Alice Cooper and members of his original band—guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway, and drummer Neal Smith—are working on new music together, a follow-up to Cooper’s 21st album, Detroit Stories.
Along with Cooper, the original members have been working together, without original guitarist Glen Buxton who died in 1997, since Welcome 2 My Nightmare in 2011, Cooper’s 20th album, Paranormal in 2017, and his most recent Detroit Stories, released in 2021.
“We’re working pretty close right now,” said Cooper in an interview. “We wrote like 12 songs together.”
Though he couldn’t share much, Cooper called the new music a “total Alice Cooper project” and that it was being produced by Bob Ezrin and would also include members of his touring band and other collaborators.
“We never know when that stuff’s gonna come out if it’s going to make the next album or an album after that,” shared Cooper. “It’s sort of like putting songs in a bank. If I have time off I’ll get a call from Bob [Ezrin]: ‘I’ve got an idea for something,’ and we just start writing. It’s a continuing process. They kind of take on their own life, these things do.
“A lot of times a story happens; I start reading the lyrics and realize, ‘Oh, my God, this is a storyline!’ I just kind of surprise myself once in a while, because I didn’t set out to make anything be a storyline. We just never stop writing, and we’re just trying to write great songs and then see what fits together.”
Cooper said that there has never been any bad blood between him and the other members since their split in 1974 and that working together has continued to be a “natural thing.”
“Our band didn’t get divorced,” said Cooper. “We just separated. We hit an area after Billion Dollar Babies and School’s Out. Those were giant records. We did Muscle of Love. That didn’t quite get there. It was top 10, but it wasn’t up there like we wanted it to be, and I felt that the band was disjointed. I thought that maybe we hit our peak.”
The band continued to work together until Cooper’s solo debut, Welcome to My Nightmare, reached platinum success, prompting him to continue on with his solo career.
“There was no bad blood between us, anybody in the band,” added Cooper. “They were my best friends. I’d call Dennis up, ‘Dennis, I need you to play bass on this.’ ‘OK, I’ll be down there.’ ‘Neal, play drums on this,’ or I’d want to write a song with them. I always like including them, one way or another.”
Photo: Courtesy of Atom Splitter PR