Alice Cooper: 'Young Rock Bands Should Be More Like Lady Gaga'

Shock rocker laments the state of modern rock in new interview.

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Given his penchant for over-the-top theatrics, it should come as little surprise that Alice Cooper has a low boredom threshold. As ContactMusic notes the "Poison" singer is getting frustrated with modern bands, and feels that they should be more like his friend Lady Gaga:

"The girls seem to be the only ones doing theatrics, the guys have taken a back seat when it comes to that, Lady Gaga and the others just seem to be more creative when it comes to the stage shows. The guys have become boring, really. It just seems like young rock bands are afraid to be young rock bands. There's a lot of thrust missing from rock 'n' roll. I don't know why, everyone's trying to be very sensitive. In the 70s the last thing on our minds was sensitive."

The Coop has also got beef with the lumberjack look that has been popularized by bands such as Kings of Leon in recent years, and stated that bands should be singing less about politics, and more about girls:

"90 per cent of rock bands wear corduroy on stage, with little beards and they look like they're lumberjacks. And they sing about how much they hate oil. That's not rock 'n' roll, they should be singing about boys and girls - that's always what it's been about. Or if they are singing about girls it's always, 'I'm so sorry I was bad.' Quit being sorry!"

In other Alice Cooper news, it has been announced today that the singer will once again be joined on stage by actor Johnny Depp. Depp will play guitar for Alice at the annual Christmas Pudding show at Comercia Theatre, AZ, on December 8th. The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star last played with Cooper back in 2011 at the 100 Club in London.

117 comments sorted by best / new / date

    webber243
    Ummm..... no Alice
    tele-disaster
    considering muse have for years had HUGE stage sets, recently unvealing a pyramid made of plasma tv screens which goes up and down with lights lasers etc. kinda missed that i think. on the other hand young rock bands dont get the exposure so much these days so cant afford huge stage sets like GAGA whose music generates enough to warrant such a production
    AdamnEve
    Agreed, what a load of shit. I get what he is trying to say - that stage presence is important, but seriously... no, Lady Gaga is shite. This article is bad UG, and you should feel bad.
    New Medicine
    Avenged Sevenfold Nightmare tour set was pretty sick in my opinion. I agree though not many bands have the money for over the top stuff. As well as not many bands seem to feel the need too. Which is sad. Alice and even Ozzy did amazing jobs and watching from videos it seemed amazing
    Sheep Shagger
    He's talking about how young rock bands aren't doing anything interesting with their stage theatrics compared to Gaga. He's not saying they should write music like hers...
    RitchieRamone
    Well. I agree with the Webber guy. IMO there's no need for a big shows with lasers and shit. I think that if a band really gives all it has, it's enough. (Big Springsteen fan)
    BjarnedeGraaf
    And I think he has a valid point. The thing is, it's going to be hard finding enough people who share the same "style" as gaga
    Drm316
    I don't think "style" is the right word. I think "drive" or "passion" would be a better fit.
    liam_gal
    well, i think pop star put antics over the music
    JelloCrust
    Lady Gaga actually does write her own music and is a competent pianist. While her stuff under the character that she has developed is a little shallow, she still is good and fun to watch.
    TOOLeffingTOOL
    Alice Cooper made his fame out of half-assed music and over the top antics. I agree that bands today can be too sensitive to popular opinion, but there is no need to go on stage and dress up like you're a child.
    Chipier12
    Hmmm... I think I get what his point is, but tragically his wording got in the way. Keep on keeping on Cooper
    scawti
    I agree with Alice. Bands with members well into their 50's perform with more energy and showmanship than majority of the new bands more concerned with sounding just like their protooled mp3's. AC/DC, Rush, Iron Maiden to name a few
    Favitalegur
    Going to a concert to see a theatrical performance is like going to play to hear awesome music.
    Rocker3438
    Love ya, Alice and ya have a point about the theatrics.... But telling bands to be like a media ***** isn't gonna help anything. How long can you sing about girls? There's more important things going on. So what if someone actually has something to say?
    Engel22
    In terms of theatrics, yes, musically, don't copy Gaga. There aren't enough bands trying to be creative with their stage shows. There's a good handful of big names, Alice Cooper (of course), Rammstein, KISS (Mostly pyro), and even Muse, but there should be more encouragement to dare to be different onstage.
    aaronjchurch
    the last thing on his mind in the 70's was being sensitive? Then where the hell did "Only Women Bleed" come from?
    sn00ze
    I'm amazed how many people completely missed his point... now imagine these people vote
    skuzmyster
    Stop Dinging about politics? What about Billion Dollar Babies Alice? Elected? pretty much all of Dragontown.... He always sings about politics.
    scguitarking927
    I think the point is, even though there are some stage a light shows. Rock music, has reverted back to the "stool stages" if you will. Bands in the 50s and 60s figured it out pretty quickly, stage antics along with a good show and music will put you over the top. The Rolling Stones are a prime example of a band that went from acting like the beatle's styled pop rock to a more raw energetic show. You can see in old live videos of how shows progressed, and I definitely think everything has regressed.
    RGallagherFan
    1. Bands can't afford to have theatrics. Even light shows are expensive and take a long time to set up. 2. Some bands have a message, and whether it be protesting oil or making a song about their own experiences/opinions, doesn't matter. It's their art. It's like the bashing Warhol got for being too simplistic. It's subjective. 3.
    Rock musicians just need to step it up a little.
    themuddman
    I think that adding a bit of crazyness to an act is not a bad thing, but when u get to the point like gaga, where her crazyness is done for fame, then your doing it wrong. If u want to entertain,do it, but don't make it the sole reason people go to see you, thats what your music is for.
    notaconotaco
    I'd rather them just play good music. I don't go to concerts to watch some theatrics, I go to listen to good music.
    Maestro1600
    Surely a concert with great music and great stagecraft is, by definition, better than a concert with great music but boring stagecraft?
    miregal
    Wow does this just prove that the industry is a scam. As if thats a good thing to "be like Lady Gaga" now that Cooper has said that I wonder how much they paid him.
    Callum feeble
    Bands should make music about what ever is important to them, if they dont give shit about making music about girls then they shouldnt, rock isnt defind by the subject matter of the song. if their passionate about a subject then itll refelct in the music. RATM for example
    hellfireshell
    You got my vote ...and 'Sheep shagger', that's a theatrical user id! (unless you're really into it..)
    iommi600
    I could not care less about the theater that some bands make live... I'm there for the music.
    p_a_morgan
    Not sure why Alice Cooper is continuously praising Gaga...Oh, wait...Because she is the next him.
    Lord_Doku
    He's absolutely right, but he shouldn't forget to mention that all the guys in bands are like that right now because our modern day chicks appreciate that more than they do the Rock & Roll lifestyle. It's just to get laid more often.
    g.k
    Well he's got his hand around her throat and he looks like he's gonna kill her...Now I know what he meant!! Young rock bands should be like Lady Gagaead!!
    Voodoochile711
    theatrics are important to a degree, cuz no one wants to sit there and watch you stand still and play for a couple hours, no matter how good you are. But I definitely wouldn't use Gaga as my role model for "interesting".
    GeoffreySmis
    Awww lol i think Mr. Cooper has a crush. Im serious, every now and then theirs something on here about him praising her in some way or another.
    pantallica87
    Slipknot puts on a pretty crazy theatrical show. I think Alice just wants to bang Gaga...
    Camron62\m/
    he probably already has, this article's just covering it or something xP
    Drm316
    lol some paparazzi probably caught em walking out of a hotel room and then they went like "OH HEYY UHH I WAS JUST TELLING HER HOW BANDS NOWADAYS ARE BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH" lolll
    Peterbaey
    I know their not that young, but Rammstein put on the most over the top shows probably ever seen in music.
    metallica_102
    Stage theatrics really don't do much for me. One of my favorite live performances was seeing Opeth who came out smiling and waving to the audience and then just started playing.
    Rdeyahlxp
    I think he has a point, there should be more bombastical young rock bands. I think that's missing in today's industry. It's boring to me. The image of the band can add to the overall experience. Look at Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Slayer, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss etc. Those acts wouldn't be quite as big if they didn't convey their image into their music. That's what makes them stand out from the rest.
    Dr. Knox666
    Sure it's cool to watch a huge stageshow and stuff but if you're able to write good songs and play them well live you don't necessarily need to act like a clown to capture an audience.
    PuckMugger
    I don't care what point Alice Cooper (whom I've long admired), if it's about Lady Gaga, I'm not interested. I'll take seeing a band like The Sword for $25 with 12 colored lights on a tiny stage at a bar before any theatrical BS.
    azisnomarsa
    The sword? Honestly, I saw them about 5 years ago, and it was a total snooze fest, luckily they were followed by Down, which was just bloody brilliant. As for the topic - Yes, there should be a show, there should be a balls to the wall insanse singer. Rocking guitarists, tall lean bassist, and a drummer who looks like he is a on a cocktail of coke, meth and rocket fuel
    Rick_Diculous
    Sorry Alice, last time rock bands cared more about image and theatrics than their music, we got stuck with hair metal. Don't let that happen again.
    Drm316
    "UG users slam Alice Cooper for using Lady Gaga as an example" --- Some people just missed the point of what he's trying to say...
    wembly
    That bands should sing about boys and girls, rather than what they are interested in?
    Drm316
    TBH I think there's more depth to what he's saying. I think he's pointing out that in a sense the "rock 'n' roll" scene (if you will), seems pretty weak and it lacks the energy of youth it had "back in the day". Maybe using the "subject" of themes/lyrics was not the strongest example to use as a point. Idk. I just wouldn't be as quick to down talk what someone who in my eyes (key word being "MY" but probably to a bunch of others) has been insanely successful for his sheer ingenuity throughout the ages.
    kratos379
    "And they sing about how much they hate oil. That's not rock 'n' roll, they should be singing about boys and girls - that's always what it's been about." Yeah, let's have more pointless music with meaningless lyrics. Important topics have absolutely no place in music. Just ask RATM and any punk band in existence.
    Second Rate
    RATM's lyrics were never exactly the words of sages. Endless choruses of "**** you i won't do what you tell me" don't exactly constitute intelligent word craft. And punk rock... there are lots of non political punk songs. Punk is just a reactionary genre, it was developed as a backlash against the musical excesses of progressive rock. Basically, Punk bands are contrarians.. whatever the rest of the music world is doing, they have to do the opposite.
    arabmetallion
    theatrics are cool but it's a secondary thing, watching a band that plays good music always comes first otherwise id'e just go to the circus.
    TheSerb
    So...what he's saying is basically 'it ain't good if it ain't got gimmicks' ? What I miss in today's music is power. Nothing else. And a bunch of costumes, snakes, babes or fireworks can't make up for that. Sorry Alice.
    rgt42dx
    This made me lose respect for Alice, not the part about theatrics which I agree is an essential part of a great live show although to each his own really it's all about the music in the end. But then he said that about rock and roll that all of it is supposed to be about boys and girls...? How shallow is Alice Cooper to say shit like that? Yeah, that's where the music originally came from, but it doesn't and shouldn't mean it can't go anywhere else. If your not careful with lyrics about romance, you can lose a lot of depth and weight with what you're saying with the songs.