For his new concept album, “Along Came a Spider,” Alice Cooper wanted to create a serial killer people could, well, like.
“It’s very easy to pull for a fictitious serial killer, a Hannibal Lecter or a Jason Voorhees,” says Cooper. The album, due July 29, introduces us to Spider, who wraps his victims in silk that matches their eye colors and cuts off one of their legs to create his own arachnoid appendage. “I don’t think anyone was ever cheering for Ted Bundy or Richard Speck or anything like that, but when it’s a fictitious serial killer, you can get behind him.
“I think (Spider)’s got a romantic sense. He’s got a sense of humor. I think in the end you kind of like him. You have somebody you could actually listen to and go, ‘I like this guy…’ “
Cooper co-produced “Along Came a Spider” with Danny Saber and Greg Hampton, with the 11 tracks played by his touring band. Slash contributes guitar on “Vengeance is Mine,” while “Wake the Dead” is a co-write with Ozzy Osbourne. Listeners should brace for a plot twist that the singer calls “very Alice Cooper.”
Cooper, whose previous conceptual epics include “Welcome to My Nightmare,” “From the Inside” and “The Last Temptation,” is planning a full-fledged stage show to support “Along Came a Spider” but won’t have it on the road until 2009. “Right now I’ve got people that are drawing things up,” says Cooper, who’d also like to offer a visual treatment of the album with different horror directors creating videos for each song. “We’ve started thinking about, ‘What can we do to make this really interesting and what new things can we do with the stage?’ I gonna definitely create a new way for Alice to die, something nobody’s seen.
“A lot of clever minds out there are working on it,” he continues. “It’s weird to be working on a show for a year from now, but at the same time I can at least give myself a good head start.”
Cooper plans to play some of the new songs songs when his Psychodrama tour’s North American leg begins July 31 in Redmond, Ore.