Alice Cooper: The Thing I Really Don't Like About Today's Young Rock Bands

"The young rock bands don't wanna be outlaws - they don't have any swagger on stage."

Ultimate Guitar
Alice Cooper: The Thing I Really Don't Like About Today's Young Rock Bands

Alice Cooper talked about the current state of rock music, explaining to RAdio KSHE 95 (transcribed by UG):

"It concerns me that even the rock bands that are out there are very introverted.

"The young rock bands don't wanna be outlaws - they don't have any swagger on stage.

"I mean, if I was 18 years old and I'm in a rock band I would wanna show my stuff up there! Young bands seem to be very introverted about that.

"You know, Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith... We came up in an age when you had to compete with Mick Jagger. And Mick Jagger was the king of swagger.

"That's the way I've always looked at it. Give the audience a great show. You're in the most exciting music in the world, give them a show!

"And that just doesn't seem to exist with young bands. I don't get it. I think that it will be a retro thing. I think young bands will start getting tired of being introverted."

105 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Captain Insano
    You can't be a rebel anymore. Everything they used to rebel with back in the day is mainstream now, and if you rebel against that now you are destroyed.
      [h]“I used to be with it, but then they changed what ‘it’ was, and now what I’m with isn’t it. And what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary to me.”[/h]
    Way Cool JR.
    It's the perfect time to rebel.  This new extremely politically correct society is the perfect thing to rebel against.   
    Except you'll end up in jail in less than 24 hours
    For real dude. I'm constantly blown away. Modern pop music videos, for the most part, are pretty much softcore pornography. But on the flip side, people are more offendable than ever. Oxymoron level is off the charts.
    If you're too much of a pussy to rebel when there are potential consequences you really wouldn't have made a great rebel anyway. That said, find something that isn't stupid to rebel against or you just look like a whinging prick like John Lydon.
    Captain Insano
    This is how you you can rebel today - Go to church, wear a suit, get no tattoos or piercings, don't dye your hair, smoke cigarettes and support capitalism. Whose down? And you can't argue to contrary. People are mad people treat them differently because they have blue hair and face tattoos. Every sexual proclivity except pedophilia is accetaple to a large contingent of people. Religion is in decline everyday in the Western world. And the forces of socialism, marxism and nationalism are on the rise.
    I think these type of acts still exist, just they don't get any recognition for having 'swagger' because virtually everything shocking or provocative that can be done in a concert setting has been done. 
    PC Police will be sure that any band like that never sees the light of day. 
    Rock and metal fans are harder on rock and metal bands than anyone else. The reason why we don't see much of anything new is because they shun anything different. Everything has to tick all the right boxes or they're called posers.
    And if ticks the right boxes, it's hated for being 'not innovative.' Metal fans don't accept young bands for some reason. I remember when everyone online would mock me for liking Avenged Sevenfold. Now that they're nearing age 40, people pretend they always loved them.
    Not sure about their music, never liked the new age sound, but Avenged Sevenfold ...I mean seriously? That's the name of a metal band? And also, they stole the logo from Overkill... still using it like morons.
    i couldnt agree more  the brainwashing and conditioning of todays youth is destroying their abilities to be individuals which is what the powers that be are interested in i always think about what george carlin said:   "They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests..." 
    Was just thinking yesterday how the climate in music (especially in metal) is such that if someone wrote Nothing else matters NOW, they'd be automatically labeled as emo fags, Nickelback, and so on. A lot of bands are losing their guts cuz everything has to fit into the little hipsta drawers of the majority of the audience or else it's "shit". Just how Stravinsky said in his Poetics - the snobs are ruining music. I would add ignorance and the lack of musical education and intellect to that. Just look at what's happening to pop music nowadays, there used to be at least some thought to the harmony. Go and pick anything off of pop on Youtube and try to play it. Does it have a 6-4-1-5 progression? Surprise, surprise, people stopped giving a shit, they just slap that shit on every song and it's automatically a hit because people are basically idiots that stopped trying to give a shit about music anymore. Even a deaf motherfucker can connect that progression and write a hit song about smoking dicks on a chandelier and BAM! Ah, but I rant too much. Did I say I can't wait for metalcore and djent to be completely dead and gone as well? Also, RIP The Dillinger Escape Plan, the last band on Earth (for now) that gave 0 fucks and did things their own way and kind of 'made it'.
    Also I'm going to go home tonight and write a song about smoking dicks on a chandelier to a 6-4-1-5 chord progression
    Ha, I loved reading this.  I can tell you are legit heated up about it and that makes it better.   RIP DEP 
      A lot of bands are losing their guts cuz everything has to fit into the little hipsta drawers of the majority of the audience or else it's "shit". 
     Did I say I can't wait for metalcore and djent to be completely dead and gone as well?  
    I like some of the bands from these subgenres but shit got old, bro, especially with djent. Unimaginative, worn out, copy/paste generic entry level "merchandise". I'm waiting for something to wake things up. Does metalcore and djent turn you on? Good, it doesn't do anything for me anymore, that doesn't make me a hipsta. You enjoy whatever you like, more power to you - it's just not working for me. There, have a nice day.
    But I guess people who didn't like metal getting heavier said the same thing. 
    You could guess and be wrong. Djent and metalcore is heavy to you? Ever heard of this little band called Meshuggah? At the gates? Shit's been already done, re-done and wanked to death, son, we need to move on.   
    Each to his own, I don't know what's what anymore - there are way too many sub-genres to keep up with - it's all metal to me - and it's either something I like or something I don't like. I was only pointing out that it's funny to say bands are losing their guts because people are too quick to criticise then in the same paragraph dismiss entire genres.. Yeah I know there are a lot of repetitive and majorly derivative bands out there ... but meh. . . every genre has those. 
    I know what you mean, maybe I wasn't too clear about what I meant by that - I meant that a lot of people just don't like eclectic bands so when they hear someone going into various infulences/being eclectic, they just mark it as stupid. On the other hand, the most boring rehashed entry level stuff gets a pass just cuz its easily defined and the bands who really try to do something fresh are frowned upon. I like some bands from those subgenres I mentioned, even though I wish we could close that chapter soon
    What's a 6-4-1-5 progression?
    Numbers represent the degrees of a scale, here is an example of it in C major:  A (6) F (4) C (1) G (5), try it on a guitar and put some shit like Despacito on and try to play it on your instrument, everything will be clear my young apprentice. Maybe a better technical angle of looking at it is from a natural (A) minor is 1-6-3-7 but fuck it
    This is too true from what I've seen, the only three local bands that stood out to anyone did so because of their stage presence (and also music of course, but you pay more attention if there's something going on).  One of them had a guitarist that would walk out into the crowd playing a solo; the other had a frontwoman that would get totally into it, every photo that was taken of her looked like an action shot.  The third? A band dressed up like zombies playing horror/metal/rockabilly versions of 60's pop songs, need I say more? Everyone else? No stage presence at all. Just standing there playing their set, occasional banter with crowd. Rock music was built for the stage, do something! Your bedroom is where you get to stand around doing nothing, not the other way round.
    If you go to see a band dance around and act like divas rather than listen to the music then you're what's wrong with modern music. It shouldn't matter what they do on stage as long as they're playing the music you paid to see. Anyone who cares more for a stage performance than the music itself is fucking stupid.
    Or, hear me out here, you can have great music and a great stage presence. They're not mutually exclusive, as we all know.
    Khaki Exponent
    I agree with you. If you go to a music show for the visuals you are there for the wrong reason. But i think the point here is just that good visuals can improve a good live band. Its a gimmick basically.
    " long as they're playing the MUSIC you paid to SEE." Just made your own anti-point there.
    You don't know what you're talking about. Literally every band that is or was popular had a certain stage show and/or presence, that even includes bands like Rush, Primus or Dream Theater. It's not called performing for nothing. Otherwise you might aswell just remain a bedroom studio wanker for the rest of your life.
    Someday, maybe someday ill be able to make all this great rock gods look at me and say " that's it right there!". Sick of all this bullshit that gets passed as music and i plan on maybe someday being the one to bring back rock n roll, if not the rebellious nature of rock n roll and just playing some great music with great buddys and actually try to make an impact on some upcoming generations. Sure it's just a dream, but dreams are just dreams if you don't work hard to accomplish them. And if i don't cause a break through , well i want to atleast inspire someone who will. My name is George mariano and this is my promise. To someday be up there in a stage and cause a revolution in rock again. I'm just 19 and already got a taste of what it feels likes. At the age of 17 i managed to get my band recognized and put out an ep that really made me want to fall deeper into the rabbit hole.
    What is your band? If you have any music out, Ill check em out
    Godspeed, my good man \m/
    Greatly appreciate it brotha! \m/
    an EP out at 17, god damn! i might be a lil bit jealous even. all the best to you!
    I was part of a punk band here in Orange county and we managed to get a record label to help us out with getting some music out. i was just 17 and looking back i wish i would've done some things different but i am still proud of my guitar work. If you'll like to check it out, we have some stuff on YouTube and my band was called Oipissed. It's the not the greatest but it is where i started. If you got any music of yours i sould be mor ethan honoured to check it out aswell.
    It was recently the 30th anniversary of Motley Crue's "Girls, Girls, Girls" album Today, you could not write that song without being roasted for "sexism" and a band that looks like Motley Crue would be accused of being "transphobic" or something, I have no doubt. Part of me wonders if that's why the late 2000s attempt at Hair Metal revival didn't really take off. Hard to be like those bands these days.
    On the bright side, maybe we're building up to another shock rock revolution. Maybe people will finally get sick of being politically correct and kids will look up to bands that write songs about how they actually feel rather than what they're told is the 'nice' way to feel.
    Sadly each iteration of this cycle is trashier and uglier aesthetically and the music is an order of magnitude worse. 
    Nah, I don't think it could get worse, unless we start seeing bands of people "playing" circuit bent toys while spinning their noggins on baseball bats in the name of "performance art" while throwing food at Gallagher show levels.  And this is all done buck naked.
    I don't know, I associate Hair Metal revival to a drummer with aviator glasses and goofy looking band members in general, shitty lyrics, etc. I don't think it's all because of the pc bullshit that this genre is dead, maybe it's just that's it's bad and people grew tired of it.
    I don't think Hair Metal shocked anyone - Pop Metal/Hair Metal was all about getting girls and being a badass.  It failed because those two elements gave way to making more money so they could just get more girls and be more "Badass" - eventually making them look like the caricature jokes they had become or maybe always were, and letting Grunge take over for a few years as that became it's own joke.
    The problem is that everything goes online nowadays. Back when Alice started out in the late 70s, if you tried something daring or out-there onstage and it was a total bomb, no big deal, only the couple hundred people present would know about it. Flash forward to 2017, and if you try something that ends up blowing up in your face onstage now, it'll get uploaded to youtube a dozen times, and if it was a particularly embarrassing flop, it might go viral or even get shown on late-night TV. Bands today are more cautious and less outgoing because back in the 70s and 80s, if you tried something new and unique only to fall on your ass, it was no big deal because it would never leave that concert hall. In the 2010s, if you try something new and unique only to fall on your ass, your name could become synonymous with that embarrassing moment rather than your craft. Nobody wants to become a bad joke.
    It's because swagger has been labelled toxic by a bunch of emasculated/feminazi millennial SJWs
    does everything have to be a feminist conspiracy for you?
    How much of a snowflake do you have to be to blame this on a bunch of buzzwords? You sound like one of the SJW's you're trying to blame.
    "snowflake" awwww he's learnt a new insult, the CRINGE inducing one
    He has a point though. SJWs and Anti-SJWs are just as bad as eachother. Don't you get tired of all the buzzwords and arguing everywhere?
    I do get tired of it, he did not need buzzwords to get his point across.  All the buzzwords are is created off a set of, in this case, very good ideals about how to treat each other well, that were corrupted by big money in order to benefit the rich people up top and create an even more ignorant and silly populace they can easily control.  If anything, they are there for division.   A lot of these problems pre-existed the creation of said words.  Five years ago, I heard NOTHING about "snowflakes" and "SJWs" - and using those words in such a way also may cause oneself to accidentially make oneself an easy target for unintended scorn from people who may feel they fall under such limiting labels- it's a really good way to get yourself baselessly called a sexist/racist/homophobe real quick.
    I'm pretty sure rock and metal fans are the first ones to call people like that try-hard poser fags who are just trying to copy _____.
    No one goes out to see live bands anymore. They'd rather sit at home on Facebook telling their mate 'Your new song is awesome!' without even opening the fucking link. Fuck this planet, man. You're all a bunch of lazy cunts. You're killing rock n roll.
    I'm tired of people hating on the younger generations and whining about how the good old days are gone. Fuck that negative attitude, the rock and roll your talking about is in the past, get over it.
    Way Cool JR.
    That's the new politically correct, butthurt, pansy world we live in nowadays. Anything anyone does or says anymore is analysed and scrutinised to hell.  There's going to be someone offended somewhere and then the protests begin.  People's skin is so thin nowadays that the slightest abrasion makes them bleed uncontrollably.  This society would explode if they lived in the 70s-80s. #growafu*knpairpeople   
    I love the comments by Mr Alice Cooper. Entertainment is more suppressed these days in my own opinion, so they kinda go with what I think to a large extent. Expressing yourself on stage is superb & Mr Cooper still does that very, very well. You have created some great shows over the years Mr Cooper & you still ROCK!!!!😍😍😍😍😍😍
    The problem is the extroverts pretending to being introverts going for that artistic vibe
    "The Thing I Really Don't Like About Today's Young Rock Bands" Are the same things I don't like about today's young people...they suck!! 
    A lot of the reason bands today don't have "Swagger" is they CANT!  We have become a society of desensitized conformists, rule followers, and "by the numbers" goody two-shoes - incapable of critical thought, questioning authority, and if you do, there's such a huge possibility of a whole new world of heartache, hurt, and trouble that nobody wants to take that risk anymore.  Being a bad boy is over. I don't even think it'll be retro, except maybe in a poser plastic dime store halloween costume mask sense.  Once you step off that stage or out of the costume party - you're just another average joe, or another outcast trying to remain under the radar enough that you don't get into trouble.  The guy in the leather with the Harley, Cigarettes (actually a deck of cards or a vape unit at the most edgy), and fists of steel is actually a nice guy accountant who lives out his biker fantasies on the weekends, if you get my drift.  It will be like wearing a halloween costume to live out some kind of fantasy.  The real guy with the Marlboros, Harley, and break your face fists that would actually break your face and spit on you was put in jail, died, or rehabilitated a long time ago and probably cut his hair, drives a Prius, and works in an office now. Swagger is dead. Maybe if one could find some loopholes it MIGHT be possible by a millimeter or less margin to bring another "dangerous" band to the forefront again - but people fill up the loopholes with more stupid rules and specifics so much these days and so quickly when they are exploited that I'm pretty sure they'd find a way to grandfather your "crimes" and get you wiped away somehow. Today sucks
    I'm an old glam'n'sleaze rocker from the late '80's and fucking grunge and alternative rock killed all swagger-rock'n'roll then and after that they became depressive of what they did and started to commit suicide from Cobain to Cornell. They knew, why they did it. 
    "Give the audience a great show. You're in the most exciting music in the world, give them a show!" - this is basically my band's whole live philosophy nothing I love more than jumping around like a loon on stage! 
    But but but..... One direction is outlaws in stage.. you know jumping around.. and the girls went wild
    Hate on them all you want but they have great voices and produced some solid pop songs.  Also, Harry Styles solo record is a legit Brit Rock throwback and is VERY good.
    Most of these kind of comments say more about the speaker's musical radar than they do about modern rock music
    I love all the "bands these days" comments by old dudes who haven't heard ten bands not from a major label. Also from dudes who never really learned a whole lot about young bands even in the past. Makes you'd wish they'd be more dickish and call out a band in particular, enough of the vague generalizations. I want to know who is pissing you off.
    These days if you act too much of a rockstar you get kicked out after 5 years of dedication and hard work! As I found out this week!!
    yeah it is definitely concerning. from an entertainment standpoint. 
    for many bands that might be true, but i`ve seen lately new young bands like scorpion child and tyler bryant & the shakedown and it was a hell of a show.
    The political climate of correctness chastises any show of being an individual...once the media onslaught against being who you are finishes...people cave in...we're doomed. 
    ( by they , I meant Mr Coopers opinions that he stated earlier, that Mr Coopers comments are on the same wave length to mine. It's all about your own individual self expression & that should be not just a thing of the past.
    well, say what you want about their music, but The 1975 for example, they put a hell of a show onstage. lots of collor, lights and stage presence. Nickelback also comes to mind, their live shows are awesome too.  But, if we're talking about the way bands act also outside the stage, then I agree.
    I swear, old people like Alice Cooper are so out of touch with music today. This is literally just another "back in my day" rant. You think young rock bands these days have no stage presence?  Try watching a live concert of Deerhoof, Metz, Lightning Bolt, Mac DeMarco, or fucking Muse. Rock bands today are extremely entertaining to watch live, what is everyone talking about? Literally nothing has changed. In fact, stage presence is even more crucial today than before, with the percentage of bands' income coming more and more from live performances than record sales.  This bitterness of new music is sad. I hope I don't become close-minded and salty when I become senile like Cooper has. 
    Alice Cooper is the very opposite of salty and he's given several young bands plugs in the past. He's talking about the general situation rather than bands you can count on one hand.
    And Muse is approaching 25 too lmao... ugh Not exactly what Coops talking about