Alice Cooper: 'Mumford & Sons Are an Offense to Rock N' Roll'

"I don't understand why everybody is so afraid to be in a rock band," the singer said.

Ultimate Guitar

Alice Cooper once again gave his honest opinion regarding the state of rock music and young rock bands, which he considers as far less rebellious than they should be.

But this time around, the singer focused on several specific acts he sees as the most problematic in the rock domain, singling out the Lumineers and Mumford & Sons.

"I just feel like this whole generation needs to eat a steak," Cooper said during a recent Fuse interview. "Maybe they just need to quit eating vegetarian food and get out there and get some blood pumping in their system. Rock 'n' roll is not about 'happy, happy, happy, everything's OK.'"

After calling the Lumineers a "great clog dancing band" and saying that "there's a place for that," the singer focused on Marcus Mumford and co.

"Mumford & Sons are great at what they do, but it's not rock 'n' roll," he stressed. "Don't call it rock 'n' roll. That's an offense to rock 'n' roll."

Cooper was then asked to give his opinion on the modern rock bands, pointing out once again his lack of understanding for the latest folk rock trend and the desire of young rock musicians to fit in with the rest of the society to such extent.

"If you're in a band, you're an outlaw. You don't play by those rules, you're an outlaw," the frontman said.

After demonstrating how a guitar should be held in rock 'n' roll and giving an example of the attitude and lyrics today's rock bands have, which can best be seen in the clip below, Cooper concluded that if modern acts don't want to be rock 'n' roll, then all the better.

"That's better fore us, 'cause there's more for the Foo Fighters, more for Green Day, more for the bands that really are rock bands. I don't understand why everybody is so afraid to be in a rock band," the singer concluded.

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Cooper is currently busy touring, with a string of confirmed live dates bound to keep him busy until early August. His latest studio effort, "Welcome 2 My Nightmare," dropped back in September, selling 18,000 copies and scoring a No. 22 debut on the Billboard 200 chart.

163 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Misleading title UG. He never said they're an offence to rock n roll, just that calling them rock n roll is an offence to rock n roll.
    The question is, however, did anyone actually suggest these people were rock n roll? Everyone who's vaguely familiar with Mumford & Sons knows they're a folk pop/rock outfit. You can't just call 'em "folk" either, because then all the folk purists (all three of 'em) will feel offended because of the electric elements and whatnot It's a common thing for music aficionados to immediately get all defensive whenever they see the name of their favorite genre applied to an act which they don't deem worthy of that honor. Punk and metalheads in particular come to mind, but if you look hard enough you'll find some extremely uptight African pirate-polka fans as well I can picture where those feelings come from, up to a certain point: if you're in high school and life seems all sh*tty and all of a sudden you discover some type of music which just makes you go "F*CK this is AWESOME, where have you been all my life???"... well, I can imagine how at that point establishing what IS and definitely ISN'T rock/metal/punk/etc. might seem like the most important thing in the world ...but if you're a 65 year old rocker who used to sing about school being out for the summer and can usually be found on a golf course nowadays you might wanna reconsider taking the piss about vegetarian folk outfits, because as we speak there's probably a dozen metalheads shouting at their computer screens: "TF Pandora, Alice Cooper is metal? How the **** is this faggy glam-rock shit considered heavy metal? If that ancient, makeup wearing born again Christian mummy is metal then Boy George is metal as well" (or something more witty, I got nothing right now...)
    Epi g-310
    "(all three of 'em)" I lol'd. In seriousness, your comment was 200% correct and I'm glad that somebody's having this discussion on UG.
    A lot of the stores and "Academies" in the music business label them as rock, which is rather what he's talking about. Anyone with a set of ears can tell that they're not rock, though. It's more of an "industry" issue.
    "'Mumford & Sons are great at what they do, but it's not rock 'n' roll,' he stressed. 'Don't call it rock 'n' roll. That's an offense to rock 'n' roll.'" "Alice Cooper: 'Mumford & Sons Are an Offense to Rock N' Roll'" You're gonna get sued over this kind of thing one day, UG.
    He's right. Not to mention that I can't differentiate one song from another.
    How to write a Mumford & Sons song: Start quiet Get louder Get quiet again Get loud Get quiet End with a big chord to make people think 'wow, so powerful'
    You forgot to add, Same exact strumming pattern for every song. Oh, and the banjo or mandolin should come in during the 2nd chorus.
    Never heard a Mumford & Sons song, but that structure makes me think of Nirvana.
    Oh shit, you figured out the formula. Looks like we Mumford & Sons fans should give up on them and go listen to what all the people on Ultimate Guitar say we should listen to. Remind me again why you feel that you have any right whatsoever to insult someone else's music and then try to force them to listen to exactly what you want them to.
    Either you're psychic or you're projecting like a mother****er, because he never said any of that shit
    Yikes. I don't have to dislike the band to know their formula, plenty of bands have their own way of writing songs that can be identified easily. How do you know I'm not a huge Mumford fan? Well I'm not at all, but still.
    "I don't have to dislike the band to know their formula" So many times, this! Motorhead's my favourite band and even I'll admit that most of their songs start off with a bass riff (in Eb and Db) which is shortly followed by a drum rolling in.
    Your mistakes (in order of appearance) -he didn't say give up on them -he gave no recommendations for music -he did not insult your music, or you personally -as a human being, he does have the right to judge art -he never attempted to force you towards any music ever 5/5 points are absolute horse piss. I believe that Mr. Fender had misread the comment as (and in direct relation to him): "Give up on your music, listen to X band, your music is not enjoyable or good, I have the right to say this because I want to, put on these headphones and listen to X band or I'll rape your father in front of you"
    Were not telling you what to listen to, and if you don't like a constructive conversation because you are a fanboy of the band don't blame us.
    I'm pretty sure Nirvana invented the quiet verse, loud chorus method. that being said, I would disagree with UG in that these bands just play folk, not folk-rock.
    Nirvana took it from the Pixies, and I'm sure the Pixies were inspired to use it by someone else. Contrasting dynamics aren't as modern of a songwriting tool as you might think, classical composers have been using it for centuries.
    Here's the thing though, anyone who listens to music would not classify Mumford and Sons as rock and roll; they're more like corporate folk-pop
    It's funny because I called MAS a novelty act that no one will remember 2 or 3 years from now on this very site only 2 days ago and and I got down voted for it, make up your mind UG community.
    'I just feel like this whole generation needs to eat a stake' Didnt realise there was a vampire problem in this generation
    There's a huge vampire problem with this generation. Andfor some reason, the bastards glitter in sunlight instead of dying a horrible death
    Blind In 1 Ear
    wow who cares? look at david bowie for example. what music does he play? what music DOESN'T he play is a better question i think. and yet, he's a rock god, was rebellious, did what he wanted, dressed how he wanted, slept with who he wanted, and he also made the music he wanted and didn't care what other genre names were out there. he just did it. THAT'S the spirit of rock n' roll. not playing rock the way someone ELSE thinks you should rock. mumford and sons are not even rock. who calls them rock?
    I'm sooo freaking tired of this indie/acoustic/bluegrass-rock shit. I totally agree with Alice -- WHERES THE BALLS IN ROCK?! lol
    How to make a Mumford and Sons song 1. Write lyrics that will make people touch their heart with quiet background noise 2. DAIDIDIAIDIDIAIDIDADIDIDAIDIDAIDIDIAIDIDIADIDIDAIDIDIAIDIDAI DIDADIDIDAI (Banjo solo) 3. Repeat the next two times
    I'm really a fan of the acoustic/indie scene, but I differentiate them from rock and metal which are also an intrigal part of my listening experience
    People. You all need to chill. I don't understand why you feel the need to berate people for their musical taste when it isn't the same as yours. If someone likes a type of music that you don't like, that doesn't make them a poser or a hipster or anything stupid like that. What other people are listening to has no effect on you whatsoever, and if it really concerns you that much you might need professional help. Just be happy for people because they found something they like and they're happy with it.
    Rom Raptor
    I would say that The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons play some kind of folk rock. If someone calls that rock n roll it's definitely wrong. The term rock is very broad, but I assume folk rock is not what most people would think about when they hear that word.
    There's quite a difference in "Mumford & Sons are an offense to rock & roll" and what he really said..."calling Mumford & Sons rock & roll is an offense to rock & roll."
    Nevermind rock and roll, They're an offence to folk! Folk for folks who don't like folk
    Eat a stake? IS he talking about killing them vampire-style? Or did he mean steak, as in beef? Ya know, spelling f*cking matters. Jeezuz.
    I wish Alice Cooper would respect musicians who aren't glam. Seems to be all the guy has room for.
    I agree with Alice here but he still kind of a hypocritical person cuz I remember him calling that skank Kesha the modern Robert Plant and that's an offense to Rock n Roll.
    Kesha is trolling all of you, and Alice was probably taking part when he said that. That's rock n roll as ****.
    I wouldn't mind this as much if Alice didn't think Ke$ha was the best think in the world. I agree with what he's saying, but supporting the other extreme polar opposite isn't a good path either imo.
    This new style of music is just a fad I believe. Like Disco was in the 70's. This type of music pleases the ( sorry for using this word) Hipster generation. All these styles of bands are getting recognized and flourishing all throughout the radio stations is because people demand to listen to them. Then again I feel more of a jazzy-blues rock style is coming back into the fold. Look at Monster Truck and tell me how badass awesome they sound.
    Definitely gonna have to agree with you about Monster Truck! Just saw them play with Alice In Chains and was absolutely blown away at how amazing they were! Let's hope they can bring some bands like that back
    Monster Truck are totally the kind of sound that comes to mind when I think of Rock.
    "I just feel like this whole generation needs to eat a stake," Cooper was later arrested at big 5 sporting goods store near the croquet section
    You went to far this time Alice, first you play with Kesha, then you talk trash about Mumford and Sons. Firstly, who said they were rock n roll in the first place?
    Eat a stake? Believe you meant steak. And yes, I'm bored.
    "I just feel like this whole generation needs to eat a STAKE," Didn't Realize These Bands Were Vampires... But perhaps they could eat a steak?
    Mumford & Sons are a contrived folk band and Alice Cooper is a contrived rocker. Both rely more on their image than the actual music they produce.
    Really, really, don't like Mumford, but they're making music and playing gigs ans shit. That's more than I've done, thus I respect them for that reason.
    What Alice fails to realize is that these bands probably have never wanted to be a part of rock & roll, and just wanted to play their music, and not worry about what genre it was called or what attitude you had to have. Its about something more pure. That being said... I dont like Mumford & Sons. Im not familiar with the Lumineers, or at least not consciously. I dont listen to the radio, but in work trucks with my foremen, and friends cars and just in my passing life I have heard a bit of Mumford & Sons. None of what I've heard is god awful, but its boring and to say its repetitive would be an understatement. Quiet, stripped-down intro, full band with the same banjo line from the last song, a few verses and choruses building up to a yeehaw bridge then a stripped down outro. To each his own though. Theyre selling records. But then again, for the most part we Americans are sheep.
    I don't recall anyone calling Mumford & Sons rock in my life. Not even M&S themselves consider their music to be rock. Wtf Alice?
    Ok Alice, I like your style and some of your music, but you actually sound like a dickhead. Leave unnecessary, bias, judgmental comments to Dave Mustaine or the Gallagher brothers. Mumford and Sons don't claim to be 'Rock n Roll'. They know that they're folk, same as Lumineers. No need to hear this from anyone, let alone Alice.
    Seen Mumford and Cooper Live. both were fun. Who cares what people listen to. I find it boring to only listen to one genre anyways. And if you look at what your favorite bands listen to, you'll probably be surprised. It's not like every metal bands gets off stage and cranks Metallica (Bad example) but you know what I mean
    I'll admit that I absolutely love Mumford and Sons. I think that they are some of the most talented dudes to have gotten together and create music in the past 5 or so years. That being said, I totally dig what Cooper is saying. M&S is definitely not "Rock'n'Roll". The closest to "Rock" they could get at best would be "Alternative Rock". Now, I'm not much of a radio listener, but I would not want to hear them played on a station blasting some of my favorite rock tunes. It's like when you put your music library on shuffle at a party and totally forget your collection of Michael Bolton is on there.
    This is one of those bands that attracts undue hatred because of their popularity. They might not be the greatest, most original band ever, but they're not TERRIBLE. There are much better flame targets (See: MGMT).
    The biggest problem I have with Mumford and Sons isn't the type of music they play, it's the fact that their music is so mediocre, there is much better artists more deserving, and not to mention that all their fans are hipsters who just like them so they can say "I listen to folk music", Mumford and Sons are folk music for people who don't like folk music, it's the same with people who say they like reggae but they can only name Bob Marley.
    Alligator Dunde
    "Mumford and Sons are folk music for people who don't like folk music" "just like them so they can say 'I listen to folk music'" I love how pretentious and self-absorbed some of the comments around here are. Forgive me if you suffer from schizophrenia, but assuming things and jumping into conclusions based on immense bias is not cool.
    I don't think you have to be an 'outlaw' to be in a band, things have changed Mr. Cooper, and it's not classified as 'rock n roll' because it's ****ing folk rock and honestly buddy, you're the insult to not liking something new and different.
    I agree, from what I've read of his interviews he seems to think things today are bad because they're not the same as they were in his day. Like when he said there's no innovation in music today: there is PLENTY of innovation across many genres (not only rock), he just hasn't looked for it. He seems to want some new overhaul in rock music, when rock itself was an innovation. He needs to stop listening to the radio if he wants some new sounds, because that's not where he'll find them
    I love Mumford & Sons, but he's right. They aren't Rock n' Roll by any means, though I don't think I've ever seen anyone describe them as that.
    Hum, imo Mumford and sons are more of a kind of country/folk type of bad than a rock'n'roll band... and i think he calls green day rock, because they're a bit more 'edgier'(is this even a word? Lol) than the aforementioned bands...
    i dig mumford and sons but they are certainly not rock n roll, they're good for a drunken sing along and have SOME musical talent but, that's as far as i can take them. i also thought the "eat a stake" comment was the most rockin thing about this article...then i kept reading. still rockin i guess but meh.
    Never heard of Mumford and Son but I have watched a lot of Sanford and Son.
    I don't really have a problem with Mumford and Sons. It just annoys the FUCK out of me when people say that they're innovative. Like they invented a WHOLE new style of music or something.
    I'm not really a Mumford fan, but they're not a rock band... Why does everybody in Cooper's eyes have to conform to the standards of what is "rock n' roll" and what isn't? So does he dislike every genre that isn't straight up rock n' roll, ie: his good friend Ke$ha and every glam album of his since the eighties...
    I think the word "rock" when it comes to music has lost all meaning to society. When people start saying that they're "rocking out to some Lil Wayne", you know things are messed up.
    Teh S'moore
    I never even considered putting the words "rock" and "Mumford" in the same sentence. I've always just classed them into the whole folk/pop genre. They're a decent group, but how could anyone call them rock?
    Eh, categorizing bands/artists into whatever genre is all subjective I guess. Personally though I don't see why some people get all up in arms about this sort of thing... Like, why does it matter if a band gets categorized in a genre of music that you don't think they are? Or am I missing something here? He's right about eating a steak though, steak is good! (Unless he literally meant a 'stake' in which case that isn't so good, splinters an' all that!)
    Although I agree that Mumford and The Lumineers cannot and should not be classed as rock, he can't really go on and class Green Day as rock either...
    Youre just sayin that cuz Green Day is cool to hate. Green Day is most definitely a rock band, and they have some great music. Obviously their newer stuff isnt that good, but before American Idiot (i.e. Dookie), and even like 3 or 4 songs on American Idiot are pretty awesome.
    Growing up in the 90s Dookie was a quintessential album to own. I can still vaguely see the album cover in my head and its been 15+ years since I have seen it.
    I dunno I'd deem Twilight as a problem...then again I wouldn't deem that as vampires... Edit clicked wrong comment...
    Just because you aren't any good doesn't mean you aren't still a rock band. Thus, Green Day is a rock band.
    How dare bands not look, act and sound in stereotypical fashion.
    But that's the problem in my eyes. It seems bands are trying to be different just for the sake of 'not' being the stereotypical rock band. In the end, it just creates a generation of bands that are the same - trying to claim how unique they are.
    Surely if bands followed Alice's rulebook they'd end up more similar? Seems to me like he's judging them on what they're not rather than what they are, which ain't the way to go imo.