Alice Cooper Talks Reuniting With Original Members of His Band for New Album
After flirtations at the 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and on the same year's Welcome 2 My Nightmare album, Alice Cooper and the members of his original band -- guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith -- are working together again on new music for the shock rocker's next album.
"Neal Smith and Mike Bruce and I wrote five songs in Phoenix," Cooper tells Billboard. "Dennis wrote four or five songs in Connecticut. You never know what's going to make it on an album, but I think we've got a lot of stuff that has a good chance of being there." Members of Cooper's current band are also contributing songs for the set, which has led to a welcome plethora of material. "I don't care where a song comes from; If it fits the idea, what the album's going to be, then we go with it," Cooper says. "We'll see which ones make the album."
Cooper also has in mind performing again with Bruce -- who's recovering from recent hand surgery -- Dunaway and Smith (original guitarist Glen Buxton died in 1997) after playing together last year to promote Dunaway's memoir Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! My Adventures in the Alice Cooper Group. "I would have no problem with that," Cooper says. "In my show, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a segment where certain guys come in. We do that anyway already; If Dennis is in town he comes up and plays with us. If Neal's in town he'll come up and play 'School's Out' or something like that. Same with Mike. He's really getting back into shape."
The Cooper group formed during the mid-'60s in Phoenix and recorded seven albums, starting with Frank Zappa's Straight Records label, then moving to Warner Bros. for hits such as "I'm Eighteen," "School's Out" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy." The group broke up acrimoniously after 1973's Muscle of Love, with Bruce, Dunaway and Smith going on to form the short-lived Billion Dollar Babies band.
There's no timetable on when Cooper's next album will come out. He's currently touring, mixing dates with his own band with the Hollywood Vampires, his all-star project with Johnny Depp and Aerosmith's Joe Perry. That group is also planning a second album, and some of the songs may well come from Cooper's current stash of material. "
"I know there's three or four songs I've started writing for the next Alice album, and I've already gone, 'It doesn't work for our album, but that might work for a Vampires album,' which I think is a little more modern rock," he explains. "It's still guitar rock, but it might have more elements of modern rock."