News Segment


August 19, 2005

NASHVILLE (Billboard) – Alice Cooper may be a more urbane killer these days, but he is still a killer.

Cooper and his band have been out since June 1 playing Australia and Europe in support of his new “Dirty Diamonds” release. He rocks U.S. stages beginning August 20 at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.

Cooper said his fans seem to be getting younger. “The age of the audience has dropped 10-15 years, maybe more,” the veteran rocker said by phone from Sweden. “All of the audiences through Spain, Italy through Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia are like 15-16 through 25. It’s like 1972 again.”

Cooper merchandise is clearly moving in Europe, as well. “I walked down the streets just a little while ago and I saw kids wearing retro Alice Cooper shirts,” he said. “On the last tour I (wore) a shirt on the encore that said ‘Britney Wants Me’ and on the back it said ‘Dead,’ and I see kids wearing those shirts.”

The Dirty Diamonds production is “full-out Alice Cooper theatrics (with) guillotines, strait jackets, female vampire whip dancers, the disappearing coffin tricks.”

And the set list is a healthy 28 songs deep. “Out of the 28 songs, I think two are ballads. All the rest is just hard-on Alice Cooper.”

Despite the unique production elements, Cooper said the show is designed to work in any venue. “We’ve done a lot of big outdoor shows on this tour, and then the next night we’ll be in a small German town in a 2,500-seat theater, and we never change the show,” he said. “I personally think this show works better in a theater because everybody can really see the details. They can pick up on Alice’s claustrophobia in the strait jacket, and all the little facial things going on in the guillotine part.”

It is worth noting that some large fair dates dot the U.S. route this fall, but Cooper said he does not need to alter his show for a family audience.

“There’s no nudity in the show, no bad language, really nothing in the show anyone would have to censor,” he said. “I created Alice now to be this refined sort of gentleman killer. He’s like Hannibal Lecter. It would be rude to swear or have nudity onstage. He’d slit your throat in a second, but he’d be very polite about it.”

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