It's been a busy week for Alice Cooper. Not only did the platinum artist release his latest concert DVD, "The Theatre of Death," but he also kicked off another Halloween Hootenanny Tour with co-headliner Rob Zombie. And there was a bit of news from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which nominated the shock-rock artist for its class of 2011. A decade and a half after first being eligible, Cooper maintains his sense of humor when it comes to finally being considered Rock Hall-worthy.
"I always have made the joke [that] when I finally get in, I'm going to have Pete Rose accept for me just because of the fact he should be in some hall of fame," Cooper tells Billboard.com. "You know, there's a lot of bands that haven't been nominated -- Deep Purple, Cheap Trick. I was in an elite class and being nominated with Laura Nyro, my favorite female writer, and Neil Diamond and Tom Waits and Donovan. Those guys have been around as long as I have."
Cooper feels 2011 could be a big year with a special sequel in the works. It all started when he went to his legendary producer Bob Ezrin ("Billion Dollar Babies," "Welcome to My Nightmare," "School's Out" and "Love It to Death") to mix an audio CD of the 26-track "Theatre of Death," which comes with the purchase. This led to a few songwriting sessions for a new album, tentatively called "The Nightshift."
"We thought the story was good, but we started talking about 'Welcome to My Nightmare,' which I think is our biggest triumph," Cooper says. "He mentioned, 'What if Alice had another nightmare?' And we wrote three songs right there. He got really involved in it. Bob is even darker than I am."
So far the pair have come up with 13 songs, including the ballads "I Am Made of You" and "Something to Remember Me By." In addition, Cooper cut three new songs with original band mates Dennis Dunaway (bass), Neal Smith (drums) and Michael Bruce (guitar). "Welcome II My Nightmare" is scheduled for release next year on Bigger Picture records.
"When I listen to the first 'Nightmare,' I've got all kinds of things going on," Cooper says. "There's a lot of hard rock on it, but it'll go way off in a weird direction in one song and then way off in other direction for another song. So where 'Welcome To My Nightmare' left off, this one starts right up. When it comes out it'll have an entire new production around it, probably as big as the original 'Nightmare' show. It'll be a big moment in my career."