as the singer has instead partnered with an immense number of guest contributors across his three most recent efforts.
The legendary frontman isn’t eager to return to the studio and would rather use the stage as the opportunity to record completely new songs to be part of a complete album package at a later date.
“I think that the only way to do that is to take it on the road,” said Cooper in reference to showing off his supporting group. “Write songs now,” he urged, “but rehearse them during soundcheck on the road, and, at some point, on the road, record the whole album live in one of the venues that we’re doing.”
It wasn’t explicitly clear if these songs would be recorded for release during soundcheck or as part of a concert itself.
Explaining why he wants to pursue this route, Cooper detailed, “With this band, the whole idea is to show off how tight the band really is. So if we write the songs, rehearse them on the road, record it on the road, and call the album The Road or just Road, really, that would be the concept for the whole album. And stories about the road.”
Conceptually, Cooper’s idea seems entirely unique and could represent the very first of its kind. Frank Zappa, for one, comes to mind as an artist who frequently included brand new songs on proper albums which were recorded live onstage in front of a concert audience. It helps that, at that time, fans weren’t able to record videos and upload them to YouTube and spoil new songs for the rest of the world.
As an artist who, before the pandemic, toured heavily each year, Cooper should have ample opportunity to pull the idea off once concerts return to the world’s stages. The singer, who turned 73 earlier this year, recently revealed he had received his coronavirus vaccination and had also previously contracted the virus.
Alice Cooper on ‘In the Trenches With Ryan Roxie’
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