Home > Alice Cooper: There's plenty of gore in my Halloween shows
<em>News Item :</em> Alice Cooper: There's plenty of gore in my Halloween shows
November 1, 2010 | 10:06 AM
Vincent Furnier, aka Alice Cooper talks to Metro about his upcoming Halloween shows, inventing the goth genre and why he's stopped using animals at gigs.
Will you be adding more gore to your show for Halloween?
There’s lots of that anyway. It’s always been a rock’*’roll, horror and comedy show – 28 songs and I get killed four times. I like horror movies that are over-the-top gory, that’s the essence of what I do. I like setting an audience up, giving them a good scare and a good laugh, but it’s all based around the songs. Without the 14 top 40 hits, there’d be no cake to put the icing on.
Have you noticed Halloween becoming more popular in Britain?
It started out as a Celtic pagan ceremony anyway, Samhain. It doesn’t have any religious connotations in America, it’s just an excuse to dress up and have a party. Everyone likes to be scared a little bit. I love playing the UK. I spend more time here than I do in New York. The British understood the sense of humour before the Americans did.
You’ve said there weren’t any goths before Alice Cooper – did you invent them?
If there were, they weren’t pronounced. After my Welcome To My Nightmare show in 1975 I started seeing kids on the street in top hats with white make-up and the darkness under their eyes. Maybe they identified with that dark, broody character. The next thing you know, it became a landslide.
What are you scared of?
I don’t have any tattoos because I am totally needle-phobic. Put my head in a guillotine, fine, but put a needle near me and I’m passed out on the floor.
What was the first song you wrote?
A Paul McCartney-style balled called Shoe Salesman. I loved The Beatles because they wrote such simple songs, which is a really tough thing to do. I got all the Pink Floyd stuff out of my head and tried to write this three-chord ballad with a simple melody. I’ve always thought if you can break the girl’s heart by the second verse, it’s a hit.
What did you think of Marilyn Manson stealing your act?
After I started having hits I saw lots of bands who’d been Alice Cooper-ised; Kiss came out after us, even David Bowie before Alice Cooper was a mime and a folk singer. Then, when we broke down the barriers, we said you could do music and theatrics at the same time, which opened the door for acts like Marilyn Manson and Slipknot.
Is it harder to do it as you get older?
No. I’m 62 now and haven’t had a drink for 30 years. Back when I was 30 I felt like I was 62 because of the drinking. It’s like Benjamin Button. I finish a 90-minute show and feel great – it’s the guys in my band in their forties who are panting.
Have you ever had a supernatural experience?
I love watching those ghost hunter shows but I’m a Christian so I don’t believe there are spirits on the loose who haven’t been assigned to heaven or hell. I think these ghost hunters are dealing with demons. They can run around doing what they want to do and can imitate all sorts of things.
So you believe there are actual demons roaming around?
Absolutely. Jesus spent half his time dealing with demons and throwing them out of people. I don’t think you just float around when you die – there’s judgement, you either go to heaven or hell.
Have you had any mishaps with your pythons lately?
We don’t use any animals in the shows now. Snakes catch pneumonia very easily. They become ill if you take them from a hot climate to a cold climate. I didn’t want to put them through that any more. As long as a 15ft boa constrictor has been fed, they’re like a kitten.
What was your last dream about?
I don’t have nightmares. I act it out every night. In my dreams I’m an Errol Flynn type flying down from a chandelier waving a sword.